HOT INFO On The Road

Margaret and Keel's Asian Adventure
Riding Tigers: REPORT #15
January 4, 2000, from Bangkok Thailand

Baht = 37.8/$

Well we survived the inevitable Y2K drama on Ko PhaNgan without incident and have just arrived by overnight bus from Suratthani...I much prefer the train to the bus but we did not book the train soon enough...three weeks ahead was not soon enough...tough to sleep on VIP bus for me but about half the price of the train...

We spent an incredible three weeks on Kho PhaNgan which included one full moon party and one new years eve event...I spent most days arranging my activities around the tides, even though they change only moderately, particularly compared with New England...High tides found me fishing the local point for "a catch fish from the aquarium" experience...Caught as many as twelve in one day, some nice red snapper someday ten all were relished by Thai friends....

I really do have to pause here and put in a plug for my new friends who have hosted me for the past days...just in case someone reading this may actually GO to Kho Pha Ngan...Banana Beach Bungalows, located on the northwest shore, just opened for business. Actually I was the very first customer! Sapon (Thai) and Sabina (German) gave me a true Thai experience...ask to see the Siamese fighting fish...Our bungalow was on the water and I mean spit into the ocean on the water, private beach, with a cold shower for 150 baht per night...But it was the goings and comings of the locals that makes this place such a jewel...hard to get that at a place with 30 bungalows...In previous emails I mention Chai Bungalows as the place to stay... This is Chai's cousin and its an all in the family thing...Here's a real tip you won't get on the Lonely planet site...for Kho PhaNgan stay on the west side and catch a taxi to Haad Rin...(where the action is)I also did some great beach combing and helped Sapon construct his not yet opened "restaurant". It was a fantastic time and I was sad to leave... but Bali awaits... So we head to Bali to see what the fuss is about!

The full moon party is quite an event. Picture 10000 people on a beach doing dancing to "techno music" and doing it all night until the sun comes up...now lets now be uninformed here, of course most of these revelers are on mushrooms, MDMA or other designer drugs...Be aware that police in Thailand don't know Miranda rights.. going through a road block where they search you thoroughly is common on the Haad Rin side during the days leading up to the party...I really rather be fishing...

Great Birding casually as shorebirds, eagles, kingfishers, herons etc. are constantly on the wing...

I just want to list a few quick thoughts about Thailand and southern Thailand in general...

...There are numerous tourist in southern Thailand for a reason, because it is beautiful....but you have to really watch the people who make up the tourist transportation infrastructure. They will clip you if given half a chance...but that doesn't mean they aren't nice, there just burned out on tourist...

Northern Thailand is much easier to travel in than Southern Thailand. Its my page I can say what I like....thanks Taka... Thailand is still a fabulous place and Bangkok is a great place to base out of...this city rocks...I could easily spend more time in Thailand, have barely scratched the surface...

Merry Christmas and Happy Y2K to all my family and friends.

Hello especially to the Tha Jewler, thanks for the email

See ya again from Bali

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