I detest the terribly clichéd phrase ‘it’s a small world’. But after today’s events, I’ve come to the conclusion that it really bloody is!
After four days’ peace and tranquility on the beautiful island of Koh Tao, we chose the town of Ban Tai in Koh Phangan for one reason: to indulge in some deep-in-the-jungle hedonism at its bi-weekly Half Moon Festival. We docked in Koh Phangan, made famous for its moon-inspired ’till-sunrise’ parties, a few days early–and to our surprise the place appeared to be deserted! When the taxi dropped us off at our bungalows and realisation set in that there wasn’t a soul in sight, I was left feeling a little forlorn and immediately scoured the web to try and find out where the hell it was going down! Discovering that our five-night reservation at the Blue Parrot Resort couldn’t be cancelled without full charges put pay to any ideas of moving to a another part of the island — so we decided to make the best of what we’d signed up for, preserving all of our party spirit for the Half Moon Festival in a few days’ time. And I’m so glad we stayed put.
The following morning we headed to Ban Tai’s soft, white sands; I laid out my beach mat and plonked myself down and said to Paul “We’ve actually got this whole stretch of coast to ourselves!” I looked out to sea; the turquoise waters coruscating in the sun’s rays, the gentle waves lapping at the shore; grinning to myself at what a gorgeous day it was going to be. Coldplay gracing my ears, I sat up once again to admire the view and noticed a western couple strolling towards our patch. We exchanged the usual friendly and knowing smiles, and I laid my head back down and shut my eyes while the pair slowly sauntered off on their path. Next thing I hear is “Is that Ross?!” OH MY GOD! … it’s only my old friend and ex-work colleague from Topshop, Hannah Byrne, who I haven’t seen in a good five years!
We began catching up on lost time and found out that Hannah’s partner is a DJ and, much to Paul’s disbelief, realised that it was world-famous drum ‘n’ bass legend Micky Finn – the guy who influenced his taste in the genre of music as a young teen. It turns out that we’re staying in between their hotel and another place, Beach Village, that’s currently under development by one of Micky’s friends from back home. What a gem that’s going to be once it’s completely finished! I can see it becoming the Ibiza Rocks or Ushaia of south-east Asia. At the moment it seems party-goers descend on the area for the Full Moon and R&S, but I’m sure Beach Village is going to turn Ban Tai into an all-year-round destination for dance music lovers.
We spent the day relaxing by the beachside pool at this new resort, swapping stories and having a good crack. Unfortunately, it all ended prematurely when I realised that the UVA 30 sun cream I’d bought in the morning, which I’d been religiously lathering into my skin throughout the day, had absolutely no sun protection in it at all. What’s worse is I’d used the UVA 50 cream I already had on areas of my face and body that burn more easily – so I look like I’m suffering from a horrific skin disorder. Great! Do they make sunglasses that cover your whole face?!
I’m now writing this blog in between smothering myself in after sun lotion, and while still being totally baffled as to what a random day it’s been. It’s all part of the journey, and you just never know who or what’s around the corner.