Chillaxing in Chaweng
Trip Start Jul 16, 2012
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It has been a while since there have been any factoids so here goes - Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand is Thailand's second largest island (after Phuket), it is 228km2 with the central part of the island almost completely uninhabitable jungle. Fishing, coconuts and tourism are the main industries. Seemingly there is not much else interesting to say about Samui!
We decided that our first two weeks here would just be a holiday of lounging around and reading books in the sun. After the first day of rain around the pool we were a little concerned that out Loi Krathong had not possessed much power to end the rainy season
We had booked our hotels months ago, looking for bargain deals and we so landed on our feet. Our room was huge and pristine and white with an amazing swimming pool and most importantly a generator. Never before have I ever cared whether a hotel had a generator but when you have a 3 day power cut in 35 degree sun, boy are you grateful to have aircon. Power cuts are totally normal and expected in Samui, with the island expanding well beyond the capability of the undersea cables a daily power cut is the norm, however this power cut was definitely not the norm. We were totally oblivious for almost the first day, I thought it sounded noisy outside our room, but assumed it was the building site next door. We had a day in the sun and decided to go for a walk for an ice cream and when we went into a dark 7/11 (the equivalent of Spar) and discovered that all the ice creams were melted and the drinks were warm we begrudgingly went back to the hotel and got showered ready for some dinner. As dark fell the usual glow of street signs and fairy lights were mysteriously absent, luckily our usual restaurant was open for dinner. Unbelievably this went on for a full three days. Samui was actually declared a disaster zone as unlike us living the lap of luxury with a generator, the locals had no water as the well pumps require power, no power to cook and businesses were closing losing hundreds of baht a day. We stayed put, but apparently the airport looked like a scene from an end of the world movie with everyone trying to get away. Fortunately we had money as none of the ATM’s were working and we bought provisions by torchlight in whatever shop we could find open and generally life was pretty good considering we were in a disaster zone
No trip to Samui is complete without a night out on the Thai whiskey at the Green Mango. This is Samui’s main nightclub in Chaweng with a row of go-go bars leading to it. To get warmed up we had some happy hour cocktails and headed to a cabaret show. Obviously as we are in Thailand this is no normal cabaret, it is a Ladyboy (Kathoey) show. The crazy thing about this show was that I actually had to ask Tim if they were all kathoey as some of the women were so stunningly beautiful they were mind blowing. I can totally see how men get themselves in some tricky situations. If it is too good to be true – it probably is!! Next up the obligatory 'Sangsom Set’ this is a bucket, filled with ice, Thai whiskey and Shark (fake red bull). A sure fire way to have a hangover from hell the next day. Never mind the next day, the sangsom set had a lot to answer for when we find ourselves in a go-go bar with not another sole in the place save for the hookers. Tim thinks it is great idea to ask the Mama-san (the lady in charge of all the goings on in the go-go bar) if I can go on the stage. Next thing I am on the hooker stage being shown how to spin on a pole while Tim just looks on laughing at me. That’s another one to tick off the bucket list, not sure it was ever on my list but one worth adding for sure. Next thing I know we are out in the street looking for our next watering hole and I wonder if the sangsom set has really messed with my head as I find myself face to face with a gibbon and a giant iguana. Trying to shimmy past the men with the big lizard and the monkey with his long grabby arms is easier said than done when tipsy in flip flops and navigating broken pavements so before I know it I have a gibbon sitting on my arm. I did not see that coming. Gibbons are surprisingly heavy, so after a little rub and my refusal to pay 200baht (£4) for a photo, I am relieved of the monkey and am back on my way whilst Tim looks around trying to see where I have been, my explanation that I had a monkey on my arm was greeted with rolled eyes and raised eyebrows
The vast majority of our holiday was spent around the pool and it whilst the little gecko’s are as common as moths I was a little surprised one day to see a snake hanging around in the tree next to my sunbed. Thankfully after a quick look on google, he turned out to be a Golden Tree Snake, related to the viper family and does bite, but not venomous to humans. Let’s hope none of his relatives come out to play.
The streets in Samui are lined with massage shops, not the happy ending sort, just normal beauty type ones. Compared to the prices at home these are irresistible, £6 for a one hour oil massage and £1.50each for a manicure and pedicure. It is only right to dive in and have some pampering. I remembered half way through my massage when the masseur was stood on my thighs bending my legs back to meet my head that I am not sure I am cut out for Thai massage. Ouch.
Thailand has many many things that I like, the weather, the food, the cheap shopping, the people but I soon discovered one of the best things
As suspected we were too lazy to do anything on this trip to Samui except work on our tans and read books so I have some excellent book recommendations:
First up - That Bear Ate My Pants by Tony James Slater, brilliant book about a normal lad who goes to Ecuador to work as a volunteer at an animal rescue centre. This book will definitely make you laugh, might make you cry, will make you cringe and if you are anything like Tim & I will probably end up with you signing up for some overseas animal volunteer work.
Next up are Private Dancer and Confessions of a Bangkok Private Detective. These were possibly the best education going for a farang (the name that Thai’s use for foreigners – funny thing is they can’t say it and call us falang’s instead) in Thailand.
The things I learn from these books:
In a go-go bar you have to pay the Mama-san a bar fine so your go-go girl can stop work and leave with you, in the trade this is called ‘going short time’
Go-go girls tend to have several farang’s all of which visit once a year for two weeks and send several thousand baht to them the rest of the year. Most go-go girls already have Thai husbands. They may say they love you and that you are the only one, this is almost certainly not true. Being a go-go girl is just a way of life in Thailand, with no government pensions the money that they make gets sent home to their families and parents in Northern Thailand who fully support and even encourage such a way of life.
Farang’s are idiots who never learn. A go-go girl will tell you what you want to hear – ‘I am not married, ‘I have no other boyfriend’s’, ‘if you send me enough money I will stop working in a go-go bar’ and ‘I am a girl’ being the most common!!! Stunning 18 year old Thai girls do not have a thing for overweight balding farang’s, it is all about the money.
So there you go, that is my whirlwind explanation of Thai go-go girls.