Monday, March 09, 2009

Asia Adventures - Post 9 (Koh Phangan Island, Thailand)

We arrived Friday mid-day on the island of Koh Phangan located off the eastern Gulf coast of Thailand. It is known as the land of coconut trees, but I’d like to think of it as the land of garlic bread. Seriously, every meal was served/offered with a side of garlic bread. It was like all the Thais got together and realized “hey, white people like garlic bread”. We would be at a meal and the waiter would be, “okay one order of pad see euw…would you like garlic breeeaaad”. I practically had garlic bread at EVERY MEAL while on the island.

Although the island had absolutely gorgeous views, the hotel was a pile of shit. Again it was another 3-person yet only 2-bed room with a mat on the floor. Our room was invested with ants, had no running water, and apparently no working lock. Olga was in the room catching up on her postcards when a Thai guy just walked in. The door was locked, so either this guy had a key (scary) or the lock didn’t really have a latch or anything (even scarier). Dana brought her own pillowcase, and when she went to change out the pillow, we discovered it was all moldy. In the end going a day without running water (ie toilet & shower), we bailed out of the hotel. The staff was tried to deny us of our deposits and due reimbursement even though we had written receipts. They even tried to threaten us by calling the police to which we replied, “go ahead, we will make sure to show them our receipt of deposit that you OWE US!” Seeing that we weren’t scared, they eventually coughed up the money. Talk about shady. We literally walked around the corner and found a hotel 1,000 times better for the same price!
Here is the “before” hotel with ants and mold:

Here is the “after” hotel with clean sheets and actual beds:

The longer we spent in Thailand, the more we were able to see scams coming. For example, while sitting on the beach enjoying music at a beach bar, we watched a band of Thai boys approach tourists (aka white people) and peddle trinkets. If the tourist said no, a boy would put a seashell necklace around the tourist’s neck and then demand money while refusing to take back the necklace. One time the boys actually climbed on the tourist’s back and clamped on the guy’s leg until he paid the kids to get off. Well one kid marched over to us and tried to sit down on a nearby cushion. Before he had time to settle himself, Gabby yanked the cushion out from under him while Evan pushed him back off the pillow. Okay, you had to see it, but it was hilarious to see this bratty kid tumble backward with his feet flipping over his head. I guess we sent a good enough message because he got up all red faced and stomped off without trying to sell us anything. Ah ha ha ha!


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