Posts Tagged With: koh-pha ngan

Epic Travel to BKK and Goodbye Chelsea!

The 5 am ferry seemed like a dream – none of us had slept and we were all feeling sad to be leaving Ko Pha-ngan and Bottle Beach.  All four of us missed the epic sunrise and woke up with the Pier in sight and the sun blazing overhead.  One of the hardest goodbyes was next – Chelsea and I said goodbye to our friend Park who lives in Railay and our friend Carter who is a tour guide and country manager for Beach Travellers and also one of the coolest people I met on my travels and someone who helped to make our trip as amazing as it possibly could have been.  Chels and I just looked at each other, waiting together in the train station so early in the morning, and burst into tears.  I’m not sure whether it was a combination of sadness, being so tired, and sleep deprived, but we were super emotional that whole day.  Our last full day together as platonic wives and we would be spending it on a fifteen hour train journey to Bangkok together.  Euchh.

The train journey was something new – we had both done this journey before, but overnight both times.  It was a completely different experience during the day.  The country rolled by our window – verdant, lush and never-changing green.  We reminisced over our experiences together, laughing, crying and comparing stories.  That ride was one of the longest I took while travelling – all I can say is thank Buddha for air-conditioning!

We finally noticed the scenery start to change about two hours outside of Bangkok and veryyyy slowllyyy made our way into the heart of the city for one last tuk-tuk ride to Khao San Road, our home away from home.  I found a very cheap and clean room for the night at the 7-Holder Guest House and we shopped for  bit until I felt like I was going to pass out from exhaustion.

We had our tearful goodbye that night when Chelsea went to the airport. When I started my journey alone a month and a half before, I had never dreamed I would meet so many fantastic and interesting people on my journey, and I couldn’t have asked for a better travel buddy than the one Chels ended up being to me.  It seemed at every turn we were on the same page with what we waned to do, see and experience on our trip.  She was incredibly easy-going and fun, easy to get along with and full of life.  Our adventurous spirits we definitely matched – and now I not only have all of these incredible memories but a new friend for life!  Needless to say, our goodbyes were pretty emotional – silly girls! We are already making plans for our next adventure – we shouldn’t have been so sad!

I spent a strange night in BKK that evening alone. But I wouldn’t have to worry, I would be meeting new friends soon on my trip from BKK to Siem Reap in Cambodia!

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Categories: Cambodia, Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Welcome Home to Bottle Beach

Our arrival at Bottle Beach was full of mixed emotions – we were so happy to be going back to one of our favourite places in the world, but sad to be doing it without our group of friends that we had made during our Beach Travellers trip.  Our ferry ride over from Ko Tao had been uneventful – the extra ta-wenty Baht we had paid for air-con in our little ferry had been a sweet luxury item.

In Thong Sala (the main town on Koh Phangan) we loaded up on supplies to take with us to Bottle Beach, where everything is a bit more expensive due to the fact it’s on a very remote beach that you can only get to by boat.  We were loaded up with all kinds of goodies when we caught our ride across the island to Chalok-lum, the town on the North side of the island, and boarded a little long tail boat which would finally take us home!  The staff greeted us as if we were long lost friends – “welcome home!” they said as we checked in and got settled.  We had been dreaming of Bottle Beach for so long – it seemed surreal to finally be back there again in paradise.

We spent the afternoon with our friends who worked at the resort, practicing fire spinning with Cheeky my favourite bartender, trading stories and making plans for the full moon and our next few days.  We met up with some German friends of ours who had taken our advice and decided to stay at the resort, and had a fun reunion night!  The next day we waited for some more friends to arrive, and got ready for what would be the highlight of our time on Bottle – Full Moon!

The morning of full moon we climbed to the viewpoint to check out the amazing view from the top of one of the surrounding hills.  Everywhere you looked from the top was unspoiled green beauty – there was very little in terms of developed resort land on that side of the island – it was so beautiful, pristine and untouched – took my breath away.

I had a completely different experience of full moon this time around – Chelsea and I got ready together and helped the other Beach Travellers group with their paint and party preparations.  I felt like a pro – the nervous excitement I had from the first time was gone – I felt like I knew what was in store for us, but still was excited to watch the night unfold again!

We boarded the speedboat and the anticipation was the same – rounding the bend, hearing the pulsing music under the bright light of the full moon, and finally seeing the beach lit up and spread out before us as we landed and formed a human chain to get to our meeting spot.  This time I had so many energy drinks at the beginning of the night, all I did was dance for about – oh – four hours until realizing I was starving and set out with a group of friends to find the amazing chicken place I had found last time.  We found it and ate yummy chicken schnitzels whole watching the mayhem unfold around us.  I managed to walk all the way down the beach this time to the very last bar, listening to all the different music on offer as we walked by snapping pictures of the drunk, passed out, and generally outrageous people surrounding us.  Eventually we figured out that the spot our group was hanging out at had the best music, so we made our way back to our rendezvous point and danced the night away, watching the sun come up together.

The day after was a bit of a write-off, on account of us staying up all night to do the full moon thing.  We luckily had a fantastic pool and some great friends to entertain us, so there was no shortage of laughs to keep us going into the evening.  During my second time around at Bottle, I felt like time had stopped – I had everything I needed with me and nothing to do but just simply enjoy and relax. During our last night I bar tended behind the bar with the staff, wearing my staff shirt of course!

Our last night was bittersweet, because we just had so much fun with each other but we knew it had to end, too soon.  We stayed up all night as our ferry was ridiculously early and we had to catch a 3:30(am!) ride to the other side of the island to catch it.  It was a long, bumpy, pitch dark ride on bad roads in the early morning, taking us away from our Thai family and friends and onwards onto separate journeys….my solo adventure was about to get real.

Categories: Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Everybody Come to Phi Phi Island Must Pay 20 Baht

Actually, we weren’t in Phi Phi yet, we did have one more night in Bottle Beach before we left, and I actually managed to stay up most of the second night as well, on account of some energy drink aftermath and my night owl tendencies! It was almost more fun than full moon in a way, there were very few of us out and we sat at the bar laughing and making friends with the locals, listening to awesome music and watching fire spinning.

The sun came up too soon and took us away from paradise onto our next adventure, the island of Koh Phi Phi!

A very hung over speedboat, ferry, bus and ferry ride later, we arrived in Phi Phi to cloudy skies and a bustling little port.  There are no cars on Phi Phi, but TONS of bikes and carts that WILL run you over if you’re not being careful!!

Our guesthouses were far enough away from the centre of town to be a bit more tranquil in the evening, but made for a longish walk to the beach and centre of town. Not that we really went to the beach, it was pretty cloudy and rainy during our stay 😦 oh well. once again – rainy season = stupid tourist!

We went out for dinner on the first evening after we had settled, but I was sooo tired after staying awake for the better part of the last three days, and passed out soon after that.

The next day our exploration of Phi Phi started, there was TONS of cheap shopping to be had, and we signed up for a scuba course the next day. The night passed in the usual way – group dinner, buckets with friends, dancing (on the speakers) at the club on the beach, and a semi-early night to prep for the dive the next day.

Semi….because we actually couldn’t sleep as we were total night owls by this point, aaand also because my friend Nikki bashed up her foot real good on the way home and had to be doctored by our (hero) guide Jon and cheered up by us and a bottle of vodka!!

Trust me….if you had seen her foot you would have passed her the bottle too…just sayin!!

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Full Moon Madness

July 3 2012. The night will forever go down in history as the night I successfully conquered  my first full moon.

It was pretty well-organized for us, I’d say it had to be with 3 groups of us ready to party all night long on the shores of Hat Rin beach. It was good that all of us looked like fluorescent yellow party animals, cause that made the group of us so easy to find on the beach when trying to find everyone. We got told : DONT GO ON THE SLIDE OF FIRE!! DONT DO THE FIRE JUMP ROPE!! DONT DO DRUGS!!

All very good advice, and although I had like three illegal (in Canada) energy drinks, I followed their advice and had a perfectly fun time with only a few buckets round three, five and seven am 😉

We painted each other up and left our beach round midnight on a giant speedboat. It took about twenty minutes to get there, and you could hear it before you could see it, the pounding music travelling over the water, the reflection from the fire and lights.

THEN – all of a sudden you could see it, silhouettes of bodies bathed in neon light dancing on the beach, music from the clubs mixing together in a pulsing wave.

We jumped off the boat and formed a human chain – a necessary way to travel through the crowd to our rendezvous point – right by the slide of fire!!

We quickly filled the place in and hit the dance floor…err.sand…beach.  Lol. Different clubs lined the beach, if you didn’t like the music or the vibe on one part of the beach, all you had to do was walk 5 metres down and dance to the next clubs’ beats!! I took off into the night with my friend and roomie Lindsay, and we suddenly found ourselves on Magic Mountain, a bar perched high above the dancing masses, sharing a bucket and being taught a drinking game by two guys from Singapore!! Hi Linus 😀 hope u r reading this, u guys were so much fun!

We wandered back into the night and the party that brought many debaucherous adventures, faux seven eleven toastie hunts, drunk knockoff ray ban shopping sprees, a few kisses and even some unexpected surprises…

I know. Vague at best but I do remember dancing my butt off, laughing with my friends until dawn, and meeting people from all over the world who loved to party and dance as much as I do! Best party of my life. Only to be rivalled by future planned trips to Carnaval and Mardi Gras!

The sun came up as we danced on the beach, fooled around, and laughed at the aftermath of the party around us. There were drunk couples making out, passed out half buried people with bucket hats, wild drunk hippies still dancing, and just before we left, an epic fight that left me glad we were staying far far away on the other side of the island.

I drank a beer while riding in the front of the speedboat back while Danica slept in my lap and I secretly congratulated myself on losing my full moon virginity.

After a greasy breakfast and blissful shower in my marble bathroom, I washed the body paint off, slept for 8 hours and woke up just in time for my massage appointment.

I. Love. This. Place!

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Paradise Found – Bottle Beach, Ko Pha-Ngan

The minibus brought us from Khao Sok to Suratthani in the morning after an epic 6am longboat ride through the huge lake.

This was a tough travel day for me, I was super sick the night I landed at Bottle Beach, and was feeling crappy on the bus, ferry, truck and boat we needed to take to get to our next destination on Koh Pha-Ngan. Didn’t help that I got iced on the ferry on the way over, either. Thanks guys. Lol.

After a short stop in Thong Sala to buy full moon party supplies (body paint and fluorescent clothing anyone? ) we boarded a truck to our second last stop. The beach is only accessible by boat, and that is one of the things I loved most about it! Totally secluded from the world – with the requisite wi-fi of course!

Arriving there by speedboat was surreal after living in squalor at the lake house. We had these amazing huts on the beach all to ourselves, with a bathroom to die for and a charming front porch. The resort had a pool and a pristine beach, great little restaurant and a bar that was always open. It was Heaven on earth for these weary travellers!

We wasted no time in getting a pool party started, the weather was awesome and everyone was in a great mood, exploring the hotel and eating the food – after tons of Thai food in the last few days, it was great to be able to order a burger 😀

A few not so nice things about our first day in Bottle Beach: first was my sickness, and second was that we discovered our room had…dun dun dunnnnnn….COCKROACHES!!! Eeeeew.

But now I can proudly say I am a cockroach killer, and I also got over my sickness that evening with the help of my dear friend Danica, ( yup, same name!) who is a damn good nurse – love her for that!!

The next few days brought just the right amount of sun, sand and friends as we relaxed, hiked to a beautiful viewpoint, had bonfires, watched fire spinning, lit wishing lanterns and released them into the sky, had massages and generally had the time of our lives.

The full moon was just around the corner, and it definitely deserves its own blog!!

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