On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ko Phangan

I know I said i would stop with the dilly-dallying. That I would get down to business and resume my life as a cyclist. However the lure of Ko Phangan was just to much to pass up. I've spent the past week on the island. Basking in the sun, meeting good people, and eating good food. Then there is the party element that went along with my stay on the island, but I'll let you use your imaginations on that one. So here it is. What I Did On My Christmas Vacation...
I had nearly lost faith in the islands of Thailand. I had heard such great things about them. The other travellers I met made them out to be these care free paradises. After visiting Ko Phi Phi and Ko Samui, I far from shared this opinion. I found them to be nothing more than a haven for those wanting to practice behaviors which are considered taboo at home. All the businesses, big and small were run by westerners. People taking advantage of this country which, over the past month, I have grown quite fond of. There was no Thai culture to be seen. They were plagued with western commercialism. Every inch reminding me of why I left home in the first place. How ever Ko Phangan restored my faith.
Don't misunderstand. It is still a very touristy island. But it seems to attract a different kind of tourist than the likes of Phi Phi and Samui. Phangan is truly "beach culture". Swinging hammocks, dreadlocks and bikinis, late night parties, and smiling faces. It was refreshing to find a place to just chill out and enjoy the beauty of my surroundings. I managed to score a bungalow in one of, if not the best places on the island. Liberty Bungalows has it all. Beach Front properties that exist away from the ubber busy Had Rin Beach. A place where you can really relax. Don't even get me started on the food. It is run by the best chef in the world. You name it, she can cook it...and she can cook it good. I spent a small fortune on food Not because it was overpriced. Actually it was quite the opposite. But because everything was so good. Every morning started with a fresh, wholesome breakfast. After dinner the night would conclude with a rich delectable dessert. I could go on for hours about it. I really could, but I won't. Lets just say it was the perfect place to spend Christmas. I'm glad I took the chance on Ko Phangan.
I have now returned to the mainland. The boat ride here was brutal, as I spent a good portion of it with my head over the edge of the boat tossing my cookies overboard. Tomorrow I go to Ranong to do a quick boarder run, then it's back to business. I have 15 days to get to Cambodia. I estimate 9 or 10 will be strictly riding. I plan to stop in Bangkok for a couple of nights. Unfortunately, due to the time crunch, I have little time for other stops.
So there you have it... "What I Did On My Christmas Vacation".

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