So weird to think I have just short of two months left in Thailand! I have been going a litttttle coco bananas lately. I have major (un-diagnosed) ADD and am going stir crazy as all hell. With the school year wrapping up and impending exams, there has been a lot of down time for me at work, and by a lot I mean, I stand with the students at morning assembly, teach for about 30 minutes to an hour throughout the day ….. then I sit. There is only so much reading, writing, and music a gal can indulge in to fill the day!
Therefore, I decided to join in with my best girls in taking a Monday off of work and heading to Koh Lan, an Island right off the coast of Pattaya for a long weekend. I’ve been to Pattaya twice before, and it is so cheap and easy to access from Bangkok. $4 and a less than three hour bus ride later, you’re there. We woke up early on Saturday morning to make our way to Sai Tai Mai bus station. There was the cutest little boy a few rows in front of us, that we played peek-a-boo with until we started cruising down the road. I’m sure his mom appreciated the free entertainment. I was also #blessed to have a row all to myself.
Once, we arrived to the bus station we hoped on a songthaew (truck bed cab) and made our way to the pier. We haggled for a 200 baht speed boat. It was a weird vibe from the started. They kept on piling people on this boat. The current that day was pretty strong. There were times where I won’t lie, I was scared as all hell. The two little boys riding along with us were calm as can be, while one European woman was one crushing wave away from tossing her cookies on the Asian man next to her. They pulled the boat right up to the shore, so we had to take off our shoes and jump in the water to officially be on shore.
Our hotel wasn’t on the beach, but had a (mostly) free shuttle. We dropped off our things, slipped into our suits and headed to what we thought was the “best” beach, Tawaen Beach.
***Side note about what I’ve learned from traveling Thailand. Never go to the “best”, always go to the second best. Less touristy and normally way better vibes***
As we arrived, it was flooded with people. We were trying to negotiate chair rentals, but they wouldn’t let us put the umbrella down or move them 5 inches into the sun, so we were like screw it. We decided to find a dry patch of sand and post up.
As soon as we settled in, we were swarmed. By what or who you ask? Old, fat Indian men. Some just had their phones and others were carrying around selfie sticks with Facebook Live running. Not even trying to conceal what they were doing. It was beyond annoying, but we yelled, then ignored and soon enough the creeps fizzled away. The tide started rolling in diminishing our sand space, and we decided trek back to our pad. We were so tired and sun-dried, so we mostly napped and hung around the room the rest of the evening.
The next day was when we really got the full Koh Lan experience. We looked up a couple more beaches as we did NOT want to make our way back to sex traffic central. We went to Tien Beach. As soon as we pulled up, we were like, “Ya, this is the place.” The color of the water was a piercing blue, it was as though my vision had been doctored by PhotoShop. I could write a novel about how impeccable the water was. I mean the temperature was so perfect, you would’ve thought God had choosen it himself. We finally found some guys who at least let us put the umbrella down and claimed our space for the day. Chair rentals were, I think $3 for the entire day. Good luck finding those prices stateside. There was a group of too young for us Russian boys next to our chairs trying to flirt. They pulled the classic “Can Iz borrow ze sunzscreen?” move.
We later made our way to the best place on any vacation, the beach bar. After maybe 15 minutes of back and forth trying to explain what it is we wanted, we ended up with strong daiquiris. Did I mention the beach was flooded with dogs and puppies.
Needless, to say we got a little lit. Hannah and I weaseled our into a 100 baht Banana Boat ride. For me, this was highlight of the weekend. It brought me back to the days of tubing on Lake Murray.
To end our day, we settled into a table at a restaurant by the water where you could see the entire Pattaya Skyline sprinkled over the star sprinkled waves. I enjoyed a few White Russians to top off the night. After a long day of sand, sun, sea and alcohol, we were ready to shower off and snuggle into the sheets. One issue arose, our hot water was suddenly non-existent. We went down stairs for help, to see the front desk closed at 9:30 PM. I barely shampooed my hair before I jumped out.
Yall, I don’t even want to tell you what the issue ended up being. The next morning when they came by the “fix” it, there was a light switch essentially, outside the bathroom door that controlled the heater. Maybe that was common sense, maybe it wasn’t either way…. one simple flip and it was back on.
We headed out early to catch the 9:30am ferry back to Pattaya. While it took a little longer, it was a calmer journey than the trashing speed boat. Before heading back to Bangkok, we stopped by our fav little food spot, Sand Bar by the Sea. Unfortunately, our buddy, Guy, wasn’t working that morning.
Stay tuned as Momma Tam is Asia bound in a week! We are going exploring Central Thailand and hoping the border over to Cambodia. You won’t want to miss these stories, I can assure you.
Here is a lowkey, chill playlist I put together recently. I like to give it a listen when I am winding down for the night. Enjoy!