Thailand : Koh Phangan
18.1 - 1.2
2 weeks on the island of Koh Phangan
I had big romantic ideas about island dwelling. Waterfalls, tropical hikes, snorkeling, sandy beaches. Surrounded by the open sea, tropical marine life, migrating whale sharks, dramatic cliffs and crashing waves. Who knows, i may learn to swim here and give the kids the gift of diving. Sand is what my feet wears and coconut is how i flavor my food. The rain would be warm and welcoming and don't mind if we're a few shades darker.
Koh Phangan was chosen months ago. It's far from Phuket. I no longer remember why or what else made it to be the place but I'd thank myself for setting aside 2 weeks when the time comes.
Well, the time came and i tried a number of ways to cancel our island stay. By this time, we knew it would be touristy and we would prefer to visit the various places locals have recommended to us. Unfortunately, there was no mercy in cancelling and the cost was too much a lost so we went for it.
We took the night train to Surat Thani. Bus to the dock and high-speed ferry to the island.
We could still see the aftermath of a strong flood that swept through these southern parts just weeks ago. Some roads were left sandy and others were too wrecked to drive on. Transport was very expensive on this island. Motorbike would have been the only economical way to go except that i had zero confidence and Alvin was not sure about it. In the end, we did what we can always do - walk. We soon realized we lived far from everything except for a waterfall. On our first day, in our attempt to walk 5km to to a market, we must have looked wilty because 1km into it, a truck stopped by and told us to hop in the back. Saved! That's how we met Thomas and Kriszti!
Phaeng Waterfall at less than 3km away was a very good day of hiking and soaking.
It was a safe hike but one where i had to close my eyes and hold my tongue often as the kids were bouncing from rock to rock. I imagined carrying bloody injured body parts.... but no, no need for worries. It really was a beautiful spot.
Back on the mainland, we found a hotel close to the Surat Thani Train Station so that we could rest for the evening before boarding the train at 2am to the borders of Malaysia!