Life's a beach in Koh Samui

Trip Start Nov 06, 2012
Trip End Feb 01, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  , Surat Thani,
Thursday, January 24, 2013

After a rather entertaining last evening in Yangon (eating dinner to the sound of locals singing along to a country and western concert on TV), we headed off to Yangon International Airport to return to the most touristically* developed South East Asian country we have visited on this trip, Thailand. 

Our hotel in Yangon had sent us off with a couple of breakfast boxes and we ended our trip to Myanmar with a laugh - on opening the boxes, we discovered they had been filled with an assortment of food which we were unable to eat as it still needed preparation: 3 in 1 coffee mixes and uncooked eggs (yes, really) among them. Luckily we had kept some Kyat in reserve and so found the airport’s only coffee bar. After that, V, determined to spend the last remaining currency, dragged A off to the souvenir shops to find out what we could get for our dosh. We managed to get a wooden elephant and an elephant keyring.  We're not sure how long the wooden elephant will last as, other than ours, all of the ones on sale had at least one tusk missing. In a feeble attempt to break the ban on office pets, V is going to take him into work to make her office more "homely". A doesn't quite understand this as, last time he checked, there were no elephants in our home. But then again, we've been away for three months...

Once back in Bangkok, we spent a day traipsing around the airport, doing a bit of blogging (which explains the multiple Burma uploads we posted the following day) and trying to get used to being back in “civilisation” - lots of people and brands we know. We use the word civilisation loosely - we felt more as if we were in Gatwick Airport, with a load of holiday makers jetting off for package holidays to Spain...

We’d splashed out for our time in Koh Samui, feeling more in holiday than traveller mode now and, WOW, was it worth it! We spent six nights in a gorgeous villa with plunge pool, open air bathroom, private courtyard and day bed, just a stone’s throw from the beach and with a couple of larger swimming pools to boot. Good job our time in Vietnam was so cheap...

The general manager greeted us on arrival and, if he was slightly surprised by our scruffy appearances (well, mainly A’s unruly beard), he didn’t show it. The beard was really getting too much for V and A agreed to let her trim the hair above the upper lip. This at least reduced some of the food and drink A consumed getting caught in his whiskers...

So back to Koh Samui, where we spent five days doing absolutely NOTHING. Well, okay, we did a whole load of reading, sunbathing (although we doubt you’ll be able to tell) and plunging in the pool to cool off from the 34 degree heat. It was awesome. 

A quick note on our “tans”, about halfway through our time in Myanmar, we discovered that some of the products we had been using contained the whitening products that Asians love. We were pretty annoyed about this for two reasons: 1) we’d developed a nice golden hue (we wouldn’t say tanned exactly, but certainly not the pasty white we usually are); and 2) when buying toiletries out here, we’d spent an eternity checking that they didn’t contain whitening or “brightening” (which is basically the same thing) products and thought we’d found some of the few which were free of those unnecessary evils! Unlike the locals, we wanted to tan!!!!

This is not an excuse for our off-white coloured skin, but it would have been darker (in fact, it had been darker) and so, there you have it. Don’t expect to see two bronzed people when we return. Although A says he’s more than happy to show people his white bits to prove he has picked up some colour. Bet his colleagues can't wait for him to return to work ;-)

On leaving Koh Samui, we adopted the same approach as in Yangon and worked out what combination of airport goodies we could get for our remaining Thai Baht. This time, we avoided tourist tat, which was surprisingly expensive, and purchased some Ferrero Rocher (class!) and three bars of German chocolate. For those of you fellow Deutschies, all we have to say is: Quadratisch, Praktisch, Gut - had forgotten how awesome those bars are!! Needless to say, we’ve already consumed all of the Ritter Sport. Healthkicks start in February.

*This word has been inserted specially for Rob Milner in recognition of the much debated use of it in his Masters thesis!


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