Yes, we’re back at the Seaflower resort on Koh Phangan. In total we will have spent close to two months here. Some might think, “Why you spend so much time in one spot? There’s so much else to see, jerk!” Apart from being one of our favourite spots (obviously) on the trip, we needed to slow down the moving around due to budgetary concerns and we’re all just getting a bit of travel fatigue. And it’s a lovely spot to while away the hours. Not to rub it in, but we generally spend most of the day swimming, reading, eating, writing (I’m working on that opera Ive been talking about for years), lounging, maybe the occasional nap, kayaking, poking the dog with a fork, and then, BAM!, it’s sunset and beers on the beach. And if we can do this on the cheap – I think that we spend an average of about $85 a day for the three of us (cabin, food, booze etc.) – then why wouldn’t we stay here?
The owners of the place, Lise and Chai, are great. They like to hang out with the guests, have a drink or whatever and have become nice friends of ours. They have a great staff, including their daughter, Pascal, that make us feel as if we belong here. One of the family. I haven’t been to place anywhere on this or any other trip that I’ve felt that. It’s quite an amazing experience to stay here. That is part of what makes this place so special. It’s no wonder that many folks return here for their vacations year after year. I can see us maybe doing something similar.
There is all kinds of wildlife around these parts. There’s a huge monitor lizard that prowls the grounds here, although I have yet to see it. I’m not really one to go wading into the tall grass behind the bungalows. I’ve heard tales of a python/cobra fight just down on the beach a few year’s ago. I’d love to see that. From a distance. We had a large, almost two foot, lizard spend some time in out bathroom one night. It shat down one of the walls. The ants here are large, red and angry. They look as if they could strip your flesh down to the bone in about 4 minutes flat. I have yet to test that theory. There’s also a family of ducks that run around the resort. Swanson loves them and has even named a few – Fred, Steve, Carol, Aank. There’s a nice dog named Chalum that loves to swim with everyone and handsome diva of a cat named Coco Chanel. A natural born killer she is, taking down lizards and birds with aplomb.
We’ve made some good friends down at the bar – Denis from Winnipeg, Paul from England, Leo from Minnesota, Rachel from Ireland, Tom from Finland. It’s a nightly ritual to meet at the bar for sunset, share some drinks and talk away into the night. We suggested the Seaflower to a couple we met in Kuala Lumpur – Todd and Jess from Colorado. They loved it, even extending their time, and have already booked a month for next year. They are traveling the world and write a nice blog here, if you want to check it out.
Monday was Thai New Year – Songkran. The celebration revolves around washing away the bad stuff from the previous year. To do this means water. Lots and lots of water. What it essentially boils down to is a huge all-day water fight. Amazing. We jumped into the back of Pascale’s pick-up truck, armed with squirt guns and a sense of adventure and headed into town for the biggest water fight of our lives. Unfortunately it rained on Monday (the first day of rain in months!). Rained fucking hard. That’s the only way it rains in this part of the world – fucking hard. We were soaked before we left the compound. It was damn cold buzzing down the road, Pascale only slowing down so folks along the way could soak us with hoses, pails of water, squirt guns or whatever other apparatus they could find. Some bastards went so far as to chill the water down with ice!
Then we hit town and, after driving around and getting even more drenched – some with some gross, foul-smelling, rust-coloured water (keep your mouth closed!) we got out, shivering, and made our way into the morass of people. What a blast! Hundreds of people, some drunk (alas, not me), all spraying water having tons of fun. Loud music blared, folks were dancing and soaking everyone in sight. Any idea how much fun it is to spray complete strangers in the face with a high-powered squirt gun? Damn fun! I wasn’t too sure if that was a cool thing to do – going for the face – until everyone who shot at me was aiming for my eyes. My beautiful eyes. I managed to nail a lot of dude’s who had man-buns. Face, eyes and man-bun. No mercy. I was a one-man man-bun wrecking crew!
They had giant tanks that you could refill you weapons. I leaned over into one to find a drunk woman lying in filthy brown water screaming, “Party in the refill tub!” Pass, thanks. One of my favourite moments came when I was chasing my friend, Keira, and she hid behind a group of people. Instead of following her around them I just started blasting all them in the head and face until they moved out of the way. Hilarious. Another time a dad and his two kids, all completely dry, wandered into our sights. Swanson dumped a bucket of water on the boy while I shot the dad in the head and face. Lots of head and face shots. Sweet. He didn’t look too impressed but, fuck him, he’s walking through a water fight on Songkran!
We did this for a few hours until we were exhausted. Swanson (and Tami and I) had an amazing time. A freaking blast..
It was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had on this trip. Even if it wasn’t hot and sunny. The only down side is that I didn’t bring my phone or camera with me (a tad too wet for that) so I don’t have any photos. But I do have my memories and if you ask nicely I may do some sort of interpretive dance of that great day for you.
So we finish up our time at the Seaflower this Friday. We have about one more week to spend in Thailand and then we’re finally finished with the Thai portion of the trip. We hadn’t planned on spending this much time here but one thing we said at the beginning of this journey was that if we found a place we loved, we’d stay there for as long as we want/could. That place is here. Our home away from home.