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Haad Salad

Written on: Thursday December 30th, 2004

A journal entry from: South East Asia 2005

Haad Salad is a beach on the infamous Koh Phangan. This is where I really fell in love with Thailand. I remember the moment of it too.

We had just taken an overnight bus from Bangkok to Koh Phangan. From Bangkok, we arrived in Surat Thani, from Surat Thani, by bus we went to Don Sak, a small coastal town. We boarded a medium sized passenger boat at made our way into the Gulf to Phangan. The boat trip was about 3 hours in the middle of the morning, there was not a cloud in the sky and we got BURNT. The sun reflecting off the water and beating down on us from above, plus having recently flown in from Canada's winter, we were in no shape for a blitz sun attack. At the end of the boat ride we were ruined, but still in good spirits.

From the dock in Thongsala on Koh Phangan, we hopped in the back of a pickup truck to goto the beach were we had made our reservations. We ripped through Thongsala, which is actually only like 3 blocks, and drove about 20 mins through the jungle and turned off onto a dirt road.

This was the moment: we came down the dirt road stuffed in the back of a pickup with Morty and Cherise, a Kiwi and Norweigian, and two frenchies (who we called Françoise and Étienne), all of whom we had met on the bus ride down. The truck came up over the top of a hill and we were looking at the most incredible view I had ever seen. Surrounded by jungle was the most amazing little village right on the crystal blue water. We would eventually see this sight all over South East Asia, but this was the moment when it hit me. Everyone in the truck gasped with excitment and wonder as it hit them as well. I LOVE it here.

We spent about 2 weeks in Haad Salad. We made friends with two Canadians, Simon and Drew, and would end up spending almost the entire 6 months travelling with them off and on. We became good friends with the owners of the place we were staying, meeting Mr. Mak and hearing his stories of growing up as a Muay Thai boxer in the 50's and becoming a master teacher in Thai massage. We became friends with the owner of the "Friend Ship" bar, and I helped him buy a guitar and learn a few cords. He had moved from England with his wife and child, he ran a small bar on the even smaller beach and she taugh yoga in a tree fort. Awesome.

We took a couple trips down to party at Haad Rin, the infamous Full Moon Party beach, but we weren't around for a Full Moon Pary (we would return 5 months later and goto the 20th anniversary Full Moon Party though!). We went north to Ban Chaloklum, went kayaking and found a beautiful double cresent beach, met some awesome Thai friends who we would later run into up in Bangkok many months later. All in all, it was an incredible time.