Koh Phangan car crash
22.09.2006 - 22.09.2006
I was up early again this morning to catch my ferry. Judith was fast asleep so I wrote a little note in a book she wanted to borrow and left.
My ferry was at 9am so I had time to get one last banana pancake. The ferry only took about an hour and when I got off I got a quick lift from the travel company to the bus depot in Krabi. Here I got a minibus across the country (5 hours) and then had to wait an hour for the next boat in Surat Thani. The boat from Surat Thani to Koh Phangan took 4 hours but passed quite quickly thanks to my trusty ipod.
It was dark when I got to Koh Phangan and I was supposed to be meeting Rob and Jon, who I had been chatting with through MSN. Unfortunately, I had another hour until they were due to arrive. As I got to the taxi station at the port, I was approached by a Thai lady who has a Canadian girl with her. The Canadian girl was heading to the north of the island but wanted to hare a taxi as it was so expensive. I explained that I was meeting friends and were going to a Black Moon Party tonight. As she didn’t have anyone to share a taxi with, the Canadian girl asked if she could tag along. This was fine with me as it meant we could share a room which was cheaper.
The Canadian girl was called Jennifer and had been living in Korea for the past year. She was just doing a bit of travelling before going back to Canada. We both sat on a kerb and chatted while we waited for the lads to arrive.
Sure enough, about an hour later the lads arrived on motorbikes with an American called Ben. Ben was from Atlanta and was a pilot for Delta Airlines. The lads told us where they were staying and me and Jennifer jumped in a cab to Chokana resort. Luckily, there was a cabin available when we arrived, and we went upmarket and an air conditioned cabin. This also included a flushing toilet and a bath, though there was no hot water, but it still felt like luxury.
We both got showered and changed and met up with the lads to go for dinner. There was a restaurant at the end of the road so we ate there. I had Pad Thai, at last, though I didn’t really like it. Just as we finished dinner, Martyna and Lillie arrived. They had just been to the tattooist where Martyna got a huge tattoo on her calf. We said our ‘Hello’s’ then went back to the cabin where everyone got changed for the Black Moon Party on the beach.
Once we were all ready we walked up to the main road to get a taxi, we eventually got one which was actually a ute. Jennifer was in the front seat and everyone else was in the back. We got a mile down the road when a car coming the opposite way flashed its lights at us. Our driver swerved but the oncoming car went straight into us. Our taxi pulled over and by the time we realised what had happened, the other car had driven off.
Luckily, everyone was still in the car, however, Ben was badly hurt. The oncoming car caught him as they went past. He was bleeding from his waist and neck but it didn’t seem too life threatening. We all had cuts and bruises and were covered in glass. The taxi driver drove us to the hospital, this time Ben sat in the front.
It seemed to take forever for us to get to the hospital but we got there and they took Ben straight in. We reassured the taxi driver, who was distraught but when Ben came out, about an hour later, all patched up, we realised why he was so upset. The car was not his and he was not supposed to be taxiing people around in it. The car belonged to a local hotel and he was trying to make some extra cash. The driver refused to take us back home unless we paid for the damage to the vehicle. We refused to pay for the damage but also found that the hospital was refusing to call us another taxi. We were stuck.
In the end, we gave the taxi driver 100baht each, even though he was asking for 1,000baht each, and he agreed to take us back. Again, we all climbed into his death trap but on the way back he pulled over and stopped in an alley. We were at the hotel which the car belonged to and the driver went inside to get someone.
We weren’t going to wait around here, for all we knew we were now in quite a dangerous situation so we got out of the car and escaped to the nearest main road where we flagged down another taxi. This was a proper taxi which took us straight home and didn’t rip us off.
Once we got back, Martyna and Jon decided this wasn’t going to spoil their night and went back out to go to the Black Moon Party. The rest of us didn’t feel like it and went to bed. In a way we were really lucky as it could have been a lot worse, especially if our driver hadn’t of swerved.