Believe it or not, amidst all the partying we actually did manage to devote an entire day to some good old-fashioned tourism.
Two days after the Full Moon Party, we finally got around to renting those motorbikes we’d planned for our first day on the island.
Man, was it ever fun!
Zooming down those jungle roads, exploring distant Buddhist temples and flying past traditional bamboo huts, it was a type of exhilaration I really don’t think I’d ever experienced.
There’s just something about a motorbike that feels so…liberating.
…Which I really should already know, considering that I do have a license. It’s just that the last time I actually rode a bike was more than four years ago – while taking the final licensing exam before moving to Japan 😛
(Note: in Thailand, you don’t actually need a license to drive. Nobody asks. All you need to rent a motorcycle is $5 per day and a passport. Wow.)
We started our island circuit by heading towards Haad Salad for a quick half-hour elephant ride, the ultimate epitome of Thai tourism.
If you’ve never done it before, you’re likely to be disappointed. It’s slower than you can imagine. Ants and spiders were passing us.
But by a total random coincidence, the girl who worked there happened to be from California, and after chatting a bit she was nice enough to invite us out with some of her friends. Yay for local connections! We exchanged info and added her on Facebook, right there on the spot.
(I’m still blown away that I can actually use Facebook on my phone way out here. What a world :))
Next we continued to Ko Ma, a tiny unpopulated island known for its snorkeling.
But while we were swimming the weather turned south, and as rain in your snorkel is never much fun, we decided to head home.
By the time we got there we were both chilled, shivering, and on the verge of sickness. Damn. Time to return the bikes, I suppose.