Thanks to my sister for making me her Delta travel companion on my last birthday, I've become a bonafide resident in the world of standby travel. I've experienced the lows of budget travel like getting the last non-reclining seat in the back of the plane next to a toddler and the inverse highs of scoring a massaging seat/bed in business class next to warm cookies and an ice cream sundae. Therefore, I'd say that I am no stranger when it comes to appreciating an enormous upgrade.
The past two months in Koh Phangan, I happily made my home in a basic beachside bungalow. I grew accustomed to the simple exterior of my bungalow made of twigs.
(If the Big Bad Wolf showed up, my house would have definitely blown down).
I learned to accept the manual non-flushing toilet and cold shower as everyday practices in patience and creativity (ie how many friends could I make on the island with hot showers).
And the springy, yet board-like mattress became a welcome place to lay my head at the end of a long day massaging. It also doubled as a nice armoire since I had no shelves or drawers in my hut to unpack my backpack.
It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment my acceptance of the beach bungalow started to wane, but it happened around the time when the beach rat living on my roof sounded like it was going to fall through my ceiling, a prehistoric-sized gecko decided to call my shower towel her home and the cockroach living in my toilet brush dive bombed into my pillow then licked my toothbrush.
As the hippies and yogis say, the universe was sending me signs to find a new home. I began asking various friends and contacts if they knew of any houses opening up. This being the height of high season, I knew that it was going to be slim pickings, but luckily a friend from a local dive school told me about a room opening up in his house. It was on the same bay as my bungalow, but further up from the beach in the jungle. Intrigued by the proposal, I went to examine this potential home and as they say, the rest is history.
I said goodbye to my little wooden box on the beach and hello to my house on the hill.
No more springy mattress for me. I've upgraded to a king-size Princess bed. (Or as some friends call it a "princess porn-y bed").
(My gal pal Julia was happy to call my bed her home for the last week)
Goodbye wooden window shades that offered no natural light. Hello balcony with a sea and jungle-view!
(Here's Julia again enjoying the view and smoke)
And my favorite part of all....THE WESTERN BATHROOM. Complete with flushing toilet, hot water and a glass-enclosed shower that isn't over the toilet.
All this for $11/day. Thank you Thailand!