Tag: koh samui

  • Same Same, but Desperate

    Post by The Bounceologist on February 17th, 2012

    The Bionic Salesman
    A Journey around Thailand

    So that’s the end of another tour of Southern Thailand. We arrive back in Bangkok for a final three days. A month’s accumulated junk litters the baggage carousel. As if this is not enough, Misty heads straight from the airport to Chatuchak Market in search of more, coming back with bagfuls, including, for me, three pairs of unusual shoes and a dozen T-shirts.

    None of the tourist T-shirts with the lame English slogans (Same Same but Different, iPood, etc.), these are tasteful shirts with arty Thai squiggles on them. I wore the first one around Bangkok for hours before some kind soul stifled her guffaws long enough to point out that the squiggles meant something along the lines of, “I’m a sad mug who’s desperate for a girlfriend”.

    “My wife bought me this,” I said by way of explanation. The shirt came off.

    It has been an amazing trip. We’ve got into the habit of using the car to take us away from the main beaches and then shopping around for bungalows. We were almost the only guests at a great place on Bang Rak beach in Samui.

    Sabai Resort

    Sabai Resort: Little Scandinavia's Little Italy

    Ao Nang in Krabi is Little Scandinavia, but we found ourselves in Little Italy at the Sabai Resort, where Italians come on their scooters from all over to air kiss, drink wine and punctuate their conversation with vigorous hand gestures. The owner looks uncannily like an Italian Basil Fawlty.

    In Phuket, we took a random turn off the coast road and found ourselves at the Baan Armeen, a new and pleasant little resort on Bang Tao Beach. I find the Phuket beaches from Kamala up far more attractive than the most famous beaches – Patong, Karon and Kata – and we particularly took to Surin Beach, with its string of beachfront bars.

    From Samui to Khao Lak, it was good to see the Waboba Ball selling so quickly, but disconcerting to see how often it goes out of stock. We arrived in Koh Samui to find only one shop with balls.

    If you have had difficulty finding a shop that has stock, you have our sympathy. This is a problem we are working to resolve.

    Meanwhile, in Bangkok, finding a Waboba Ball is a bit like playing Where’s Wally. The ball is available in Supersports, but the shop apparently won’t allow the product displays to be rearranged, so Waboba is often included as an afterthought, balanced on top of some other display. But if you find yourself near the Mares sign, you’re probably getting warmer.

    The Pro Ball is particularly hard to find. Our Thai stock sold out in the time it takes to say “bounces on water”, but we should have stock again in about two weeks, and this time we are also getting the baseball glove to go with the Pro, so you should watch out for that.

  • Samui – Island of Surprises

    Post by The Bounceologist on May 6th, 2011

    The Bionic Salesman
    A Journey around Thailand

    And then to Koh Samui, an island where the tourism industry is fully developed but the rainforest is still intact. From the approaching car ferry it looks like a shagpile rug thrown over a patient etherised upon a table. (Read more…)

  • Moonies Find Life’s a Gas on Thai Party Island

    Post by The Bounceologist on May 2nd, 2011

    The Bionic Salesman
    A Journey around Thailand

    Koh Phangan Full Moon Party

    Koh Phangan

    Birds fly south for the Winter. Salmon swim upriver to spawn. At full moon the lesser-spotted backpacker, doe-eyed and bulging with hormones, flocks to the island of Koh Phangan for a night of ritual jiggery, eyes wide and body painted day-glo technicolor rainbow.

    The Wiki tells me that the monthly full moon parties on Koh Phangan’s Haad Rin Beach started in 1985 and grew quickly, to the point now where they routinely draw in as many as 30,000 revellers.

    The party has got so big that it has spawned dozens of imitators, advertised on sign boards all over southern Thailand… the No Moon Party, the Half Moon Party, and my personal favourite, the “Ample Moon Party” (which presumably comes somewhere between half moon and full moon). But the full moon bash is still the original and best.

    I was a bit late for me, not just because the party doesn’t really get going until midnight, but also because I am at the time of life where a full night’s sleep is just so much more appealing than a night of semi-naked gyration and waiting for the sun to rise.

    So I skipped the party but bought the video of the party. I took in a pre-party party on Koh Samui, then went to bed, got up the next day and rode the ferry to Phangan to see what it’s like when all the island has a sore head. (Read more…)

  • Driving by Numbers

    Post by The Bounceologist on April 30th, 2011

    The Bionic Salesman
    A Journey around Thailand

    So much for the rain. The newspapers were full of flood warnings as I set off on the second leg of my journey around Thailand, but it rained only three times on a three-week trip.

    Those three rain storms all came on the first day as I drove down the east side to catch the ferry to Koh Samet. The rain came in blocks of sky, an aggravated shout that soon ran out of breath. For a while it was like driving through a liquidiser. Mostly, there was brilliant sun. (Read more…)