31.03.2013 - 04.04.2013
As much as I was excited to get there, the journey was a huge blag. We had to get a lift to the Chester train station, get to train to London Euston, the underground to London Heathrow, a flight to New Dehli and a flight to Bangkok. But the journey did not end there. We then got on an overnight train from Bangkok to Chumpton (which was supposed to be a sleeper train with beds on,but had no such thing!), then a bus to the port, then a ferry across to Koh Phangan. All in all it took.....well I don't want to dwell on it, it was just a very long journey!
When we arrived at the port we went straight to the nearest restaurant for our first Thai meal. And boy oh boy it was good! We had not got any accommodation booked, as we were told that it is much cheaper to do it there than online from home, but had read up a few names previously. We got a taxi to Haad Rin (the best place to stay on the island) and ended up walking around aimlessly asking in different places but not being satisfied with any. In the end, we got a taxi to a place called Cocohut which we had read about in our Lonely Planet. It was way our of our daily budget and we knew this, but after all the traveling decided to treat ourselves to two nights here. It was a beautiful place to stay. We had a little hillside bungalow right next to the beach. There was a big pool too. It really was heaven. Despite our tiredness we immediately got our bikinis on and spent a chilled afternoon on the beach. Bliss.
That evening we got showered then went for tea on the resort. We also connected to the wi-fi and booked a cheap hostel for the final two nights on the island. We booked a trip for the day after next as well, which included a lot for a reasonable price.
We spent our second day half by the pool and half by the beach. It took us all of seven steps to cross over (yes - I did count). I was a little bad as I was feeling very lazy and could not be bothered to get up and get myself some water, and ended up going very faint and dizzy. Lesson learnt - make sure you drink plenty of water! We stayed at the resort again for tea and had cocktails sent to the table of two Ozzie lads we had met in the pool during the day. They were such good fun and taught us lots of Ozzie sayings! We ended up drinking with them for a while then moved on to, wait for it, the local Irish bar. I can never seem to escape an Irish bar no matter what part of the world I am in! We hadn't planned on drinking that night due to the trip the next day but you just can't help it sometimes can ya! We did immediately pass out as soon as we got back to the room.
Woke up and did not feel great at all. Sucked it up though and went on the trip we had booked. It was called the Eco Nature Tour. It cost us 2500Bhat and it included elephant riding, Chinese temples, waterfall, snorkeling and a trek. The elephant riding was very cool. Such big creatures! I had no idea how high up I would feel on it!! Her hairs felt so bristly too. It as good fun - the guy even made me sit on her head. It's not every day you get to say you went trekking through a jungle whilst sitting on an elephants head. The waterfall we went to see was dried up due to it being dry season, but we did get to climb up it and at the top was a beautiful natural pool. It was so cold and refreshing! (Although it took no more than ten minutes after getting out for me to be covered in sweat again!) The Chinese temple was interesting to see - so different from any church or chapel I've been in.
Then we went snorkeling. Now, I'll admit, I am a bit of a whimp when it comes to the sea. The vastness of it scares me senseless! And the whole not knowing what I am stepping on or what is underneath me - its just freaky. But it does also fascinate me. So I was willing to give snorkeling a go. What a mistake that was! Firstly, the majority of the seabed was covered (seriously, I mean covered) in sea urchins. The spikes on the things were so long!! Secondly, have you ever came across a sea cucumber? No? Me either. So when I saw this long, black thing on the sand next to me I crapped myself, though it was an eel and jumped back, placing my hand on none other but said sea urchin! I was quite lucky actually it kind of scraped the surface - could have been a lot worse. But that just put me on edge and I spent the rest of the "adventure" freaking out at the slightest thing. It did not help that the water was no deeper than a few foot, so I could never put myself upright. Anyway, I survived and all that.
After this trip we went back and moved to our budget hostel. And budget it was. The room did not even have a window! The air con that we had paid for didn't even work, which we realised after unpacking, then had to move rooms. But I guess you get what you pay for and it had a bed for two nights and that was all we needed.
The next morning we woke up and found the whole island had had a power cut. We found a place and ordered some breakfast. I am not one to be fussy or put off by anything when it comes to food, but the three very black, very long, very thick hairs that I found in my scrambled eggs most definitely did put me off it! (Luckily I was with my friend Clare who doesn't eat a lot so I got to finish hers!) We spent the day on Sunrise beach (famous for the Full Moon Party) then went out for a seriously cheap Thai meal. At night we went back to Sunrise beach and had a bucket of vodka and lemonade, then got a taxi to the Half Moon Party. We had only found out earlier in the day that the Half Moon Party costs 500Bhat and is a twenty minute drive away in a taxi. It almost put us off, but am I glad we went. It was one of the best nights ever. So much more than I expected. I went along with tradition and got a neon face paint then danced the night away. We found the two Ozzie lads and spent most of the night with them. The venue is seriously cool - there are even hammocks for a break!! Had a really amazing night and would recommend it to anyone.
But boy did we regret it the next morning. We had to be up after only a few hours sleep and get on a ferry to Surat Thani. From there we had to get on a bus at two...which never showed up. It did not help that the bus we had booked was not through the same company as where we had got dropped off, as they were reluctant to help us. Eventually, for fear of wasting a night and day in the place, we paid for another bus to Kao Sok.
I don't know if it was because it was the first place that we had visited, or if it was due to the fact that I was hungover and feeling sorry for myself, but I felt really sad to be leaving Koh Phagnan. I could have easily spent the whole two weeks on that island, and would love to go back. It is a must do if visiting Thailand. 100%!!