Saturday, July. 25, 11:57 PM
Ban Tai, Ko Phangan, Thailand
So much I can say, plucking randomly from any of the last fourteen days. Thailand has been very good to me. If I threw it all into a wok and simmered it on low heat for as many hours as it would take me to type it out, we would have a reduction that tastes like: I Love Thailand.
I spent two weeks at Tacome Pai, enjoying a sort of lazy farm-life routine that left little time in the day for anything but a few hours of work, lots of lounging around with guitar strummers, swimming in the pond, river and hot springs, hiking in nearby streams, forests, waterfalls, and canyons. Also made a nice habit of hitchhiking by pickup truck to the hippy town of Pai every other day or so for some junk food and espresso drinks.
It’s easy to see why it’s such a popular spot, this particular eco-village hosting dozens of travelers during my short stay. There were the 3 day dabblers, on a tight schedule onward (many en route to Lao/Cambodia) all wishing that they alloted more time in Pai. There was the overnight group of 17 Thais with whom we feasted on BBQ and set adrift flaming rice paper lanterns into the sky. And there was a core group who spent a week or more, a half dozen which will likely become long lasting Facebook friends, and some I really hope to see again out there somewhere. Besides all the socializing, I further communed with the rice paddies as well as the adorable cats and dog on the premises… eating rice you actually husked with a giant wooden seesaw is a pleasure, and so was submitting to the persistent kitten who wanted to share my bed. I freakin miss them all: especially my French buddy Leo with whom I spent some time every day, cruising around on motorbike and sharing many adventures and long conversations. When I told Sandot, the father of Tacome Pai, that I will return, he said I Know you will!
Five of us departed together, and we spent the next couple days traversing from the very top to the bottom of the tall country, on overnight buses and trains, songtaew, a monorail, subway and long boat. In Bangkok I went to a snake farm with a friend Elle and her 6 yr. old kid Raphael, where we got so very close to striking vipers and king cobras, and even held a giant python. Also in Bangkok we went to coffee with a friendly man named Mr. Tee, ate sushi, saw Transformers 2 (which was sequel-sucky), took the water taxi up the river, and snacked our way through the endless market. I took the last half of the journey solo (but meeting much new company along the way), on an overnight train/bus/3 hr. ferry to the island paradise of Ko Phangan (where the movie “The Beach” was supposedly inspired.)
The last week has been too fun. Ko Phangan can party, and apparently so can I. Living on the beach in bungalows never gets old. Nor does sleeping out in hammocks, going to a new beach or two every day, and hopping in pickup trucks outside 7 Eleven to all nite parties with beach friends. The clock doesn’t matter here, as life happens in whatever time it pleases. I actually rented a scooter to get around the island, and it was so fun to ride, not having used my own in about a year! Yesterday, when I got it, I rode 95km, exploring and swimming around the island like crazy! The beach I swam in this morning, Hat Yao, topped them all, competing for the best ever with those of Hawaii. (I’d say the aesthetic of cliffs sharply rising everywhere make these even more spectacular, not to mention the swiss family robinson tree houses, natural bungalows and bridges connecting them.) I’m smitten.
I actually headed down south to work at an Organic Shrimp and Oyster Farm, would have been my fifth in Thailand, but it wasn’t meant to be. So I’ll take a 2.5 week vacation on the beach as a consolation prize. You might not hear from me again until I’m back home for Burning Man!! I still intend to fly back after to New Zealand for my next Big adventure, but as of yet flights are not booked. We’ll see where the planes, trains and autos take me!