Koh Samui

Trip Start Feb 21, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Well here I am back at it again!  This time am coming to you from the island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand!  A beautiful island which is much more relaxed than Phuket.  I gotta say I didn't realise how crazy phuket was until we arrived over here! 

Anyway I will get straight into it and probably the biggest reason we made the effort to come to Koh Samui was for the Full Moon Party the is held every month (yes I hear you say, every time there is a full moon...).  We heard that it was not to be missed and by all accounts we were not disappointed!  Bluntly, I have never seen anything like it! 

We were staying at a resort near where all the boats departed for the full moon party and to say the least you could not get a nicer beach.  We had just about every meal right on the edge of the beach and one meal we ate on tables and chairs just meters from the water.  Needless to say a few beers and cocktails were had overlooking the water and I even managed to fit in a Thai massage right beside the water.  Tough!!!

To start the night off we had dinner on the beach and then raced back to our bungalow to finish off a bottle of Thai Whiskey.  We were then picked up via speed boat from the beach almost out in front of our resort and taken across to Ko Phangan were the action takes place.  Basically the town and beach over there is taken over by 10,000 to 20,000 party goers.  Straight off the boat we were greeted with buckets of Thai whiskey, coke, redbull, and straws for 180 Baht (about $7 Oz) which we hooked into.  We walked through the city following the crowd to what we hoped was the beach and it didn't disappoint.  All the pubs in town, all the streets and the beach was just full of people having the best time!  Fire twirlers on the beach, lights and pumping music from every which direction were to be found.  Not to mention the beach itself which was surrounding by steep hills which gave the perfect frame.  unfortunately for all I didn't take my camera to this event (I am hoping for obvious reasons) and it gets a bit hazy after that point.  Everyone was in the best mood and we ended up sitting on the beach talking to some girls from Ireland, dancing in one of the pubs on the beach with some Thais and stumbling around in general.  We lost my cousin Matt in the crowd and finally headed home about 6 in the morning.  After the 30 mins on the speed boat we had a short walk up the beach to our bungalow where we spent the next day watching episodes of Seinfeld on my laptop to ease the pain.  Turns out my cousin woke up on the party beach in a daze next to a few randoms, he made it home a few hours after... :-)

Anyone who comes to Thailand must look it up and schedule it in as it is one of the highlights of the trip.  I wont say any more.

After we all recovered from the full moon party by the end of the next day my cousin decided to head on his separate way to Central Thailand while Lucy and I headed over to Chaweng Beach.  Chaweng Beach is said to be the party central for Koh Samui and to a large extent Thailand so we were quite interested to see how it panned out.  We found a place in the lonely planet that looked like it would fit the bill for accommodation and for some partying!  We certainly found it.  While checking in an older lady asked reception if this was a quiet resort...  The reception lady just laughed and said "um, no".  I knew I had found the right place. 

The bar stretches out onto the beach with a pool and deck chairs cover the beach.  Needless to say you can order drinks from your deckchair.  Naturally there are pumping tunes going from the time you get up until you go to bed.  In the evening the beach is transformed to a beautiful dining area where you can sit on the beach on mats and have freshly cooked seafood or almost whatever you want.  Just amazing!!!  Sat there right on sunset and had a few drinks which just hit the spot with a gentle breeze.  Is quite a dramatic change from one block over where the on street cuisine can range from roasted catfish, random pieces of meat, various fish, squid, and you get the idea....

Went on a tour with Lucy today around Koh Samui island.  Our tour bus was the back of a 4WD and we were the only ones on it.  Just a bit weird but we saw a fair chunk of the island.  Koh Samui is famous apparently for it's coconuts and we saw the sides of so many hills/mountains covered in nothing but coconuts.  The tour included watching monkeys harvest coconuts (yes they train them), an elephant ride (!!!), walking to a waterfall, some random garden with budda statues (it was not the best) and kayaking).  I have to say the best part was by far the elephant walk and the actual trip round the island.  Both Lucy and I got to ride on the elephants head.  We were both on there without the guide and I was lucky enough that I rode on the head for most of the trip while the guide was somewhere off behind us. 

I felt like I was going to fall off most of the time but I had the biggest smile on my face so I didn't care much.    The kayaking had to be the worst bit.  Our impression was that it was tacked into the tour purely to fill out time.  We kayaked up the most dodgy river you have ever seen for a couple of minutes and then turned around.  There was nothing else we could do but laugh to ourselves and then smile at the guides as they were so nice!  Saw what was probably the most raw bit of Thailand we have seen yet so that was great.  Random houses on major roads, houses and units in the middle of nowhere, shacks, run down/abandoned buildings and sea side bungalows.  Not to mention the odd water buffalo chillin beside the road.  All in all a great day followed by a great meal of Thai Red curry for me and garlic pepper chicken for Lucy (off course a cocktail each too).

Another little tidbit from Thailand, make sure you order a beer whilst doing your emails as most places serve it.  Speaking of which I am enjoying one right now!!! :-)  Actually another little bit of info: Lucy and I got a cold from staying in air conditioning all the time so we grabbed some cold and flu tablets to make sure we didn't pike sit around too much.  Now I am sure most people will know that pseudoephedrine (sorry for the spelling Rory) has almost been phased out in Oz...  I am led to believe by my ex pharmacy worker (Lucy) that the average dose in cold and flu tablets in oz when it was available was around 30 mg.  The tablets we were given contained 120mg.  Needless to say Lucy didn't sleep that night, and I had a very light sleep that night! 

Back to Chaweng Beach and Lucy and I splashed out for 2 nights on the best resort ever!  The place even had a pool boy who would get drinks and and set up your chair however you wanted.  The place was right on the beach and the pool even had seats so you could sit looking at the ocean while sipping on cocktails.  Of course, a few cocktails were consumed and I actually ended up sleeping down there for a couple of hours.  Just perfect with the breeze! 
We also splashed out and bought the biggest seafood dish we could get between us.  They didn't disappoint as it contained lobster, a whole fish, whole crab, prawns, 3 bugs, whole squid and you get the idea.  It was great and I actually heard Lucy say that she didn't want any more seafood.  Up until that point I never dreamt those words could come out her mouth (she loves seafood).  After some of the places we have stayed it was just perfect and great to be pampered.

So I also have to tell you about the airport.  It is open air and made out of coconut palms!  No joke!  The weirdest sensation ever checking in under a palm thatched roof with the breeze blowing!  Not to mention the residential estate being built AT THE END OF THE RUNWAY!!!  Who does that and who would buy the places ?!?

Stray dogs are a problem on the island and a few places let the dogs in the restaurant and appear to take care of them.  Just a weird site to see dogs chillin in a restaurant beside you.  They are all so friendly though so it hasn't appeared to bother anyone. 

All in all a great week and such a beautiful place.  It is def what Thailand is famous for and well worth the trip!  Off to Bangkok for some more crazy times and see a few things.

Hope all of you are well and let me know what you are up to!!!
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