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The Beach

Ko Phangan, Thailand


So I got what I wanted... well almost. Since our arrival in Thailand on the 10th, we've found ourselves on the beach almost every day. But with the beaches there are tourists. And tourists can be pretty obnoxious in large quantities. Nevertheless, we are enjoying ourselves and are currently in a little pocket of heaven on the North end of Koh Phangan.

Phuket: Two words. Hotel Envy. Just like that dang Lonely Planet guide

warned us about. While every one and their brother in amidst a swanky two-week vacation, spending their mornings in the massage parlor, their lunch hour at the poolside bar and their nights eating fresh seafood at top-notch restaurants, we are trudging around with our humongous backpacks trying to find the cheapest hotel possible. Not fun. It's not that the budget hotels are total sh-t holes, but it just isn't as romantic as one might first imagine. Toilets that flush are always nice, but it's rare in the backpacker hotels. If you get two ratty towels and a roll of toilet paper, you are doing the victory dance. With all that said, we enjoyed our time there and did get to relax on the beach. Amen.

Ao Nang: A nice little spot outside of Krabi, this was a little more to our liking, as the pace was a bit slower and we seemed to have more in common with the average traveler here. Unfortunately, Tim was sick the first two days of our stay and we didn't get to explore Railay and the islands beyond. When he was revving at full speed again, we finally found our courage and ate at one of the local food carts. The whole experience was pretty classic - the "chef" was a pregnant woman propped up sideways on a motorbike over a pot full of steaming curry. To ensure it's perfect spiciness, she'd take numerous sips right from the pot before throwing it in a bowl and serving it up. Top notch food for under $2... and no belly aches.

Crowded Bus Ride #26: When we started on this trip, one of our intentions was to see the country by land - many, many trains, buses, taxis and vans. Again, it all sounds very romantic when flipping through a travel guide in the comfort of you own air-conditioned home... but not so much when you are stuck in the middle of it. We've certainly done our best to save money on transportation and be sensible about our options, and we are now pretty much over it. Get me on an plane... and I'd like some peanuts and a pillow please. We inevitabley have more long, uncomfortable journeys in front of us... and numerous stinky travelers will burst our personal space bubbles. Even I, as petite and slight-footed as I am (we are all laughing now, right?), have been known to wander into other people's personal bubble... oopsie.

Ko Phangan: Ah... this is the good island life. We picked a bungalow on the entirely opposite side of the island from the Infamous Full Moon Party. Our days are filled with hammock dwelling, dusty scooter rides around town, sunbathing, snorkeling and yummy grubbing at our host's beachfront restaurant. We managed to make our way to the Party last night, arriving just after 11:00 pm. Some party-goers had obviously gotten an early start... a shame really, but probably best for them to nap on the beach, even if face down in the sand under the feet of 6,000 people.

We managed to stay pretty tame, despite the pandamoniom thumping around us. We connected with a couple of Canadian gals we'd met in Phuket and wandered up and down the beach for a few hours. When it was apparent that the vibe wasn't getting any better, we decided to make our way through "broken bottle /broken spirit" alley to our scooter (pictures don't do this mess any justice). We certainly appreciate a good party, but we seem to shy away from it a bit more than we used to. Out hearts are drifting towards home and we think often about the excitement and anxiety of settling back in amoungst our family and friends. We are plotting our departure as we continue to embrace each moment and enjoy the journey at hand. We also see the journey home as an equally important part of this entire process, so it deserves our attention as well.

After we returned from the party last night, I made my way down to the beach and swung from the treeswing... listening to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore... realizing how small our part is in this big world, yet knowing that our impact is considerable. I made a promise to myself as I stared up at the glowing moon - I promised to love myself no matter what. That has been pretty hard some days over the last few months, but it is the biggest step in my contribution back to this world...

Lots of love,
Jen

P.S. Thanks for letting me vent a bit...

permalink written by  TwoSouls on April 21, 2008 from Ko Phangan, Thailand
from the travel blog: Thailand: You Want Massage Mista?
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TwoSouls TwoSouls
9 Trips
834 Photos

We are going to explore the unknown and there's no turning back now. Why explore? Here are a few reasons why we start on this journey...

- To breathe deeply, appreciate the moment and SLOW DOWN
- To let go of our fears
- To rebel… prove that we can live outside the system
- To challenge...

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