Our fifth Phase – Villa Cha-Cha, Salad Beach (This is the actual Thai name-forget about the healthy green stuff), Koh Phangan

We boarded the ferry smoothly, after a two-hour taxi ride from Khao Sok to Surat Thani (private, to avoid innumerable stops). The ticket voucher from Montania hotel quickly became real (pretty) tickets for the ferry. Comfortable outdoor waiting area, filled with excited travelers. We had fruit shakes and then boarded, wearing our “Koh Phangan” stickers proudly.

Imagine three islands on the east side of Thailand planted in the midst of the South Chinese Ocean. Koh Phangan is the middle island, also known as a desirable Israeli destination. Yes! We found them – the Israelies.

Transfer smoothly to taxi to four-wheel-drive to Villa Cha-Cha at the end of a windy road. Always everything runs smoothly, with predictable schedule and costs. Thailand is that way, gentle, graceful and with a sense of order and cleanliness.

Our room on the second floor is spacious and comfortable. We have almost figured out how to use the air-conditioning (mazgan) correctly. Breakfast included, but Ori unhappy with offerings — we’ll remedy that.

Breakfast at Cha Cha

Yes, that is indeed sushi.

Sunset over the water. A more-glorious-than-usual sunset with ripples of clouds in the sky, echoing the ripples on the water. New moon over the Gulf of Thailand. No pictures last night, but stay tuned.

Dinner on the beach, candles and dripping lights, which I actually like. Not crowded, but we’re early birds, finishing dinner by 21:00.

Ori has two spiritual direction sessions, early morning – to accommodate clients in vastly different time zones. The WiFi connection spotty and not very reliable.

The bay, about a kilometer across is beautiful, but the swimming only so-so. Shallow water, lots of sea cucumbers (more than a little disgusting). I snorkeled right out and through the abundant seaweed. Mistake. The crunchy species is irritating to the skin, especially to the exposed shaven head. Careful! I saw a small bit of coral, some fishes. Minimal reef.

We’ll start exploration of the island today. Will we make the trek to Bottle Beach, or water taxi? Scooter is probably not good for the challenging road around the island. It turns out, the road does not circle the island — there is a gap where you must trek to Bottle Beach. Oh my.

We’ll plan a full-day snorkeling trip to Koh Tao and Koh Nanguyan. Lots of the Angthong Marine Park – on many islands of the archipelago.

Tonight we will celebrate our third Shabbat in Thailand. Dinner on the beach includes candles. We will bless the wine and the bread.

Shabbat Shalom!

Sunsets are not too bad here.

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