A week has been well spent in Bangkok, with Tony and Harry, the first friends from England I've seen in nearly a year! I started for a couple of nights in 'Peach House', an excellent cheap guesthouse in the western backpacking Ko San Road area where I had stayed in the original Bangkok adventure last October. This guesthouse even has aircon rooms for 350 baht. Then I moved to the hotel on the east side of Bangkok where the others were staying, 500 baht a night, with free satellite movies all day. And made very good use of the Sukhumvit Road nightlife and shops. Tony found a girlfriend instantly, as is the way in this part of the world. The BTS here is a kind of sky train, very similar to the one in Singapore. Its great for the eastern side of Bangkok but doesn't cover the western backpacker area, 100 baht 1 hour taxi rides are provided instead!
I used to do a little work for Harry in the old days before I worked at my main job
(Imagination Technologies / VideoLogic).
We came up with a few new ideas and I'm happily working again when we both go back to England in
August, to make up some travelling money so I can come back to this part of the world in a few months.
With a little bit of good fortune johnsjourney.com is set to continue indefinitely I'm very happy to
So today the four of us are off to visit an intriguing island called Ko Samet. The others have been staying at Pattaya, a very touristy beach resort half way to Ko Samet, and we are going to try to meet up at the mainland before getting the short boat ride onto the island. For me it's just a 100 baht bus ride from Bangkok to the little town opposite the island. Of course travelling being what it is we failed completely to meet up, having walked right passed each other at one of the jettys at least once! The boat ride is just 50 baht each way (don't get talked into a return ticket as it's the same price and much easier to get any boat on the way back). And the boats are old wooden fishing boats, sometimes full of people and even a motorbike balanced across the bow in my case!
I landed at the island's main jetty and the others found themselves most of the way along the island, with almost no mobile reception to find each other with. I took a taxi, an open pickup truck, lucky it had roll-bars because you need to hang onto them for the rodeo-riding experience of the muddy storm-destroyed track that is the road around the island.
Fortunately I'd already decided on the best beach to stay at so waited there for the others to arrive a few hours later. This is one of the most, no perhaps the most, tranquil chilled place I've found so far in all of this travelling. The sea is so calm, the beaches so white and friendly or quiet, however you like it. Even the dogs that roam the island are completely chilled, taking you on guided tours to the next beach around the rocks or through the upland jungly paths. Just 400 baht a night is my own bungalow right on the beach of paradise. I want to stay here forever. [In the end we stayed just 2 nights as Tony and Harry had a short holiday.]
Halfway down the island, a beach with a boat like the ferries to the mainland
Jetty in paradise!
The next beach (coming back towards the mainland end of the island)
The next beach is where we stayed
From my bungalow, right next to the beach
My favourite home!
Tony and Nok on yet another beach at night, the dark bit is the sea!
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