April 29, 2007
After arriving from another all-night bus we walked around for quite sometime trying to work out what we were going to do. Prior to coming down, Mr. Chachai had informed us that he had a friend in Phuket called Mr. Chart.
Mr. Chart could be found around Chalong Bay, and he had a boat that could take us to one of the Islands to stay with more monks — well, that was the plan at least.
We stopped to get out of the heat at a post office to send and receive emails. Sam and I noted that the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party was only a few days away—the 1st of May. This changed the plan somewhat. But as for finding Mr. Chart, it was neigh impossible. We spend most of an afternoon wandering around fishing beaches trying to find this gentleman.
It was something out of a role-playing game – trying to find the “missing character.” Mr. Chachai had a “B” plan too. He said if we could not find Mr. Chart we could stay at his friend’s mediation centre in Phuket. With the failure of the first mission, we defaulted to this option. But, when we arrived there was a retreat happening, and they didn’t want these scruffy foreigners around in their centre.
So we settled at a guest house (owned by an Australian) on Karon Beach. The beach is south of the Patpong Beach, but is less crowded and not seedy. We never did venture north to Patpong. Tuk-tuks were hellish expensive compared to Bangkok. The beach itself is really nice. There are huge waves that break 40 metres distance from the shore. Typical Thai white sandy beaches. Also there was a restaurant that we frequented called the Red Onion that cooked delicious Thai food.
Eventually, we decided to go to Koh Samui for the Full Moon Party. Ben was at first reluctant to come, but with the arrival of Joy in Phuket we decided that we would all go over to Koh Samui as a group.
Our minivan arrived full of Brits and Swedes. We packed in with them to on the 4 hour ride to Koh Samui, however the trip got extended another 2 hours. This was because the van developed a fault and we got a replacement van, but this van was not registered (or something like that). The police stopped our vehicle, and there was a long wait at the police station while we waited for the situation to resolve itself.
The rest of the trip to Koh Samui was uneventful.