Posted tagged ‘Samui’

Thai for Two – part 3 (Island of Salty Dreams)

January 11, 2013

If by now you haven’t decided to visit this beautiful country and interact with it’s friendly, helpful people (not counting the Devil’s tuk-tuk driver), perhaps I can entice you with tales of a mystical island only reachable by boat…or plane. Your choice. On this island, you’ll marvel at the swarms of scooters (which you’ll soon realize is the most effective and affordable way to get around on your own), you’ll make happy noises (hopefully with your mouth) at all of the wonderful sights to see and activities to participate in and you’ll only leave because you didn’t plan appropriately to be able to quit your job on the spot and just stay there for the rest of your life. I’m talking about Koh Samui.

These are the ones that DIDN’T have 3 or more passengers.

We made it back to our hotel from the Grand Palace with no trouble. We even knew enough about where we were going now that we didn’t need to consult our map of Bangkok and draw the helpful attention of the local population. We were 6-hr locals now. Ask us anything…anything that pertains to the 5-block radius around our hotel.

After showering for the second time that day, we ventured out to one of several malls in the local area, and one that would shame most American versions (except maybe the Mall of America, you know, that one on commercial-district steroids) and had dinner at a local Thai chain. The food was spicy enough that we were encouraged to select the mild spice. Even that was enough to set my scalp fountain to bubbling over. We headed back to the hotel to shower again and catch a few hours of sleep before our flight to Samui.

If there were any troubles on the flight from Bangkok to Samui, they didn’t generate enough angst for me to remember them and snark them up here. What I do remember is this:


You can see this massive statue from the air as you fly into the island’s airport. Again, it felt like something out of a non-crusty Harrison Ford movie. If, for some highly imaginative reason, you were stuck having to take on pilot duties over this area and didn’t know where you were going, you’d just look for the giant golden Buddha in the bay, then radio for someone to tell you how to land your first commercial aircraft. In the ensuing media circus, you couldn’t fail to mention that all was lost until Giant Golden Buddha saved the day.

While not excessively large, the island is big enough that the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel took about thirty minutes, and took us down some seedy-seeming back alley before depositing us here:

The lobby of paradise.

Once again, we were afforded the privilege of being labeled as persons of moderate spending, and upgraded to a villa for a nominal fee. When I say “villa”, I really mean, miniature private compound within the boundaries of the resort. We had a privacy wall with a locking privacy gate; we had our own private mini-pool; there was even a pond, fountain and mini-Zen garden. I made up my mind that this would be the model for my retirement compound…wherever and whenever that might be. I would have taken pictures of it, but I was so smitten, and ego-boosted, that I simply forgot to make that effort. Take my word for it: it was paradise. Actually, don’t take my word for it. Go stay at Renaissance Koh Samui and tell me I’m full of it. I’ll pretend not to notice, but you’ll have the self-righteous pleasure of trying to get my attention in a negative way.

Achebeyo and I soaked in all of the calm of this place, then began the verbal Battle of Tour Suggestions – Samui Edition. We would eventually settle on one SCUBA excursion and several shore tours. Interestingly enough, the shore tours would be the highlight of my trip, while the SCUBA trip would see me lose my GoPro Hero 1 and buddy breathe with Achebeyo because of faulty dive equipment.

Continued in Thai for Two – part 4 (Muy Muy Samui)


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