Sunday, June 16, 2013

Our brief stint as beach bums

I don't have too much to say about Koh Samui because we didn't do a whole hell of a lot. That said, it might just be my favorite leg of the vacation. Well perhaps not (I do really like elephants), but it was very fun to just kick back and relax with no agenda for a few days. We had a villa with a private pool that was just steps from the beach, so there didn't seem much point in leaving.

Koh Samui is the third largest Thai island (the well-known Phuket being the largest), but we didn't explore it much until we'd been there for two days. At which point we found out that, despite not doing too much research, we'd lucked out. Our resort was on the quiet, stilly fairly undeveloped Mae Nam beach on the north of the island. The more popular Chaweng Beach, which we later visited to go to a fun restaurant, was a totally different experience. In the end, I much preferred our quiet slice of Koh Samui than the souvenir-shop-lined one with all the night life. We might not have the option of parasailing, but our resort had nice beach chairs, an infinity pool, and a kayak we could take out whenever we wanted. Everything else just seemed like noise.

Who needs white sanded party beaches when you can have completely deserted yellow sanded beauty? 
Our first time leaving the resort after arriving (other than a 15-minute walk down the dirt road to the ATM and 7-Eleven on a cash and cheap-snacks-to-avoid-the-minibar run) was to visit Chaweng beach for a restaurant we read about in our guidebook. When we made the reservations, they offered to send somebody to pick us up, so we assumed it was fairly close. It turned out to be a half hour drive away, and when we tried to tip the guy who nicely delivered us, we found out he was actually the manager of the place. I'm not sure if the free ride there was just a perk of the off-season tourist slump (which didn't seem to affect Koh Samui nearly as much) or another testament to Thai friendliness, but even after we'd eaten and asked if they could call us a cab, he still insisted on driving us back. For this reason, and for the delicious food, I recommend any readers who find themselves on Koh Sumai to get dinner at Eat Sense. Also note, if you do go: the duck curry with lychees is good, but very spicy.

Enjoying at kiwi daiquiri at Eat Sense.
Looking at it now, there's a weird shadow on this, and it's not really that great a photo, but just trust me: in person this was the most beautiful seafood appetizer platter you ever saw. 
 Our second field trip from the resort was to go on a tour of the island. Sadly, this one was not a private tour, so the first 45 minutes or so were spent driving around and filling a van with people from other hotels. It also meant we didn't have someone to answer our every passing question, so I honestly don't know that much about the things we saw or their significance. I can still post about them though with my random, if not terribly informative, commentary.

A large Buddha. For some reason this is a Chinese style Buddha and not a Thai one. There were also symbols of the Chinese zodiac everywhere. 
The Big Buddha (interestingly much smaller than the previous Buddha which did not earn that moniker). You can see me at the top of the stairs. They made you take your shoes off at the bottom because technically the whole structure is a temple, which wouldn't be a problem except that the stairs were black and in direct sunlight.  
View from the top of the Big Buddha. Worth the blistering feet!
This is one I'd definitely like to know more about. The guy supposedly predicted his own death and died in a meditating position. The placard where I read this though failed to explain why his fellow monks would put his mummified buddy on display in a glass case with sunglasses on though. 
A fitting finale photo.

So that about wraps up the trip recap! Overall, we had a wonderful time, but it is still nice to be back to normal life too. Now we can start doing proper married people stuff like opening a joint checking account and finally getting a family phone plan (we've been patiently waiting for the new Verizon store a block away to open, as if it's the only Verizon store in the city). Thanks for reading! Check back soon for normal, everyday New York/Astoria adventures. 

1 comment:

  1. These pictures make me want to go to Thailand!