I have many amazing memories, but one that always makes me
smile was a 24 hour period on my trip through Thailand. My friends, Jeremy,
Randee and I were staying on the island of Koh Phangan and the World Cup was in
full swing with the countries battling it out at the Group level. We left our
rooms early so we could find a bar to watch the US versus Algeria game.
Unfortunately, it was playing at the same time as the England game and there
was something of a British invasion happening on the island at the time.
After trying to convince no less than 50 bars to change the channel we had gathered with us a contingent
of about 20 Americans and we were all hell bent on seeing the game. We finally
convinced an owner of a bar on the outskirts that if we spent more than $150 he’d
change the channel. A few Brits sauntered out mad and talking smack, but we had
them outnumbered at this joint. As the match wore on with no goal and our hope
of advancing dwindling, Donovan scores a beauty in the 91st minute!
The whole bar erupts, we’re dancing on tables, hugging frightened Thais…who
soon join us in celebrating!
We all decide it’s time head down to the beach with our ‘fuck
buckets’ (a local delicacy consisting of a pint of hard alcohol, red bull, can
of soda and ice…served in a sand bucket with straws) and celebrate. Dancing,
carousing and other random images of the night flirt intangibly with my memory
to this day.
The following day we hopped on our scooters in search of
something different. Passing by fishing villages, fruit stands and trinket
shops…we recalled the Irishman of the previous night screaming at us over the
pulsating beats, “Amsterdam Bar.” ‘What?’…”Amsterdam Bar!”. We had our
mission. “You-tee-nai…Amsterdam Bar”, we
started asking every Thai…no luck, until an Australian bloke happened to
overhear us. So we wide open throttled it following our oral ‘treasure map’.
Bam, Amsterdam Bar sign on the right! We swing onto this trail that was steep,
windy and narrow…pure open-air scooter awesomeness. The trail ended in a small
open area with about 10 other scooters. We followed the small footpath up to an
open-air bar and with the sweet smell of a little ganj’ wafting through the air
we take in a magnificent view. As the breeze rolled over the hilltop and
rustled through the trees our eyes were greeted with lush green vegetation trailed
down to waters the mated colors of emeralds, topaz, opals and turquoise. After
some time, the open road was calling and we were off again.
Koh Phangan is small and very hard to get lost on, but we
were trying our best and were making interesting discoveries along the way,
like a two mile hike to see a dry waterfall, which led us to an opportunity to
feed elephants at a rehabilitation center…which led us to getting attacked by
the operators pet rabid monkey (thank god for short leashes). Eventually we
found our way to a beach we later found out was named Haad Mae. It’s on the
north side of the island with a constant breeze which is quite refreshing after
being stuck in the heat and humidity that is Thailand. We parked and made our
way to the beach…not many people random and hammocks stretched between coconut
trees. Two paradises in one day, how could this be? Then we see it…it’s an
open-air, thatched roof, bambooed floored, massage cabana! Approximately $10
for an hour massage and three ladies to make it happen, it was perfect. I have
never felt so indulged in my life. As the surf lapped at the sand and the
breeze rustled the thatched roof I became aware…of nothing. As our hour drew
near an end, we all realized that it was time for us to get up and move along.
Lucky for us, there was an amazing restaurant on the beach with floor seating and
lots of pads. I believe the massage ladies and the restaurant owners are in
cahoots, because you can definitely not have one without the other.
After the good eats, we made our way back to Haad Rin. We
laughed a lot and stopped in random shops on the way back and eventually
settled back into our rooms for a quiet evening, a perfect way to end a perfect
Koh Phangan Hotels & Accommodations review
Clean with helpful staff. Great food on-site. Nice pools. Far enough away from Haad Rin to sleep, close enough to walk to the party. I understand this… read entire review