Thursday, February 27, 2014

Island Hopping - Part 2

With the island of Koh Samui behind me (and with it buckets of good memories) I decided to head into the lion's den, Koh Phangan. I'd say that this island quite met my expectations, although it's only fair to say that I arrived exactly one day after the infamous Full Moon Party ended. Therefore I was lucky that most of the hardcore party visitors were intending to leave the island on that very day or simply were sobering up their massive hangover.

What immediately catched my attention was how much the Full Moon Parties actually affected the island and the local people. The first thing you actually see when arriving at the pier are funny signboards warning tourists about illegal drugs and scammers at such parties. It also seems like everything on the island is marketed at Full Moon Parties as well - literally everywhere there are promotional posters for all kinds of ominous parties. If it's not the Full Moon Party, there's still the Half Moon Party, Black Moon Party and many more. Just awful!

Let us all be modest tourises, right?

But it gets even better! Just when I just thought the whole drugs stereotypes of Koh Phangan perhaps could be a little exaggerated, I really got disabused. When I arrived at my hostel which I booked over Hostelworld, the hostel's owner was already waiting for me. So far so good.

But then I couldn't believe my eyes, that guy was actually smoking weed and was already so stoned, he didn't even remember how much a room costs for a night. I actually had to show him my online reservation several times until he finally agreed with me to some point. To make it even worse he almost forgot where he put my room key in his reception. Well, but apart from that the accommodation was OK I guess.

But hey, Koh Phangan acutally has its good sides too! During my expeditions I discovered some really nice (and even deserted!) beaches, temples and landscapes.

Wat Khao Noi

Crystal blue water!

A carnivorous plant! You flies better watch out!

This place was actually deserted - not a single person within the next few kilometers!

Again a Chinese temple - I'm a big sucker for them!

In the Thansadej National Park

The HTMS Phangan, originally an American tank landing ship which was later commisioned into the Thai Navy. Before its 'exchange' it actually saw action at the Incheon Landing, at the Korean War in 1950.

But even then the island left a kind of an average impression to me. Inspite of all these party-free places I discovered on Koh Phangan, I still think Koh Samui offered much more in comparison. After all I only stayed only like 2 days on this into disrepute fallen island, and think that was more than enough. Ideal for party-lovers and potheads, but njet for me.

With Koh Tao, my next destination, I already was expecting something similar. But hell, I was wrong! Look forward to the next post involving my stay in the Big Blue Diving School!

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