Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Phang Nga Bay, Koh Kho Khao Island

When I first pictured my unemployed life of nothingness, I simply wanted a beach, a hammock and perhaps the co-star “Wilson” from Castaway.

I absolutely found that in Koh Kho Khao. Wow , words can’t describe how awesome these 5 days were. Sure, I’ve had no epiphany on what to do with my life (other than stay here, as I could probably afford another year at these prices) but it was exactly what I wanted.

The soon-to-be-married and doomed Matthew Ward suggested Phang Nga Bay as a quiet alternative to the more crowded beaches. And had I listened to that advice properly, I have a feeling it would have been far too touristy.

But luckily I am a moron and TRIED to take that advice, by booking a hotel in the Phang Nga province, but that is like booking any random hotel in the state of Massachusettes in hopes of hitting Boston.

What I booked was nowhere near Phang Nga Bay town, and frankly wasn’t very easy to get to, but I credit google with finding me this small resort in a tiny island off the very large province.

I had to take a 2 HOUR taxi from Phuket to find the place, which cost me a whole 40 bucks. (!! This would have been about 500 bucks anywhere in America !!)

When I finally got to the island (by taxi then ferry), I found a very nice resort with 24 separate bungalows, complete with air conditioning and TV but with your very own beach to venture onto.

And get this: only 2 out of the 24 rooms were occupied! I essentially had the whole freaking island to myself. Apparently people stay away from this place during the rainy season but I had pretty darn good weather so I totally lucked out. Seriously, if you ever need peace and quiet, come to Amandara Island resort here. I also recommend quitting your job though so take that with a grain of salt.

The only bit of discomfort came from the fact I was 100 feet from the Andaman Sea, and this island apparently was leveled in the 2004 tsunami. But really, that never worried me much. But believe me, had I felt the slightest quake, I woulda been darting up to the hills like Gump away from Napalm.

And despite how desolate it all was, and that it was me, some couple, and a hotel staff of about 10, I managed to have a nemesis.

And this was no human foe. No, this adversary came in the form of a Toucan.

So there I am reading a book on my bungalow porch (after reading another couple hours in the hammock) and it is more than a little awesome and I’m repeatedly thinking things like “This is the life!” and “I could not be more at one with nature than this moment” when out of nowhere this Toucan flies onto the porch.

I’m no ornithologist and can’t be SURE it was a Toucan, but that doesn’t matter. At that moment I only saw it peripherally and it looked like a pterodactyl or possibly a dragon. It was huge!

Being the unmanly mess that I am, my arms flew up in despair while I let out a shriek and darted inside like a distressed Orangutan.

And after I realized it was just an innocent Toucan (or exotic thai bird thingy), he wouldn’t go away and then tried to come inside. This would have been cute but darnit that thing was pecking at the window with such force it was unsettling.

And as I watched from inside, the Toucan flew right into my porch chair, pecked my beer over on the floor, looked back at me and then, almost gleefully, shit onto my chair.

You are NOT one with nature fat bald one. At best you are…ummph…number two!

And what a turd it was! I can safely say a Toucan eats a LOT of berries and very few Fruit Loops. I actually had to pick it up with TP and flush it down the toilet it was so large!

Then he flew off, and I resumed my awesome lounging.

Up until now, I had been doing a LOT of partying, but this was nothing but relaxing. Amazingly, I wasn’t bored in the least. Read 3 books cover to cover.

What did I do? Well, I’m not ashamed to say I mostly engaged in clichés like long ponderous walks on the beach, skipping shells into the water, and swinging for hours on the hammock. Had there been wooden posts in the sand, I surely would have practiced my Crane Technique as well.

And having 10 bored staffmembers of the hotel waiting on you is pretty darn cool. They would call me in my room to ask if I wanted any food, as they were likely surprised by my odd eating habits. (I only eat twice a day at best) And when I would eat in the restaurant (usually for breakfast), I must say it was kind of alarming as they watched me eat. And you knew they were watching as the SECOND you finished, they were right there clearing the table. But really they were all extremely nice, though I’m fairly certain they were quite curious with me and whispered about me as I ate.

Who is the Toucan-fearing American?
I don’t know but he is one lazy bastard!
I cleaned his room today. He has a helluva lot of toiletries for an unattractive male.
That is because he smells like a musk ox without them.

Another reason they hardly saw me eating is I had met a restaurant owner named Kokai on the ferry and he invited me to his restaurant my first day. I enjoyed myself so much I went back another time my third night. He owned like the only restaurant on the island and he would snag a fish from his nets adjacent to the restaurant and cook it fresh. And since I was the only tourist customer, I got special treatment.

Kokai had a great family too. His kids would come to my table and do magic tricks and play cards with me. After the seediness of Bangkok and Phuket, this was a most excellent change of pace. It also made me miss my nieces and nephews terribly. (Yes Eggy, I know you hate when I speak mush, but it is true. I also missed you...and wondered what you might be wearing)

On my fourth day, the Toucan returned! Only this time he had a friend with him. It once again scared the shit out of me as I read on the porch. This time I didn’t get up though. He and his buddy landed on opposite sides of the porch, as I watched, half amazed and half frightened. THEN, a third Toucan flew in!

“My God, they are descended from velociraptors and travel in 3’s! I’m doomed!”

And I know you are tired of me talking about the Toucan, but do you realize what he did next? He SHIT ON MY TOWEL that was hanging up outside! While I should have shooed them way (or perhaps used the Crane Technique), I instead ran inside frightened again. He and his buddies then pecked at my window angrily for 10 minutes.

I don’t know what I did to that Toucan, but I concede defeat. (Eat your heart out Hitchcock!)

But make no mistake, I absolutely freaking loved these 5 days. Why didn’t I stay longer? Well apparently the resort was about to get much more crowded with the rainy season ending, and it wouldn’t be the same if I had to share my island. (okay the Toucan’s island)

Plus, I’m ready to hit a bit of a party again. While I mentioned that one beer the Toucan ruined, I’m not kidding when I say I had TWO other beers the entire time I was there. There was no need. Just an excellent, excellent time.

Next is Koh Samui!

1 comment:

Libba said...

Well written article.