And found paradise. Which was nice because the north part of this island in southern Thailand is just a touch on the shabby side.
After an exhilarating half hour ride we landed at Kantiang Bay; white sand beach surrounded by the greenest jungle. And our very own cliff-side bungalow with balcony overlooking all this – for $32 a night.
In the afternoon we swam in the tea-warm sea, gliding over a squid and little clown fish. A five minute amble down the beach brought us to a small stream and while we sat a family of long-tailed monkeys came to drink, wash and play in the clear water.
That night while fireflies danced we ate superb Thai food at Drunken Sailors, watched by geckos and slumbering cats. Delighted, we booked three more nights.
But – alas, alack – they pave paradise and put up a parking lot. And at one end of the parking lot they built a Sound Shack, from which, at 9pm sharp, the karaoke started up from a nearby spot on the perfect beach.
Nothing dimmed it, not ear plugs, not white noise from the ceiling fan, not listening to music with head firmly under a pillow. It thumped and pounded out, and the walls of our little bungalow fair reverberated.
Sipping espresso and dangling from a hammock in our little Thai cafe next morning I learned the party rages seven days a week, throughout the year.
I found myself thinking of a certain rammed-earth house surrounded by lush Gordonton pasture, whereon cows graze by day and moreporks call at night. Often Marley the cat entertains a mousey friend.
Truly, that is paradise.