22.03.2010 - 16.04.2010 30 °C
When we first got to Koh Phangan, we had to find accomodation for a night, and found a delightful beach bungalow resort but were disappointed when the lady on reception informed us a double room would be 900 baht. As we turned to leave, she knocked it down to 800, and when we told her we'd found somewhere for 400 she miraculously came up with a room for 300 kindly letting us know that it was shit. We told her that was exactly what we were after and proceeded to our new accomoation very happy with ourselves and pleased to find that the toilet had a manual flush which didn't work. We went out to investigate food and drinks to see in Laura's birthday and were thrilled to discover Haad Rin beach was basically Queen of Hearts on a beach. Definitely our new spiritual home as they played Flo Rida at least three times every hour. Because we had to check out at 11am the nest day to move to our new hotel and grace the Half Moon party with our presence the next night, we decided to keep our evening low key. But then we discovered Sangsom buckets...our new favourite drinks and next thing we know it's 4.30 am and we can't find our way home. Needless to say, we made it eventually promptly passing out as soon as we laid down our heads.
On her birthday morning, Laura woke up in exactly the same position without a pillow as she had concluded it was far too hard for use the night before and tried to turn over but soon realised she was incapable of doing so - it appeared she had broken her neck during the night. Just before she was about to wake Donna, she realised she was able to move and that it was just the result of an uncomfortable bed...phew. Once awake we were pleased to be moving to Sarikatang, our gorgeous hotel booked for Laura's entire birthday ten days. It was absolutely gorgeous, our bags were carried to our rooms, we were given free drinks, we had air conditioning, television, a beach bag and towels provided and a safe! Also the restaurant was situated on our very own private beach where we spent a lot of the next ten days.
To be honest, the rest was a bit of a blur so we will do our best to construct a list of highlights and hope to cover as much as we can remember.
1. Deciding that fire skipping rope was a bad plan...Laura declaring that her hair was too big and would catch fire. Fire limbo was ok.
2. Meeting a guy at Half Moon and being introduced to his new favourite game: throwing ice over the balcony at the dance floor below. He was thrilled that we joined in with such gusto.
3. Discovering moped taxis when we, typically, had to make a quick trip back to Sarikatang following our failure to bring enough money for the entrance to Half Moon. On the way we saw a lot of fireworks which Laura was convinced were being released in her honour.
4. The obese dog at Sarikatang 'Hello, please do not feed me, I am on a special diet from the vet and am trying to get my weight down from 35kg'.
5. Donna's failure to make Full Moon, after consuming too much Sangsom, even though she dropped a lot of it. In the hour she was there, however she did make gallant attempts to lose her flipflops. Bed by half 1. Laura found ice guy and made it to half 4 (but still not sunrise).
6. Our new friend Ose. Laura introduced Donna to Ose, and then made him down his drink. To encourage him Donna sang a song for Oscar. Laura then informed Donna that this was not his name.
7. Koh Phangan indulges in 'hangover days' following each moon phase party. This consists of bars showing films and having cut price hang over food. We recommend Bongo where we wasted half our week. We can recommend seeing Shutter Island.
8. Massages. Thank you G for creating our addiction. We indulged oursleves to 2 Thai massages and 4 Aromatherapy massages and 2 manicure and pedicures. Now we are smelly and ugly we realise how much we loved them!
9. Donna being unable to learn the geography of potentially the smallest town in the world and always failing to know the way home.
We were very sad to leave but headed off to Koh Tao rather stupidly two days after Full Moon and joined the hoards of people doing the same thing. We started off trying to find a guesthouse in the blistering afternoon sun and successfully found a complete shithole. We found it hard to leave Koh Phangan so we both moped around on the first day not feeling particularly good. We went home fairly early to discover the power in our guesthouse was off. This was a massive problem since in was pitch black inside and the reception downstairs had been closed all day. Having already had a completely sleepless night due to the heat and noise from keeping the door open for a breeze we did not relish the thought of doing it again but without a fan. We went next door to ask if they knew where the woman from our guesthouse was and we were told she was on holiday. Fantastic. We explained the problem and they phoned her telling us she'd be there in ten minutes. Two girls appeared, neither of which we'd seen before and began poking around in the dark before passing Donna a phone with the guesthouse woman on the other end informing us that we would have to leave. Laura meanwhile had discovered a cheaper room down the road so we declined her offer of somewhere else to stay. We asked for a torch so that we could pack our things and were given a keyring, possibly the smallest torch in the world which we amazingly managed to pack with.
On arrival at our new guesthouse, pleased and eager to wash after a hot and sweaty day our new lady tried to sell us a 'nicer room'. Laura was keen not to take that room after seeing a huge cockroach running around on the bed. Laughing to ourselves, we went for the cheaper room, paying less and with the absence of a cockroach. Donna went to take a shower, but soon came hurtling out of the bathroom. Apparently we weren't cockroach free at all and one had been lurking behind the shower tap. We debated what to do about it before deciding that, given we'd booked a Discover Scuba Diving course for the next day, we didn't need to wash, and did our best to use the toilet in the restaurant owned by our guesthouse. The rest of our trip was spent in Crystal Diving Resort to satisfy our new addiction. They gave us a really good offer in their accomodation, presumably as we were already spending so much on the diving! We got a beach side bungalow, definitely the best accomodation that we'd had on the island and half the price. Also we could wash...bonus.
Our diving experience was truly amazing, we got on so well with our teacher and group and spent several evenings eating and drinking with them. We ended up signing up to do Open Water after our Discover course, and following that, Advanced Open Water, along with the rest of our original group. Three days in Koh Tao swiftly turned into nine. Following this, we decided travelling the entire width of Thailand to to Koh Phi Phi and seeing north Malaysia was a bit ambitious given our remaining time before our flight out of Kuala Lumpa. We narrowed down our options and the clear favourite was returning to Koh Phangan. This turned out to be a fantastic decision as two of our diving group, Kat and Martin, were also travelling, so we went with them. This also meant that we could complete the trio of parties and go to Black Moon as well as experiencing the Thai New Year, Songkran.
Black Moon was by far our favourite and we made it through to sunrise, successfully covering complete strangers in neon grafitti. We are confident many people woke up wondering who the hell Donna and Laura are as Donna's favourite trick was to scrawl 'Property of Donna and Laura' across everyone's chest. Songkran, the Thai New Year was absolutely mental and so much fun. We spent the day with the hotel staff soaking passers by, ambushing the open air taxis and mopeds and each other for hours. It was particularly exciting when an ice delivery appeared making it much more pleasurable...until we started on each other. We then moved on to Thong Sala where apparently the rest of the island were and was basically one big party and water fight. What an amazing day.
Gutted to leave the islands, but have made plans to return to Koh Tao to do our Dive Master...shouldn't be too long!