Koh Phangan, a travellers beacon. Now then, I wonder why? We arrived not knowing quite what to expect. At 6:30am we checked into our guesthouse, which was at the very top of the island. It was a very friendly place, with many hammocks, long roped swings (see picture) and a good family-run feel.
On 19th April we chilled out and I caught 2 hours sleep. Then came the 20th! Our day was spent snorkelling the fringing reef, a world of many colours and shapes. We also read and relaxed the day away...before heading out to the Full Moon Party!! This is posibly the greatest party on the planet! For every full moon that appears, the island becomes saturated with travellers and party animals. Then, they all head to a mile long stretch of beach at about 11pm, get covered in body paint, drink booze that can only be bought in a bucket-and-spade-style bucket, and stay up all night dancing at one of the many beach parties, all of which play a different genre or style of music. For the totally crazy (or drugged up), there is an after party all day the next day, so the party just carries on for about 24 hours! That wuold have been superb to have stayed for, but navigating around all the broken glass and unconscious drunks when very very tired and a little groggy yourself would have been pushing it a bit.
Eventually arrivnig back at our guesthouse at 8:45am, Ian and I both having had about 14 pounds stolen from our wallets, I proceeded to sleep in a hammock on the beach for a couple of hours, whilst still feeling a little off colour.
On 23rd April, after a couple of days resting in the heat, reading and taking stock, the three of us packed our bags and headed off to Koh Tao, an island renowned for its excellent SCUBA diving.
Unfortunately, the monsoon season decided to arrive on the same boat as us. It pretty much rained heavily for 3 days, by which time our leaky hut had become annoying. This hut by the way, had only 2 beds, so we took it in turns sleeping in the hammock on our balcony, which was surprisingly good fun, however strange it was waking up outside, with a mosquito net stuck to your face to find it raining...heavily!
A funny moment on this island was when the main employee of "Siam Cookie" guesthouse we were staying at labelled Matt as a drug addict, and proceeded to offer him drugs and be suggestive for the duration of our stay. Strange woman!
On 26th April, after an unexpectedly pleasant night cargo boat to Chumphon (after running down the beach to catch it, and cutting my foot on glass en route), we endured an 8 hour bus to Bangkok. The bus journey was (of course) dull, but nothing to winge abuot, as Bangkok proved to be qutie a lot of fun.