Just before leaving Bangkok for island paradise, we went out for a birthday dinner at an American BBQ restaurant called Smokin’ Pug. If you’re ever in the area and you want a great restaurant, definitely check it out. It is a small place so either plan to wait or make a reservation ahead of time. We thoroughly enjoyed some of the cocktails and wine options and also a good portion of the food menu. For me, I got to teleport back to my mother land, and for my friends, they got to try American barbecue for the very first time. It was a great experience for all of us.
FYI: Get the nachos. . .and the ribs, of course! www.smokinpugbbq.com
The next evening, we jumped on a bus near that mural and went for an overnight ride down to Chumphon. It’s where you catch a ferry to islands like Koh Tao, Koh Samui, or Koh Phangan. You can fly down to certain spots in the South to shorten the journey but the buses in Thailand are pretty lush. They’re double-decker style and they even have a bathroom. For 800 baht you can ride in a party bus. The only minus is they drop you off at the pier in Chumphon in the middle of the night, so you have to take a nap on a table or play cards for a few hours to wait for the ferry to arrive.
Yeah, that’s a few of us a little sleep deprived and sick of playing cards! Um, what time is it and where is that dang ferry? It’s coming, right?!
When you’re traveling in Thailand, make sure to check out some of the islands. Depending on the season, the monsoon weather changes from island to island so be sure to ask a travel agent what islands are the best. You don’t want to make the long journey to that magical beach to sit around in the rain every day.
Koh Tao is known for scuba diving. It’s quite a mecca for the underwater world and there’s dozens of international dive geeks that live on the island. Aow Leuk Bay is the best place to stay for sunbathing, snorkeling, or scuba diving. I highly recommend staying in that area if you ever plan to visit. It’s the best beach on the whole island, and if you stay there, it’s right in your back yard. All other visitors have to pay 100 baht to visit the beach.
Things started off great on Koh Tao. We managed to score the last two shacks on Aow Leuk beach. . .for 500 baht each. They weren’t the fanciest (no hot water or flushing toilet. . .haha) but the beach made up for it. We even had frangipani trees all around, so the smells were amazing. . .
The first few days were pretty mellow. I think we were all still recovering from our wild Bangkok bucket night. There was also some holiday and elections happening that meant most things were closed for three days. No parties, bars, crazy night life to get us into too much trouble. . .but we rode around on scooters, ate yummy and weird food, made a friend, and took a few pictures.
For a few days, we used our downtime to turn into professional beach bums and card playing gangsters. The game of Hearts turned into war between the raja’s and the rani’s more than a few times. I also enjoyed daily fruit salads while staring at the beautiful turquoise sea.
Our little shack porch became Koh Tao’s greatest happy hour spot. We had many late nights pondering the human existence, fighting Mayan’s in the jungle, getting lost in space trips, and talking about that funny, sometimes confusing thing, called Love. It was a very tiny porch that held a whole lot of huge notions.
We did eventually go out for another party. . .and maybe another bucket. It wasn’t quite Bangkok style, but it was on the beach.
The next morning was all fine and dandy, considering, until my foot decided to really misbehave. I don’t know why it happened, but I blew a blood vessel and couldn’t walk.
The rest of the time on Koh Tao turned into me sitting on the porch and icing or soaking my wounded foot. It wasn’t the most ideal way to spend in paradise, but at least I was in paradise. For some reason, the universe really wanted me to rest. I stared at the palm trees for hours every day. . .having waves of pity-parties and more ruthless games of Hearts.
Our last night on Koh Tao we went to dinner near a place where we could sit and watch the party life pass us by. It was fun to get out and not be so isolated on my wounded porch and Amit finally got to have some fun. He surely deserved it after taking care of my handicapped ass for the past week. I got to watch him rule a game of beer pong, arm wrestle a tiny blonde chick, and provoke a few spankings around the room. . .all to seemingly endless groovy tunes.
The journey back to Bangkok wasn’t the easiest with my sore foot, but I survived. Whew. I stayed in our Bangkok hotel room for a couple days while Amit ran around on food and shopping missions. He deserves at least five gold stars for all the work he did. I don’t know what I would’ve done without my silly cartoon by my side. There was also plenty of weird Thai television and lots of meals in bed. The one time I got out of the room, we went to an awesome restaurant and ate some delicious duck.
And then it was time to go home. . .
This kitty gave me a cuddle on the way out of our hotel. He must’ve known I could use the extra love.
Bye Bye for now, Thailand. Kap kun kaaaaaaaaa!