Technically, this is the first day of my holiday in Koh Phangan. The night ferryboat arrives the port at 5am and it is still dark. Getting to the resort I booked is quite tricky since it is on the other side in the northeast of the island. Whereas the main town where most tourists, activities, and the port itself are in the southwest.
I manage to get a motorcycle taxi for 300 baht. It is better than to take a songthaew taxi for one for over 1,000 baht or wait to share with others which who knows for how long it would be. The middle part of the road to Thong Nai Pan is rough but, fortunately, it doesn’t rain. Other than that, the ride is decent. The morning jungle breeze touches on my skin. It feels so fresh and this elevated tranquility probably will not happen to me again this trip.
The motorcycle taxi takes me to Dreamland Resort at 6am but the front office is not open until 7am. I got the opportunity to stroll the beach and witness the dawn on the beach. That is why I choose the east side. It is overcast but nice.
Finally, I get to check in the hotel, unpack, and have breakfast at the resort restaurant. The first meal in Koh Phangan is their very own dish, Thongtapan Fried Rice. It is similar to Shrimp Paste Fried Rice, which you have to stir through the element on the dish when served. But instead of shrimp paste they use curry powder with turmeric and mince and the main ingredient in fried rice. It is surprisingly good. To be honest, from traveling experience, I am not expecting much of the food.
I sleep through the rest of the morning and get up again for lunch at the same restaurant. Then it’s time to explore the village. Thong Nai Pan consists of two beach bays: Thong Nai Pan Noi (small) and Thong Nai Pan Yai (Large). I am staying at the latter. It is about 30 minutes walk to the other one via the main road. The hiking route is closed I am told by the resort staff.
There are a number of luxury resorts in Thong Nai Pan Noi and lots of hip restaurants. Clearly, there is more going on here than where I stay. While I am having a massage by the beach, it is starting to rain. But by the time my session finishes, it stops. What a good timing for a bit more excursions!
I stop by at a bar for a beer and snack, a seafood basket. The flavour is really lovely but I find that the batter is too thick to overpower calamari, fish, and prawns.
Back in Thong Nai Pan Yai main street, there are fewer shops and bars but more for the locals including a 7-eleven. I know I survive. I have a good walk at the beach here itself. It is beautiful and well maintained.
I try another restaurant for dinner and it is, once again, mundane. At Flip Flop Bar, there are not many customers and I discover that it will get worse next month in monsoon season and will pick up again after that. However, the bartender fixes me very good Long Island Iced Tea and the next pub has a fire show where I lose my conscious.