Friday, April 17, 2009
Do you know where you are???????
Oh hi. Good to see you.
We arrived, sleepy from trying to sleep on a rickety and loud train, only to jump on a bus for one hour, then hit a ferry for 3 hours to get to the island of Koh PhaNgan (we changed our minds about Koh Samui because it's apparently a lot busier and more touristy). Koh PhaNgan is the island that hosts a huge rave on a regular basis called the Full Moon party, but it's less developed and has more isolated beaches to explore, and apparently we were arriving between these scheduled events so it should be pretty quiet, right?
So we get there and I swear I'm in Florida on Spring Break, only everything is in Thai and it's a million times hotter out. I'm surrounded by white assholes looking to get shitfaced on a shoestring, not caring that they're in this wonderous faraway land, just wanting to get messed up and dance like idiots on the beach. We knew we weren't going to be staying in this part of the island, and we had read about this secluded little hideaway that can only be reached by longboat taxi (so secluded that they don't take reservations b/c people don't always make the effort to get there after reserving). So after the usual haggling for a taxi, we finally get one to take us to Hat Rin (still part of the party town) and fight our way through the crowds of college students drinking away Daddy's trust fund to take a longboat.
We were told to haggle for a better price, but in this town, at this time, they're not budging. Really not a big deal, as we're paying 150 Baht each (about $4.50) to get to this beach, praying they still have a space available (they said they did on the phone, but I was frantically trying to beat any other ppl there, Amazing Race style.
My Thai is not good, btw. Apparently I've been misprouncing my hello greeting by calling everyone a man. SORRY THAILAND LADIES. SORRY. Anyway, we tell him we want to go to the Wellness Sanctuary on Hat Thien, and as we pull away from the party town we notice it's getting quieter and quieter, and the water is getting greener and more crystal clear....
Ten minutes later we zoom around some giant rock formations and find paradise.
Nestled at the edge of the jungle right on a beautiful quiet beach, we find the Wellness Sanctuary, a collection of little treehouse bungalows and huts with yoga classes, an open cafe on the beach, and a really relaxed atmosphere. We take a little bungalow in the trees surrounded by jungle (I have been REMARKABLY restrained with my "Welcome to the Jungle" references, emitting my horrible Axl Rose impression only about 3 times since. Please ignore that I call it the "jungalow"), about a 30 second walk from the beach. We have a little balcony overlooking the beach with a hammock, a chirping gecko who lives on our roof and is apparently very good luck in Thai culture, and we've been here for a few days now. It's costing us 1000 Baht a day (about $30). It's beautiful, it's quiet, the water is perfect, everything is perfect. Which is why I haven't blogged until now. SORRY INTERNET. SORRY.
Seriously, check this shit out: http://www.thesanctuarythailand.com/
That feeling you feel in your gut is jealousy. Mostly. It might also be gas.
So we're here for at least another week....we're debating whether we should head back to Bangkok or Chiang Mai for another day or two before I fly out and Anita keeps travelling on to Malaysia. It's REALLLLY hard to think about leaving this island to go back to the city, but there are a few things I'd like to see ....the Grand Palace. The Floating Market. A Muay Thai match. More elephants (I've seen two). More monkeys (I've seen two, but they were bored looking Macaques eating food in the back of a pickup truck. Does that count?)
What do you think, sirs?