Sunday, March 13, 2016

Thailand, Koh Phangan: Spring Vacation

My flight left Incheon after midnight, I had a four hour layover in Singapore, a short flight to Koh samui followed by a van ride to the pier at Bophut for a ferry ride to Tong Sala on nearby Koh Phangan, followed by a 200 Bt songtaew (pick-up truck taxi) to Chaloklum where the taxi boat pier, such as it is, is located. The photo above is the scene as I waited for enough passengers to arrive for the taxi boat to leave for my final destination, Bottle Beach. The pic below is said taxi boat, underway.

Bottle Beach is a tiny crescent of white-ish sand on the north side of the island. The ocean was clear and clean, the waves almost always gentle ripples, the sky azure. In a word, idyllic. Lay out and read, cool off with a nice splash about in the sea ...

I stayed at Smile Bungalows, on the west end of the beach, which while not empty, was not massively crowded. Grass-roofed bungalows, lots of foliage, cold beer and good food (about which more later).

I stayed at Bottle Beach for a week. My second week, I wnt back to Koh Samui, landing at Maenam. I stayed a few days at a place called New Lapaz Resort, which had not such a great beach situation as the seawall was lapped by the waters during high tide, though they had a nice swimming pool. My last few days were at Mickey's place near the Chinese temple, were I usually stay.

Meanwhile, there was a storm which barely affected Koh Phangan, but it dredged huge volumes of sand up onto Maenam beach, completely burying the deck of the Chill Out Cafe under two feet of sand, as shown in the second shot below.

I say the storm barely affected Koh Phangan, which is true: we got some drizzles and some threatening clouds. Then we got some winds, which whipped up some higher than usual waves--real breakers, some of ten feet or more. Just before lunch on thursday, I was playing in these waves, along with a French family and a German couple, when I got completely tumbled and turned around by a wave. It turned my facing the shore and tore my glasses off my head, despite the fact I was wearing an elastic strap. Those glasses cost over a thousand dollars--now Poseidon has some very nice spectacles indeed!

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