Phay-Am Going to Miss this Place

Picking up from where we left off in Koh Phayam – Part 1, “Phay-Am So Excited!”…

…The following day, still in possession of the moped we explored the ‘pier’ side of the Island. After the closest thing we could get to a full English (I am still not quite accustomed to rice and curry for breakfast) we drove along the seafront for a while until we came across 40 or so monks who had set up camp next to a few Buddhist monuments and the sea. I don’t know much about Buddhist monks in Thailand, but they always seem friendly, offering food out and smiling, and they always seem to be having great banter with each other.

So here we are, awkwardly spectating their daily lives, when we were saved by an older monk, who knew some English and invited us to have a look at this tea concoction he was brewing up from tree bark which looked very red inside. He told us to come back in 1 hour when it would be ready to drink, and through his broken English I understood that this was apparently a miracle cure for everything…can’t say no to that!

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Slightly bitter brew! We could not get the name of it as it was Thai…

An hour later when we returned there was no one around, apart from the monk who had showed us the tea, who was napping peacefully behind a Buddha Statue. Not wanting to wake him we looked and some of the monuments around whilst waiting for someone to turn up. Finally someone came along and made us a cup each with lots of condensed milk, it tasted quite nice, but with quite bitter undertones, so I can see why the condensed milk was needed.

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Craig holding the branch and the brew

Skip forward to the evening, after a few games of badminton, returning the moped, and dinner, we decide to head to Hippy Bar to check out this party that everyone on the Island is talking about. There are a few taxi’s out and about, and we presume that they will be running quite late, as it is a full moon after all! So in no particular hurry we head to Irie Bar first as they have live music, and pre-drink with a bucket of Sangsom, the highlight being a German rapper, whom we could not understand, but had the Germans in the audience in stitches and did a lot of ‘yeh, yeh, yeh’s’ and ‘okay, okay, okay’s’.

It was around 11.30pm and we head out to catch a taxi, but the road is completely dead! Not a moped in sight! To cut to the chase we try a couple of things, and eventually come to the conclusion that we are to walk or go home. Having put make up on for the first time in aaaggges, I was not going home! So we walked. We were told it would take an hour and a half, and so we got some beers and were determined to beat that time.

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The best picture we could get of a full moon in our intoxicated state.

Walking across a tropical island on the West Coast of Thailand in the dead of night, with nothing to guide us but the light of the moon, was actually pretty scary. Every place of residence, be it a bar, a home, a restaurant or a shop, seemed to have its very own pack of very vocal, territorial dogs. So every 10 meters or so we would get incessantly barked at until we passed out of their territory. Craig quickly found a big stick that he could use in case of emergency, funnily enough the only dog who actually had the balls to come up to us was a tiny little poodle thing, but it had a big bark and a point in it’s direction of the stick caused it to back away. As well as the dogs were the bats flying low just above our heads, and then Craig pretending to be a rattle snake every 100m, which was not actually that funny (I don’t know if you get rattle snakes in Thailand, but the thought is bad enough, especially when there are not taxis around and the nearest hospital is an hour and a half walk in the complete opposite direction).

An hour later, yeah that’s right we smashed the time and didn’t even run, we arrived a Hippy Bar, ready for another drink and a little party. We actually ended up chatting to this Swiss couple for about 4 ½ hours and then Craig driving their moped back with 3 of us on it to get home. It was that or sleep at the bar and get a taxi back in the morning.

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Chicken and Cashew Nut Stir Fry/ Papaya Salad/ Creamy Pork Soup (not the exact name for this one).

We had one more day on the Island after this, which we spent chilling out on the beach and eating some beautiful Thai cuisine, after quite a long lie-in due to bad hangovers and not getting to bed until at least 5am. We needed to relax anyway, because the journey we had coming up was going to be a grueling 30 hours up to Chiang Mai.

Top 5 Tips for Koh Phayam

  • DO take advantage of random cultural experiences.
  • DO rent a moped, it’s much quicker than walking 😉
  • DO pre-book/ pre-arrange your taxi ride if you know it will be a late one.
  • DON’T stick to the same meal just because you know it’s safe or have heard of it, you could be missing out on some real culinary delights.
  • DON’T worry if you get a dodgy stomach in Thailand, just find the nearest 7Eleven or corner shop and purchase “Flying Rabbit”.

Money

  • Ferry from Ranong Pier to Koh Phayam (2 hours) – 200B (per person)
  • Motorbike taxi across the Island from the pier (15 minutes) – 80 B (per person)
  • Accommodation – Phayam Sport – 450B (per night for a double bungalow)
  • Beer – Small Chang – 40B-70B dependent on location
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