Looking at most people on the train, they looks a little worse for wear as they've, instead of sleeping, decided to go through a few rounds of boxing in the night, we laugh deliriously as some people are having early morning moments and next thing I know we have about 5 minutes to pack and get off the train.
We're escorted off the train by random people pointing in different directions, through the platform, through the car park and on to some coach, like dumb blind sheep with rucksacks, we (mainly I) only knew it was the right coach, as after 2 hours of driving on roads through rural Thailand (I imagine it was rural, as I was asleep for most of the journey) we got to a place that sounded like the word everyone had been uttering that we'd be getting a ferry from, my biggest clue was that it was a ferry terminal called Dansak.
Boarding the ferry we had another few hours to amuse ourselves before we got to the island we were aiming for when we left Bangkok 8 weeks ago, Koh Phangan. Getting a taxi to our hotel, located at the north-west of the island, we made it to our accommodation, Smile Beach Resort, at whatever late afternoon time.
After some mild language confusion with deposits, paying and general what the fuck was going on, we get led down a garden path and shown to our wooden shacks where we'd be sleeping; actually shacks isn't fair as that implies we were roughing it in some dodgy Thailand outhouses, these shacks were comfortable with a decorated verandah, air conditioning, hammock, outside wet room (with typically foreign “No toilet paper in toilet” ruling) and a few beds. The setting of these shacks were great as well, 2 to a shack and set out quite far apart from each other in amongst this fairly well maintained garden, located underneath a tree covered hill and 2 minutes walk from the beach, it's all you could ask for when you're paying £Sod.All a night and we spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.
Smile Beach was set within a wide bay, sheltered by tree-heavy hills on all sides (except for the side with water) with houses and lowrise hotels breaking onto the sand and spitting away from the jungle at occasional points, the sand was yellow and fine with a calm and clear mirror like water lapping up on it and the water drifted and expanding out into the unknown, coming to this spot would feel refreshing, even if you'd seen it a million times.
We swam in the shallow waters of which was slightly disturbing with it's small infestation of sea cucumbers or as they looked like, alive crawling poos and afterwards, I went off to get an hour's full body massage on the beach where I had all my muscle knots abolished from beneath the surface of my skin, while I was being picked up, bent-backwards and swung around in all different directions and having my fingers pulled out, which was surprisingly, incredibly calming and soothing.
I rejoined my friends for an incredible sunset and later, enjoyed well-deserved cocktails and fine beach dining looking out on a fairy-light lit horizon as many fishing boats calmly overfish and destroy local fish stocks.