Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Roaches to Riches on Koh Phanang

Koh Phanang is famous around the world for its monthly rave/do what you want/ dance/ full moon parties.  Every month, during the full moon, up to 30,000 crazy folks go there to partake in the “hedonistic insanity” of the world’s largest beach party.  Did we mention that we are almost 50?  No, our midlife crisis does not include wanting to party with our kids or re-live our youth in any way that may take us back to a time we would possibly want to be any where near the type of carnage that might be found at Haad Rin beach on Koh Phanang at or after full moon.

Thank goodness word has not spread that this small island is a gem close to paradise. On most of the island, apart from a few hand painted billboards, you would never know of the insane event that has made the island famous amongst party goers.

We took the ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Phanang and as soon as we stepped off we knew we were already much closer to the images we had of what our time in paradise might be like.  We hopped in the back of a pick up truck that was our taxi and progressed through winding roads dotted with truly authentic looking villages and fantastic seascapes and eventually arrived at our destination on Haad Yao beach.  

We were not very impressed with our rooms as to get there we had quite a climb up a steep walkway and stairs and once there we had no view…however, the beach was so awesome we were not too worried as we figured we would find something better on day two.

It was getting late so we didn’t waste much time heading out for a swim and wandering on the beach.  A beach with the whitest softest sand you could imagine and crystal clear blue water to complete the picture.  The magic of the beach was not at all diminished when the sun went down.  The tiny restaurants that lined the beach came to life with twinkling lights in just the right quantity to ensure beauty with not a hint of tackiness.  All this and hardly no one else there!  We chose our restaurant and after another great Thai meal we visited some other places along the beach to see where we might want to relocate to on day 2.  We found a resort that seemed to meet all of our requirements and made our way back to our room for what we anticipated would be a one night stay.

We were pretty tired and ready for sleep….until the kids opened the door to their room and
yelled at me to come and look at the big ugly bug on the wall.  I better hurry because it was moving really fast.   I stayed pretty calm as I watched a cockroach the size of my hand scurry for cover.  It was the biggest roach I have ever seen and I thought I have seen some pretty significant roaches in my past travels.  I quickly called for Rob and he came, shoe in hand ready for battle.  The roach was conquered but then another one appeared.  Call me crazy and spoiled but one roach I can perhaps deal with but many I can not.  We were out of there!  Fortunately we hadn’t unpacked much so we were set for a fairly quick exit.  The clincher came when I picked up my runner and yet another one hurried out.

The hotel would not give us a refund but they offered to move us to another area which they claimed was roach free.  The area was still pretty close to where we had been and the room had no view and was small and stuffy – no go!  We were on our way and ready to just eat the expense of the night when they offered to show us another room that they could “guarantee” had no roaches.  They guided us down their beach front to a huge “family” room with beds for all of us.  You could open the door of this room and cast a fishing line out into the ocean.  We scanned for creatures with four legs and didn’t see any evidence so we decided to call it a night and take a chance.  We were a little paranoid that some of our luggage might be hosting unwanted visitors so before we settled in we shook out every item in every backpack and then finally closed our eyes.

The room we had landed in was obviously a much higher quality room then the one we had paid for but the hotel agreed to let us stay there for the same price and our waterfront digs became home for the next two weeks.  I never thought I would be glad for roaches but in the end they definitely helped us to enjoy our time at the Haad Yao Bay View!

Towel Bunnies replaced the roaches in our second room.

This was on our doorstep.

Our largest room since starting our journey - not quite 84 Moss but not bad.

On the beach at Haad Yao.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lois and family,
    Awesome stories and photos! I'm reading it at Mt. Washington with Erin. Love the cockroach story. I didn't realize you had a blog - so sorry to have not been keeping up! Merry belated Christmas to all of you! Now, back to my reading.... I'm going to get up to date with your adventures.


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