First post for me, finally! Before we left I was busy sorting out work and house stuff, and on the trip I’ve been working on the video part of our blog (or, you know, busy being on holiday), so I haven’t had much time for actual writing.
We’ve just spent five days with my family at the Panviman Resort, on the Thong Nai Pan beach in Koh Phangan. The resort itself is set on a hillside overlooking the ocean, and is nothing short of amazing. Apart from beautiful rooms, it has a tremendous buffet breakfast and a cool infinity-edge pool looking out over the ocean.
The ocean water is clear and beautiful, and as warm as a bath. The beach was exceptionally clean. There were no rips and it was very salty and buoyant, which made for great swimming.
I always thought I’d have to go somewhere expensive, like the Bahamas, to have the scenery that you sometimes see in James Bond films – like the beach in Casino Royale. Yet there I was on one of the best beaches I’ve ever seen, drinking large bottles of beer for less than $3 AUD.
We would all go to the Beach Love cafe every day for happy hour, before finding somewhere for dinner. The food has been the highlight for me so far – consistently fresh and exceptionally tasty.
It is very quiet in Thailand at the moment – they’ve only just entered their high season, and it has yet to get busy. Panviman is situated on a more secluded and upmarket part of the island, so the few people that were there tended to be middle-age or older, and were mostly relaxing. There wasn’t much night life to speak of, so it will be a nice contrast to see other parts of the island where the demographic is younger.
Yesterday we said goodbye to my family and headed to Mae Haad on the western side of the island. As well as finally getting to see some sunsets, the snorkelling is supposed to be really great, and that’s what we’re aiming to do next.
Initially we were a little disappointed by the beach here – not as clean and the water isn’t as clear. I think we were always going to be a little disappointed since we started at such a beautiful spot! However we chatted with one of the locals who operates a diving shop, and he said that past the initial seaweed, the reef and area around the small Koh Maa island is a great spot for snorkelling, so that cheered us up.
After a dip in the pool and some fancy cocktails, Amanda opted to nap while I went out for dinner. I went back to a place we had previously visited while exploring, and had a very delicious curried fried rice with pork dish.
There was a family seated across from me with a very loud gentleman who sounded a lot like Jeremy Clarkson. It made for an entertaining dinner, listening to him praise the toilets here in Thailand. They have a water hose with a spray nozzle to clean yourself after you’re done, as the pipes here aren’t designed to have toilet paper flushed through them. There’s a little bin next to the toilet for throwing away the toilet paper after you’ve dried yourself. “It’s great, you feel so clean afterwards!” He enthused. “I should sell the idea to Greece – I’d make a bundle!” For anyone who hasn’t been to Greece, they have the little bin – but no water sprayer. Thailand’s toilets are definitely a lot better! Later on after I was finished with dinner I went up to him and said I completely agreed about the toilets – he was so delighted he shook my hand, and as I walked off he turned to his family and said “See? I told you!”
After breakfasting and blogging, we’re about to head out for snorkelling. Unfortunately I didn’t end up bringing a stills camera with me, as I’m intending to buy one when we go back to Bangkok. So there won’t be any underwater shots like the last time I was on a reef. We’ll just have to be extra descriptive in our posts! 🙂