Myles Harrington

On An Island In The Sun

In Thailand on August 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm

The train ride from KL was ridiculously comfy and we met a great guy called Francisco (given the monikers San Fran, Frannie and Fannie by us), a Spanish German who was also heading to the Thai party islands of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan. At the border crossing from Malaysia into the Kingdom of Thailand I thought I might not be allowed in because from my appearance I was classified as a ‘hippy’ and the sign at the border said the king doesn’t allow them in. Luckily the immigration official wasn’t paying too much attention to my scruffy sandals and dirty hair.

The 70s styling of Malaysia's finest sleeper carriages

In our attempt to save money (as always) we decided against buying the combined bus and ferry ticket to Ko Samui that would have got us there at about 9pm. Instead we did it on our own, got way behind schedule because the government bus also doubled as a florist, delivering boxes of flowers throughout the whole of central Thailand en route. So we were stuck in Surat Thani for an evening with our new-found German friend and had to get the expensive but fun and smooth night ferry.

The second night on the road to party time

I’d planned to meet my friend Shubes and her two travelling companions Amy a.k.a John and Emma. Of course meeting old friends called for a party and where better to do that than over looking the calm seas of an island bay. Once again I got horrendously drunk, got my nose pierced (it was already planned in a tattoo pact with Claire) cried a lot and fell asleep outside Burger King. The 25 Baht rice wine, beer and whisky bucket combo perhaps wasn’t such a great idea. A couple of chilled out days relaxing on the beach and by the pool at the Ark Bar rounded up a great start to our island experience.

The pact of pain

A visit to Ko Phangan is not complete without a moon party. For us it was the half-moon party that’s held in the jungle. The extortionate 500 Baht admittance fee was a bit too much for San Fran and I to handle so we went on a jungle mission to sneak in round the back. The jungle was incredibly dense with vines everywhere and barbed wire fences as obstacles. We were spotted by two Thai security guards that were guarding the fences. A chase pursued and they were gaining on us so we both hit the deck, face down on the insect infested forest floor. The next thing I know I was a prisoner of a party war and I had the enemy’s booted foot on my back. They’d clearly done this before. Luckily for me they just dragged me down using their fists as handcuffs and instead of beating me up and throwing me out they just made me pay my tenner and sent me on my way, to the top of the raving mountain clutching my free entry cocktail. I told them I was alone so that left the path free for Francisco to sneak in with his pride still intact. It was worth the effort just for the thrill of the chase.

Boat buddies

After one day of recovering we moved on to the town of Haad Rin. This is a westerner’s holiday party paradise, a bit like Zante but further from home and with spicier food. It’s also home to the infamous full moon parties. Unfortunately because of my 15 day overland transit visa I won’t be able to make August’s full mooner but we had our own fun on the beach anyway.

There is a great party every night and come 2am we decided to shake things up a bit by sampling Thailand’s special drinks that can be purchased from several shacks on the hillside. Our night certainly got a bit more exciting from that point on and once again I was walking back through the jungle; this time to get home.

5k remaining: £2135.20

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