Thursday, November 5, 2009

"I am never drinking again"

Famous last words after three day bender at Ko Pha Ngan island in Southern Thailand. Finally, Jason, Blair and I grudgingly left Railay after a "rock" solid 7 days there. Railay was by far my favorite place in southern Thailand so far, great scenery, good rock climbs, fantastic beaches, and epic jungle hikes that would make the grouse grind look like child's play. Railay is a somewhat non-touristy destination for most foreign travellers due to the absence of a quality night life. It has a few major streets, by streets I mean dirt roads winding around the Peninsula. Around 5000 people inhabit Railay, and it was a quiet retreat from the hectic life in Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. Anyways, we had to leave because the Halloween/full moon party was coming up and we were definitely not going to miss that. So we were on our way to Ko Pha Ngan!!

The ride from Railay to Ko Pha Ngan went off without a hitch, besides being squeezed into a small non-ventilated clearly over-crowded bus, everything was fine. The problem with travelling in Thailand is that every bus, boat, rickshaw, or tuk-tuk wants to stop everywhere. Mostly at their cousins, uncles, moms, or grandmas house to sell you their wares. This is moderately annoying and more annoying if your not as patient as I am. These "mandatory" stops are designed to get your baht rolling buy their overpriced goods. Needless to say, the common phrase "patience is a virtue" definitely gets overused here. The stops usually range from 10 minutets to 1hour to 3 hours to sometimes longer, with the level of annoyance going up with each time interval. The tuk-tuks are really bad for this. We took the overnight boat from Railay which left at 2:30pm and got to Ko Pha Ngan at 6:30am the next day. The overnight boat was by far the most interesting experience, about a hundred of us crawl into a cramped bed-bug infested sleeping area, where you are literally touching the person next to you as you sleep. Thank goodness I was beside Jason and Blair the whole time. Not wanting to thinkg about it too much, I popped a quick sleeping pill then was off to bed.

I woke up in Ko Pha Ngan, madness ensued, touts competing for your business lined-up everywhere. We took a 100 baht (3 dollar/1.5 quid) taxi to Jason's hotel, which was actually a walking distance. Oh well! we would have never found it anyways. Besides the rude staff, it was a good hotel, and with how the next few days was going to go we weren't going to sleep much in it anyway. The first night we relaxed on the beach, swam in the pool, and enjoyed the night life in Ko Pha Ngan. There was good street food around, in the form of fried chicken for 50 cents a piece, being 3 guys we promptly gorged ourselves on it.

The next 5 days was going to go like this.

Day 1: We were off to the Halloween pool party at the Coral Beach Inn at Haad Drin bay. HD is where all the action is and where people go to party at night, it was a 20 minute taxi ride that was mildly amusing and dangerous at the same time. Powering at 80km/hr in windy back-country roads can be a bit un-nerving. However, the night was absolutely brilliant, we were out till 5am and ended up stumbling into bed at 6am. Lots of beautiful girls from Sweden and a weirdo from Saskatchewan. Long story made short, a "grain farmer" from Saskatchewan (province in the middle of Canada) made himself out to be a 3rd degree clinger. He literally followed us around everywhere, and proceeded to embarrass Canadians every place he went with his red-neck banter about farming grain in the middle of no where. We were definitely not pleased with his presence there, he was an appalling figure, and we had no interest in hanging out with him. Needless to say he did not represent the province of Saskatchewan very well. Oh well! off to day 2

Day 2: Pre-full moon party, I shit you not, I was already feeling absolutely haggard from the night before so I did not partake this night, but Blair and Jason were out in full-force again. They came back at 5:30am and woke me up with some good band-camping (gossiping about the rumblings that happened during the night) We talked for a few hours then we all went to bed.

Day 3: This was going to be the day of days, party of party's, night of nights, and gathering of gatherings. Life was swell, I was feeling semi-better, with a mild headache. The buckets of alcohol you drink here contain a lot of sugar and redbull (that is banned in North America and Europe due to some of its ingredients) so you get a massive headache after from the sweetness of the mixed drinks. We sucked it up, ate lots, and took a long nap before heading out at 10 at night. That is when all the party started, 10,000 people all on one beach, and it was a marvelous sight to be a part of. We got our drinks and dance the night away. We met a lot of cool people during the night, many of which I do not remember names of. The amount of dancing that occur ed made my legs and feet very sore and by 7am the sun had gone up we were still on the beach. Life is good! Nothing would ever come close to that experience. Alcohol, drug-peddlers, naked girls running around, and just overall carnage summed up the night and morning. I got back to our hotel at 9ish and slept till 3am, then slept more and more. We definitely needed sometime to detox our bodies from the amount of alcohol and crappy food we were eating. We were positively wankered and needed sleep asap. For those who have never been to a full-moon, it is a must go, it is absolutely crazy. Seeing that many people have that much fun definitely gets your adrenaline pumping. Also, I have acquired many new dance moves that I will export back home. Watch out Canada! Johnny Wu is coming home to the dance floor!!! Oh ya, for those looking at my pictures and looking confused at the names Blair wrote on my back. They are a collection of mediocre to horrible Canuck players, quite hilarious considering no one else their understood what was going on.

Day 4: Sleeping, zzZzzzZzz

Day 5: Off to Ko Samui for a few day some rest and relaxation. That is where we are now! it is great! Plan is to do some mountain biking, gun-shooting, and driving ranging.

Overall: Southern Thailand has been an absolute treat. I did not plan on staying here for this long, but with so much going on how could one not. I hope to stay here for another 10 days or so then head up to Chiang Mai to do some trekking. I will try to update again sooner, now that I'm not so hungover. Hope all is well back home! Although, I do not wish to come home to such frigid circumstances , I do miss my family and friends and I hope they are all well. I also miss the new best friends I have met along the way, and hope that they are doing well at home, working away at their jobs!! hehe

much love always!!!

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