The magic of Thailand

A big, warm hello to everyone back home.  I hope you are all well. My apologies for not writing sooner, but I do believe I have been thoroughly charmed and seduced by this tropical island lifestyle. Firstly, I must say that Thailand is a beautiful, friendly country. That being said, I must admit I have only seen a small fraction of what it has to offer.

My decision to fly directly from Bangkok airport to the southern islands appears to be the perfect choice. I am currently on the island paradise of Koh Phangan, staying on a remote stretch of beach only accessible by a muddy 4WD jungle track or boat. Surrounded by lush, hilly jungle this stretch of sand is sparsely scattered with quirky, small bungalow resort style accomodation, easygoing beach bars and outdoor restaurants.  Modern highrise development and the upmarket resorts have been kind enough to leave much of Koh Phangan alone for the moment.The mood here remains laidback and hippy-like and after only a few days here life begins to exude a dreamlike quality, where watching the sun on the water and the local fisherman casting their nets induces a meditative state where the hours just seem to slip away.  It’s excellent.Thats not to say that the beginning of my journey has been all smooth sailing.  On my day of arrival I endured the ultimate travellers nightmare of having my luggage lost in transit. 
I have placed my trust in the Universal good for this journey, so rather than let it concern me too deeply I trusted the process (and Bangkok Airlines!) and sure enough my luggage was reunited with me within 24 hours.

And apart from being lost in the jungle for several hours in just my thongs and boardshorts (No more shortcuts!), I am safe, happy and well.

My days are spent lying on the beach, hiking through the jungle and along the rocky shoreline, swimming for hours,  eating,  reading,  meditating,  and being massaged.

The cuisine here is the most superb fresh Thai food, think seafood and tropical fruits.

And then there are the open-air healing pavilions, where the Thai women offer excellent massages on soft floor mats for only $7 Aus for an hour.

They will guide you into stretching postures and use knees, elbows, heels and hands to loosen your muscles and joints. I once heard Thai massage described as Yoga for lazy people, and I think that sums it up appropriately.

I have a bungalow in a small, friendly resort set back from the beach into the jungle.  It is simply a wooden hut with a hammock out front to swing in and seashell windchimes to accompany the sound of the surf.  The only luxuries are a huge, comfy bed with mosquito net and fan. 

The surrounding jungle gardens are lit by gentle, multicoloured lamps and there are these little, carved wooden alcoves with scattered cushions to chill out while indulging in a cocktail or cold beer. A very ambient, easy place to accomodate. I will stay for a short while longer before going in search of more adventure.

As hard as it may be to believe, I do get really homesick at times and my thoughts go out to all of you.

Love and light,

Paul

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