Koh Phangan after New Years

posted by Russ, May 7 in thailand, travel with tags , , ,


Entry #5 from Thailand Trip (see entries #1, #2, #3, #4 and #6)

Relaxing in Koh Phangan after New Years

Relaxing in Koh Phangan after New Years

After a fun night at the New Year’s Full Moon Party, we finally decided to call it quits around 2AM. We weren’t sure how we were going to get back to the other side of the island, but we had a hunch we may be able to catch a ride with the truck that had dropped us off. From our hotel, they were doing runs to Haad Rin every hour until 1 or 1:30 to drop people off, and we hoped we’d see the truck and be able to catch a lift back to the hotel, and save us the trouble of finding a ride. From Haad Rin back to to the Haad Tian Resort it was a 20-30 minute drive, and we weren’t sure what the deal was with rides going that far.

As we were walking out of the party area, we recognized a few guys from our resort in the back of a songthaew, and they seemed to recognize us too, and called us up into the truck. Amazed at our luck, we hopped on. Turns out they were going to a party at another resort near ours, so we figured as a worst case we’d be able to get most of the way back to our beds, and then pay more for the full ride or walk the remaining distance. At this point we didn’t yet know we had a kid driving who was barely all of 16 years old, and one crazy SOB. He drove like a maniac on the windy, hilly roads, and though a bit nervous we just laughed it off as a good New Year’s adventure. A few minutes into the ride he pulled over and tried to shake us down for more money, since we essentially just hopped on without his permission. Luckily the two English guys who had already been in the truck sorted it out with him, and told him they paid for all of us. After about 20 minutes of white knuckles and holding on for our lives in the back of the truck, he finally dropped us at the entrance to our hotel driveway, leaving us to walk the last 1/2 mile down the dirt road to the hotel.

After not nearly enough sleep, the following morning e got up and dragged ourselves out to the beach to recover and relax. Most of our New Year’s Day was spent in this manner, sleeping, sunning, and eating. Not a bad day in paradise actually! The following morning we were able to switch into our cheaper, and ironically more favorable, bungalow. And now, after a full day of recovery, we were ready once again to explore more of the island. We hopped on the trusty motorbike once again, and headed off.

At the north of the island is another little island called Ko Mah, which incidentally I’m not sure is actually an island. You can walk to it, but it involves wading across a channel. Nice little excursion where we found some fisherman and just explored, before heading back to the Phangan side for some more beach time. After a few more hours, it was back to the motorbike for one last cruise around the island. Instead of going straight back, we cut through the center of the island where there is little more than a few modest local homes, some of which we saw with pet monkeys outside. For us this was a strange sight, especially since they were chained to trees. Sort of disconcerting, but I suppose no different from leashing your dog.

After one last night at the Haad Tian resort, it was early to bed to catch the morning ferry back to the mainland, from where we would head over to the west coast, to Krabi and Koh Phi Phi.

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View from bungalow to ocean, Haad Tian
Ko Mah, tiny island at the tip of Phangan
Path to waterfall - Koh Phangan

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Originally posted on Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at 9:14 AM .

5 Responses to “Koh Phangan after New Years”

  1. Heather says:

    I’m excited to hear about Koh Phi Phi! My husband and I are planning a trip there and Koh Lanta early next year.

    • Russ says:

      You will love it. We didn’t make it to Koh Lanta but I’m sure it’s gorgeous. Only real downside to Phi Phi is that it is massively over touristed and because of that, a bit pricier than other places. But it is still beautiful and worth it. But since there are no cars or roads, you can take a boat to other parts of the island where there will be no one.

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