Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thailand Part 2: Koh Phangan

(Disclaimer: I went to Koh Phangan twice on this trip, so I apologize for the confusing timeline...)
After 5 days in Bangkok, I finally made my way south. My mom had told me that there was a woman she knew (well, her sister's husband is our plumber, so close enough) who owns a resort on the island and we both thought it was be a great way to get me some ocean air and relax for a couple days before I continued on my adventure.
I spent the night on the sleeper train, which was super cool since I had never been on a train before! Other than the fact that I nearly froze to death because Thai people love their A/C, it was really comfortable and I managed to get some sleep on this 12 hour train ride. In the morning, I arrived at the train station, where a bus picked me up and brought me to the pier, then on to a ferry, which brought me to Koh Phangan.
It was exactly what I needed. Some time to relax by the ocean, the air was much cooler compared to Bangkok and a nice big bed to myself, rather then the rock hard hospital bed. Pretty much every hostel I went to, there was a book exchange shelf, where other travellers leaves books and take others. It's a great concept! It ended up being really useful: I found a Lonely Planet guide for Thailand and planned the rest of my trip.
The sunsets, by the way, were absolutely amazing.
I stayed 2 nights there, then made my way to my next destination.
My bungalow at Sea Flower Bungalows

About 2 weeks later, I returned to Koh Phangan with my ThaIntro group. We were at a different resort, on a different part of the island. Not only was I was with a group, which made the resort like a small village of some sorts, but we also had some pretty cool activities! I got to hold a monkey, and we did an elephant trekking, though the latter was really, really not that great.

Let me explain. Also, keep in mind this is about a week after I went to an elephant sanctuary, which I will blog about soon. We were sitting on these metal seat on the elephant's back, and we were 3 on there. The seat is only really made for two people, so it was really squished and the elephant just did not want to go. The mahout (elephant trainer) kept kicking his ears, and even yanked on his ear with a bullhook to get it to keep moving, and it was completely disheartening. Yes, it was nice to feed them and be around them, but riding them like that wasn't.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time in the hammock outside my bungalow, reading, relaxing, and despite the whole elephant thing, it was an amazing way to end this trip. Koh Phangan is definitely one of the places in Thailand you need to go to if you want a nice beach getaway. There are also huge beach parties (full moon party), which I didn't go to, but I heard they are absolutely amazing. After that relaxing few days, I made my way back to Bangkok so I could fly home!

Thailand posts:
Part 1: Bangkok // Part 2: Koh Phangan // Part 3: Kho Phi Phi // Part 4: Chiang Mai // Part 5: Khao Sok

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