Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
199Trip End Ongoing
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Arrived at our meeting point at 7:45Am for our trip on the VIP bus to Koh Sumet (Seems to be spelled differently everywhere I look).(ticket= 350 BHT each). Soon we were lugging our bags down Koa San Rd where we met up with a dozen others to wait a bit longer for the bus. About 8:15 our 8AM bus rolling in. We were soon on board and got the front two seats on the double decker. We waited around and it was another 1/2 hour before we left and chattede with some fellow passengers
Bangkok traffic was terrible this morning, but once we hit the open highway... lookout, we hit a top speed of about 30 miles per hour! At least there was a movie. Some Bruce Willis film in is usual role. It was more annoying with the film on as every little bump made the DVD skip like crazy. (I cannot believe we are in Asia and they dont have a DVD player that does not skip!!). Anyway, we stopped about 2 hours into it for a 30 minute lunch break. We were back on the road (no double feature) and arrived in Ban Phe. I caught a whiff of a really obnoxious fish smell when the door opened. I thought it was kind of strange since there was really nothing around. Half of us got off (the other half were going on to Koh Chang). We were led to another travel agent and then down to the pier. It was a tricky walk as the boards were haphazardly laid out down the pier. We reached the end and a small fishing boat floated in to meet us. We hopped on board and were followed by large coolers filled with 'who knows what' and a few cases of bottled water. We slowly turned around and headed out. There were several small islands on either side of us and you could barely make out a small tan line between the water and the green hill rising in front of us. About 1 hour later we hit Koh Samed. We got off the boat and hit the hotel booker office just across the street. Nothing seemed cheap, so we checked our guide book. We found a hotel that sounded good and looked for a taxi. The island is a picture of paradise. Primitive yet hi-tech at the same time.
One suprise, we got off the boat and got directions, hopped into the back of a taxi (pickup truck) for 20baht a piece. Drove 200 hundred yards and hit the toll station to enter into the 'National Park'... 400 BAHT A PIECE!!! How did our guide book misss this detail!!!
Anyway, Beaches are great! Sand is way different than back home. This is much finer and whiter and doesnt irritate the skin. It is like talcum powder. We found a room at Naga Bungalows (300 Baht for the first night 200 BHT for the 2nd night), but we are inundated with mosquitos!! Might switch to A/C room and freeze out those little guys.
We walked the beach, took some photos and swam in the bathwater warm Gulf of Thailand.
Later Lyn and I walked a hundred yards or so where the beach is lined with small shops and restaraunts. Here we shared a great seafood dinner for only 200 baht ($6)- A handful of the local clams, bright green mussels, large flat scallops and a huge squid, all cooked on an open grill. In front of the restaraunt the beach was covered by small rugs and low tables. Leave your shoes, pick a table and sit on a big cushion... there was even a cool fire show! (jugglers). Also found the best place for the cheapest ice cold beer (7/11 at the entrance to the park) 40 BHT for a 20 ouncer -I know this does not support the locals.... but!
The next day we were up and hit the sand. Our goal was to walk the four miles to the end of the island. It is 4 miles in a straight line, but we followed a trail along the coast. This trail lead from one beach to the next, then you walk the sand until you hit a outcrop of rocks or forest and the trail continued. Thjere are several large bays and we never did reach the end of the island. But it sure was nice finding spotless, noncrowded beach after beach along the way.