Friday, April 17, 2015

Samui on Songkran

We're back! Just returned from a few days on Koh Samui, an island south of Bangkok. This week was our "spring" break (in actuality, it's summer here and the Thai schools have been out since March), and we decided to get away for a low-key holiday for part of it.

Koh Samui has its own airport, so one could conceivably fly there directly. But the airport is on the east coast of the island, and of course, we don't do things the easy way. We had accidentally booked flights that took us to the closest airport on the mainland, and we ended up on the west coast via taxi, plane, shuttle, ferry, and taxi again. It wasn't as bad as it sounds, though. The flight was less than an hour long, and the 1 1/2-hour long ferry ride was quite pleasant. Either it really was an easier trip to make or we're finally getting used to the Thai way of traveling. And it was fortuitous that we ended up on the quieter, less crowded, west coast because it was exactly what I needed and wanted -- to get away from people and civilization.

Our vacation didn't start off so well, however. When we got to the port to take the ferry, it was storming and the waves were crashing against the pier. Even though the ferries are big and sturdy, I still didn't feel safe getting on in the storm with zero visibility. We waited another hour for the next ferry, by which time the storm had fortunately subsided. When we got there, we had an hour or two of non-rainy weather to hang out on the beach before it began storming again. After the waitress at the resort restaurant told me it had been raining for the entire previous week (even though it's dry season), I thought our vacation was going to be a wash, for sure. Luckily, it stopped raining early in the morning the next day. It remained cloudy the entire day, but there was no rain. The day after that, the weather came through for us -- it was sunny and mild, with a tropical breeze. Simply perfect.

We spent our days hanging out on the beach and by the pool, enjoying the perfect temperature of the water, taking walks along the beach, eating good food, and just relaxing. My son tried snorkeling and enjoyed kayaking for the first time. We played frisbee, dug for clams, tried to catch ghost crabs, discovered all kinds of wild life at the resort, and generally enjoyed being outdoors all day.

Something else I really enjoy when we travel here is being able to watch and observe all kinds of characters. There was the American couple that looked only at their respective phones throughout breakfast -- every single day. There was the young, Russian couple that seemed to enjoy themselves without smiling once. There were the Thai groups that came with all their extended family members and that held extensive selfie sessions for hours everywhere at the resort. There were the five Chinese men that shouted to each other across the grounds of the resort at six o'clock in the morning, just in case others were still enjoying their sleep at such a late hour. There was the French-Asian couple with the forward Asian woman who walked and swam around topless, and took off her bottoms to take a full shower at the outdoor shower with her two boys. And, of course, there were the overly tanned, wrinkled, old Caucasians smoking like chimneys while frying their bodies some more under the sun.

Overall, it was fabulous to unplug and get away from everything. We had made a point of leaving behind all electronic devices and stayed off the internet the entire time we were there, which felt very freeing. Even though it was only a few days long, it was exactly what we needed to get recharged for the final push to finish the rest of the school year.
A man walking around proudly with his rooster at the pier.
Our cute little cabana.
Where does the pool end and the ocean begin?
Our home for a few days, only a few steps away from the beach.
My son kayaking for the first time. He was really good at it and love it!
Some locals digging for clams to make fish sauce.
My son caught this beautiful clam.
Sun setting on our last day.
Saying goodbye to a wonderful place at the pier early in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment