We took nearly every form of transportation. Night train to bus to ferry to a long tail boat and finally we arrived in Koh Phangan; home of the famous full moon party. We stayed at the Barcelona Guest House full of open air bungalows with big mosquito nets covering the beds. I’ve never fallen asleep to more mysterious animal noises in my life. I would venture to say it was as close to a true camping experience than any type of “camping” I’ve done in the US.
The beach is soft white sand with some of the clearest, blue water I’ve ever seen. Our first evening, we enjoyed a thai buffet dinner at our Barcelona guesthouse. All 22 of us had dinner together and ordered a huge arrangement of different Thai foods.. I can’t really recall what each was called but there hasn’t been a type of Thai food I haven’t enjoyed yet!
We spent our first day on the island enjoying happy hour cocktails, volleyball competitions, trekking down the beach over colorful boardwalks, danced under the stars at Eden Bar and sharing ‘bucket’ cocktails with the rest of the Free & Easy crew.
We were up and at em’ bright and early thanks to the bright sunlight in our room, constant sweating throughout the night and unusual outdoor noises. But…. I can’t complain when I am waking up to another activity filled beach day.
What do you know… my second day consisted of more amazingly delicious thai food as I continue to move away from go-to Pad Thai and tried new variations of thai curry dishes. Finishing off our full day in the sun with a movie night at the “Big Blue” restaurant. Big Blue hosts movie night every night at 7 and 9pm where they serve up some delicious milkshakes (ferrero rochero, chocolate mocha Kahlua, etc.etc. ) followed by a community beach bonfire and live acoustic guitar.
Our third full day on Koh Phangan was nothing short of adventurous. We completed the well-known viewpoint hike which overlooks the coastline. I thought that I had done some pretty cool hikes during my life time but the exhaustion of hiking in high elevation, with stifling humidity, and encountering a few giant poisonous centipedes…. showed me what a true difficult hike was like. When we finally reached the top, it was pouring down rain at the top of the mountain. It is one of those moments you have to experience for yourself. A 2 1/2 hour total hike and fully out of breath, every second of the treacherous climb was worth it. Making our way down the mountain was a good bit easier and we earned ourself a tasty dinner at the ‘Bamboo hut’- my first introduction to a thai papaya salad! ( Finally some veggies in my Thailand adventure diet )
Goodbye Koh Phangan.. Hello Koh Samui!
Early in the morning we hopped on a long tail boat to the island of Koh Samui where I would throw myself into the air bungee jumping. This moment will go down as the highest level of nerves and adrenaline that I’ve felt during the entire 43-days of backpacking. To be honest, I will likely never do this again but hey, I crossed ‘bungee-jumping’ off my list forever!
Throughout the day as people went bungee jumping (and reverse bungee jumping – who knew?!), we had a pool party complete with the first pizza we’d had since arrival!
Yet another morning of waking up to paradise. The routine went as follow; Bamboo Hut breakfast complete with peanut butter pancakes (i.e. crepes) and Thai iced coffee followed by another long tail boat to Haad Rin beach for an authentic cooking course full of veggie spring rolls, chicken pad thai, green curry and banana coconut-cream dessert. Not a bad day if you ask me!