Three Begin Their Island Hopping In Koh Phangan

Once again I’m beginning a blog post by complaining about night busses. I don’t know why we still put ourselves through this! Okay, if I looked at my bank balance then I’d remember why. This bus was so uncomfortable that even Ammun who can sleep anywhere barely slept! Luckily we had the whole back row to ourselves so the three of us could lie across 5 seats which was a bit more comfortable. However at 4am it all went even more downhill as we were kicked off at the port (a really tiny port with nothing but bright lights and hard chairs) which wasn’t the port we were expecting and had to wait until 6:30 before we could get on a boat. Luckily on this boat everyone got a row to themselves and we all managed a few more hours sleep.
About midday, the light at the end of the tunnel arrived and we rocked up to Goodtime Backpackers Hostel. We had completely forgotten (or maybe not even realised in the first place) that our hostel is situated right on the beach! I could probably do forward rolls from my bed to the beach if I wanted! We had lunch at their restaurant, checked in and then settled down for another 3 hour nap.

As evening came, everyone in the dorm including a really lovely French girl called Solène in the bed below mine got ready for the half moon party and went for dinner. I had a massaman curry which was so yummy and lined my stomach for a night of heavy drinking. The four of us were at the hostel bar when a (slightly tipsy) Swedish guy called Michael came and joined us too. He was very surprised to hear that I’d been to Sweden and visited somewhere other than Stockholm and I was surprised to hear the real pronunciation of the place name I’d been saying wrong all these years! There were a few drinking games at the hostel and then about 11:30 we all bundled into taxis and headed into the jungle for the half moon festival.

It really was exactly like a festival. There were food stalls and paint stations outside and then a big queue to get in. Once we were in, we were given a free drink voucher and a map. On the map we could see all the different stages, where to get paint, food, drinks and where the toilets are. I’ve heard a rumour that at full moon parties there are no loos… We walked straight to get our free drinks which I was pleased to see were pretty strong and then got some paint for our faces. We headed for the main stage and that’s when the night really began. We danced to the weird electro music a bit and then spent the whole rest of the night at the smaller R&B stage. We had shared three buckets of vodka red bull and spread them out throughout the night so we weren’t all carrying a bucket each the whole night (and with three of us watching one drink, we were a lot less likely to get spiked like sadly happens a lot at these things). We got home about 5:30 and sat on the beach with a few other guys from the hostel and a few dogs until sunrise. I learned that the two owned by the hostel are called Cafe and Toastie which I think are great names! At 6:45 I finally crashed in my bed which was now filled with light as the dorm for some crazy reason has no blinds or curtains. It was a great night.

The next morning I think the red bull was still in my system as my body decided 3 hours sleep was enough. Ammun will sleep 12 hours a night of you let her and Tom was still getting over jet lag and sleepless nights travelling to meet us so I got up about 10am and had a day to myself.
It was one of those days where even the most simple things made me happy. I had toast for breakfast which was toasted to perfection. After eating eggs every single day, I enjoyed my simple breakfast. I took my orange juice and made a beeline straight for a hammock on the beach in the shade. I didn’t leave my hammock until about 3:30pm when Ammun and Tom finally showed their faces. I lay there reading my kindle, drinking every juice that the hostel had on offer and just enjoying the beach view and tranquillity. I even had my lunch brought to me on the beach where I was then joined by a dog who probably wanted some but chose to sleep instead.

Once Ammun and Tom had finished their very, very late brunch, we walked out into the sea, along the sand bar. We walked all the way to the end and went paddling in the very shallow water, sitting down every time we found a warm patch. We watched little crabs, exfoliated all our skin with the sand and then watched the sunset. In the evening, the hostel had an event called Charm Beats which is a chilled event that happens every Tuesday. There was a BBQ and live music and it was busier at the bar then than it was the night before! We played some card games (Tom only won once even though he suggested all the games) and then we got an early night because we were knackered from the previous few nights.

The next morning I woke up early again and went straight to the beach before anyone else was there (one couple just managed to get there before me). I walked along the now very narrow sand bar and put my new camera to use. It was such a beautiful sight that I never thought I would get from staying anywhere other than a fancy hotel and the sand was soft and the water was warm and there were little fishes swimming around in the shallows. After a while I slowly wandered back and had some fruit, musli and yoghurt for breakfast.

By the time the sleeping beauties arose from their slumber, I had already given up on lying on the beach in the 38 degree heat and moved to sit in the sea. I enjoyed watching the small fish swim around me and I picked up mother pearl and purple mussels which were scattered over the sea bed.

I soon gave up on that too and once they had finished breakfast we went and sat by the pool with Solene. I had such a relaxing time reading, eating asak pork, watching pitch perfect and swimming. I even finished one of my Grandad’s books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. Sadly, being white, Tom and I burnt because we had sweated off all of our suncream!

Once it had got a bit cooler, we returned to the beach and watched the beautiful sunset from the sand bar.

After a nice cold shower, we got all dressed up nice (ish) for once and went out to dinner at a place Solene recommended to us. Ammun and I had Thai green curry which was spicy but manageable and what I did eat was really tasty. Obviously I didn’t finish the sauce because that’s the spiciest bit. We washed it all down with a bottle of Chang beer each and then got ourselves ready for our journey to Koh Tao the next day.

The next morning I woke up even earlier as the hostel says they have yoga 3 times a week. Annoyingly, the one time I wake up early from back pain and have a chance to fix it, the yoga instructor didn’t show up so I went back to bed for a bit.
I spent my last morning sat in the shade on the beach with more toast and juice, chatting to other people from the hostel and blogging. I was the only native speaker of English and I enjoyed hearing their opinion on different English dialects. One Swiss guy told me that he hates English accents because it reminds him of school and loves American accents because it reminds him of film and TV and fun things. I teased him a bit by saying haunting words like ‘homework’ in my accent which was funny to watch him squirm a little bit. I definitely take being able to speak English for granted at times but I love hearing what foreigners have to say about it because it is a crazy language when you really think about it!

Annalise x