I’m not writing to complain about anything whatsoever, I knew what to expect coming here. However, I’m shocked at the number of people staying at the resort that weren’t prepared for island/jungle living. So this is more of a raw, no sugar coating anything, real life what to expect encounter.
After a few days in Bangkok, we went to Koh Phayam for my first Workaway experience. We took the night sleeper train from Bangkok to Chumphon (2nd class car with fan only and no beds because of the pup) then hired a car to Ranong pier where the boat would take us to the island. The scenery had changed to lush green jungle with several islands along the coastline.
These islands are newly developed and not crowded with tourists like the other more popular ones, some locals haven’t even heard of them. Which means they also don’t have the same luxuries here, no supermarket or 7-Eleven, no ATM, limited supplies, and the electricity on the island varies depending on how crowded it is.
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If the main village areas are using more electricity, then the smaller places in the middle of the island can lose power or it becomes very very weak which actually could happen on any of the islands. So even if you book a place with AC, it may or may not work that great (a lot of guests couldn’t accept this fact). Some places have limited electricity hours with it only running during certain times of the day so it’s important to check that before booking a place to stay as well. You’ll be sleeping under a mosquito net making midnight half asleep “pee breaks” quite an adventure.
Also on most of the islands the water is “at temperature” meaning no hot or cold water, whatever temp it is in the pipe that’s what you get. That’s fine with me because honestly a cold showering is almost necessary considering how blazing hot it is outside. Oh and I haven’t fixed my hair or put on makeup in over a week because really what’s the point, it melts off in 2 seconds, be prepared to go Au Natural. Take into consideration this was during the hottest month, slow season, so the heat dilemma might be different during busy season.
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Our first challenge upon arriving to the island was how to transport Kuma. The resort (take this term lightly remember we were in the jungle) I was working at was located in the middle of the island. They use only motorbikes to get around, so we hired one with a cart that was connected to the back by a bungee cord contraption, and Kuma very shakily bounced along the road to our destination. Again it was really hot here and lots of bugs, not just mosquitos– ticks, ants, spiders, beetles, and about a hundred others.
Try not to shriek as a giant spider runs across the wall or a beetle clumsily flies into you at night. Not to mention anything you feel crawling on you in the middle of the night, yeah you might want to keep a flashlight in bed. Of course my bug spray broke in my bag, guess what there’s not any on the island. I had to wait a few days for the owner to make a trip back to the mainland for supplies.
Kuma had another problem trying to adjust to the mid-day heat. With no AC in the room and only a small fan, it quickly felt like a sauna inside. The best option was to just chill under the fan in the open reception area and hope for a breezy day. Which meant I stayed at the resort with him during the day and around sunset we would walk to check out a few places.
The beach was about 20-30 minute walk but not an option for Kuma with the heat. Most people hire motorcycle taxis or rent a scooter, I wasn’t going to leave my dog alone so I chose to chill out at the resort instead, besides there will be plenty of beach in our future.
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After a few days the heat was less intense, and we had a routine down where we could both survive. It’s all about learning to adapt to new things and making the most of what you have. Live in the moment, Appreciate Life.