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April 24th 2010
Published: April 24th 2010
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Ko Phangan - Ko Samui

Our first night on Ko Phangan left us ‘road worn and weary eyed’ (bonus points if you can name the artist that sings that song) so we had an early night after dinner on the beach with Lynn and a few drinks. I forgot how noisy it is at Venus, being up on the hill has its advantages of an amazing view and being off the main drag or the beach and it’s major disadvantage of all the clubs blaring speakers being pointed right at us. It sounded as if they had moved the club into our room and we had a much interrupted sleep between bass lines. The next day I got some shopping in with Lynn and met up with Scott for lunch before spending the day enjoying the amazing crystal clear blue water and white sandy beaches. Our second day was spent relaxing at Lynn’s resort on Ban Kai which is a 10 minute taxi ride through the island. Her resort was peaceful, with the sounds of birds and the ocean instead of booming beats, with the only downside being that swimming was a half an hour walk into the water so we rested on the beach and strolled along what water there was. That night our friend Mike from the group trek in Chiang Mai turned up on the ferry from Ko Samui and we had a few buckets (a sandcastle bucket with a mickey of your choice of alcohol, a can of pop and an energy drink.) We had some fun at cactus bar playing the balloon game (balloons tied to your ankles and you run around popping everyone else’s, Scott was very proud of himself for winning, I came in third. Team work!!) And musical chairs before relaxing in some chairs near the water with more buckets!!

Our third day on the island we went on a “safari tour”. They take you on an elephant trek which was fun; the elephants were nicer than those in Chiang Mai and better trained. They had an elephant refuge set up , the funds from the trekking and shows went to preserving the elephants and giving them proper care. We then went to a Chinese temple followed by some of the best snorkelling I have ever seen!! They took us to a beach on the northern part of the island where the coral and fish were more vibrant then I could ever imagine. Millions of fish swam about us and through the coral, it was breath taking. After lunch on a quiet beach we had some time to rest and enjoy the peaceful beach of Thong Nai Pan before more snorkelling and then home.

When we were at the Chinese temple Scott started having some problems with his chest, it seems that his bronchitis had come back a bit stronger, so after we got back to haad rin we went straight to a walk in clinic where they checked Scott out and hooked him up to IV drip with medication and an oxygen tank (oh dear) and said that they were going to transfer him to the hospital on Ko Samui where they could get a chest xray and a further check out, possibly having to stay the night. After packing up some clothes for the night they took us on a 15 min speed boat ride to Ko Samui . After having an xray and check up they told us they thought it might be (here it comes) pneumonia and admitted Scott into the hospital and gave us a private room. The hospital wasn’t even close to how bad I thought it was going to be, it resembled a hospital back home with less equipment. The nurses and doctors were all very nice and the room was clean and quiet (a nice change from our room at Venus Resort). The next day they had a specialist in to look at Scott’s x-ray and they ruled out pneumonia, saying that it was a bad case of bronchitis, and that they wanted to keep him one more night. After two nights of hospitalization and three doses of IV medication they released us with a hefty bill (Thank god for travel insurance!! We wound have been on our way home by now without it), We decided that more time at Venus was not a good idea as we both were on medication for bronchitis and needed rest and relaxation to get better so we checked out the next night and moved to the quieter side of haad rin near the pear to a guesthouse called Rin Beach Resort with a pool!!

The 13th, Song Kran or Thai New Year, Scott was still feeling a bit heavy in the chest so we

I still dont understand what its doing, its not a statue by the way.
went to Thong Sala for about an hour packed with a water gun attached to a container on the back and had some fun being soaked and soaking others. Thai New Year is huge for the locals, much bigger than anything back home. Everything closes for the day and all the Thais come out armed with water guns, buckets of water, and powders. They soak you in water and then rub some baby powder on your cheeks for good luck. In Thailand they believe that the New Year is a chance to wash away all the bad luck of the past year and start anew, hence the dousing everyone in water. After taking in some of the festivities we went back to our room. We were still looking for somewhere to achieve total relaxation for the rest of the week and decided that we would try our luck at a beach on the north western part of the island called Haad Yao. We stayed one night at a nice resort called Ibiza Bungalows but found something nicer for the next night called Sandy Bay Resort. We have a bungalow with an amazing view of the beach and the sunset, a private balcony with a hammock, free wifi and a pool!! It’s paradise and we have finally found our home away from home for the next 7 days.

The beach here is breathtaking, not as large as haad rin in width, but with many less people and a more relaxed and secluded vibe, and about ten feet into the water you can go snorkelling! Not as nice as the trip we took a few days ago but still fun as it provides free entertainment just steps from our bungalow. The “town” consists of a convenience store an ATM a dive shop and not much else.

It’s hard not to relax in a paradise like this, hearing the faint sound of Bob Marley coming from one of the restaurants, the sounds of cicadas and the waves, enjoying the view and the peaceful nature of the beach is just what we were looking for. Scott is feeling better which is a relief. We’re not sure what our plans are after our 7 days here, more time on this beach, to the south coast and Ko Phi Phi, or back to Haad Rin to take in a full moon party. We do plan on staying in the south until the end of April, the demonstrations in Bangkok have now moved to Chiang Mai and have no clear sign of letting up yet so we’re avoiding the area (we’re not to upset about that though being that we are on one of the most beautiful islands). Early May will lead us into Cambodia for one month and then on through Vietnam and China.

While we are enjoying the beach life and getting some much needed sun rays to darken our pale Canadian skin, we’re looking forward to getting in some good trekking through Cambodia, and back onto the backpacker road with its endless opportunities to learn of other peoples and cultures!

Additional photos below
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our driverour driver
our driver

This is the exact look he had through the entire journy!

Our view from our bungalow at Haad Yao

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