Friday, February 20, 2009

A loooong overdue update - Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi!


So more than a few days have passed since my last entry and what a time it has been!
The 10th of Feb saw a crew of 8 of us head off from Tonsai and ventured across Thailand by bus and boat to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party. Dave, Chris, Steph, The Ryan & Ryan Show, Hampus, Adam and I left Tonsai in the morning by longtail boat to Ao Nang, bus to Krabi, bus to Surrathani, bus to the port then a ferry to Koh Phangan. We arrived at Thong Sala port and had some dinner then jumped in the back of a truck and headed to Haad Rin, the beach that the party is held on. The truck ride was an eye opener... streets of hookers and lady boys yelling and whistling at us from the bars as we tore past hanging on to the back of the truck with one hand, beer in the other. We passed the police checks then into Haad Rin itself... paid an english guy who owns a tattoo parlour 6 longneck beers to put our bags in his shop overnight then headed onto the beach and into the most maniacal party I have ever seen.
Picture the most mayhem you have ever seen, times that by 100 and you might be close to what Full Moon parties on Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan are like... about 700 metres of beach, about 20000 people, about 10 to 15 music stages, about 100 buckets stalls, massive amounts of fireworks (the Thai's love their fireworks haha), massive amounts of fire shows (the Thais looooove their fire shows!), balance poles with boxing gloves, booze, drugs, naked people, police, people passed out EVERYWHERE, people swimming in the sea, people pissing in the sea, people having sex in the sea, people drinking buckets in the sea, people throwing up EVERYWHERE, people falling over each other in massive convulsing mosh pits... absolute CARNAGE hahahaha... soooo fun!
We made it through the night, watched the beautiful sunrise and then headed off for a cup of tea at a back street cafe then picked our bags up from the tattoo parlour at 10am and made our way back by truck from Haad Rin beach to Thong Sala port. We sat and had breakfast and waited for our ferrys at 12.30pm.
Welsh Ryan was sooo drunk he passed out, drooled on himself then on the way to the ferry he pissed on himself... we had to babysit him all the way, what a hero haha! Half the crew went back to Tonsai but myself and the Ryan & Ryan show headed to Koh Tao to sample the amazing granite bouldering that is there. We arrived about 2pm, found a bungalow on Sairee Beach (the main beach on Koh Tao) then relaxed and had dinner. After dinner we went out for drinks with our new neighbors and were all out till the small hours of the morning... so I was awake and partying across a whole country, its mainland and 2 different islands for about 48 hours haha... I was well keen for a nap by the time I went to bed that night!
The next day we went and hire motorbikes and man are they fun! We rode all over Koh Tao exploring the place for most of the day. Koh Tao is only about 5kms long and 3kms wide so its not a big island. We went and found the High Bar, a treehouse bar on top of a mountain... such a wicked place! Wee chilled there then went for a boulder in the evening.
First let me say that Koh Tao is beautiful and the boulderfields are amazing... granite boulders littered through coconut plantations, so nice! But then let me say that it is sooooo sharp that it is like climbing on broken glass! I did a few easy problems at The Backyard then called it an evening. I bouldered a bit the next morning but after that I didn't climb for the rest of the week I was there. I have a torn hamstring at the moment so that combined with the sharp rock made me call it a rest / sun tanning week haha.
The other factor that kept me on the beach was the veritable plethora of Swedish women! There was a Swedish hiphop artist called Timbucktu playing at Bans Dive Resort on the 15th so every Swede and his dog turned up in Koh Tao... I swear, you couldn't drop a Baht for hitting a Swede!
We met some great Aussie girls the next day, Sophie and Zoe who combined with myself, Ryan and Ryan made the 'Awesome Five-some' for the next few days! We had a blast, partying all night, sun baking on the beach all day... sooo fun, props go out to you two girls for making it such a fun week :-)
The night of Friday the 13th, an ominous date for some, was the beginning of of my brithday madness! As the clock struck midnight the shots of Sambuca flowed and the carnage began! We were at the Lotus Bar and it was a Retro-Disco night so we danced on the beach all night and partied hard... such a blast. The next morning, the day of my bday, the five of us had breakfast then rode our motorbikes to the north of the island and had lunch then walked down to Shark Bay and had a swim and beers on the beach. Then we headed again to High Bar and had cocktails, then we rode back to Sairee Beach and had dinner at Ban's again, then headed out to Lotus Bar for shenanigans. Welsh Ryan and Zoe had initiated a secret plan to keep me swamped in gorgeous women for the entirity of my birthday, so without delay Ryan set to work, what a hero haha.
All of a sudden I was ambushed by about 20 or 30 beautiful young Swedish women who sang me happy birthday and then proceeded to all kiss me haha, I was in heaven haha! Ryan is a bloody champion! He kept the flow of hot girls up to me all night, I have lost count of how many photo's of hot girls kissing me we have haha... what a fun night :-) We headed to Ban's later on, more Sambuca, more cocktails, fire limbo, jumping through fire hoops, more hot women, more shenanigans... such a great night!
Mr Brennan, Mr Bandy, Sophie & Zoe - you guys are all hero's, thank you all for making my birthday and my whole Koh Tao experience such a great and memorable time :-)
A few more days of partying and riding motorbikes around the island and suntanning on the beach passed then the Ryan & Ryan show headed off for Cambodia and beyond - I will miss you boys, look after each other and I'll see you both again one day (In june maybe for you Mr Brennan!) :-)
I stayed on in Koh Tao with Sophie & Zoe for 2 more days after the boys left. More riding around, more High Bar, more beach time... awesome! Thanks girls for making my week so awesome... "you complete me" haha
The 18th Feb saw me head back to Tonsai, an all day boat/bus/boat trip. The 19th I rested and read my book all day as my hamstringm still wasn't 100%, then today I headed out on a snorkelling trip to Koh Phi Phi with Dave and Ellen.
We jumped aboard a speed boat at about 9am and powered out to Koh Phi Phi Don first, did some snorkelling on a cool reef, checked out the Viking Cave (where the locals collect swallows nests from), checked out a cool lagoon, went to Maya Bay which is where the movie 'The Beach' was filmed, had lunch on Koh Phi Phi Don, then went snorkelling again at another reef near Koh Phi Phi Ley (there were sooo many fish.. I held a peice of watermelon in my teeth and hundreds of fish swarm you to eat it so you have fish going crazy inches from you face haha!), then we snorkelled and chilled on Bamboo Island then headed home. A really fun day all in all, well worth it :-)
Tomorrow I am hoping to be back into the climbing at full throttle, my leg is close to fine again, I am no longer sick and its time to crank!
Well thats my last week or two in a nutshell, now that I am back on Tonsai the updates should be regular again. Lets hope I dont get sick or hurt myself again and I should have some climbing news soon!
Peace all.

The chaotic ride from Thong Sala to Haad Rin

Full Moon, we have landed! (Ps: Richo, show Gordie this one, note CIRC the singlet haha)

Sunrise at Haad Rin, Koh Phangan after the party

Sunset on Sairee Beach, Koh Tao that afternoon

Ryan Bandy on one of our motorbikes

Ryan Brennan, hero of the year, doing what he does best

Me and a few old flames ;-)

Sophie, Zoe and I at Lotus Bar - "You Complete Me" haha

Dave and Ellen off on our snorkelling trip

Me and Ellen at Maya Bay where the movie "The Beach" was filmed

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