Saturday, 9 June 2012

Koh Pha Ngan: The Real Life Inspiration Behind Ko Pagna

Ko Pagna: A beautiful party-orientated island on the distant planet Fem.

As any 'How To Save The World' readers who have ever been to Ko Pha Ngan will have no doubt already realised, the inspiration for Ko Pagna, the beautiful party-orientated island destination featured in ‘How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy’ by Charles Fudgemuffin, came from the real life popular backpacker destination of Koh Pha Ngan in Southern Thailand, or more specifically the village of Haad Rin, home of the world famous Full Moon Parties.

If you’re one of those lucky enough to have visited Haad Rin then you’ll already have a pretty accurate idea of how I imagine Ko Pagna to look like, but for the benefit of those who haven’t I’ve decided to upload some photos of Haad Rin so that readers can get an idea of how some of the Ko Pagna locations featured in ‘How To Save The World’ look like when I picture them in my head.

I’ll start off with Haad Rin Sunrise Beach:

Haad Rin Sunrise Beach, the real life inspiration for Ko Pagna Sunrise Beach
featured in How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy.

As you may have guessed, this was the inspiration for Ko Pagna Sunrise Beach where Eric, Kesta and Hex spend much of their time pondering life’s great mysteries such as, ‘Who invented topless beaches?’ and other great conundrums such as, ‘Why do lasses sunbathe topless in the shade?’

Anyway, when I picture Ko Pagna Sunrise Beach I picture it looking something like the photo above.  This photo was taken early in the morning before the crowds arrive so perhaps when Eric and his mates are sunbathing they would be sharing it with quite a few more fellow backpackers, and of course Eric would be inclined to ideally choose a spot with quite a high percentage of Sveltish girls*, but as a general guideline, this is roughly what Ko Pagna Sunrise Beach looks like when I picture it.

* Sveltish girls are the alien equivalent of Swedish girls.

The next photo is of the popular late night party spot, the Drop In Bar:

Drop In Bar pictured early in the morning.  Drop In Bar was the real life inspiration for
The Hang Out Club featured in How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy.

Drop In provided me with the inspiration for Eric’s favourite party spot in Ko Pagna, The Hang Out Club.  The Hang Out Club was similarly located on the beach and was where Eric and his mates discussed other great dilemmas such as, ‘A really fit lass invites you back to her room for some fun and frolics, but there’s only one condition … you can only use your tongue or your hands.  Which would you choose?’ and where Eric pondered numerous important theories such as ‘the bum firmness scale.’

When I picture The Hang Out Club, I imagine it looking something quite similar to Drop In Bar except perhaps that instead of the bars, seats and tables being made from wood, Hang Out would feature sort of placticky futuristic looking metal furnishings.  The overall general layout is the same, though.

As readers will recall, one of the most popular activities at The Hang Out Club was the fire skipping rope, whereby two of the bar staff would jump up on the bar and an adjacent table, set a skipping rope on fire, and then drunken backpackers would attempt to skip over it, hopefully avoiding the flames in the process.  Again the real life inspiration for this came from the fire skipping rope at Drop In Bar:

The fire skipping rope. This photo was taken at Paradise Bungalows
but my first encounter with the fire skipping rope came at Drop In Bar.

At one point in How To Save The World, Kesta comments that he prefers the fire skipping rope later on because then people are more diquentenoled up* so there’s a better chance of crazy fire accidents happening.  As you can see from the next photo, this is also true of Drop In Bar:

* This is the equivalent of getting drunk on the planet Fem.

Crazy fire accidents on the fire skipping rope.

The final location of significance in Ko Pagna which was inspired by a real life Haad Rin location is Mr J’s Restaurant.  In real life, the Haad Rin equivalent of Mr J's is actually called Mr K’s and is a popular late night takeaway spot, particularly over the Full Moon period.

Mr K's, the real life inspiration for Mr J's
featured in How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy.

Not quite as exciting as the fire skipping rope admittedly, but they do make an excellent chicken sandwich.  Anyway, if you think of Mr J's then imagine it looking something like a more futuristic version of the photo of Mr K's above.  And also it would have a 'J' instead of a 'K' obviously.

As you may have noticed, the creative process when coming up with names for bars, restaurants and locations featured in the 'How To Save The World' books was a long and laboured process on my part involving hours of intricate planning and complex brainstorming efforts (slash irony).

Anyway, that’s most of Eric’s favourite spots in Ko Pagna covered now, so for people that have never been to Ko Pha Ngan I hope these photos have helped you visualise how I imagine Ko Pagna to look when I picture it in my head.  If you look at the photos and then imagine a slightly more futuristic version then that’s pretty much what Ko Pagna looks like.

Of course the great thing about a book is that the reader can picture the story locations to look however they want.  You don’t have to stick to how the author originally imagined things to look.  The reader can imagine them looking however he or she wants.

So if you’ve previously pictured Ko Pagna Sunrise Beach or The Hang Out Club or Mr J’s as looking a bit different from how their real life inspirations actually are, then feel free to stick to the images you’ve already formed in your head.  It’s the right of any reader to picture scenes from a book entirely how they want to.  So for example Ko Pagna Sunrise Beach could look completely different if you wanted it to.

Except that you’d be wrong of course.  I’m right.  It looks like the photo above.  But if you want to picture it looking wrong then the great thing about books is that you can.

. . . . . . . .

Not for prudes or squares.
As already mentioned, Ko Pagna was the beautiful party-orientated island destination featured in ‘How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy’ by Charles Fudgemuffin.  You can buy 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' for the Kindle app from Amazon.  Please note, the 'How To Save The World' saga is suitable for ages 18+ and isn't recommended for prudes or squares, so if you prefer to try before you buy then Amazon also let you download a sample of the first two chapters for free:

How To Save The World: Part 1 - An Alien Comedy
UK: How To Save The World: Part 1 - An Alien Comedy

Other recent posts:
Weird Facebook Likes (Part 3)
"People Are Literally Tearing Their Hair Out!"
How To Save The World ... in 3D!

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.