Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Sawadee Ka!

Laemson Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand

Laemson is breathtaking. With only one resort of huts lining the sands it almost feels like a private beach. Palm trees shade the soft white sand and the blue green sea stretches out, barely rippling, to infinity.

Each hut sits right on the beach and has two hammocks on the porch. Every night I lie, pineapple smoothie in hand, watching the most amazing fork lightening ripping through the dark clouds that line the horizon. Above shines the brightest moon I have ever seen. The clouds get closer and closer, sometimes they pass by, other times they arrive right overhead bringing with them the most spectacular thunder and lightening I have ever experienced. It sounds like bombs going off on the roof.

The family-run resort offers a restaurant that serves delicious home made Thai food. It is like living in their house. You walk through the living room (where there is often someone doing karaoke or watching television) and into their kitchen to place your order. On one day all the guests were invited to join a birthday karaoke party of one of the children. Two bold Irish men joined the mother to sing in what they believed to be Thai!

The sea is as hot as a bath in the shallows but becomes cool enough to soothe my pink skin further out. There is an abundance of life in the water so it is a bit slimy under foot until you get far enough out to swim but it is worth it for the incredible snorkeling and reef walking that is possible only metres from the shore.

The island is rich with vegetation. Forests of palm trees cover the slopes to the shore. Dense jungle crowds the centre of the island with giant banana trees, yucca plants and ferns. Vines creep over and around everything. Weird and wonderful fruit hangs from almost every branch, the spiky mass of the durian fruit seeming to defy gravity. Climbing plants adorned with purple, peach and cream flowers shine in the undergrowth wherever you lay your eyes.

Birdsong fills the air from sunrise to sunset. Telephone, dinosaur and robot noises compete with the delicate whistles of smaller birds and the calls of sea eagles. As the evening sets in geckos squeak and chatter, cockroaches and giant bees buzz angrily. There are endless noises, the performers I cannot even begin to identify.

If you are lucky you could catch a glimpse of a giant monitor lizard. I will have to go back soon to look for one of those…


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