As we continue our journey with Leo, discovering some of the island’s true gems and sharing them with you, we stop off to meet with our good friend Andrea of Pet Tawan Silver Jewelry.
Andrea has known the island for nearly 30 years and remembers back to even the very first time she arrived at the airport;
“The heat just slapped me in the face! I got in a taxi and was then all relaxed and thought ‘finally, I’m home”.
She got to Koh Phangan and it was so beautiful that she knew it was her little dream island, she left a part of her heart here and so always knew she would come back.
“There was no electric, only in Thong Sala, it was all little oil lamps and you could get a bungalow for 80 Baht a night”.
How did people get down to the island then?
It was just the bus or the night train from Bangkok.
Andrea remembers the Full Moon Party many years ago being ‘more hippy’ and totally different from how it is now,
“At first it was really crazy as it was 3 days of no police around, in every restaurant and bar you could get ‘special’ shakes and punches, it was unbelievable but people were all nice and relaxed”.
Do you have any funny stories from those Full Moon days?
Ha-ha I would just dance TOO much! After one time I knew I had to get an infusion as I was so dehydrated and I had a friend working at an animal clinic and I knew I could get one there. She told the doctor I needed one and he said ‘Oooh I never do on a person just an animal!’ but se explained it was just the same, ‘a vein is a vein’! So I just lay in the animal clinic for a few hours getting an infusion!
Andrea’s husband is originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat but is very at home on Koh Phangan;
“He’s an artist, he is different too, he could never just work in a silver factory”.
As we hear from many people who have been on Koh Phangan for longer than 20 years there were no roads like there are now back when Andrea and her husband first discovered the island, many were just sand roads and a lot of places were only reached by boat.
The night boat is one of the only things left from this nostalgic time on Koh Phangan.
“I think it was more fun then as you would always meet people, there were no phones or social media like now”.
Andrea describes her husband who is the creator or all the jewelry at Pet Tawan as ‘a lovely man from the jungle’.
He creates all the pieces how he learnt to and has never touched a computer and has a smartphone but doesn’t use it, he is a man who works with his hands and heart.
“He only works with his feeling, he could never work in Europe ha-ha, he is an absolute artist just working with his feeling and if he has no feeling he cannot work”.
Andrea is the seller of her husband’s art and has an extensive knowledge of the stones used and can advise on healing uses and the energies. Every single piece is carefully handmade.
Are there particular stones which are popular at the moment?
Many people ask for Selenite and also Shungite which can only be found in one place in Russia and it can purify water. People have become aware of this and use it, I used to put calcite in my water as it’s nearly 100% pure calcium.
If people are working with crystals then it’s always clear and rose quartz, amethyst and hematite which absorbs negative energy.
What are your favourites at the moment?
Sugalite which is also called the ‘new age stone’, there is only one mine for this in Africa and it is finished. It is good for my sickness and very powerful. I also like Moldavite as it is one of three from out of space.
As some people may know Andrea takes care of her disabled daughter. She brought her with her to Thailand and gained herself a lot of respect from the Thai community here as they commended her for taking such good care of her.
As well as taking care of her daughter, Andrea also looks after her 17 year old granddaughter and is the main salesperson for her husband’s unique work and craft and so Andrea and Pet Tawan earn themselves a rightful place as a ‘KP Gem’.