Last month I was fortunate enough to visit the islands of Thailand. If you've never been there, add Thailand to your bucket list because the place is amazing.
The first stop on the trip was in Bangkok. I didn't get to explore Bangkok because I was only there for a few hours as a layover. Although I didn't get to leave the airport I did enjoy walking around the airport taking pictures of all the art. Bangkok International airport has diverse styles of art all over the place. In the three hours I was there I took almost a hundred photos. The art was a mix of oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings, and bizarre sculptures. The main hall felt more like an art gallery than airport.
From Bangkok I flew to the island of Koh Samui. This was a longer layover than Bangkok but not long enough to explore. Koh Samui is famous for over one million Coconut trees and a giant gold statue of the Buddha. My flight arrived in the evening so most of the markets were closed, but the bars were open. I explored the local night life by bar hopping from the pier to the beach. Most of the bars were filled with tourists binge drinking and behaving as if it was their first time leaving home. After leaving a trendy spot where a British tourist vomited on the pool table, I ended up at The Board Room.
The Board Room was small hole in the wall bar with only 80's style decor and only one other patron. It was named the board room because the place was originally for surfers and other board riders. The walls and bar were adorned with images of surfer Kelly Slater and snowboarder Shaun White among others. I liked the vintage feel of the place and the lack of drunken tourists. As I took deep swigs of my local Chang beer I noticed a very odd image on the wall. It was a picture of Erik Estrada dressed in his CHiPs uniform calling people a homo. If you're unfamiliar with CHiPs, its an old cop show from the 80's. I was never a fan. After finishing my beer and thanked the bar maid who stayed talking on the phone the entire time I departed.
The next morning I caught the ferry from Koh Samui to the party island of Koh Phangan. When I say party island I mean an island that has a party for almost every type of mood or natural occurrence. For example while I was there they had a Half Moon party, Black Moon party, Full Moon party, and Jungle Experience party. The Full Moon party is the biggest party on the island. Some businesses close the night of the party, so the employees can attend the event. It was a massive party in the city of Haad Rin where the whole beach was covered with people dancing to a mix of Techno, House, Top 40 and a little Hip-Hop. There was an estimated 10,000 people on the beach that night. It was Bonkers!
Aside from the partying Koh Phangan was a beautiful island. Everywhere bamboo trees grow. Tall, thick, lush, forest green trees cover the majority of the island. Once I left the main area called Thong Sala and went up north into the jungle I got to see just how wild the island really was. In the Jungles of Koh Phangan there are spiders big enough to eat a cat. The spiders are literally the size of a dinner plate. I went into the jungle with a local guide. He told me the spiders are big, hairy, poisonous, and aggressive...but it was the snakes I needed to watch out for. I laughed and told him..."Now we're having fun."
Shopping and eating were easy since the currency is Bhat which is cheaper than the Euro. Most of the clothing was souvenir style apparel you can buy from a bizarre or from one of the many night markets. The food was amazing. Since Thailand is primarily a Buddhist country they have a great selection of vegetarian dishes. My favorite food to eat after exploring (partying and drinking) was Pad Thai. If you are unfamiliar with the dish. Pad Thai is a mix of bean sprouts, vegetables, noodles and sauces wrapped in a fried egg. Its the perfect food for a hangover or a late night snack after drinking and smoking. Weed was available on the island but it was poor quality. Most of it was dry with almost zero taste. Unless you know someone on the island...it's better to stick to drinking.
The Thai people were friendly, courteous, and some the most generous people i've ever met. My friend left her tablet in the hotel she was staying at in Koh Samui. The hotel staff held on to the tablet and returned it to here a week later. I believe in any other country that device would've been long gone. Below I posted some pics of the local art, which was everywhere on the island. Thailand has some really talented artists. Take a look and if you get the chance, go to visit.