After leaving Bangkok early in the morning, it took a while before I could set foot on the holy grounds of Koh Phangan… and what an experience it was. The clear blue sea, the white sands, the smiling sun and the even more relaxed Thai welcoming me to the Island. I even managed to find a cab who would take me to my resort without any negotiations about the fee… whow! And there it was, The See Trough Resort, the second accommodation during my vacation in Thailand and again a ‘home run’. Not only the hosts were very kind, helping me out in every way possible, but they even upgraded me to a superior room for free!
I’ve never been to a tropical island before, so the first moment I saw the white powder beaches and the clear blue sea was jaw dropping. In the beginning it felt a bit like a ‘fata morgana’, so I took quite some plunges into the sea just to make sure it was real. After that I decided to do what almost all the people do during their vacation in Thailand on an island do: rent a motor bike! The start of another nice adventure…
‘Left, Stefano… Left!’
FIRST: If you drive a motor bike or car in Thailand, don’t forget to stay on the LEFT side of the road! Ha ha… I could have caused so many accidents during my the first days on the island, constantly driving on the RIGHT (wrong) side of the road. I literally scared the hell out of some people. But when I taught myself so say out loud ‘LEFT, STEFANO, LEFT!’ every time I decided to hit the road, it all went well. You could always notice the new people on the island, driving on the right side too.
So on the first day I decided to rent this motor bike, I thought it was a good idea to cruise around the island. It couldn’t be that big, right? Wrong. It took me about six hours to drive around in an area that I did not really know yet, with quite some steep hills and bumpy roads. So when I got home, not only my bum was aching, but I had also forgotten to put sun tan lotion on my hands. (ouch!) Well, just a lesson learned that it really was about time to enjoy a vacation and do literally nothing (also because of the heath that was slowing everybody down).
Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door…
And then there was this Sunday evening. I think it was around eleven at night and I didn’t not feel like going to bed yet, so I decided to go for a late night walk on the beach. After enjoying the tranquility of the waves and the almost full moon, I eventually ended up at a cosy cocktailbar on the beach, having yet another ‘Black Russian’ (nope, still not a guy, but a drink). There was this Thai singer songwriter performing, who said that his throat was aching and that he was about to give up if there wasn’t someone in the audience that could help him out. Well, why not? I raised my hand and crawled up the ‘stage’. Together we sung songs from John Lennon, Oasis and Guns n’ Roses. An unforgettable experience.
While I am writing this part of my vacation in Thailand blog, I am sitting at my favorite place called the Haad Son Resort. It is a bar / restaurant that is situated on a rock, serving the best and biggest Gin Tonic and sunsets. I still can’t believe how peaceful the Thai life is, how I managed to forget all about the ‘issues’ at home. Life feels extraterrestrial here, like another universe that I never experienced before.
Meeting people is easy
The thing I like the most about traveling alone is that I get to meet a lot of different people during my travels. I think I met someone new almost each day. From ‘Conan’ from Finland, who told me all about the right drugs to use during the Full Moon Party (he just wanted to share his enthusiasm, I don’t do drugs) to the Canadian remote PC game developer Shaun, who shared my passion for Aerosmith. And let’s not forget to mention Florian (a.k.a. Flo Farang) the digital nomad from Germany, who’s girlfriend was selling the best pancakes on the Island, and especially David and Sandra from Spain, who were very kind and with whom I connected a lot.
To be honest, my time at Koh Phangan wasn’t that exciting as the days I spent in Bangkok. Just because it did not needed to be. I found my favorite Italian place – yes, yes… – just around the corner, explored an amount of beautiful beaches, jungle areas and water falls, did some snorkeling, ate lot’s of good (street)food and drunk a cocktail and/or whisky at a magical sunset every day. But more important, I finally had the time to think about my current state of being and what is really important to me. About letting go and living and loving in the now.
Slowly falling in love with this country, its culture and people has been quite an introspection. Back in Amsterdam – before my trip – I was focussed on gaining a more materialistic wealth. But now I’m here, walking with my feet in the shore, I realize that doing the things you really like, what your heart tells you, seems a more relevant kind of priority. This may sound pretty obvious, but keeping focus is a lot harder than you might think. Just over a year go I started following the pace of my heart by moving to Italy, but somewhere during that year I fell off the wagon. So thank god to this amazing vacation in Thailand, thank god for these people sharing their kind and pure spirit and opening my eyes and heart once more.
End of part two
You are about to enter the final part of my blog about my first ever vacation in Thailand, where I travel back to Bangkok!
If you have any comments or questions about this first blog and/or traveling to Thailand, feel free to share them in the comments section below!