Wednesday 14 April – Saturday 17 April

The bus arrived in Surat Thani at 6 a.m. and we were all dumped off onto the sidewalk to wait for our connecting bus which duly arrived at 6:30. Down at the Bon Don Pier, we boarded a motorboat for the two and a half hour trip out to Koh Samui. It was hot as hell on the boat but we found a small shady corner and snoozed.

On Koh Samui, we changed boats and went across to Koh Pha-ngang Island¹ where a tout sold us on his bungalows along with about 8 others. We took a taxi out there and chose one of the bungalows which consisted of a double bed with fan and net and an attached shower and toilet.

The beach was nice, but the sea was shallow and rocky. We made friends with an American guy called Barry and a Geordie lass called Lisa and settled in to enjoy our island paradise.

¹In those days, Koh Pha-ngang was the “backpacker island.” It had yet to be discovered by large scale tourism, and we travellers smugly considered ourselves to be way ahead of the tourist hordes. Of course, as soon as backpackers discover a place it rapidly gets exploited by tourism operators and becomes the sort of place that real travellers, like us, frowned upon. In the meantime, we had all moved on to the next real traveller destination and the process would repeat itself. “And thus was the Empire forged.”

L-R: Linda, Barry, Lisa.

We occupied our days swimming and sunbathing, and our evenings eating and drinking in bars and cafes. On the Wednesday night, we went to a neighbouring resort to watch a video which was a trashy American jungle opus.

Thursday night found us on the beach in a small restaurant run by an Austrian guy. The food was very good and he sold us a small bag of ganja for 100 baht so after we had finished our meal we went and sat on the beach under a hazy full moon and smoked 3 joints then lay back on the warm sand and listen to the gentle wash of the sea in the whisper of the breeze in the palm trees. Some of the local dogs came and joined us and the whole lot of us just lay there on the warm sand chilling out

At 11:30 on Saturday morning we said goodbye to Lisa, and along with Barry we caught a taxi truck into the island’s main village where we settled down to wait out the hottest part of the day at a cafe. We booked tickets on a bus to Singapore from one of the agencies and moved to another cafe where we sat outside watching the sunset and eating a small meal. The night ferry departed at 10 p.m. and we stretched out on the mattresses lining the floor of the upper deck. We had a couple of joints left but we’re all too tired to smoke them.

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