We heart Thailand.
Gah, I just wrote half of this blog when the internet cut out and none of it was saved. So I apologize ahead of time if it's not as witty or thorough as usual.
Let's see, how did I start it last time. Oh yes. Tim and Chris had left me so now I was all alone again. But, as per usual with traveling, not for long. I took the three hour ferry to nearby Koh Phangan, famous for their monthly Full Moon parties. I shared a tuk-tuk taxi with four girls who upon arriving at the nearly all booked backpacker ghetto of Hat Rin said that I could share a room with them. Perfect. We found a fairly nice, large two bed room yet after we did not receive the extra bed we were promised, Jula, Amanda and I had to share one bed for three nights.
Gotta do a jumping picture.
It actually turned out to be fine. It was a bit weird to be around girls again after having only male company for the last month, so it took me awhile to get used to the gossip and drama of being in a group of five girls. We spent the first day walking around getting oriented in the crazy busy tourist streets, buying Full Moon tank tops and fluorescent body paint. Hot pink and yellow were all the rage.
That night we went to a place appropriately named "mushroom mountain," where I assume all you blog readers can figure out what sort of... products.. they sell there. I will not go into much detail on this night as some illegal activities took place, but what I will say was that it was good old fashioned, freaky lights and weird sights, fun.
Enough said. The following day I bumped into my friend Natalie from Koh Tao
and the six of us decided to rent ATVs to explore the rest of the island. Koh Phangan is quite beautiful once you get away from the swarms of half naked waiting-to-be or already drunk 18 year old British kids. After visiting a very disappointing, I can't quite get myself to call it a waterfall, "waterfall" we got lost for a bit and ended up on a pretty secluded beach. We lounged around there for awhile before getting serenaded by our waiter and heading back to Hat Rin.
Full Moon Party. The big SE Asian monthly party orgy. I'd like to say it was fun, but in reality - and I'm almost ashamed to admit this to the public (ha, I flatter myself with who reads this) - I hardly remember it.
The gang before heading out.
I have flashes of memories, including talking to a stranger on a bench about how I lost all my friends, and dancing with a random guy on some sort of stage. At this point, I should realize not to wear my flip flops out considering I have already lost two pairs and tonight was no exception. I woke up, flip flop-less, all my clothes were damp and sandy, and 750 baht poorer. Must have been all the buckets from the hundreds of descriptively "Johnny F*cking Bucket" or "Sally Sex Bucket" stalls. Did I mention this was a classy affair? But the most fun was the next day. I got to take a 10 hour overnight boat trip. I can't think of a better place to be hungover than on a rickety, crowded SE Asian boat. Wonderful.
I made my way over to Phuket first and headed down to Kata Beach, supposedly quieter than the rest of the island.
Body pain galore.
I figured I needed a few days rest and recovery. I stayed at an awesome hostel, Jinta Andaman, which had little rooms of sorts that were immaculately clean. There was only one other person staying there at the time, another American, Apphia, and while we talked at times, I mostly read a lot, laid out at the beach, and relaxed. While it was nice, after traveling for a month with people and then spending four days with the girls, I soon got bored and left. Not that I didn't enjoy the nightlife consisting of 10 bars in a row, pumping loud electronic music, and home to a handfull of prostitutes. Just my scene! Surprised I didn't make it to any...
Next was Koh Phi Phi, home of the movie "The Beach." And it was beautiful.
Part of the scene.
I arrived in the afternoon, found the only cheap hostel lodging in a very dirty, crowded dorm room, of which the walls were covered in interesting quotes, such as "Karen peed on this bed, enjoy" with an arrow pointing to the bed next to mine. Luckily I was given the bed that said "I can sleep when I'm dead" and not one referring to getting nailed at "The Rock" (the name of the place). I could tell I was going to like it here.. cough, cough. I went to the beach to sit and just look at the scenery when a guy, um, I think his name was Honri? Henry? from Israel came over and started to talk to me. He seemed nice enough and so we spent the night walking the beach chit chatting about our travels and life, etc. He started to get a bit weird, though, so I said goodnight and headed back.
The next day was pouring rain (again) and I was starting to get sick of the bucket bars and party scene. I decided since I couldn't go snorkeling or scuba diving - did I mention I ruptured my eardrum? - I was just going to leave. It was time.
I took the ferry that day to Krabi, a smallish town with nothing really to do, but immediately felt better being away from the insanely Western fake hubs of the islands. The only event of note was when I took a shower and got stuck in the bathroom when the doorknob broke. I ended up yelling and yelling for help for about 15-20 minutes before a hotel staff member heard me and came to my rescue. Mind you, I am naked and wet, and now cold after waiting so long.
Jula, Monesay, and Amanda at mushroom mountain.
He came to open the door and I had to shout "wait! don't come in!" while I held the door closed (after he spent all that time opening it he was probably confused) until I managed to point and indicate that my towel was on the rack behind him. He instantly looked embarrassed, handed me my towel, and when I emerged apologized about 5 times before leaving. That was my last night in Thailand.