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8.22.10: Koh Phangan, Thailand

Thai Massage and Whiskey Buckets...

sunny 89 °F

After a delicious breakfast and my typical caffeine kick-start, I decided to take advantage of my private beach. I threw on my new bathing suit and waded into the teal tide. I swam like a seal somersaulting myself under the warm water. I was in heaven. I enjoyed my day rotating between tanning and swimming until my golden brown skin was pruning.
We decided that we would venture out of our secluded beach and roll into town to check out what else Koh Phangan had to offer. We hailed an unbelievably expensive taxi to take us to Haad Rin.
We were greeted by a huge sign warning us of their intolerance of drugs, drunkards, and all other shenanigans. What a welcome.

We walked around town for a while, scoping out surf shop sales and tattoo parlors, when we came to a beauty salon. They were advertising a special for Thai massage; 70 minutes for 250 baht (less that $10). Keeping up with my exotic massage critiques, I had to give it a shot. I had heard several reviews on the Thai technique from people staying at our hotel and 3 out of 4 of them described it as agonizing pain. I’m no Swedish massage sissy, I welcome the pain, and normally, my biggest complaint is that the therapist was too gentle. I was looking forward to this Thai “torture”.

We walked to the back of the salon and through a sliding glass door to a room with two soft mats laying adjacent to each other on the floor. We were told to keep our clothes on but remove our shoes.

The massage was great and not painful at all (for my standards). Unlike American massages, Thai massages is done over loose clothing using no oils or lotions. Instead of fluid movements or kneading the skin, a Thai massage involves a lot of trigger point pressure and intense stretching.

She stretched me into all sorts of contorted shapes and applied deep pressure while I was pretzled. It was just what I was hoping for.

We walked out feeling loose and lethargic and decided to find a bar to inject some pep into our slinky strides. The first bar we saw with a pool table was called “Up To You Bar” and since it was up to me, I decided to give it a go.

I ordered a Mai Tai and racked the balls while I waited. When my drink finally arrived half way through our 2nd game, I was a little taken aback by the color. It was green.
Mai Tai’s are usually a pink shade and this was way off. I slurped a small sip and was pleasantly surprised; it was not bad. After a few losses I concluded that the billiard gods were just not on my side so I threw in the towel.

It was past dinner time and we still hadn’t eaten so we headed down to the boardwalk in search of substance. We could hear the beach crowd before we even set foot on the sand. Speakers were bumpin’, drinks were flowin’, and the party was just getting started.
We walked from bar to bar waiting to stop until we approved the music selection.
We walked past a long row of wooden booths all advertising buckets of alcohol using trashy slogans and eye-catching profanity. I quickly learned that this is how you consume alcohol when you are on a Thai island, out of a bucket.
We finally came to a bar that wasn’t blasting House music and walked inside. They had a special on whiskey buckets and hookahs and they were still serving food, perfect. In a small pail that brings back memories of sand castle cities on San Diego Bay, sat a small bottle of whiskey and a can of Coke. They filled our bucket with the entire bottle of liquor, coke, ice, and a plethora of straws. We picked out some Strawberry sheesha and ordered a hookah to our table.
We sat a few feet away from the tumbling tide and watched fire spinners dazzle us with acrobatic flames.
We ordered some spicy glass noodles and smoked sheesha while we waited. The food hit the spot and the bucket of whiskey washed it down with perfection!
I skipped through the rave and down the beach with my bucket in tow feeling like a delinquent toddler until we reached the hotel and it was time for siesta.

Posted by emichele 10:45 Archived in Thailand

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