Motorbiking around the island and the disappearing wallet

Koh Phangan Travel Blog

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For day two, we decided we would rent a motorbike and drive around the island to check out some of the other beaches. We ended up renting an automatic bike from Salad Hut for 200 baht. We first drove south past Thong Sala and onto Haad Rin on the Southwest coast.

The drive for the last 4km is very steep up and down and with lost of sharp corners. This is the area where, I believe, a majority of the drivers who are seriously injured or killed get into their accidents, especially after drinking all night at Haad Rin. My driver was very careful and although some of the sharp corners with oncoming trucks were a bit scary, we made it there in one piece.

By the time we arrived in Haad Rin it was about 12pm. The beach was pretty back and is lined with resorts and restaurants. We decided to swim in front of the make shift beach soccer area where there were less people. The water had pretty big waves and was the only beach where I saw garbage floating in the water.

Haad Rin also has the biggest selection of shops so we did a bit of shopping. Beach towels were 350 baht each and the best I could get the guy down to was 660 baht for two.

We then headed back towards Thong Sala and North to Ao Chaloklum, with a mini stopover to see "Paradise Waterfall" (the bumpy road leading up to it is very not worth it in my opinion).

Our map showed a small beach with four resorts on it called Haad Khom. Between Chaloklum and Haad Khom there is a resort called Belvedere Resort which has a restaurant with an amazing view looking back into Chaloklum Bay. We stopped for some food and when we went to pay, we realized that Dave's wallet was missing from my backpack. This was very bad seeing as his wallet had everything in it that he uses in Perth. This included drivers licence, bank cards, Australian money and lots of Thai Baht.

We decided it would be best to retrace out steps and hope for the best. After going to the bike rental place and then all the way back to Haad Rin to each store and the beach spot, which was now a full fledge soccer game, we went to the Haad Rin Police Station. In each place we went to and told the workers we lost a wallet, they either chose not to understand what we were looking for or didn't understand the English words. This included the man at the police station which was of no help whatsoever. Unfortunately Dave's travel insurance only includes medical expenses so he won't be able to make a claim for it even if we did report it.

After a well deserved home made ice cream at a shop just off the road heading back up to Au Chaloklum (amazing ice cream and if you pay extra you get it served in a coconut), we made a last attempt at finding the wallet by returning to the petrol station we had used on the previous drive north. Again, they didn't understand that we were looking for a wallet, so we gave up and drove away.

Fortunately his passport was safe with the rental company so although he lost a bunch of money and getting those cards back will be annoying, I can withdrawal money and we won't have to return to Bangkok to get a new passport.

As it was now past 4pm, we didn't go to Haad Khom, but drove on to Haad Mae Haad to check out Koh Ma. It's an island connected to Haad Mae Haad by a sandbar. The snorkelling is supposed to be some of the best on the island. I was a bit nervous leaving our only money and atm cards by themselves on the beach, so I let Dave take the snorkel gear and explore the reefs. He said he was a bunch of coral and some fish and seemed happy about it. I laid out on the beautiful stretch of beach and was quite content watching from a distance.

View had a fantastic view of the sunset, with just enough clouds in the sky to give it some colour.

Returning to our beach, we ate dinner at Cookies Resort, which has a restaurant on the southern end of the beach, up on the rocks, overlooking Salad beach. The various restaurants along the beach are lit up in various colours and vendors sell lanterns you can purchase and then lit something inside so they float up while glowing. It makes for a very lovely view while you're eating your whole barbecue sea bass, 300 feet off the beach.

The day was fun, although the missing wallet definitely put a damper on the day. Dave's been a good sport about it and said he wouldn't let it ruin his trip. If it was me in the same situation, I don't think I'd be so good about it!
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photo by: alanmica