We were looking for peace when we left Bangkok for Ko Chang. I knew we’d find some tiny place on the beach for five dollars, you know, just like I had ten years earlier when I visited the beaches of Thailand.

By the time we hopped off (or “fell off” as the case may be) our songthaew (song too), we were hot. So hot. And not in a sexy way, but in a “sweat dripping off our brow and the better half is about to kill someone” kind of way. We had our huge backpacks and couldn’t find a place to stay anywhere. Up and down the sandy roads we roamed, sweat dripping down as if we were in a shower that traveled with us – like rain clouds that follow around sad people in cartoons. Now, we’re not backpackers per se, (we’re in our 40s) but we at least needed a bathroom!

I saw John head up a hill to I don’t know where. I couldn’t go up that hill. I couldn’t. I didn’t care if Atlantis, Santa Claus and milkshakes were up there. I wasn’t going. I was tired and hungry. I slammed my backpack down in the middle of the road and told John I wasn’t taking one more step.

My brave husband, he continued up the hill. About ten minutes later John waved at me, “come up here! Come on!” I was still a mess, but I knew he wouldn’t make me go up there for nothing. I took every last bit of will power I had and climbed that hill.

And when I got there, I saw that John had found neither Atlantis, Santa Claus, nor milkshakes – but paradise. Paradise in the trees.

We felt like kids staying in a treehouse!

John found Bai Lan Bay. We spent our first few days swimming in a bay where no one swam. We stayed in a treehouse for 20$ a night with WESTERN toilets, a Queen size bed and a shower in the trees. We made friends with our hosts who would feed us authentic food (once they trusted that our palates could handle it).

I just double-checked the price and an air-conditioned room is 20$ still. Awesome.

Our favorite place to eat, drink, play cards and relax.