Ko Phangan : Easy times and Slow Life make for good times and good life.
Koh Phangan Travel Blog› entry 115 of 268 › view all entries
[Owing to further technology problems and the loss of a lot of my Ko Phangan photos asa result, many of those that appear here were taken by either Kate or Dave and have been credited as taken by K&D]
The sun is out. I slowly suck on another delicious coffee shake. Reading a bit. Checking the tan. My sister’s partner Dave, one of life’s constant cascading waterfalls of creativity, sits and conjures up another mini-masterpiece of a Mujuworld illustration with pen and paper. My sister scribbles away in her travel journal whilst today’s super-scrumptious tuna baguette settles. Her journal’s still nearly as fresh and empty as the day the paper was cut but she and Dave are at the very beginning of their own 3 month travel odyssey, so it’s not long before between those pages, pressed by pen with care like so many tiny coloured flowers, her memories, observations and thoughts are being caught for posterity.
We are on Ko Phangan off the northeast coast of the southern swathe of Thailand. It sits in the Gulf of Thailand with its sister islands Ko Samui and Ko Tao, all long established and exceedingly popular beach destinations. Recently recovered from my highly stressful time on Ko Phayam (“ahem!”) it’s time for more of the same. Slow Life. Beached time. Relaxation. If I’m not careful I’ll soon have forgotten how to move let alone travel! A blissful state. Kate and Dave, in order to take a break and abandon the sinking ship Great Britannia have wrapped up the physical manifestation of their ongoing creative project ‘Mujuworld’, a small shop in Brighton, south England entitled Toylife.
Our base during this time is the Harmony Beach Resort in Ban Kai. It sits heavily secluded on the south coast of Phangan about a 10 minute Long Tail ride from Haad Rin, where the ferry boat from Big Buddha Beach, Ko Samui docks, and site of the infamous Full Moon parties. On the morning of our departure from Samui (the 12th) I had watched as the ferry from Phangan disgorged and endless line of package-holiday party people… or should I say party wreckage from its decks.
Upon arrival at Haad Rin I experienced a minor moment of travel culture shock. Getting an anywhere near reasonable price for either a taxi/ saungthaew or a Long Tail is just out of the question. Rather than prices going down through a process of negotiation the prices keep racketing up by small degrees and there’s a general air of financial ruthlessness, or at least calculated indifference about the people that reside at the pier here in Haad Rin. This is an attitude I have not so far (and will not again) come anywhere near experiencing in my 6 weeks in Thailand. A symptom of the disease of hyper-tourism in full flush? Most likely.
But all this has little impact on us, and horrible Haad Rin behind me, there are few more flies in the ointment of my time on Ko Phangan. As I’ve said, little is willingly sought for or achieved in our 10 days on Phangan other than total, utter relaxation, which was pretty much the plan so I will not regale you with a thousand and one anecdotes of people, places and names. It’s plain, simple family time for a brother and sister who’ve not seen each other in nearly six months (and may not see each other again for a significant period of time to come).
The gang at Harmony are extremely friendly and our time there is very pleasant. 500 Baht a night for a large, clean, private bathroom bungalow.
I took myself off to watch an evening of this national sport and support Karim (fighter name Roongprecha) along with a crowd of other Harmony guests.
Sadly too, less than a week since having been reunited with my f**k-arse laptop some major fault occurs requiring the hard drives total resetting and the loss of all photos of my time to that point in Phangan and the visual excitement of the Muay Thai fights. Some of the first taken with my brand spanking new Panasonic Lumix DMC-F228 digital camera that my kind and loving family have all chipped in to buy me for my 30th birthday (and however many Christmases and future birthdays I choose to be absent from Home!).