Pha-Ngan Paradise

15 Sep

It’s now 11:45 PM and I am furiously writing this post for the second time. The intermittent  internet here has caused me to lose everything that I had previously written.
It seems as if with writing, things tend to work best the first time. Trying to recreate the original always leaves you unsatisfied. Although I have lost most motivation to write I will do my best.

After a 19 hour journey we finally arrived into Bangkok this morning at 6 AM. exhausted, but unable to sleep, realizing I had to make it to my 9 AM class. Instead of sleeping I decided to just enjoy my time in this city I now call my home.

A weekend of non stop traveling and partying on the beach has got me feeling like a zombie.
Today I went through the motions, but my mind just was not there.

The journey started on Friday at 3PM and lasted until Wednesday at 6 AM.
I am not even sure if I want to disclose how many times out of the 5-6 days of traveling I saw the sun rise.

Well before I fall asleep, lets me try to write of journey into the southern depths of Thailand.

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3 PM Friday afternoon I arrived at home only to find Kevin, Rob, and Sam waiting to depart. A quick pack of clothes, and I was ready to go.
By 4PM we were out the door, and into a taxi headed to the Southern Bus Terminal.
Trying to go anywhere at 4PM on a Friday afternoon in Bangkok is nothing short of insanity. The four of us sat squished in the tiny Corolla, singing songs trying to pass the time.
An hour and a half later we had finally arrived.

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It was now 5:30ish. We headed to  the ticket booths only to find that all the buses were booked.
Just as it seemed as if nothing was going to work, and we would be headed back to Bangkok, we found a lady who was willing to help us out.
We booked a bus, boat, and taxi to the Island in 5 minutes. Just as everything seemed to be going perfectly, we realized that the bus would not be leaving until 10 PM.

We had more time to kill than we knew what to do with. We ended up walking around the bus terminal getting food, snacks, and anything we could think of to keep our minds off of the clock.

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Kevin and Rob played in the arcade while Sam was getting a massage.
I couldn’t help but snap a shot of the Thai child watching away in the arcade center.

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Seeing the Option magazine reminded me of my high school days. Reading page after page, looking for inspiration for new projects.

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Rob had to get his caffeine fix on before we left. There was no way I could drink any though. I needed to get all the sleep I could on the bus.

Before we knew it the bus had arrived and we were on our way.

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It seemed as if I simply closed my eyes and the bus had already stopped at our first destination.
Unfortunately the bus had taken us to the middle of no where. We once again had to wait another couple of hours for the taxi to take us to the pier.
It was 4 AM and none of us had any clue on what we could do.

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After a couple of hours we jumped in the back of a truck, which took us to the pier. Finally we were on our way to Paradise.

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There was beautiful water and small islands with every turn of the head.

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We were there!
Or so we thought…
We ended up riding another four and a half hours on the ferry before we made it to our destination of Koh Pan Ngan.

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Coming back down to the seated area of the boat I found that most everyone was sleep.

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After traveling 20 hours we had finally made it to the Island.

It was now lunch time and the first thing we wanted to do was eat. Luckily we found a little old lady running a great one-(wo)man restaurant.

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Although we were all finally satisfied after a meal, the journey was still not over. We headed into a taxi to take us to the beach where all the rest of our fellow exchange students were staying.

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We had finally arrived! Victory overwhelmed us all.

As we opened the door to the place we were staying, the first thing that popped into my head was “summer camp”. One giant room, with nothing but bunk beds all connected to each other. A room to accommodate 20 people. It was going to be quite the weekend.

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Just as we were feeling down trodden from our horrendously long trip, we realized it was all worth it once we stepped onto the beach.

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During my days on the island I took little to no pictures. I was too busy either swimming in the ocean or getting ready for the night parties.

Every night was a gigantic party on the beach.
With huge foam pits, fire dancers, fire jump rope, gigantic slides, music everywhere, and people consuming more alcohol than you could imagine.

The first night I was there I stayed up on the beach until the sun rise. I looked around the beach only to find that I was the last exchange student out. I had gotten caught up with some people I had met on the beach and before I knew it, the morning had come.
I walked home, crawled into a bed, only to wake up a couple of hours later for breakfast.

The beach was next.

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A beach, a forest, a jungle all in one. What else could you really want?

These stands went all along the beach. At nights filled with local Thais selling “buckets”. Literally a bucket filled with alcohol, energy drinks, and some type of soft drink.

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Sunday night was also another party on the beach. We decided to take it fairly easy though, as the real party (the Full Moon Party) was the next day.

As Sunday rolled around, the beach area got packed. People from all over the world came to the island to party for the Full Moon.

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Itching for new scenery we headed into the jungle to take a hike before a night out on the beach.
Exhausted from the nights before but I had zero complaints, as hiking and nature are always great in my book.

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As we got to the top, the whole side of the island was in view, with clear blue water extending as far as the eye could see.

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The cool breeze up there got us all happy.

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As everyone else continued on to the waterfall, I couldn’t help but take a second to myself and enjoy the view. Standing up on the rocks with the cool breeze from the ocean air, looking out towards this view was a feeling like no other.

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After getting lost for a short time, I finally caught up with the group at the water fall.

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After a swim in the cool mountain water we headed back to the beach to get ready for the night.

Body painting was in full effect.

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The Full Moon Party itself was something I could have never imagined. Thousands and thousands of people all over the beach. It was quite a site to see.
We stayed out on the beach until the sun rose the next morning.
It was by far the most beautiful sun rise I had ever seen. Unfortunately I had no camera with me.
I hope to steal a picture from someone else who got a chance to capture that beautiful moment.

Soon after getting back, we woke up and headed back towards Bangkok.

The ferry back to the mainland was full so we decided to just sit on the back of the boat with the crew. Legs over the side, with just the ocean in view for 4 hours.
It was one of the most beautiful things I had seen and one of the best times I have had just sitting for 4 hours.

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Clear skies led us the whole trip back.

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We all ended up taking naps somewhere on the boat.

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As we stopped in Koh Samui we ran into the Japanese girls on their way home too.
We jumped into the first bus out, and were excited to be on our way home. Just as we thought we were making record time, the bus once again dropped us of in the middle of a town none of us knew.

At least we were somewhere with an amazing view.

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I spotted a pack of puppies down below, and couldn’t help myself. I had to go down and play with the bunch.

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The sunset was beautiful here as well.

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The girls enjoyed their food out on the pier.

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An old abandoned house out on the water.

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I headed out onto the pier as well to relax and just think back on my journey.
One of the puppies came to join me.

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Our journey lasted much longer. We ended up being there for nearly 4 hours waiting for the bus. It was then another 6-10 hours before we got to our final destination.

It was a long and tiring journey to Bangkok. Not until 6 AM did we find ourselves back into the city.

Looking back though, I wouldn’t change it one bit.

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