F is for Fraser Island
G is for the Great Barrier Reef
H is for Haad Rin Beach in Koh Phanang
Koh Phanang is most well known for being the place to be in Thailand when there’s a full moon. Once a month thousands of people from all over the world descend on the island for the famous Full Moon Party. Obviously this has become quite a nice money earner for the locals and spin offs such as the Half Moon Party have also begun to appear. We arrived on Koh Phanang the day after one of these parties, hoping that we would have missed the crowds and planning on a few days of beach relaxation. We decided to stay on what is supposed to be one of the quieter beaches, Haad Rin and booked into what I can only assume are the ironically named Paradise Bungalows.
|The view from paradise.|
After a chilled out day we headed to the beach for dinner. It was pretty quiet as most people had already moved on. However, despite the fact that there was hardly anyone around, the locals were determined to keep a party atmosphere going. This meant cranking up the music, performing fire shows and trying to encourage those of us who were around to partake in fairly dangerous party games like group skipping with a rope which had been set on fire. Having seen plenty of “burns victims” who had failed to jump high enough we politely declined the offer. It was fun to watch the shows though, especially the little kids who are amazingly skilled at fire dancing.
|The safe way to entertain the kids.|
After a nice evening we headed back to our bungalow at about 1am, where we discovered that we had essentially opted to sleep in a nightclub. The bass from the music was so loud that the glass in the windows was shaking the whole night. Now I’m aware that I sound like an old granny writing this but the music went on until 6am and I wouldn’t mind but there wasn’t actually anyone there to enjoy it! So, that just about sums up my memories of Haad Rin, and I think probably qualifies me to apply for my OAP bus pass.
I is for Intawarorot Road in Chaing Mai
One thing I discovered about my sister during her visit is that she is not a fan of the heat. I think her most used phrase during her time in Thailand was that she was “hotter than the sun”. If possible she would have had a Beyonce-style fan following her at all times. (To be fair that would probably have given us both better hair for the photographs too.)
It’s not her fault really. She burns ridiculously easily – as we both discovered when we burnt our bums during a day’s snorkelling – and comes out in weird heat rashes. So probably visiting Thailand during its hottest month wasn’t our best idea.
Anyway, needless to say she wasn’t too thrilled when I decided to take us on a wild goose chase to find Intawarorot Road. To begin with, like many places in Chaing Mai, even though it was marked on the map, the road didn’t seem to have any signposts on it. So we were walking along in the blazing heat down what may or may not have been the right street, with drivers stopping every two minutes to shout “tuk-tuk” at us before speeding off when we said no.
Eventually, like a light at the end of the tunnel, we saw a street sign in the distance. When we finally reached it we realised out next problem was that it was too tall to get both me and the sign in the photograph. So, much to the amusement of the locals, I had to shimmy up the pole as though I was auditioning for a part in Singing In The Rain. Still, job done.