Day 8 : Ko Samui, Thailand (Thanksgiving)

Well, Happy Thanksgiving. Nothing says Thanksgiving like hanging out at the airport, with 4 of your closest buddies, sharing micro-waved turkey and mushroom stuffed pocket sandwiches – which actually do taste like stuffing. Sort of a ghetto Thanksgiving Hot Pocket. We are off to the coast and we couldn't be more excited – Thailand’s beaches are legendary. Fine powdery white sand beaches, 80 degree azure blue water and postcard palms. A $25 one-way airline ticket will get you to Koh Samui. Probably the most popular vacationer’s spot, Samui is  off the Eastern coast of the Phuket Peninsula. Locals and tourists, alike, flock here for its nightlife, beaches and shopping – which is exactly why we are headed out immediately.

We landed at Samui airport. This screams Gilligan’s Island; a bamboo palapa-style building with thatch roof and no walls. The Samui airport rocks at making you feel like you are instantly on vacation. Island mojo the second you step off the two-prop.

Final destination: Koh Pha Nang (ko-pan-yang) for 4 days, an even smaller island and home of the full moon festivities. Accessible only by boat, A dodgy ferry ride would take us the rest of the way.

Now what is hilarious about the whole scene is the Luggage carousel that is about 8x8 feet. The bags lurch and jolt around the track ever so wildly I almost looked underneath to see if there was a little dinosaur running it. Why the carousal? The baggage handler could have just handed us the bags from the back of the truck.
We followed the hippy herd onto the ferry dock - Dreadlocks and backpacks attached to every passport of the world. We boarded the ferry for the 1 hour journey to Koh Pha Nang. So far, calm waters.... until the announcement that a typhoon is in our path.

About 20 minutes into the trip, the clouds rolled in and the waves kicked up. Sick were people. The boat rocked and rolled so heavily, all we could see were the humped backs of passengers hanging over the side. Word on the deck was  a typhoon was heading right for us. By the time we made landfall the rains were torrential and the wind …tree-bending. Mayhem ensued as a fury of arms, legs, backpacks  and dreadlocks were flying in all directions as every passenger scurried for the few coveted passenger trucks idling in wait. Like cockroaches when the lights come on, everyone scattered  in the monsoon soaking rains laughing and screaming as dozens of bodies laden with packs tried to squeeze into the backs of tarp covered pick-up trucks.

The Ferry to Ko Phangan starting to get a little rough, holding on for the 8' swells about to hit.
We landed in Ko Phangan just in time. Seriously huge water and sideways rain. We really couldnt have planned that any better on timing if we tried. Ours was the last ferry they let leave Samui.

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