Koh means Island in Thai, so I am on an Island close to another Island called Koh Samui the famous tourist resort island.
I took a bus from the Peachy Guesthouse just off of Khao San Road or behind the Temple a couple of blocks to Koh Phangan Island. The cost was 300 Baht and we left at 6:00 PM and arrived in Koh Pha Ngan about noon the next day. I went by bus and they coordinated all the transfers and boats, etc, to arrive with no hassles. The cost of the taxi truck from the pier to the Had Rin beach or full moon beach was 50 Baht. So for 350 Baht I can leave Khao San Road and arrive on the full moon beach.
This is one of my favorite beaches in the world, because of a few factors, mostly to do with movies. I can sit on a beach full of western girls with very small bikinis and some with smaller yet, and the waves and sun, and topography is perfect for a cove or Bay of water and sun. Then at night I can walk around and choose from about 20 places that have movies and watch one or up to 4 movies during the night in different restaurants. I have to probably purchase a drink or some food, but the cost is small and I can sit and enjoy the most current movie that people can copy and steal from the big studios and catch up on movie watching.
There are plenty of people from all over the world to talk to, a minimal amount of various debauchery that Thailand is known for, and almost no tourist in the typical camera toting or photo taking type, but more of the young wanna party types. They are young, and full of tattoos, piercing, and other fashions, but they behave and life is good.
There are almost no Thai people as this place is claimed by the Western world and the Thais just are here to sell, more or less.
My room in the Black and White cost me 150 Baht for a private bungalow with a share shower. They rent motorbikes for around 150-250 Baht per day or about 3-6 Dollar U.S.
Live is real easy here, and more or less a resort for the young on 6 dollars a day. The Internet is ok here, and a little expensive, but I can manage.
I met or talked with Steve from England. He is a guy that I had met on this beach and again on Palolem Beach in India. He is very good at finding the best beaches on the planet, or mostly I suppose in the Asia Theatre, but he is nonetheless a great pointer for beaches. I have taken some note, and will follow-up on them in the future.
EXCELLENT READER ADVICE ON MANILA
I planning on going to Manila so this person has written me and gave some excellent information. I have omitted his name and personal information, but as always I try to be respectful of wishes, and will fix, alter, or edit as a person wants or does not want credits. I am not sure why business owners do not see that they could get in the newsletter or blog if they gave me good, authentic, and personal information, I normally give them a link up…
Hi, Andy, .....
There is a lot to see and do in the Philippines. However, Manila
is overcrowded, somewhat expensive in comparison, and slightly
dangerous. I lived in the Philippines for 15 consecutive years, in
Angeles City, about 50 KM north of Manila.
… (omitted info)
After base closure, I remained in the Philippines for an additional
four years. I still return to the Philippines two or three times a
year, and sometimes I go to Bangkok for a few weeks. Although you
travel more or less as a backpacker, I am probably considered a
I would recommend that if you go to the Philippines, you spend
three to five days in Manila, and a week or so in Angeles City. Then
maybe a side trip to Baguio, high up in the mountains, and then another side trip to Boracay Island. I would recommend you avoid Mindanao as it is a Muslim stronghold and there are fairly constant conflicts in that area. I think that when a Muslim boy, there, turns about age 14 or so, they have a big party and give him his own M-16 or an AK-47.
There are some 7,100 islands in the Philippines and believe it or
not, generally speaking, each island has its own language.
Although Tagalog is considered the National Language, more people speak Cebuano and Waray. At least in Manila, they speak Tagalog.
In Cebu and the lower half of Leyte, the people speak Cebuano. In Samar and the upper half of Leyte, they speak Waray. Many Filipino words are of Spanish origin, and generally speaking, the average person living there does speak English. 95% of the population is Catholic. Secondary religion, population-wise are Inglasha Ne Christo (Chirch of Christ) and, of course on Mindanao it is about 50% Muslim.
The American Embassy is located on Roxas Blvd, in Manila's Ermita district. Believe it or not, there are some Professional Line Standers who are free lance. There job is to report early morning to the main entrance of the Consular Section and stand in line. Then, when someone wants to go to the head of the line, they "Sell" their place in the line. Most of the "Foreigner" bars in Manila are located in Pasay City and in Makati. The former "Tourist Belt" in Ermita was "Cleaned up" when General Lim, retired Police General, was elected Mayor of Manila. He basically raised the price of the Mayor's Permit (License) for Foreigner oriented bars to some 100,000 Pesos and of course that put most clubs out of business in Manila. Actually, Metro Manila is made up of 23 towns and cities.
The American WWII Cemetary is located on the grounds of Fort
Bonificio and is a "tourist" destination. Intromuros, the old Spanish
Fort area of Manila is also a "tourist" destination. Rizal Park, with
its monument to the Philippines National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, is a good photo spot, but beware of the "touts" who might offer you a "Young woman." Please do not ask one of the bystanders to take your photo using your expensive camera. He will keep stepping back to "focus" and will run away with the camera.
Forbes Park is the area of Manila were the "Rich" Filipinos and
wealthy foreigners usually live. It is a "Gated Community."
I intend to go to Angeles City in the next few weeks and stay about three weeks. Hotels in Angeles range from 3 Star to half a star. I usually stay at the Orchid Inn Hotel and if fully booked I stay at the Clarkton. Room rate at both hotel for a standard air conditioned room is $25.00 a night. Other hotels are available for as cheap as $12.00 a night. I have also stayed at the Phoenix Hotel and the America Hotel for $25.00 a night. I do try to avoid Filipino oriented bars and beer houses. When a group of Filipino men get to drinking, it sometimes gets a bit roudy and dangerous.
However, generally speaking, the Filipinos are a happy, fun-loving,
and friendly people.
The equivelent to Soi Cowboy or Nana Plaza is Fields Avenue. A
bottle of beer in one of the Foreigner oriented clubs is 55 to 80 Pesos
(current exchange rate is about 56 Pesos to one US Dollar.) As for
"Take Out" service by a "Tour Guide" or "Guest Relations Officer," it is
similar to Thailand, except you are expected to pay the club 1,000 Pesos inclusive, plus a small tip of 100 - 500 Pesos, depending upon
performance, the following morning. No other extra charges apply.
A round trip flight on Thai Airways is about $300.00 in Bangkok.
However, Bangkok is a discount ticket area, so I recommend you not buy the tickets from the Airline, but from one of the many Travel Agents there. I usually use Sawadee Travel, located between Soi 6 and 8, Sukumvit, or the travel desk at the Nana Hotel, Sukumvit Soi 4. The Nana Hotel is located directly across the street from the famous (or infamous) Nana Entertainment Plaza. If in that neighborthood, you mightwant to check out the Angelwitch bar on the 2nd Level. If in the Soi Cowboy area, I would recommend a visit around 7:00 PM to the Long Gun Saloon and the New Doll House. The "Hello Girls" at the Doll House usually hold a sign that says: "Welcome to the New Doll House, home of 98 beautiful girls and two ugly ones" I can not recall ever seeing the two ugly ones.