After the full moon party we had a couple more days booked in our hostel on Koh Phangan and since the island is so beautiful we decided to explore, first with kayaks and then with motorcycles. When we woke up in the afternoon after the party we rented a kayak for a couple hours for 200 Baht (about $6.50) and paddled out beyond Choklakum Bay along the north west coast.

The view of the coast is very pleasant from the bay.

We paddled out to a fisherman finishing up the day’s catch who left about the time we showed up.

The next day we rented motorbikes at a cost of 200 Baht per day. Prices are weird here. It costs 200 Baht for either one bouncy tuk tuk ride to anywhere on the island or a motorbike for the entire day.

See how skilled I am at driving. I’m considering going pro.

Gas is pretty cheap and is sold out of rum bottles by villagers all over the island.

We drove from our hostel near the north coast down the center of the island to the dock. On the way we stopped at what was billed as the island’s tallest waterfall. It’s more like a steep creek but it is very pretty.

We also stopped at Wat Pa Saeng Tham, the first wat (Buddhist temple) we would see in Thailand, eventually followed by more than a dozen wats in Chiang Mai and beyond.

Almost every time we have ordered pad thai it looks completely different from the previous time. Pad thai is delicious and if you ever eat at a Thai restaurant you should look into getting it.

Further down the road we stopped to check out a smoking hut with a man squatted beside it. He didn’t speak any English but it seemed like he was chopping wood to put into a big furnace he had dug to make charcoal. He said one load creates about 300kg of charcoal.

The land he was working on has a good system. If you take care of the land, it love you longtime.

We arrived at the only port in town on the southern bay of the island. A few hundred meters from the pier an old military ship is moored to a small concrete dock. I don’t know what its purpose is these days but it is a pretty interesting relic.

In the busy port town we stopped at a food market at about 6pm, a very busy time for this particular market. The food is piled high and very cheap.

You’ll notice there is a motorbike in the foreground with a mother and two children with no one wearing a helmet. This is extremely common in Thailand. About half the bike riders I have seen wear helmets, and maybe two thirds drive alone. We have seen thousands of bikes with two or three and sometimes four people riding, and it seems the more people are on the bike the less likely they will be wearing helmets. Kids sitting behind or in front of the driver is completely standard. From what I understand there are a ton of motorcycle accidents in Thailand and I don’t know why people don’t make it more of a priority for at least children to be more safe. I’m sure in the future things will eventually change but for now witnessing motorbike riding in Thailand is a reminder that this is still a third world country.

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