Monday, March 22, 2004

So I'm here now in the beautiful tropical island paradise of Ko Pa Ngan. It is a semi-developed island just north of the much bigger and more touristy resort of Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. But things are are changing. Three days ago a mobile phone mast was erected here in the resort of Hat Yao and work is already underway to complete the island's first airport. So one might imagine things to change quite a bit over the next few months - in fact the bar owner I talked to has told me that the beach I am on has transformed in the last eight months alone. It seems that every generation of traveller who then returns to the island believes that their time was the best and "it'll never be the same". Probably true, but not a reason to avoid the place. Everywhere you look might be the view you would get on the front of a postcard.

Stray dogs wander the edges of the islands. At first you might think they belong to the various establishments, but the owners seems to just attach themselves to a few. The owners of our hut call the local dog Willow and probably feed it to stop the thing from pestering the tourists. Actually the dogs seems tame and are very friendly - they also seem clean. Anything else would be off putting to the hundreds of people who populate the beaches looking for tans. A dreadlocked bar owner called Marty I spoke to has two dogs who follow him around called Black Dog and Brown Dog whom he feeds. THe dogs don't approach tourists but don't mind bing petted. There is only one bitch in this resort and it apparently used to get gang raped by the other males until Marty got the dogs splayed. The dogs rule though. Sniff stuff. Walk around a bit. Eat some stuff it finds. Wander down the beach with tongue hanging out. Sit in shade. Eat something unknown. Sniff plant.

Just like a real tourist.


This is a place at which to do nothing. However it is also the place at which to party. And all that is on the other side of the island from where we are at now. We will certainly poke our heads round to have a look at that.

From Thailand, bye for now.

Photo reproduced from Helges website

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