Thailand - Southern

Ko Pha-Ngan
full moon party

Ao Tanot bungalow view

Grand Palace in Bangkok


Next I went to the island of Ko Pha-Ngan for the infamous full moon party.  I arrived three days before the party, so I chilled out and spoiled myself with a Thai massage at the beach.  I also enjoyed the restaurants with a kicked back atmosphere floor seating with cushions to lounge.

At night, Hat Rin beach turns into restaurants with tables right on the sand and lanterns.  Its quite a setting.  The nights leading up to the full moon party are similar to the real event, except there are more people and a bigger fire show.  Plus the object of the full moon party is to dance until sunrise.

After the big event, I moved to Ko Tao, looking for a mellow atmosphere and diving.  I found my oasis at Ao Tanot beach.  It was perfect.  I had my own little bungalow right on the beach with the
Gulf of Thailand in front of my porch.

I had a little family at Diamond Beach Resort.  One guy even grew up in my childhood neighborhood.  We played volleyball and cards, spun poi, snorkeled and went diving.  Three people played the guitar, which made for a nice evening on the beach.

I know, it sounds like the culture part is missing.  Fortunately I met a really nice Thai girl, Suthasinee, trekking in Nepal.  She is studying to be a guide, so she gave me a royal tour of
Bangkok and more history than most of the locals know.  She also spoiled me with expensive feasts and culture shows.  She also became my chief negotiator at the market.

She took me to several Wats (Buddhist temple-monastery).  My favorite is Wat Pho, which features the largest reclining Buddha.  Next to Buddha is a long row of donation bowls.  You can donate money by dropping coins into each bowl.  The sound fills the room with a nice melody.

The colorful neighborhood in
Bangkok is called Patpong.  This area features several Go-Go Bars.  Apparently the women have some pretty amazing talents.  The guys even tried to get us to see a show.  In the tuk tuk (three wheel open air taxi) on the way home, I had an Elvis sighting!

A little history... King Rama the 5th is responsible for the western influence on clothing, since his son studied abroad.  I think it would be nice to see more Thai people running around in traditional clothing.  I'm enjoying my traditional skirt and fisherman pants  :~)

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