Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Koh Samui

We had read that the other side of Thailand has less of a "low season" and the weather is more consistently sunny so decided to head to Ko Samui.  We got picked up at 6.30 and said goodbye to our nice hotel room and headed across Thailand.

As we were getting off the ferry at Koh Samui the wind suddenly picked up.  We had literally just shut the door of our van when it started to pour it down. So much for trying to find the sun!! Suddenly there was a loud thud and a bright flash followed by sparks flying across  the road.  Turns out a tree had blown down knocking some electricity wires with it.  The electricity wires are ridiculous spaghetti junctions.  We have walked past several that just spark and hiss on their own.  I have literally no idea how they know which cable runs to what when you have wires like below:

This isn't the worst we have seen!

Our first stop was Lamai beach.  We had booked a hotel right on the beach front and spent the first day relaxing by the pool (sorry mum) and wandering along the strip.  We went to extend our stay but they'd already booked our room out for someone else so we decided to check out Chaweng beach instead, which is meant to be the liveliest area on the island.

I was suffering from the effects of dodgy something so the first day was spent lounging on the beach and resting up.  There's lots of gazebos along the beach with women offering massages so I decided to get a back, neck and shoulder thinking it would be more relaxing than a Thai massage.  I was wrong, it consisted of a lady trying to push me as deep into the massage table as possible using her elbows and thumbs. Owch!  for dinner we found a Swedish restaurant and to feel closer to Cesca (awwww) we dined there.  Obviously I had meatballs!!  Almost as good as ikea.

They forgot the lingonberry

The next day our fun consisted of this:

I promise Amy did have a bikini top on

An inflatable water park at 300 baht an hour and we were sold.  Though half an hour was more than enough for us as we were too weak to climb to the top of anything so spent most of the time flapping around in the water enjoying having a life jacket on.  At one point we were climbing up a round floating ball and both fell off at the same time.  I managed to get stuck underneath another inflatable and no word of a lie I thought I was going to die.  My life flashed before my eyes and all I could see was green then suddenly I could breathe again and I felt all silly and forgot about it.  Later on we saw a guy doing this, amazing!!!

We spent the rest of the day on the beach reading our books.  This was a great suntanning day for me. I WILL BE AS BROWN AS MY MUM!!

The next day we went to visit Angthong National Marine park.  Unfortunately the only way to visit the park is by booking into an organised tour.  Our budget only stretched to a big boat with a capacity of 100.  As we were setting off we noticed 4 other boats also setting off...bloody tourists.

An hour and 40 min later we were getting onto a longtail from the ferry to stop us off at the first island.  We had a choice of snorkelling or hiking up to the viewpoint so we chose the viewpoint as the sea wasn't too clear.

There was a sign indicating the hike was 500m and 1-2 hours. I scoffed at the length of time and indicated to Amy it must be for really unfit people.  An hour later and we had scrambled/climbed up steep pointy rocks to finally reach the top.

I'd guess only 30% of the people who set off made it to the top.  It was hard work but definitely worth it for a view like this:

Scramble to the top
A horrible realisation dawned on us that the only way down was the way we had just come on my bum I went and slithered down as much as possible.  My bum cheeks now sport dark blue bruises.

Back on the boat to take us to our next destination,  a storm that had been brewing in the distance suddenly clouded overhead.  It started to pour it down and as we had been sunbathing on the top deck the captain kindly ushered us into his quartets so we didn't get drenched.  Luckily the rain was stopping as we got off the boat for our kayak trip.  This would have been much more fun if there hadn't been so many people on the trip with us, it mainly seemed to be everyone crashing into eachother.  We kayaked underneath overhanging cliffs and saw the islands from a different perspective.

We could have gone snorkelling afterwards but the sea isn't very clear this time of year and the beach was very rocky, both Amy and I managed to cut ourselves on rock underneath the surface so we swiftly gave up.  There was also another walk to a lagoon which was massively disappointing and not photo worthy.

On the way home I made friends with some Germans and a Brazilian (yes the football was mentioned) and we spent the journey home discussing our home countries and places to visit.  One of the Germans had spent six months studying in Taiwan and I really want to visit now, it's very small but has a lot to offer and everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful.

As we got off the boat, bizarrely they had a stall selling photos of us (they'd taken photos as we got on the boat).  The bizarre bit was they'd printed and framed them ready to sell for 150baht each.  We weren't interested  but I wondered what would become of ours...

Our last day spent in Koh Samui was spent wandering down Chaweng strip to find Chaweng lake.  A quick google search of the lake came up with "the lake is everything that is wrong with ko samui".  Who couldn't resist that description! Though the review is harsh, I do kind of agree with the sentiment.  The lake was nothing but an ugly man made lake, with a bit of investment it could be lovely but it looked more like an industrial water run off lake than anything of beauty.  This afternoon has been spent writing and reading and avoiding the practical jokes the barman is playing on everyone, tricks include getting people to shake his hand that has a live crab in it and hiding behind sunloungers and tickling their occupants with grass.  I think he has too much time on his hands!

Places stayed....

Lamai Beach: Samui Beach Resort.  Twin beds, fan, TV, no fridge. Wet room. Nice pool and bar area. 550 baht per night (1 night)

Chaweng Beach: Samui Beach Apartments (part of Seascape Resort).  Deluxe room, huge with large single and a king size bed. Kitchenette with sink, microwave.  Large bathroom with bath but walls were misted glass so not ideal for sharers.  TV and fridge and ac.  WiFi not great, only in public areas. Nice pool and beach area, good location but very noisy. 800 baht per night (4 nights)

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