20.01.2008 - 23.01.2008
I won't bore you with too many details from this busy city since they can be found in an earlier post. Suffice it to say that we returned to Khao San Road, where, like Alice's Restaurant, you can get anything you want, literally. We spent an extra day recouping here, translate that to mean Nanette wanted a mani-pedi and a massage, all to be had for about 15 bucks. Despite the traffic and the heat, there are some interesting sights, most notably the King's Palace.
Detail From the Palace
Head of a Large Standing Buddha
Before long, we headed for the island of Ko Mak. Most of the better known beaches in Thailand, Phuket and Ko Samui for example, are in the south and require a plane ride or a VERY long bus ride to get to them. Ko Mak, not as well known as these or the nearby Ko Chang, is about 4 hours by bus to the north. It is a quiet place, mostly with young German and Swedish families, as well as some older couples like us. Perfect for lazing around for a week.
We managed to find a very nice bungalow right on the beach.
We spent our time reading, swimming, and eating various Thai fish curries at different restaurants, though we often didn't make it past the German run TK Hutte, right next door. Not only was the food good and cheap, but they also made mango and pineapple shakes that were even better when we brought them back to our place and added rum. We met an older (than us) German couple there who we have shared some meals with and long walks down the beach.
It is never crowded and usually the sea is very warm and calm.
So far we have not been able to motivate ourselves to check out another nearby island for what we are told is mediocre snorkeling. We did manage to find a beach side masseuse for another massage, and occasionally Nanette is moved to arrange shells and other collectibles.
Last night, Gerard, a Frenchman about our age, came over to borrow the Lonely Planet. He proceeded to tell us a good deal of his life story, which was interesting, although he talked rather too much about himself. After his second divorce, it seems he spent five years wandering and fucking around the Islamic parts of the Phillipines. He said it was a miracle he wasn't killed or didn't get aids. He then went to other parts of Southeast Asia for a few more years before ending up in Luang Prabang. Here he met his current wife, now in her early 30's. It is apparently illegal for Laotian women to hook up with foreign men, in contrast to Thailand where it seems to be the norm. Her family more or less disowned her, and the government threatened to arrest her. They went back to France, and now after several years, she has a French passport and they are going home for a visit with their seven year old son. I'm afraid that telling him we were shrinks, after he asked our occupation, only encouraged him to go on at greater length. We ran into him again in Laos under very different circumstances.
With some regrets, we managed to pull ourselves away from Ko Mak after a significant rainstorm seemed to signal a change of weather.