23.11.2009 - 29.11.2009
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We made the lengthy trip from Railay on the Andaman coast to Koh Phangan on the gulf coast in one day. It went something like this: long-tail boat – 30 minutes, wait 1 hour, minibus – 2 hours, stop for lunch – 1.5 hours, bus to ferry – 1 hour, wait 30 minutes, ferry – 3 hours and finally a swiingthaw (pick-up truck converted to a taxi) – 20 minutes. The boys did surprisingly well especially since we didn't have a hotel yet. We looked at 3 places all side by side and picked one.
It doesn't take the boys long to make themselves right at home. They spent time this morning entertaining themselves. I'm guessing that Taro was the ringleader and Kiyoshi an eager participant. They unpacked all of the cans from the mini fridge and lined them up on the table to count them in Thai - neung, song, sam, si, ha, hok, jet, piet, gow, sip. And then they made mountains and walls while chanting “Welcome to Happy Hour Village!” I suppose this is what happens when you suffer from a lack of real toys and your parents have been partaking in happy hour everyday for the past 2 weeks.
Koh Phangan is like the little sister to Koh Samui, a larger resort island. Koh Phangan is world famous for the monthly full-moon parties which have been known to attract up to 30,000 partiers - shocking for such a small island that is 3 hours from the mainland!
It seems like this little backpacker sweet-heart has seen a construction boom in the past few years because the beach we are on was once described as 'tranquil' in the Lonely Planet is now lined with slivers of hotels all competing for beach space. Not only that, we are staying in a lovely hotel with pool for only $20/night and is only half full.
We spent a lazy day on the beach recuperating from our journey then went to town to ask about renting a 4x4 for a day or two. We came home with “Big Boss” rented for the rest of our stay (3 weeks) for a whopping $340. Unlike the hotels, taxi's are extremely expensive. Our 15 minute taxi to town and back was $12 while Big Boss is costing us $15/day. This brings us in well under our $100/day spending limit.