Edit Blog Post
Published: January 23rd 2011
Developing A Serious Coke Habit
Beware The Temptations Of The Golden Triangle
The survival of the human race can be attributed to many factors. Obviously having opposable thumbs has helped Man to grab things and make stuff like tools, shelter, clothing and cars. This gives Mankind some sort of superiority complex over other forms of life but beware - Its only a matter of time before dolphins evolve something similar & with a 40% greater cranial capacity than your average Sun reader, it will then be game over for the ape race. Unless of course, those living near the sea were to learn to communicate using a system of clicks and whistles in a frequency range of 4 to 150 kHz. It would also be a good idea if we could encourage humans to start practicing their echolocation as soon as possible in order to repel the inevitable uprising from the sea. Best to be prepared - Just in case . . .
Another characteristic of the human genome is the ability to adapt to drastic extremes in the environment. From the nomadic Nenets folk who spend their lives herding reindeer across the arctic Siberian tundra in minus 50°C; to the Ethiopian salt mine workers of Dallol
The Big Light
Not Too Bad First Thing But Someone Should Turn It Down During The Day Or At Least Get The Thermostat Checked Out.
who have to smash rocks all day in the hottest place on earth. Mankind always seems to get by.
The extremes we find on Ko Phangan are more finely tuned but still quite noticeable. A few miles north of our base camp is the predominantly posh and peaceful resort of Tong Nai Pan. Accommodation prices there are something like ten times the going rate at Than Sadet. Air con is the norm, infinity pools & jacuzzis abound, fresh fluffy towels are provided daily and you'll pay up to 20 quid for a breakfast. Head to the Party Town at the southern end you'll find it busy, comparatively cheap & if you fancy a swim, have a dip in the sea. A number of the transitional residents look like they've had no use for a towel for quite some time & waking up at 3 in the afternoon everyday saves forking out on brekkie altogether. Both sets experiencing their own idyll of an island sojourn, enjoying basically the same thing but at opposite ends of the scale. Same Same But Different
Up early on Boxing Day despite fuzzy heads, to catch yet another
award winning sunrise on the beach in the company of one of my old four legged chums from our previous visit. Bongo is now the last remaining of original Big Four. Barbeque, Snowy & Deputy having passed away in the previous couple of years. They were famous for a while back in Bongo, Barbecue, Snowy & Porn. Ko Pha-Ngan
but, as for all of us we are but footprints in the sands of time. The new crew this year being the aforementioned Bongo (now often seen sporting a muzzle), Barbeque2, Stinky - a red setter looking scatty dog & a recently arrived old fella who was christened Not Long Left
by our gang. The beach dogs are on the whole, very well behaved & add a little extra character to the place if you're lucky enough to be able get to know them on a lengthy stay.
The next highlight of the morning was a retreat to our balcony to watch the return of the Longtail boat bringing back the revellers that had chosen to go to the beach party at Haad Rin for Christmas night, the boat mostly filled with the mashed remains of the Gang Of Ten. Some jumped out,
some clambered to the front before dropping into the waist deep water, some just fell off. Many chuckles were had from our vantage point watching them attempting the art of bipedal motion as our older pair could somehow still remember the time when staying up for 24 hours seemed like a good idea. Its such a shame that youth is so wasted on the young.
After a simple breakfast of muesli, yoghurt & fruit salad we chucked our essentials in a bag & set off to check out the next bay along to the south. Four years ago this pretty little cove had been run by a local family & although on a beautiful little beach, it seemed to be somewhat run down & at the end of its commercial existence. The following year it had been devastated by a storm. The beach was a mess, most of the bungalows had been damaged beyond repair & the owners had moved on. Ghost Town by the sea. A year later on, new owners had moved in to rebuild as best they could, a little bit of what the location deserved. We were last here a week before
they opened up as a new resort. Treehouse Bungalows.
It used to be a straightforward stroll up and over the adjoining hill to reach Next Door Bay. A wobbly walk over the home made bridge over the Sadet river then a crouched walk through the undergrowth along a wooden walkway by the Bungalows On The River, being careful to avoid the occasional large snake and the plethora of iguanas that live in the river. A sharp left turn at the end of the path leading up a track with pre-installed steps utilising tree roots to ease the climb up to the crest where the main gaff of the resort sits looking out to sea. Due to recent developments involving a couple of new bungalows being built along the river, this pathway is now inaccessible. There is still a way round for the brave, one mountaineering way over the rocks being shown to us by Alex, a Londoner who had happened to find his way here via a round the world ticket. Alex being a shining star, not only having one of those faces that you can't help liking but also being blessed with a tattoo of Tommy
I Had This Tattoo In Katmandu
Asked How I Would Like It, I Replied.
Just like That.
Cooper on his left shoulder. You don't come across that everyday. We climbed over the boulders as Alex swam around the rocks, beating us by a good 10 minutes.
Getting through the obstacle course at last we were met with a luscious scenario. Mightily impressed with the work that gone into Next Door Bay since our initial visit. The whole place had been transformed from the previous wreckage landscape into a clean & tidy colourful vista which instantly made you feel right at home. Top marks to the young German couple running this place for breathing a bit of life into a hitherto uncared for prime bit of real estate. The grown ups had a beer or two in the excellent beach bar while me & the Kid slurrped yet another Coca Cola followed by a dip in the sea before finding an alternate route back involving clambering through the foundations of one of the new bungalows by the river then back for a late session at Mai Pen Rai. The beer flowed, the jokes kept coming & the laughter rang on into the night surrounded by a World Class league of characters.
Mai Pen Rai is a very special place, possibly because of the remoteness or maybe due to the Word Of Mouth that gets people there in the first place. Whatever it is, don't tell everyone, best to keep these little Gems to ourselves.
Escaping out to explore the island in a Jeep tomorrow!!
Tot: 0.379s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 15; qc: 82; dbt: 0.0262s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb