Ban Si Thanu

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    • Jan31

      Day 53 - Firecrackers at Dawn

      January 31 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Before we had got out of bed, the morning silence, around 9am, had been shattered by the sound of firecrackers. We got up & set up camp in our usual place & Joe, the waiter informed us it was the last day of the Thai New Year, hence the firecrackers throughout the morning.

      Despite the firecrackers, the sea was calm & we went snorkelling for a good half hour, but apart from a few small fish there wasn’t a lot to see. We needed the exercise.

      At lunch we wandered down to Dubble Duke for a couple of beers to wash down an overpriced cheese & ham baguette & french fries that we shared. Over lunch we booked our hotel for our final 2 nights in Thailand & was rather pleased with the price. We have just got to get to it now on Wednesday, but that’s another story!

      The afternoon was just sun, sun, sun until Jackie abandoned me at 4pm for an hour long all over body massage with aloe vera. She came back radiant & gushing about how fantastic it had been….all for just 350 Baht. Apparently most of the resort have had to witness her exposed buttocks.

      With Jackie in a buoyant mood, we decided to have more happy hour cocktails & knowing what we like, we ordered 2 White Russians with an Orange Daiquiri chaser again. Very pleasant.

      That evening, for the very 1st time, we chose to have dinner at our resort restaurant, principally because it was open & there were no families with screaming infants dining. We ordered our dinner & sat back to enjoy the serenity of the quiet empty beach & fishing boats on the horizon. All of a sudden 9 (they’ve recruited another) Russian boys ran shouting on to the beach armed with spades. They then proceeded to build & trash each other castles, which if nothing else did provide a bit of entertainment.

      When our dinner it arrived, it was delicious & as good as anything we had had on our trip so far. Jackie had spicy pineapple & pork, whilst I had fried mushrooms with chicken.

      Over a Hong Thong on the balcony, we reflected on our trip & couldn’t believe that we would be home in literally a couple of days. The last week has absolutely flown by.

      Song of the Day: Firecracker by Ryan Adams.
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    • Jan30

      Day 52 - Today Is a Good Day

      January 30 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Looks like those sleep sweats are now thankfully a thing of the past. About 10am, we went to breakfast at Coral Beach because Jackie was excited to have the avocado & poached eggs on toast again, which didn’t let her down. I had porridge with banana. It was a good breakfast.

      We set up camp on the seafront sun beds & read our books through to lunchtime. I have to confess the 8 young Russian boys who arrived yesterday made me laugh as they proceeded to dig up the whole beach & bury each other. What was slightly sinister was that when a boy was buried up to their neck & unable to move, others waterboarded him by constantly pouring buckets of water over his head. Poor old Joe, our waiter, had nowhere on the sand to set up his table & chairs!

      It is a slightly surreal feeling to have so many (generally pleasant) Russians around enjoying themselves, when you read the news & the events going on along the Ukrainian border.

      Lunch was just a beer each in the restaurant at our resort, then more sunbathing.

      At 5pm, Jackie decided it was time to sample the Happy Hour cocktails that our resort were now offering at a reasonable price. We both ordered a White Russian & because if you bought 2 you got one free, we ordered a follow up of an Orange Daiquiri. They were good cocktails, but damn strong.

      That evening we returned to Spicy Salad at the end of the beach for a romantic dinner. We were both hungry & ordered a meal each! Jackie ordered a Thai pork green curry & I ordered fried chilli & onion with chicken. We ate the lot & had a couple of Changs.

      A Hong Thong on the balcony finished off a very good day.

      Song of the Day: Today Is a Good Day by New Model Army.
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      Andy and Teresa Mays

      Do you quite like NMA by any chance. Glad your feeling better buddy. Lucky you had nurse Jax on hand. Watch those pesky Russians.

      Simon and Jackie Annals

      Best band in the world

    • Jan19

      Day 41 - Sod Ukraine What About Thailand

      January 19 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Woke up to discover that I had an email from the vetting people to say my Apple IPad may actually be suitable to complete my vetting questionnaire. Oh god, here we go again!!

      The first thing I had to do was cut & paste a link into Google to open up a portal. I failed at the first hurdle the WiFi in our room was not strong enough to upload the portal. I spent the next hour walking around the resort trying over & over again to upload the link without a glimmer of success. Totally f¥cked off, I resorted to begging a friend who has gone through the process to try & upload it for me in the UK.

      We had a liquid breakfast, Jackie had an iced coffee & I had a fresh mango shake. During breakfast, Swedish Julia found me & informed me that her computer is totally knackered & she cannot now work for the next 2 months until they go home. We are all being held hostage by technology!

      After breakfast we returned to our sun beds & read our paperback books. We are now fighting off Russians from all sides as they grow in numbers around Salad Beach. The point couldn’t have been emphasised any better than a Russian girl who at lunch was wearing a Russian army hat & just a skimpy bikini. Are they planning an invasion here as well?

      We had a relatively early lunch at Crystal next door & to mark our last lunch on Ko Phangan for a while, we ‘splashed out’ on a sandwich & french fries to share. The sandwich was onion confit, bacon, cheddar cheese & homemade pastrami, all in rye bread. It was absolutely gorgeous. Just 2 small beers accompanied it.

      Apart from the odd stroll along the beach we did nothing during the afternoon & ended it with a sundowner. Against my better judgement, we had a quick Hong Thong, then Jackie attacked my Pompadour with my beard trimmers on the balcony. I am now too scared to look in the mirror!

      After another Hong Thong we went out for dinner at Salad Hut, which Swedish Dad had recommended for it’s pizzas. When we arrived, the annoyingly loud Russian family were just leaving & it left us as the only diners. Not necessarily a good sign.

      We ordered a chicken satay starter followed by a margarita pizza with extra ham & garlic. The chicken was plentiful, but a bit chewy & the satay was not to my taste. The pizza then arrived & we knew we had made a mistake. Effectively it was a frozen pizza heated up in the oven & at some point ham slices & raw garlic slices were dropped on it. It was the second disappointing meal we had had in a row.

      We paid up & drowned our disappointment with Hong Thongs & a packet of 10 baht jammy dodgers. Just saying again! After a couple of Hong Thongs, Jackie felt the need to attack my Pompadour again, but now with a pair of nail scissors. My best white grandad shirt was covered in clumps of grey hair & blood. I’m never looking in a mirror again!

      Thank you Alka for getting me registered on the portal. Infuriatingly, I still can’t access the portal with the resort WiFi. Hopefully I’ll have better luck at our next stop!

      Song of the Day: Russians by Sting.
      Dominion / Mother Russia by Sisters of Mercy.
      The Best by Tina Turner.
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      Andy and Teresa Mays

      You think I’m joking about my running bill for IT consultancy. Let me know how you get on once you’ve moved. 😎

    • Jan18

      Day 40 - No Techno to Technophobe

      January 18 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      At 8.30am, the alarm sounded & I rushed down to our sun beds to put our towels out. I was particularly nervous, because I could hear the noisy Russian family up & having breakfast. They were still free, phew.

      Once ensconced on my sun bed, I checked my emails & saw to my horror another request for the completion of a vetting form for a different job. Happily I had all the information I needed available & I was able to complete this vetting form on my IPad without leaving my sun bed. I was quite impressed with myself.

      Over breakfast of poached eggs & French toast with iced coffees, Jackie & I looked at accessing our emails through the Sky website on the internet. Try as we might, every time we tried to sign in we were denied access. After lots & lots of googling, we established that it was something to do with our IP address & we needed to contact Sky through their website that we couldn’t access. We went round & round in technophobic circles for the remainder of the morning.

      In the end we’d lost the will to live, so gave up & had lunch on our balcony, 2 cans of beer & some peanuts, whilst the IPads were recharged. The afternoon consisted of reading our good old fashioned paperback books back on the sun beds.

      The Swedish lady didn’t make contact with me during the day & I didn’t bother to hunt her down, because I needed access to my emails on her computer to get started. I’ve conceded defeat. The vetting forms will just have to wait until I get home.

      Just after 5pm, we had a few drops of rain, so we ran for shelter to our balcony. We then had a disagreement over accommodation in Koh Tao, Jackie was dithering, so I took charge & booked The Miracle Guesthouse & Dive, which had an excellent 9.2 rating on & cost just £95 for 5 nights. Jackie accused me of only picking it because it included a superb breakfast. I took offence when she tried to make me promise not to have a Full American breakfast every day!

      That evening we returned to Salad Villa Restaurant, the restaurant on the beach for some barbecue food. I ordered a chicken skewer & Jackie chose a whole squid to accompany a large corn on the cob each. The restaurant was really busy which was possibly detrimental to the food because neither of us were particularly impressed with our dinner. Jackie’s squid was over cooked & very chewy, whilst there were more onion & peppers than chicken on my skewer. Still it was cheap & a lovely setting with the green lighted fishing boats out in the bay

      Song of the Day: Computer by Toyah.
      No Surprises by Radiohead.
      Read more

    • Jan12

      Day 34 - Room with a View & a Half

      January 12 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      A decent nights sleep was had by both of us & we headed to breakfast at 9am, already showered & packed. Sylvian cooked us a delicious American breakfast to send us on our way. Sylvian had also booked our ferry tickets to Ko Phangan & Aiye offered to give us a lift to Don Sak Ferry Port for 200 Baht less than the taxi would cost.

      Just after 10am we said our goodbyes & Aiye drove us to the port. We were so glad she was with us, because apart from showing our tickets, she delivered us right up to the pier for our ferry. It seemed that other passengers were having to show passports & vaccination documentation.

      Our Raja Ferry is very old, greasy & smokey, but we managed to get a prime seat at the back. At 11.05am, the ferry pulled out of the port & I was secretly slightly glad that we didn’t see any pink dolphins hanging around.

      The ferry crossing was 2 and a half hours, which gave Jackie time for a bit of personal grooming & me some reading. We docked at Thong Sala Pier on the island of Ko Phangan at 1.30pm & were met by our pre-arranged hotel taxi driver.

      It was 5.4 miles to our next hotel, Salad Beach Resort, a snip at just £21.50 per night. Our taxi driver lugged both our big rucksacks through the resort to reception, where I gave him 300 Baht for the taxi fare. He looked at me a bit funny, then a couple of minutes later returned with my money & asked me what the 300 Baht was for. It would have been a fantastic tip for him, but I was supposed to pay the fare to the hotel receptionist.

      After checking in, the receptionist asked us to take a seat for 10 minutes which actually turned out to be 20 minutes. She then asked us to follow her up a flight of stairs & we followed but were getting ready to complain because it wasn’t what we had booked. She took us to the front room on the 1st floor & to our very pleasant surprise discovered it was a double aspect sea view room with a lovely balcony. We couldn’t believe our luck.

      On the negative side, the room is a bit dated, but it is spacious with a nice bathroom. We will not be complaining & almost certainly be extending our stay. My value for money discussion with Jackie yesterday had definitely paid off!

      After unpacking a bit, we popped next door to Diamond Bar & Restaurant for a Chang & a chicken satay. It was the best chicken satay of the trip so far & we both agreed that Salad Beach was by far the best beach we have visited in the last month. It had a lovely vibe, even if first impressions were that most of the tourists were Russian.

      After our late lunch, we strolled up the beach & counted just 4 restaurants to eat in. We bought some provisions from the local shop & returned to our lovely balcony for a sundowner.

      That evening we walked to the northern end of the beach & had dinner at a little restaurant called Spicy Salad. Jackie had a pork & rice fish, whilst I had a Massaman curry. It was a romantic setting & evening, I even allowed Jackie to have an expensive glass of white wine!

      Unfortunately the mood was ruined by ‘Biscuitgate’. We stopped at the little shop on the way home to pick up a pack of bottles of water. I was just paying when Jackie added a small packet of Dewberry jammy dodgers to our purchases. The shop assistant showed me the new price & I saw that the biscuits cost 65 Baht, but I still paid for them.

      As we walked away the actual cost of the biscuits sunk in. Normally we had been paying just 10 Baht for the exact same biscuits. I was furious & blamed Jackie for not checking the price before giving them to me. Jackie in turn was angry with me for blaming her when I paid for them already knowing their cost.

      We returned to our balcony for a nightcap & we sat and ate the £1.50 biscuits in silence. At least it was a nice view!

      Song of the Day: Room With A View by Billy Vera & The Beaters.
      True Romance by She Wants Revenge.
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      Andy and Teresa Mays

      The playlist is 4hrs 45 mins long now - so covering most of my daily free time. A few duffers in there mate 😂. Also on an admin note, can you please ensure you have the daily blog completed and posted by 6am UK time - allows me to read it in bed with a brew before facing the day ahead. When you are late it throws my day out 😂 Good to speak to you both yesterday and have a shave . . . Jax 😂

      Simon and Jackie Annals

      I’ll do my best. The playlist is a journey!

    • Jan16

      Day 38 - Message in a Bottle Beach

      January 16 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      We both slept for over 10 and a half hours straight. I belatedly wrote up my blog & realised that we had failed to visit Bottle Beach the previous day. Disaster, especially when I discovered that to get to it by road was 18 miles away & yesterday we had been within 2 miles of it.

      We had an iced coffee for breakfast & the resort was noticeably busier, so Jackie negotiated with Pat to rent a ‘superior’ bungalow for 8 days when we returned from Koh Tao at a discounted rate. Nice work Jackie.

      It was gone 11am before we were back on the road again. We headed north to Chaloklum Beach where we found what appeared to be a number of nice waterfront restaurants & decided we would return that evening for dinner.

      We then followed a road up a high headland until we reached a car park full of scooters. We weren’t sure why or where everyone was, but a young lad informed us it was possible to walk from here to Bottle Beach. It would take at least an hour & the path was through jungle & up over a mountain. We decided against it on the grounds that we didn’t have any water with us. Just so we didn’t feel entirely lazy, we embarked on a 200 metre climb to a viewpoint looking down on Khom Beach, which was bloody knackering.

      We then drove the now 17 miles around the island to Bottle Beach. We found the correct turning off the main road, which for the next 2 miles took us along a bumpy dirt road until we reached a sign that read that only 4x4 vehicles were allowed to continue. We therefore parked up our bike with several others & continued on foot.

      For the next 500 metres (I measured it) we slipped & slid down the very steep loose gritted track. I effectively ‘snowploughed’ down in my adventure sandals. Our relief at reaching the bottom was short-lived when a couple coming the other way informed us we still had another 3/4 of a mile to go. This last leg was actually a pleasant undulating walk through coconut trees & the occasional sighting of a monkey.

      Dripping wet, we arrived at the very scenic Bottle Beach & made straight to the bar/restaurant for a much needed beer & food. Jackie had a Niçoise salad & I had spaghetti carbonara. It was all very pleasant apart from the flies attracted to our sweaty bodies. We noted that beach front huts with a fan could be rented for just £9 per night. We decided that we would stick to our aircon, but visit the beach again, but next time by taxi boat.

      After lunch we had a swim in the sea and wrote a message (in the sand) on Bottle Beach. I took photos of the message & Jackie, then I asked Jackie to take a photo of me with the message. Somehow she managed to adjust the camera settings from automatic to manual focus (As can be seen in the subsequent photo).

      We then steeled ourselves for the trudge back to our scooter. It took us half an hour of serious toil to complete the journey, particularly for the ridiculously steep last bit. At least we could now cool off with the air rushing past us on the scooter!

      We had gone no further than a couple of 100 yards when the rear wheel started to have a life of it’s own. My fears were realised when I looked down to see we had a flat rear tyre. Brilliant, on a Sunday, in the middle of nowhere & with absolutely no-one around.

      We had no choice but for Jackie to get off & walk, whilst I rode on ahead & turned left to find somewhere to get it fixed. I then crawled along the dirt track leaning over the handlebars to preserve the rear tyre. Luckily you are never too far away from a scooter repair shop in Thailand & less than 2 miles from where I left Jackie I found such a repair shop.

      The young mechanic undid the exhaust pipe to remove the wheel, then he replaced the inner tube & put it all back together again in about 30 minutes, by which time Jackie with her helmet in hand had caught me up. It would seem that a small sharp stone had caused the puncture & the cost of the repair & new inner tube, just 200 Baht. Less than a fiver, bargain.

      The afternoon was now pushing on so we rode back to Ban Tai & stopped at Lotus for more provisions, booze, mixers & a token bag of grapes. Opposite Lotus we found a shoe shop & we each bought a pair of Crocs to wear between the house & The Lemonery, for just 100 Baht a pair. Well we have to keep up with the Joneses (Clarkes & Rushes)!

      Pleased with our latest bargains, we sped north through the island back to Chaloklum Beach, but not before we had been waved through the police road block set up in exactly the same place as the previous night. At Chalokhum Beach we narrowed down our 2 favoured restaurants & chose the right hand one. It was the wrong one, next door was bustling with diners, so we had a quick relaxing beer on their empty waterfront tables, paid up & went next door to Cucina Italiano.

      In Cucina Italiano we ordered Italian food, Jackie had penne with ragu sauce & I had gnocchi with my favourite carbonara sauce, which didn’t really work & a garlic bread. It was very nice & warrants another visit.

      It was then a cold scooter ride home, where we ended the night with a nice hot shower & the remaining episodes of Afterlife.

      Song of the Day: Message in a Bottle by The Police.
      Nostalgie by Viken Arman.
      Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.
      Read more


      Garden clogs is where it's at! All the cool kids are wearing them...

      Simon and Jackie Annals

      We’re joining the club!

      Andy and Teresa Mays

      Nostalgia - where did you see that track? You losing the plot? Too much sun?

      Simon and Jackie Annals

      It was playing during lunch on Bottle Beach. Probably doesn’t travel well to a cold winter’s day in Sussex.

      Andy and Teresa Mays

      Obviously helps when you spell the artist correctly. You sure your Mr Arman was a Viking 👀 😂😂😂

      Simon and Jackie Annals

      Bloody predictions spelling!!

    • Jan26

      Day 48 - Almighty Night Sweats

      January 26 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      I had fallen asleep at 8.30pm the previous evening, leaving Jackie watching Netflix. Apparently Jackie had been monitoring my symptoms hourly & around 1am I had started to sweat profusely. She had tried to rouse me, but I was too drowsy to wake up. I did eventually wake up 12 hours later at 8.30am, but my side of the bed was literally sodden from top to bottom, including the pillows & the duvet. This was a worrying development, but on the upside I felt much better. Maybe I had sweated all the badness out!

      Feeling hungry we headed up the beach to Coral Beach Restaurant, where we had a superb breakfast. Jackie had avocado & poached eggs on toast, whilst I had mango & sticky rice. We then sunbathed around the pool. Lunch was just a solitary beer then more reading around the pool & listening to the soothing sounds of the Steve Ignorant Band - Live in Notts 2021.

      Over lunch I had marvelled that at Salad Beach every Scandinavian male sports a shit top knot haircut (Are they trying to imitate Zlatan?) & the Russian males just have shit haircuts!

      That evening, we returned to Dubble Duke, where I discovered I think that I’m all ‘beered’ out. I ordered a soda water! Unfortunately we didn’t enjoy our meal either. It didn’t help that I had lost my appetite again, but I had Arabiata spaghetti that was too spicy & garlic bread that was too garlicky & Jackie had Prawn Tom Yum soup that was too watery.

      A Hong Thong nightcap finished off the evening.

      Song of the Day: Sweaty Betty by The Macc Lads.
      Bata Motel by Steve Ignorant Band.
      Read more


      I think you are going through the menopause!! Seriously- hope you feel better soon and get your appetite back . Px

      Simon and Jackie Annals

      Oh I do hope not Pam. Hopefully it was just some bug or infection I picked up!

    • Jan29

      Day 51 - Halle….Bloody…..lujah

      January 29 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      No sweating at all over night & still feeling normal. The cleaners will be pleased!

      At 9.10am, I dragged myself out of bed & popped out on the scooter to fill up with fuel. I didn’t quite fill it up to the level it was given to me, but I didn’t want to add an extra 50 Bahts worth. We’ll see if I get away with it. (I did).

      We had an iced coffee & I returned the scooter keys to Pat, then we sat out by the pool for a nice peaceful morning.

      Lunch consisted of a cold beer at Dubble Duke & Jackie had a fried squid salad, whilst I had a pad Thai. The food was good, but the location superb.

      We returned to our resort & relocated to the sun beds looking out over the beach. It was just as well because during the afternoon an enormous (20+) group of Russians checked in amongst them 8 boisterous young boys. They took over the pool area & we suspect they will do so now all the time they are here.

      That evening we went to dinner next door at Crystal, accompanied by the sound of a salsa class taking place behind us. I annoyingly still wasn’t feeling hungry, so Jackie ordered a chicken satay & a beer, whilst I made do with just a soda water. Maybe I’m not 100% ok just yet.

      That evening on the verandah over a Hong Thong we came to the mutual agreement that we were now sneakily starting to look forward to going home to some good old fashioned home comforts like a roast beef dinner, nice cup of tea & a biscuit etc.

      Song of the Day: Movin On by Paul Weller.
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    • Jan27

      Day 49 - Noisy Bird & Not Jackie!

      January 27 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      I was still awake at 4am, without any indication that I would have the night sweats again. A short while later I must have fallen asleep & the next thing I knew was that I woke up at 8.30am again AND the whole of my side of the absolutely drenched again. This is a concern particularly to Jackie.

      I felt absolutely fine, so after Jackie did her best to air the bed, we popped down to Pat for breakfast. Prematurely we ordered cheese & tuna respectively baguettes & a portion of french fries. We struggled.

      After breakfast we made arrangements through Pat to get a ferry & minibus back to Phuket in 7 days time. It was going to mean a 4am taxi & a 5am ferry, which will be nice, but it was a good price & we may yet see our 1st sunset on this trip.

      The highlight of the morning was conversing with the resident resort Myna bird. It is an extremely noisy bugger who is already become a bit annoying. I shoved my phone towards him & filmed some of his repertoire. I then suggested Jackie try & touch him & she nearly lost her finger.

      He obviously wasn’t happy because the moment Jackie got up from her sun bed, he flew over & shat on it not once, but twice. He clearly did give two shits!

      We avoided having any beer for lunch & spent the day in & out of the sun around the pool & reading. Our plan was for an early sunset tea, then cards on the balcony.

      At 6pm, we went next door to Crystal & unbelievably I was still not hungry. We sat at a table on the beach, where I got well & truly attacked by mosquitoes (I splatted about 8), whilst Jackie didn’t get bitten once!

      Jackie ordered a chicken salad & a strawberry mojito, whilst I ordered just a soda water. I had 2 mouthfuls of Jackie’s salad which was more than enough for me.

      We returned to the cottage & just chilled on our balcony with Hong Thongs & bottles of water.

      That night when we went to bed we were surprised that the cleaners hadn’t swapped the bed linen on my side of the bed for a paddling pool. Jackie was also threatening to go to bed in her mask & snorkel. I knew they’d come in handy!

      Song of the Day: No Rest by New Model Army.
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    • Jan15

      Day 37 - Right Place, Wrong Time

      January 15 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      After another decent sleep we went down to reception at 9am for a much needed breakfast before our scooter arrived at 9.30. The timing couldn’t have been better, because as soon as the scooter arrived and I was required to complete the paperwork & go & check the scooter for damage etc, our breakfast of eggs on toast were going the other way to our table. By the time I returned to breakfast, Jackie had finished her poached eggs & my scrambled eggs were just lukewarm. Not the start I had been hoping for!

      Our trip commenced by heading south to (not so) Secret Beach followed by Yao Beach. The tide was high so we couldn’t see the beaches at their best, but we decided they didn’t match up to our Salad Beach. On their plus side, they certainly had more eating options within walking distance of the beaches.

      We stopped fleetingly at several other beaches, including Ao Chao pao, before driving through the busy centre of Thong Sala. After stopping at a pharmacy for a couple of bits, we stopped at a 7-11 store for some snacks for our room. I bought several packets of Dewberry jammy dodgers at just 10 Baht each. Just saying!

      The roads on Ko Phangan are very hilly & steep with lots of potholes, which makes riding a scooter extremely treacherous, particularly when at the bottom of each slope you have to drive through what can only be described as a sandpit. Understandably there are frequent scooter accidents resulting in the loss of skin on limbs which is known as a ‘Ko Phangan tattoo’. We have seen plenty of evidence of this with many people walking around with bandaged limbs, including one poor sod who had all 4 limbs & his chin bandaged! For these reasons, it is the law to wear a crash helmet & I had read that it is strictly enforced by the local police.

      The roads from Thong Sala to the south of the island were the trickiest to navigate, due to large cracks & potholes in the road, but we arrived safely at Hat Rin Nok Beach, better known as the famous Full Moon Party Beach. The next Full Moon Party is scheduled for two days time on Monday 17th January. We parked up & walked most of the length of the beach. Despite being deemed to be a beautiful beach it didn’t particularly do much for either of us. The beach front resorts were a mixture of nice to damn right awful & the town behind it was run down & soulless.

      We didn’t stay long & instead rode back to Ban Tai, just south of Thong Sala, then headed into the mountainous jungly heart of the island. This provided an exhilarating ride which took us to Than Sadet-Ko Pha-Ngan National Park, where we were forced to pay 100 Baht each entry fee. The road took us down to Hat Sadet Beach, which is highly rated in my guidebook. The beach was very pleasing on the eye with large boulders at either end & large waves crashing on to the beach. On the downside, the beach faced east & the tall palm trees behind the beach were shading it from the sun. After a quick beer in the beach restaurant, we sat on the beach for 30 minutes in a small sunny spot & snacked.

      As were were helmeting up back at the scooter, two wild boar sauntered past, but true to form they had virtually disappeared before I could lay my hands on the camera.

      We rode back up the road & parked up to walk a 100 metres to a waterfall. Halfway along the rocky path, we decided to stop because we could see in the distance that the waterfall didn’t look that impressive & there were Thai families & kids playing in & around it. Instead I leapt from rock to rock over a couple of raging torrents (streams) to get a better photo of it, when to my amazement a stark naked western man & woman emerged from the water where the kids were playing & started drying off on the rocks. I’m not a prude but that was seriously taking the piss in a country where even topless sunbathing is seriously frowned upon.

      We continued up the east coast to Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach, then to Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, which was decidedly more upmarket. We parked our scooter up alongside Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas & walked to the beach. As we did so I became aware of a security guard blatantly watching our every move. We walked up & down the beach & declared it the best beach we had visited today, but it also suffered with the afternoon sun disappearing behind the palm trees. I later checked the starting cost to stay in a room at Anantara with a sea view which turned out to be £494 per night.

      Still under the scrutiny of the security guard, we left the beach & headed home. We passed an afternoon rave in the jungle north of Thong Sala, then we stopped at a Lotus (Tesco) store to buy masks & snorkels but 30 minutes later emerged with enough wine & Hong Thong to sink a battleship. We passed another pool party rave with lots of bright red, pissed-up kids & we made up our mind there & then that we wouldn’t bother with the Full Moon Party.

      Heading home we chanced upon a Police roadblock & they were stopping everyone, presumably to fine them for not having a crash helmet or a face mask or both. At least 8 people had been detained at the side of the road, but after we had stopped we were waved on. It felt good & justified us wearing our uncomfortable helmets all day.

      We rode to KC Kitchens, a roadside restaurant we had spotted when we first returned arrived on Ko Phangan, because it was heaving with diners mid-afternoon. It was rough & ready, but the food was fantastic & plenty of it. I had a pineapple curry with chicken & rice, whilst Jackie ordered a crispy pork dish. We had also ordered a starter of spring rolls which arrived after the main course & we struggled, but managed to eat.

      After being out & about for around 11 hours, the evening ended with a much needed shower, several large glasses of passable white wine & 2 more episodes of Afterlife.

      Song of the Day: Right Place, Wrong Time by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
      Karma Police by Radiohead.
      Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Ban Si Thanu, บ้านศรีธนู

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