Thursday, October 9, 2008

Koh Samui

After nearly 2 full days travelling from Chaing Mai (950 miles away) via tuk tuk, taxi, pick-up truck, coach, train and boat, we arrived at Chaweng pier on Koh Samui. We jumped in the back of a pick up truck and headed to Lamai beach, stopping only so the driver could buy a new bumper and pick up a few jack fruit.

We arrived about half an hour later at new hut bungalows and got ourselves a hut on the beachfront for 250 Baht a night. As soon as we dumped our gear we headed straight out into the sea. Crystal clear and as warm as bathwater.
Later that evening we got some snorkels and headed out over the coral reef about 15 meters out from the beach. Swam with some amazing tropical fish, mandarin fish, zebra fish, bat fish and some collared butterfly fish. Was all going really well, until I put my foot down on a crab, who freaked out and went for me, thus causing me to freak out and flounder around, slicing up my hands and feet on the razor sharp coral and muscles sticking out of the rocks.

I slowly half swam, half bobbed back to the beach with my hands and feet bleeding and hopped back to our hut to patch myself up with the first aid kit that, in her better judgement, Hannah had told me would come in useful and I packed under duress.

Later that night we hit the bright lights of Lamai. En route we walked across a bridge over a small stream, as I looked down into the stream I noticed that there were two moniter lizards, both at least a meter from head to tail, stalking the gekos in the undergrowth of the embankments. Lamai is an interesting mix of 60 year old men with 18 year old Thai girls and a few families on their annual two weeks.

We fought our way past the gauntlet of suit salesmen, tuk-tuk drivers and dubious looking "female" bar staff trying to entice us in, and found what looked like a pretty normal bar. What we didn't expect was to have our first pints of cider and pie, mash and gravy in 14months.
After dinner we headed back out into the foray. Each bar offering various deals on drinks and women! As we walked past one completely empty bar, one of the 12 girls dancing on it picked up the least ambiguous sign thus far, reading simply; CHEAP BEER, MANY COCKTAILS, GOOD BLOWJOBS, CHEAP HANDJOBS! Now that's marketing! Despite the unique sales patter, we declined, on levels of decency and sheer fear of the butch looking salespeople.
A few more days were lost drinking, reading and topping up the tan. Eventually we decided to move to a different beach called big Buddha further down the coast.

Once there we checked into the Samui mermaid hotel, we were shown to a really nice room with a TV, mini bar etc. as well as a swimming pool just outside.

We met up with some Irish guys and spent the next three days in a booze and sun fuelled delirium, drinking bottles of Chang all day and Thai whiskey and red bull out of mop buckets by night.
Once the head and stomach finally gave in, we made our escape to the pier and boarded the boat to Koh Pangyan.

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