Xmas & New Year

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January 4th 2013
Published: January 4th 2013
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Another overdue blog. Have you noticed how few we’ve posted on this trip? Yes, we have too – we’re lazy, we know.

At the end of the last blog we had just arrived in Koh Phangan. As I said before, we didn’t spend much time there on the last trip, so we really wanted to spend a bit more time exploring the island. After we left Ban Kai we headed up to the north east of the island, over the very bumpy mountain pass, to Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach. This is one of the places I’d heard so many good things about – many travellers rate this as the best beach on the island. It’s not. Still damn good though. We spent 5 days here in the excellent Longtail Resort and had a super relaxing time. The weather was good and we began to toast ourselves nicely.

We went to one of the beach bars one night and watched the fire dancers (crazy dudes). Very impressive stuff, well I was impressed until one of them decided to spin the 4 foot flaming chain-things about 3 inches over my head (Chris)! Everyone else found this hilarious – me not so much. Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach is quite secluded and surrounded by jungle, so you do get the odd ‘visitor’ in your room. Lou woke me on a couple of nights to get rid of the odd cockroach. I suppose this might freak some people out, but you get used to it. I’m deadly with a shoe from 4 feet, the poor guys didn’t stand a chance.

Xmas week we headed down to Ban Tai on the south coast. We decided to up the budget being Xmas – got ourselves a nice a/c room on the beach. The resort even had a pool, which seemed a tad unnecessary – still used it though, to get my money’s worth. All was well, then the weather turned. We had a massive storm in the night - our chalet got bombarded with debris. Let me tell you, coconuts hitting a tin roof make a big noise! The next day the (previously manicured) resort looked like a bomb site. The beach was the worst as so much debris had been washed up, and would continue to be washed up for a few days (hence the use of the pool).

Xmas day was pretty cool. We’d heard about an English pub on this island (Masons Arms), and I was determined to get my xmas roast. We headed over and had an awesome feed, in an English country pub setting (they say travelling expands the mind, hehe). A couple of pints in the beer garden, then back home to the resort for some sunbathing. Later we walked past all the girlie bars with the ‘ladies’ dressed as sexy santas (a 6 foot ‘lady’ tried to grab me for an xmas kiss – not happening!) - for a few more beers. I think it’s the first xmas I’ve ever had where I didn’t have a single card or present to open, but I didn’t mind. Obviously I’d rather be at home for the day with family, but it was still a good day.

That’s all we really did, but that’s island time for you – you just eat, drink and laze on the beach. Pretty good eh? On the way back to Bangkok we’d booked the sleeper train. We knew we had a five hour wait at the station (this is after a ferry & coach journey from the islands), and after a couple of hours we found out the train was at least 2 hours late. Balls. So faced with 5 more hours to wait, and then 12 hours on a train, we thought bugger it, we hopped in a cab and went to the airport. We managed to get a flight to Bangkok and we’re sitting in a bar on Soi Rambuttri in Bangkok at 10:30pm – just when we were due to get on the train. Result. Sometimes a splurge is worthwhile! New Years Eve in Bangkok was MENTAL. So many people (Thai and westerners ) you couldn’t move. Cue fireworks, party poppers, cocktail buckets. It was a good night. We then had a couple of days left in Bangkok, met up with Greg & Clare again and said our goodbyes (sob) and now we’ve just landed in Sri Lanka. 4 weeks left until we’re home. Plenty to see and do here before then.

Lou’s Bit

Longtail was lovely. Great weather, great food (highly recommend the beef massaman curry) and met a great couple from Essex who we stalked each night. I started getting some tan marks at last and found out I could still swim despite my elbows only being just about fixed.

I would like to point out about the visitors in our hut that one woke me up with its fluttering/tapping so it was only right of me to wake Chris up to see what it was…huge cockroach! Killed by shoe and removed by Koh Phangan guidebook and Bangkok map (tiz a shame we needed them again after that, but I was convinced some horrible cockroach disease thing may now have contaminated them, so in the bin they went).

Second night, caught sight of smaller cockroach as soon as we got back to the hut, Chris received his orders there and then for removal.

Third night, hmmm lots of rustling amongst the rubbish pile we had been making in our 7/11 bag, much too much rustling. Felt bad but woke Chris up again. I had been shining my torch around as said rubbish pile was by the light switch, bit more rustling. Shone torch on rubbish pile (whilst Chris is shouting at me to go to sleep), light hits rubbish pile, rubbish pile jumps, I shit myself and leap across the bed, Chris ordered to investigate further (Chris had stopped shouting at me by now). Good long look, nothing in rubbish pile, I’m not convinced and then Chris bravely looked behind the curtain to find lovely Mr Gecko. I was so relieved, fell back to sleep quite quickly, not sure if Chris did so easily.

Moved onto a new beach and had Christmas. Got drunk xmas eve and was singing and dancing around our room to xmas songs on Youtube to get in the mood. Woke up xmas day a bit hungover (as you’re supposed to). Great xmas dinner and Chris got my leftovers.

Headed back to Bangkok and had a relatively chilled new years eve with one beer for me and then water (can you guess I was on day 2 of a monster hangover?). After our spontaneous arrival back at the airport we met a lovely Irish thai kick boxing/nutritionist/motivational guru/author girl and her new Irish mate and all hell broke loose. 3 hours later, 2 large beers and 3 bangkok cocktails and no dinner I experienced a sneezing fit so bad my plastic stool collapsed and I found myself in a heap on the floor. I wouldn’t mind except that the thai bar man, who had never previously been able to take a simple beer order or comprehend anything said in English without calling over the other barman, hastened to add to the situation ‘ha ha, you need bigger seat!’. If I hadn’t have been laughing so hard I may have cried instead. Needless to say it took Chris about 10 mins to stop laughing and help me up. Have not gone back to that bar since, so embarrassing! Next day was followed by me dying in a hotel room bathroom.

Sri Lanka starts now so lets see what I can get up to in the last month.

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