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Lazin’ away on the beach all day
Rating : (4.9 stars)

Bottle Beach, Ko Pha-ngan, Thailand
Sep 23, 2003 23:55

Pros: secluded beach, relaxing place
Cons: none

We haven't been writing much because we haven't been doing much for a while. We came to Ko Pha-ngan, a small island off the east coast of peninsular Thailand, in the gulf of Thailand. This island is known for being one of the last remaining backpackers' paradises, one that has not yet been developed into high rise resorts for vacationing Europeans. About 10,000 backpackers converge on Had Rin Beach on this island every month for the "full moon party." We were determined to avoid this party due to its overwhelming popularity and bad reputation. We decided to head for Bottle Beach, which our guidebook described as quiet and secluded. Perfect! It was pretty secluded, accessible only by boat, but quiet it was not. Turned out to be packed with bungalows and overrun with farang (the Thai word for white person), mostly the Israeli raver type. However, other than the intermittent blasts of techno music, it was a pretty relaxing place to be. We had tie-dyed hammocks strung up on the palm-surrounded porch of our bungalow; they became our best friends over the next few days and afforded us a view of the turquoise sea. We did a lot of reading, swimming, lounging, tanning, until we truly got bored of the island life and made a beeline for Bangkok. We had planned to stay in the islands for a few more weeks, to catch the Vegetarian Festival in the beginning of October, a Chinese festival in which participants become frenzy in their adoration of the gods and do silly things like skewer their cheeks with tree limbs and spears! And even though we really enjoyed the beach, we decided to devote more time to other places on our itinerary, i.e. places that actually make us feel like we're in Asia not on a European holiday. So we hopped on a boat to the mainland (4 hours) and then a short bus ride, and then a massive train ride (12 hours) to Bangkok and here we are!