Ko Pha Ngan
We arrived nice and early again and got taken to our beach huts. They were everything i was hoping for, a hut right on the beach with the sea about 5 meters from me. It was run by a family so it was a really nice atmosphere. The "mum" was very welcoming and helpfull and cooked us up some nice breakfast when we arrived and told us what we could do around the island before the full moon party (fmp). We spent the first day on the beach which was very calm and shllow for quite far out so nice to go and cool down in.
Later on, me and Sarah decided it would be worth renting a jeep and going to check out the island. We found some guy renting jeeps but he was charging to much and the jeep was, well... crap. We walked about a mile down the road and Damo and Dan joined us. We found a tourist office and even though we were fed up with them trying to con us we asked anyway. The guy was from Singapore and was real nice, not like the others, he actually helped us loads and showed us all the routes to take to get around the island and didnt charge a penny. He also called up his mate who does big jeeps. They jeep guy "Mr Shaddow" arrived with a nother crappy jeep but told us he had better ones so me and Sarah jumped in the crappy jeep and he took us to his "base", little worried that he was going to take us down some dodgey alley but when we saw the jeep he was giving us it was all worth it. 5 seats in the cab and and loading bay big enough for another six, 4 wheel drive and monster tyres! We were set for some off roading. After handing over my passport and some money I drove it back and picked up the others and we went for a little drive to tesco's. That evening we all met up on the beach, guitar in hand, few bottles of red and a campfire. We had a few drinks and sang some songs, went on the beach swings and layed out on the beach till late looking at the starts. It was a great first night on Ko Pha Ngan.
The next day we loaded up the jeep and headed out to the spots on the island that our tourist info guy showed us. First stop was a small secluded beach on the east coast. We were told that it is the nicest beach on Ko Pha Ngan but quite hard to get to as the roads are so dangerous. Well... You cant tell us its the nicest beach on Ko Pha Ngan and then expect us not to go so we headed out, map in hand and 4 wheel drive engaged. They wern't lying when they said dangerous roads, the first obsticle were actuall holes in the road. Not just small pot holes i mean half the road was missing down the side of a steep verge, a good 30 foot drop. The next part was one of the steepest hills ive ever seen, i reckon 45 degrees. With 9 people in the car it wasnt easy, 1st gear all the way up but we made it ok. the rest of the road was just horrible terain, holes and grooves where rain had rushed down the mountain. It wasnt the most comfy ride for the peopl in the back but i was driving so i didnt mind too much ;) We stopped off half way to check out a water fall that is quite strange. The King of Thailand has actually tried to get it into the wonders of the world but did not succeed. The royal family has also visited the spot a few times. Whats strange is that when its hot weather the waterfall acts like a waterfall should "with water running over it" but when it rains the water full stops!?!
After the waterfall we carried on to the Had Sadet which is a secluded beach that not many people go to and is supposed to be the nicest beach on Ko Pha Ngan. When we arrived we saw why this was a special beach, there were about 5-10 people on it, it was in the middle of knowhere, small bamboo huts at the back where the locals lived and cliffs either side, it was a lovely beach! We jumped out the van and i got straight into the sea. After the car journey it was nice to cool off :) Me and Dan went on a little adventure round the cliffs and swam out to where we could climb up onto the side, we were planning on jumping off but once we got onto the first boulder the next step was a lot bigger than it looked back on the beach so couldnt really go any further, oh well a nice swim back wasnt so bad. We found a trampoline that rachel was able to show off her gymnast skills on, pretty impressive stuff, some crazy backflips that i wasnt about to attemp but Damo gave his own "special" moves a go which gave us all a laugh.
After the beach we jumped back in the jeep and started our mission to the north of the island to visit Ko Ma, a small island just off the coast which you are able to get to by walking along a sand bank visible at low tide. We stopped off on the way and found a small italian restauant that we grabbed some lunch at. We didnt expect much but once we spoke to the owner and found he had moved over from italy we thought the pizza's could actually be pretty good and we were right. We watched as he made the dough infront of us and started spinning the pizza base with his hands. Once he served us the pizza and we tasted it we all agreed that it was the best pizza we had ever tasted, the man was a genius. I loved finding a small out the way restaurant that served brialliant food.
We arrived at Ban Mae Had and could see Ko Ma just off the coast, it looked amazing ad the water was really clear, prefect for a good session of snorkling. We unloaded and headed out across the sand bank and decided to set up base half way across. I took to the water ready to use my underwater camera properly for the first time :) It was amazing, so many fish, all crazy colours. I was swimming along when dan started waving at me underwater pushing me back, once i stopped he pointed below us and i saw a massive sea urchin, we quickly backed off so we could get a good look and i took some shots on my camera. Pretty scary as the stings are damn painfull. Now i was aware of what could be about i kept myself on the surface, only diving after i had checked out the area. I later fund a big grouping of sea urchins which you can also see in my pics (once i get them uploaded) Ko Ma is a sepparate island to Ko Pha Ngan so it was nice to add another island to the growing list of places visited.
After Ko Ma we started our drive back home planning to stop off on the way at "The Amsterdam Bar" (a place the cool tourist info guy told us about that not that many people know about). The bar is at Wok tum on top of a hill hidden by a resort. The hill is higher than everything around it and looks out over the sea towards Angthang Marine National Park with the sun setting behind the islands in the background. Damo was driving by this point and powered us all up the hill in our big 4x4 only to find a moped carpark at the top, hmmm, bit of a tricky one as the hill road was thin, we had mopeds behind us and needed to somehow reverse without falling down the hill. We kicked everyone out the jeep to make it lighter and once the owner of the bar saw us she quickly gathered the troops to move all the mopeds so that we could turn around, it was really nice of her and she laughed as us all after. We arrived in time for sunset as we planned and were stunned with the view that awaited us. There were no chairs, just mats and knee high tables scattered across the balcony, it was amazing. The sun was setting and you could see all the islands scattered across the horizon getting brighter as the sun got closed to them. We all ordered drinks and sat back ready to watch the sun go down. Being called the "Amsterdam Bar" it also sold other products that i will let you figure out. It is the only place you can get it on Ko Pha Ngan and has to be consumed on the premises although no one had any so dont worry mum etc ;)
The jeep had to be back for 6 and after the sunset it was 6:30 and we still needed to do a FMP shop for the pre party. We did the shop, dropped it off an then me damo sarah and dan went to attempt to drop the jeep back off. We got to the tourist place and the shutters were down, uh oh! but then as we were thinking what to do he re-appeared and called the hire place for us and told us we had to go and drop it off ourselves. Randomly the guys we met in Ko Samui walked past me and sarah as we were waiting which was brilliant luck. We told them where we were staying and invited them to the pre party etc for the FMP. We navigated back to the pier where we picked it up and were relieved to see the guy, we gave the jeep back and got my passport back although we cut it pretty close! We were now stranded at the pier but managed to find some moped taxi's to drop us back off for a few baht. It was the best day yet, tomorrow, Full Moon Party, bring it on!
We all got up late after a good rest in bed ready for the nights partying ahead of us. Alcohol in fridge chilling, taxi's booked, UV face facepaints bought and silly cloths ready. The day was spent chilling out on the beach and when it hit 4pm everyone started getting ready. We had a few drinking games and them headed down to where gemma and rach were staying (a fancy beach resort further down the beach) which was great as it meant that all the mess we were about to create wasnt going to be all over our beach huts :) . We jumped in taxi's and headed down to the "Morning Star Resort". Just as we were getting ready the whole area had a massive power cut. The pre party music (the morning star actually had its own DJ for the pre party) was on hold but only for a few mins and we whipped out the mp3 speakers and made our own party in the room with only torch light, it all added to the fun so no body was bothered. The power finally came back on about an hour later and we got out the UV paints and artists sarah and rach (not actually artists but pretty handy with a paint brush) started painting everyone with their chosen designs, of course i had a guitar painted on my back and trebble cleff on my chest!
We drank some drinks and played some games, took smoe silly picks and then got in our taxi down to Had Rin, THE place for FMP. The taxi was so crammed so i rode the way on the roof rack, sorry mum, dont worry i held on tight ;) it was a bloody funny journey. We got to the beach and headed out to paaarty. I cant recall everything from my brain so just look at the pics once i put them up. What i can tell you is that the music was awesome, dont think we stopped dancing all night, food was lush, drinks were cheap and i didnt get back till 7am so im pretty sure we had a good night.
Hangover day, no one emerged until late afternoon and when we did it was pure beach lazyness. Not much else happened that day but we did go to a fresh fish bbq for dinner which was nice and i had some baracuda yum yum. We booked a ferry for early in the morning to take us to Ko Tao, our next island hop so we all went to bed early ready for the 8am pick up.