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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hello Koh Phangang Island!

Call it what you will... but I think it's a bit of sweet irony when you're driving a scooter to return it at the pier and you say, "Wow, it's great that we didn't even have to put gas in this while we've had it" when it begins to putter to a stop!  Yes, that's right, literally right after Aaron said that, we ran out of gas!  haha  There are no gas stations here!  Instead, you find the closest food stand and they will usually have a liter of oil to sell for the equivalent of about $1.50!  This sweet lady even poured it in the scooter for us!  Aaron helped her back across the street, to her store, and she lunged in for a big hug!  So cute!

We couldn't leave Koh Tao without a delicious Thai banana pancake with nutella!  It'd be a crime not to endulge!  This guy was so entertaining!  Picture a chef from Bennihanas, except instead of shopping carrots and beef, he was throwing the knives and chopping the bananas, throwing them into the sticks of butter, etc!  Aaron was so impressed, he even tipped the guy! :)

We made it to the dock, with about 10 minutes to spar before loading onto the Catamarran!  I love how the boats in Thailand are so colorful and charming! :)

This was the most comfortable boat I've ever ridden on in Asia!  During the hour and a half it took us to go from Koh Tao to Koh Phangang, we had comfy and spacious leather seats, TV's, airconditioning (a luxury on sticky hot days!), a snack bar, and big windows to look out and enjoy the scenery!

We arrived in Koh Phangang around 10:30am, rented a scooter for 150 baht a day (about $4.50), and headed in search of paradise!  To be honest, we hadn't done our research about Koh Phangang, so when we got there, we were unpleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't exactly the paradise we were hoping for... We rode and rode and rode to the north end of the island and stopped here at a restaurant on Mae Hat Beach, where we checked the map and put a plan together!  After lunch, we would head for nearby Salad Beach!

Koh Salad was beautiful, and gave us hope that we had made the right decision about coming to Koh Phangang!  We walked to EVERY hotel on Koh Salad beach, asking for available rooms, but ALL of them were booked!  This was a 1st for me when traveling Asia!  Places are almost sure to have at least 1 room available, which is why I never book in advance!  Unfortunately, the world renowned FULL MOON PARTY was on the island the night before, so the partiers (sp?) were occupying the rooms by sleeping off their hangovers!

We reluctantly jumped on the scooter and headed for Haad Yao Beach, and were pleasantly surprised with what we saw there!  The beach is a bit touristy, but the sand is powdery white, the water is clear, and the atmosphere is relaxed and casual!  We both checked into the first place that had available rooms!  We would call Silver Beach Bungalows home for the next 2 nights!  My bungalow was closest to the restaurant and the beach too!  My lucky day!

Silver Beach Bungalows is a cute little compound of bungalows, which sit just steps from the sandy beach! 

My home away from home!  It was really spacious... probably the size of my apartment in Korea!  It was much more than I needed, but I enjoyed it while I was there! 

We immediately put on our bathing suits and went for a swim!  This is looking back at the restaurant of the place where we are staying!

This is looking north (up the beach)...  We both took our snorkeling gear out in the water, to check out the corals and fish, but unfortunately, the mask that Aaron bought yesterday in Koh Tao is a NO GO!  Water seaps in as soon as you go underwater!  FAIL!  :(

We spent most of the afternoon going between the water and the beach, reading, talking, eating, drinking, and people watching!

The flowers in Thailand are stunning, which makes it really hard for me not to pick them all the time and stick them in my hair! :)

Around 4:30pm, we hopped on the scooter and headed for a sunset point!

We stopped here for gas, and I found it funny that the restaurant's menu is propped out in front of a table holding liter bottles filled with gas!   Nothing like a one stop shop, eh?!

The views from the high mountain roads are spectacular here!

 Unfortunately, we weren't paying attention on our scooter ride and ended up getting lost on the jungle roads, so we made our way back to Haad Yao to watch the sunset from our own beach!

Call me cheesy - I don't care!  I love writing in the sand... :)

 The sunset was spectacular, and watching it from our dinner table on the sand was even better!

This local Thai guy had swam out to this rock, about 150 meters off the shore, to do some fishing...

We ordered fresh (whole) fish at this restaurant, and had it grilled to perfection, while we watched the fire show, and drank our drinks by candle and moonlight!   Romantic?  Yep, I'd say so!  :)

1 comment:

  1. Jill, your trip sounds amazing!! And your photographs are spectacular, look like they belong in a magazine! I think your sand writing was a cute little memory and made a great photograph.