First up, one of my favourite beaches ... Malibu Beach in Koh Phangan.
"F....ing Bob Marley," Meen swears, in a most unladylike, and very un-Thai fashion. "I'm so sick of it, day after day after day!"
My daughter and I can't help but giggle - even though we are a little shocked at our massage therapist's outburst, we can't help but agree - the reggae music on 24/7 rotation at Malibu Beach Bungalows can wear a little thin. And dear little Meen, whose massage sala is idyllically located right on the beach, cops it constantly.
Located in the north of Koh Phangan, Malibu Beach is a popular hangout for day-trippers from the southern beaches, as well as the residents of the attached resort. My daughter and I have chosen to stay here, well away from the Full Moon party crowds of Haad Rin, but just a walk from the rustic fishing village of Chaloklum where there are plenty of restaurants and bars.
Not that we need them - Malibu Beach has its own beach restaurant and bar, where we tend to spend day-time meals at least. It's pretty deserted at night once the day-trippers leave, so our nights are usually spent either in the village or on the west coast beaches such as Haad Salad.
The day-time ambience at Malibu, however, is unbeatable. With its powder white sand and warm blue bay water, this is Thailand at its most pristine. Jo and I park ourselves under the shade of a coconut palm, and spend each day doing absolutely nothing. Occasionally we drag ourselves down to the water to swim. Then we make our way to the restaurant to eat and have a beer. Perhaps a massage at Meen's beach sala. Then a nap on the deck of our cabin, swinging in the hammock. Checking the internet on the free wi-fi (a major plus!). Reading a book.
Life doesn't get much better than this.
The most basic bungalows at Malibu Beach start from 1000 baht a night in low season, up to 1400 over the Christmas peak season. They are pretty rustic - just a double bed (mosquito net and linen provided), and an en suite bathroom with hot and cold water. No room to swing a cat, though the hammock on the deck is a nice touch. There are bigger, more luxurious bungalows available from 2500 baht a night, but we were quite happy with what we had.
There's also a pool at the resort - nice if you want a change from the beach - and scooters are available for hire.
Ah, Malibu Beach. So beautiful. Man, I wish I was there right now ... lying under that coconut palm, listening to "I'm Jammin'" ...