Poco's great adventure 2009 - 2010 travel blog

The pier from Ko Samui to Koh Phangan

Our longtail boat driver

beach at the Sanctuary

Another view of the beach

Sanctuary Gathering Place


more orchids

We were up early and ready to head back to Koh Phangan. As we started walking to the main street we were missing the usual sound of taxi, taxi? Of course, you can’t find a taxi when you want one. Eventually we found one, and were dropped off at the pier. We had a couple of hours to kill, so enjoyed some breakfast and chatted to some fellow travellers while we waited. We met another young couple of Canadians on the boat and enjoyed talking with them on the hour long ferry ride.

When we arrived at the pier, the usual hustlers were there. We found a long boat driver and he agreed to take us to the Sanctuary. We arrived there, chose a room and decided to spend the next 9 nights here getting pampered. There is a certain vibe at the Sanctuary and Cory and Elaine fit in with their zen look. I am too young, but I have certainly heard about the 60’s and the hippies. In looking around at some of the people I honestly expected some to say “hey, man, peace”.

So now that we are settled in, it was time to meet some of the others who would we would be spending time with. We met Tosh, from Vancouver, Alison from Australia, just starting an 18-month trip. Will is from Oxford, and Matthew is also from England. Dave and Donna are from Australia but have spent the last four years living in England. Meredith from Australia is starting a three month travel journey, and Dee is also from Australia, but has a Turkish background. Niels and Danielle from the Netherlands were enjoying their second time at the Sanctuary. They would love to ski Whistler, so we expect to see them some time in Canada. Perhaps they will come and couch surf at our house.

We settled into life at Sanctuary enjoying the daily massages and steam. Cory and Elaine attended a yoga class on the first day, and decided it wasn’t for them. The menu at the Sanctuary is quite amazing, but we opted for the set menu. Somedays it was quite good, and others, well, let’s just say it was sufficient. We certainly did not go hungry.

It seemed everyday that somebody was leaving, and somebody new was arriving. Each evening as we sat around together enjoying our evening meal, there was lots of laughter and some very interesting discussions.

The first few days we were there Cory and Elaine got some beach and swim time. The beach here is quite small and it is shared with a couple of other resorts. Not everyone puts it on their priority list to maintain or clean the beach, and I saw Cory walking the beach and placing all the garbage in one pile. He collected probably close to a kg of beach glass, in white, brown, and green. On the third day the weather changed quite dramatically with lots of rain and thunder. No more collecting garbage off the beach. As the rain fell, the waves got bigger and bigger and crashed loudly on the shore it was quite dramatic. Boats stopped. The water continued to rise on the Sanctuary property and at some points they had to walk through knee-deep water. It was still warm, and everyone’s spirits still seemed to be quite positive. There is something about watching and listening to a calm tropical storm.

Between their trips to the steam room and massages, I noticed how well they were both looking. Cory and Elaine both agree that a hot stone massage has to be experienced at least once. Elaine chose this treatment twice. Each had a relaxing aromatherapy massage, as well as a number of Swedish oil massages. Elaine also had a Thai massage and a facial in her list of daily treatments. I am definitely convinced that there has to be health benefits from massages. In combination with the steam room, it makes the, skin glow. It must be all that blood being moved about.

Cory and Elaine caught the taxi truck to Haad Rin, to book a visa run, and make plans for our next leg of the journey. We are catching a ferry to Suratthani on the 22nd at 5:00 p.m. We will spend the night in Suratthani, and then in the morning do a visa run to Burma. We will return to Suratthani airport and fly to Bangkok and connect to Chiang Mai.

We were booked for the 1:00 taxi truck to take us to Haad Rin, and from here we will catch a taxi to Thongsala and catch the ferry.

On the day of our departure Elaine was complaining about her ear. It was incredibly sore and she wanted to go to the clinic to see the doctor, especially with two flights scheduled. We saw a taxi truck ready to leave at 11:00 am, and after quick good-byes and hugs we were on the truck heading away from Sanctuary. I know that this is a place that Cory and Elaine have decided they will return to at some point in the future. I hope to be able to sneak into their luggage, as I too very much enjoyed the peace, harmony and tranquility of the Sanctuary.

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