After a relentless weekend of dancing and having fun I jumped on a boat back to civilisation and headed back north to my second home Chaloklum.
The sleepy fishing village has that old school feel I crave, and the locals all know each other here with most generations having gone to school together so the sense of community is tangible. Old traditions and religious celebrations are enjoyed by everyone here and the fishing industry, though small, still functions so the restaurants here have the best local seafood you can get on the island in my opinion.
Make sure you try and find the local coconuts as a lot that are sold in bars are imported. The island fresh ones are delicious and great for a hangover…
Chaloklum also has the best Italian food I’ve had in all of Thailand !! served by 2 amazing restaurants in the village along with a really good mix of local Thai places and some great pier front cafes for fantastic breakfasts and western fare. The village runs along the waterfront with a pier halfway along and there are nice beaches up and down the coast. Just a short ride away by taxi boat is another beautiful secluded beach called ‘Bottle Beach’ where you can chill out for weeks on end totally cut off from interference. I got stuck there intentionally for 2 months once and became very very relaxed…..
The beach I’m staying on has a pig who lives in the bar and the wildlife here is surrounding you all the time. From monkeys that raid the kitchens to huge beautiful butterflies that sit on your toes as you lie in the hammock looking out to sea. There are fantastic coral reefs that stretch out in the bay and I can walk straight off my bungalow terrace and into the ocean from the rocks in front. The fish life seems to have really improved and recovered recently and the snorkeling is once again wonderful. A nice smoke early in the morning with a coffee followed by a snorkel amongst the corals while my mind drifts becomes a daily ritual.
It’s while I’m here that I really start to talk to locals and long-term expats about the changes in the cannabis situation in Thailand. Things have really moved faster than anyone had expected and a recent amnesty meeting at the local government offices resulted in a large number of people with legitimate reasons for using cannabis medicinally being granted licences to posses and consume for their own use.
Friends were growing plants in their gardens with official clearance and there was a definite feel that it will not be long before the relaxation of the laws moves onto the next stage and recreational use could be a possibility hopefully. It would certainly have a massive impact on the tourism especially as countries in Asia attempt to recover after the impact the corona virus has had on tourism .
Sadly, time passes all to fast when you’re in such an amazing place and suddenly it’s time to head back to Bangkok for the next leg of the journey and an important part of my hunt for genetics. Cambodia.