The best laid plans...

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December 13th 2009
Published: December 13th 2009
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The last few weeks having been particularly difficult it felt good to back with the plan and winging my way in a comfortable train to Koh Adang, remote and beautiful island in the Turatao national park. Alas, I should have known this contentment could not last. Alighting from the long tail I was a little perturbed to clock the vast array of people frolicking upon my deserted beach. This was most certainly not part of the plan. Neither was the discovery that the island was fully booked (thanks to the national holiday to celebrate the King's birthday - DOH!), salvation did lay to hand however. The park authorities were quite prepared to lend lend me a tent (for a ridiculously small fee) so I could camp on the island. However, if one look at the hoards of holiday makers wasn't enough to put me off, one look at the state of the shared toilet facilities certainly was.

Totally stymied at this latest set back I caught a long tail boat back to Koh Lipe. Here I found myself a charming bungalow with a glorious view of white sands and azure waters. Happy at last I rushed out, bought myself a hammock, strung it from the porch and basically lay there and swung for two days. It was bliss, I never realised just how relaxing hammock swinging could be. Am now a convert and currently wondering if there's anyway I can string a hammock up at home (er, Dad?). Now, had you asked me prior to this I would have said I could indulge in pure nothingness for an unlimited amount of time but oddly it would seem not. Come 5pm on my second day of hammock swinging I found myself hauling myself to my feet and, before I knew it, I had a ticket for the boat to Malaysia in my hot little hand, leaving the very next morning.

A triffle surprised with myself I wondered what to do with all the unused Bhat I still carried. Walking back I passed one of the many massage parlours and one of their services caught my eye. A foot scrub, boy could my feet do with a good scrub. Not one to normally frequent massage type places I virtually threw myself into the chair and presented the poor woman with her task at hand. Give her her due, she sat for an hour and scrubbed and scrubbed, my feet were as good as new when she'd done. Part of the package was a foot rub at the end of all the scrubbing, which would have been bliss but unfortunately I could not enjoy as, throughout my two days of hammock swinging I'd chosen not to shave my legs (and it would seem that out here a foot rub must also mean a leg rub). This rather ruined the experience for me but I was particularly keen to right that wrong and experience it without worry of stubble.

Leaving the salon I rushed back to my bungalow, got out my razor and shaved those legs. Job done I headed to a different massage and ordered up a proper foot massage. When the woman told me to remove my trousers I was more than a little alarmed. For a foot massage? Carefully explaining that, thanks to my puritan nature, I'd chosen a foot massage exactly because it would not entail any removal of clothing (I mean, this was an open fronted shop, did they really expect me to sit in public in my underpants and manage to relax!!!), they eventually relented and merely rolled my own trousers up to mid thigh (and would have gone higher if they could). I knew (from recent experience) that a foot massage here would inevitably involve the legs as well but honestly, just how far up were they planning to go? Anyway, panic over I sat back and enjoyed. Wow, I thought hammock swinging was relaxing but it had nothing on this. I was totally blissed out by the end (she even threw in a fab head, shoulder and back rub which bore no relation to the mauling I'd sustained in Bangkok) so much so that I forgot to ask what kind of tea it was she served at the end. It was delicious, if anyone out there knows what it is then please enlighten me because having left Thailand I find no one here knows 😞

Relaxed and happy returned to my bungalow of the second time and drifted off to sleep (for the last time) to the sound of waves lapping at the shore.


20th January 2010

hi just wandering if you could help, me and my wife of thinking of going to ko lipe for 5 days before we have to leave thailand how expensive an island whered you stay sounded nice my wife also loves to lay in hammock
20th January 2010

Re Ko Lipe
Hi, Ko Lipe was a little more expensive than mainland Thailand but I still came well within my £30/day budget. I think I stayed at Narin (or Navin, somthing like that) Village. Basically I got off the high tail at Pattaya beach and walked along the street that runs across the island (you can't miss it, it's the only one) you hit Narin Village (if indeed that is it's name) as soon as you step off the path. Easy. The rows of bamboo huts are all in really good nick and vary in price depending on how far back from the beach you are. I paid 500B per night, the huts right on the beach front are 1000B per night but well worth it (I checked out some other huts along sunrise beach and they were more expensive, and pretty grotty to boot). My hammock cost me 200B and took minutes to string up. I still wish I'd made it to Ko Adang though, I bet the hammock swinging there is even better! Hope you and your wife have a fabulous holiday wherever you end up :)

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