Despite only being in Koh Phangan for three full days, we have sooo much to catch up on; it’s been so eventful! Whenever we plan on having only a few days somewhere, I always feel like we’re not going to do everything we want to, but we almost always have done so far which is good.
Getting here was no breeze. We quite enjoy long bus journeys now, so the idea of a six hour bus journey didn’t bother us until we were on the bus and we had a group of loud ‘cheeky Nandos with the lads’ kind of guys sat behind us, making sure that everybody heard every conversation they had from six AM in Bangkok until we got to the ferry port. The clouds opened up and starting hysterically crying on us whilst we were boarding the five hour ferry, which also meant that everyone went inside and it was rammed and uncomfortable.
Let’s not forget to mention that this all happened whilst we were on about two- three hours sleep… and we hadn’t slept properly the night before either because we’d been out down Khoa San road. I ended up having episodes all day which only made the day worse. For anyone that doesn’t know about my episodes I just basically see random stuff in my head like dreams but I’m awake, they repeat themselves and it feels like intense déjà vu and anxiety (yep I’m a weirdo).
But there’s nothing a 620ml bottle of beer can’t cure! Before we’d even unpacked our bags we made our way to the bar at the complex of bungalows we’re staying in, sprawled ourselves out on the floor cushions on the decking on the wooden decking facing the beach, with a Chang.
We’re staying at The Blue Parrot and it is by far one of the best places we have stayed in so far. I have my own bungalow!! It’s ideal if you’re looking for somewhere more cosy and chilled out, on a luxury beach, walking distance to all the fun. Each bungalow has a comfy double bed (some had a single on too), a bathroom, fans or AC, dressing table, places to hang clothes and bamboo chairs out front. The owner is so friendly as well and every time you see him he is working his ass off!
The sun was starting to set as we sipped our beers and I was getting that best feeling in the world again when you’ve finally stopped being on the move and you take a breather and look around at the amazing things in front of you. The picturesque, quiet beach with sand like soft, wet cement, the crystal clear water with minimal waves slowly washing in and out, a large sand bar which stretched right out, other travellers slowly rowing back in from their hours of kayaking, fishermen in the distance, the light and salty air making you sleepy. Having all of this in front of you never feels anything less than paradise, no matter how many times you’re lucky enough to see it.
In places like this, the water stays quite shallow quite far out, I’m not sure if it’s because of how many islands there are in the surrounding area and the fact that they block the waves coming in? I don’t know but if someone else does please let me know! But after our beers and before our noodly dinner, we decided to walk across the sand bar until we could turn around and see the island face to face. It was almost completely dark at this point, so the tropical trees and buildings were silhouettes against the almost black sky. Soooo beautiful!
I completely flopped when I got into bed that night. I starfished myself out and watched a few episodes of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and then I was dead to the world! The next day I got myself up and did some yoga and a few body weight workouts; I felt so stiff and it was so depressing and I can’t wait to get to Oz and get myself sorted out again.
I took a walk up to the post office, which was about twenty minutes away and ended up being closed (typical). The good thing was that as I made my way up the long road there, I came across so many useful places- somewhere to book tours, ferries and cooking classes, nice restaurants and bars, shops selling full moon party merchandise and summer clothes. It was literally like a small village made for backpackers! And I saw this giant lizard that looked like a Komodo dragon on the way back!
I went straight to the sand bar afterwards; the tide was out more so there was more room to lay out. I was so surprised that it was only me and a few others there; or somewhere that attracts so many tourists, the beaches have been beautifully quiet. It was perfect. The water was warmer than warm, the sun was shining, the sand was that nice sand that doesn’t go all over everything and stick to you.
There was this ADORABLE dog there (which must have been quite young)and it kept following me and others into the sea to swims and jump in the waves and have cuddles. It kept putting its paw on me for more strokes SOOO CUTE! But it wasn’t so cute when it kept picking everybody’s stuff up and running around it! It tried stealing my beach throw, emptied a pack of my tissues and even had my keys at one point which these guys had to wrestle out of its mouth! I went back to drop some stuff off after that and then met Jenny and Bilal for breakfast and to get a cooking class booked.
All three of us went back to the beach afterwards to suck up all the paradise, get tans, have cheap cocktails and admire all the small fish and crabs. The whole day was spent with us buzzing about the full moon party that night.
Shame that that was a huge let down! Well the beginning of the night wasn’t at all. We went to a hostel called Koh Phangan Arena because it’s good for predrinks and they have a buy one get one free deal for buckets (I knew that was a disaster from the start- especially because I got Vodka Redbull to help me stay awake the night). The atmosphere was good, everyone was painting themselves with UV paint in the mirrors and shouting and dancing more loudly the more drunk they got. And we got reunited with Mia and Harry (who we met in Vietnam), who I can tell will be friends for life! They introduced us to their friend Tiffany, who was also so lovely!
We made our way down to somewhere else called Echo Beach to do our UV paint, which was hilarious (trying to paint yourself and others after two buckets of alcohol is always fun). My memory is pretty hazy after that, but I remember getting in a taxi to the full moon party after that. The full moon party was a bit of a let down… it was basically a beach with loads of people on it with music playing in the background. Mia and Harry said that before it was a lot better and they had a lot more entertainment things there (people playing with fire and dancers etc) but now it’s got too busy for that kind of thing!
Our plan had been to not stay there for long and then get a boat over to another island to go to Eden which is meant to be a lot better. That’s when things went bad. We got on a boat, but were then told to get on a different boat. If only we hadn’t done that then things might have been different! There were loads of people on the boat including this Russian guy who was being an absolute t**t! He was being racist and islamophobic and calling people rude things for no reason. I remember me and a few others drunkenly shouting at him and telling him to shut up as he went and climbed to the front of the boat.
Then the boat crashed into some rocks and loads of water came over board. Some guy fell off and the driver threw a life jacket in the wrong direction, someone’s phone broke… people were shouting and crying and panicking! Luckily I was quite out of it and a bit unaware as to what was going on (I was more concerned about the water that got on my phone)!
When we finally got off the boat things kicked off badly. The shouting and crying continued, the guy whose phone broke very stupidly started kicking off to locals about it and one of the guys working on the boat kicked him in the face from above and he fell unconscious onto the sand. The Russian guy managed to run away after getting a couple of hits and pushing Jenny out of the way, knocking her nose ring on to the floor. The guy who ended up on the floor apparently is in hospital now, still being treated with concussion and an infected hole in his cheek.
We weren’t in the mood for going to Eden after that. Instead we sat on the beach whilst we calmed down, my sandal broke and I left them both behind and eventually we plucked up the courage to get back on a different boat to head back. THAT BOAT ENDED UP CRASHING TOO BUT THIS TIME INTO A SPEEDBOAT!! A wooden boat crashing into a speed boat… that was the final straw… how did that happen twice in such a short space of time?!
We were all really upset and shocked and completely gutted that a night we had been looking forward to for over a year had been ruined, so we ended up just going back to our accommodation at about six AM. I couldn’t sleep so I ended up chilling on the beach with three really cute dogs that I later snuck into my Bungalow (but they left shortly after). We have a cat that’s been hanging outside both mine and Jenny and Bilal’s bungalow for the last few days. She is sooo affectionate and cuddly and just loves attention, so I let her in instead and she lay pressed up against me purring until I woke up a few hours later. Since then she keeps coming back, especially when it rains, and I’m probably going to cry when we leave her tomorrow.
After little sleep, we all felt awful the next day- still in disbelief and so gutted about how the night turned out. But instead of dwelling on things we were positive and grateful about the fact none of us were hurt and that we still had all of our belongings. We had a carby English breakfast, herbal tea and water and then headed to our cooking class. I’m so happy we booked it for the day after because it really lifted our spirits.
The Thai lady- Chef Oy- running it was so lovely and helpful and even printed out all the recipes for the things we decided to make. It was only us three there which was good, because we weren’t in the mood for socialising. The first thing we had to do was get on bikes and cycle to the local market to get ingredients. Lot of fresh, brightly coloured fruit and veg, recently caught seafood and meat. The Chef Oy also bought us some fruit to try that we hadn’t tried before (how nice is that, she could have saved the money for herself but she wanted to make sure we had it aww so cute I love her)! We did not feel level headed enough to cycle and I was laughing so much at the situation where I was so delirious that I convinced myself I’d fall off. It was my hangover laugh too, which is really loud and echos down streets.
We all made a joint starter of vegetable spring rolls, which were so fun to make and I was so excited about because I’ve always wondered how they pack food into more food and make it so neat and tidy. It was actually a lot easier than I expected! You cut up all the veg and noodles you want to use and then wrap and roll in a specific way before deep fat drying. I thought that the pastry part would be hard, but unlike puff pastry it was a lot thicker and sturdier, making it harder to break. We made about six or seven each and got to take the ones we didn’t eat home.
We got to pick two mains each, so I obviously went for Pad Thai and Tom Yum soup. She had picked up on the fact that I didn’t eat meat without me even needing to tell her, so she made sure we used mushroom broth not chicken.
I make Pad Thai at home quite regularly, so it was interesting to see a real Thai woman’s way of making it and I’ll 100% be using her technique in the future. My ingredients always stick to the wok and she told us to add water (how did I not think to do that in the past?!), also so whisks the egg and garlic in at the start I always left the egg until the end which often burnt stuff more.
The Tom Yum soup was so easy to make and I’ve never made it before. I always wondered what the secret was to making the broth so full of flavour and it doesn’t involve loads of spices and secret ingredients! It’s literally a few sauces, bay leaves and the veg that makes it that way! She taught me how to do the chilli to make it less spicy too, because I’m not great at handling spice.
They set us up a nice dinner table whilst we ate what we could, then put the rest in takeaway boxes. It was such a good afternoon and the whole thing only cost £28! I really miss cooking as well so it’s just what I needed! I felt like Mrs.Gordon Ramsay (I’ve been playing his game way too much, I was even making Gordon Ramsay-like comments to Jenny throughout like “Jenny I’ve seen things come out of my dogs a** that look better than that). For anyone looking to do this class- we did it at the Phangan Thai cooking class.
After a good night’s sleep we all felt a lot better. We headed to a different beach this time and I bought a snorkel which will definitely come in handy. For months we’ve been looking forward to cheap massages on the beach, so we treated ourselves to an hour-long head, shoulder and back massage which ended up pretty much being full body.
I’ve never enjoyed something so much in my life. The best parts were face, head, arms and hands. The hour went so quickly I was tempted to pretend to be asleep and hope that she would go on for longer haha.
We were later joined by Mia and Harry and Tiffany, we chilled in the warm sea and had some food before heading back to our accommodation. We’re meeting them in again in Perth which will be so good!!
I’m currently sat in the restaurant and bar with a large Chang at our accommodation. I wanted to sit on the decking outside by the water, but it’s been raining and thundering. We’re so lucky with how the weather has been (I hope I haven’t jinxed that). A lot of people warned us that it would rain a lot because of the season, but when it does rain it’s usually a thunderstorm and it only lasts about an hour! The thunderstorms are sick anyway; there’s lightning every thirty seconds and it properly cracks like a whip.
The feeling of suddenly remembering how many amazing places and experiences we have to come and many people we are yet to meet is indescribable. Tomorrow we’re heading to Koh Samui for a few days before going to Koh Phi Phi and then Phuket. I feel so lucky and happy and wish I could play every day on repeat forever!