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Koh Samui Thailand

On the Beach

Monday, March 3, 2008

On the beach before the rain came down.

We left the hotel for the airport at 10:00am. The only hitch today was a power outage at the hotel for about 30 minutes in the morning otherwise it was uneventful trip to the airport. The flight was a bit late departing but, we were not in a hurry so it did not matter really. We were picked up by the resort at the Samui Airport. Then we made our way through the island's small streets, which were filled with motor scooters, and were soon at our hotel. They showed us to our room and we were on the beach in no time flat. This is a tropical environment which is prone to tropical downpours and we had arrived at the beginning of one.

We walked quite a way down the beach before we returned to our hotel. This is still Thailand so you can get a Thai massage anywhere; on our return we had our massage for the day. After the massage we sat on the porch of our villa, drank Thai beer and watched the rainstorm.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

We both slept well despite the fireworks being released by the resort next door; do not ask me I have no idea why they were firing off fireworks. We were up relatively early and had a nice breakfast before we were out on the beach again. It rained on and off today but nothing like last night. We walked a mile or so down the length of half the beach this morning just to explore and get a bit of exercise. After swimming in the 80 degree ocean water we left the hotel to explore the small town. We had to have another foot massage as it is the custom in Thailand to not let four hours pass without a massage.

A typical bar we found wandering about the town; filled with Yobbos. For "Mars Attacks" fans please note the name of the bar.

This town is some kind of get away for Europeans. Not just your average European but what we refer to in Australia and England as Yobbos! Yobbos, for my American friends, are cultureless individuals of no particular age but often under 30 who seek cheap holidays filled with wet T shirt competitions and cheap drinks. This might have explained the fireworks last night, not sure. Not that there is anything wrong with Yobbos they have a right to a vacation too.

We had quite a good lunch and then returned to our hotel, which is not filled with Yobbos, to rest from our second day of rest in Koh Samui.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I spoke too soon about the weather clearing up yesterday as last night we had another downpour similar to the first night and strangely at the same time. We spoke with a guy in the dive shop and he assured us that this was quite unseasonal weather for this time of year; I guess you pays your moneys and you takes your chances with these things.

We have now come to the firm conclusion that the measure of any given civilization is reflected in their plumbing. Yes, if you want to know how advanced a culture, society, civilization, or country is just look at their plumbing skills. If the plumbing is bad then you will find many things about the culture not to your liking, guaranteed. Given this bold premise I have compiled the following civilization maturity index table based on my travels to date.

01 Japan Excellent pluming skills, very consistent, extensive use of electronics, Onsen very civilized
02 America Excellent pluming skills, reasonably consistent
02 Australia Equal second place with America, (Ok I am biased)
02 New Zealand Same as Australia
03 England Fair plumbing skills, not very consistent, low water pressure, lots of damp
04 Chile Reasonable pluming skills, not very consistent
04 Argentina Same as Chile
05 Thailand Poor plumbing skills, very inconsistent, somewhat stone age in places
06 Egypt Very poor plumbing skills, to all most nonexistent; Neanderthal in nature
07 Antarctica No plumbing, you'd best take your own

So next time you are planning your over-seas vacation make sure you research the plumbing first.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A water buffalo, there are many on the island.

We had another lazy day in paradise today. Here is our typical day's activities, get up a 7:30am, yoga exercises, lift a few weights, have our buffet breakfast, leave the hotel to walk the main street to the Perk & Peck coffee shop and drink a latte, walk back to the hotel and go for a swim in the warm ocean, sit on our porch to dry off, have a Thai massage on the beach, take a swim in the pool, back to the porch to dry, read, leave the hotel to find a restaurant to eat lunch, walk back to the hotel while window shopping, take another swim, then back to the porch to watch the ocean, have a nap, leave the hotel to seek out a place to eat dinner, return to the hotel to watch a video on our computer, and then off to sleep. This is our normal day so far in Koh Samui. We varied from this today just a bit as we had mail waiting for us at the post office and took a cab there to pick it up. I am amazed how successful the mail forwarding has been working so far on our trip.

The weather has been constant with showers every evening around 6:00pm. A few days ago we checked in with the local SCUBA dive shop to inquire about diving and discovered that there are high seas at the moment and rather bad weather all around us. So we have been checking in with the dive shop each day to try and find a day we might go diving.

A monkey we discovered.

Let me tell you about the main street just outside our resort. It is a street that is a typical representation of what happens when a poor culture bumps into a more affluent one. The street could be described as primarily ramshackle in nature. There are a few modern and newer buildings but most seemed to have grown up in a less planned and more organic way. The street contains Thai massage salons, ATM machines, pharmacies, T shirt shops, bars, suit tailors and dress makers, and restaurants; did I mention bars, coffee shops, Internet cafes, and of course more bars. The street is full of motor scooters, taxi cabs, and old European men with young Thai girls on their arms sitting in bars.

At night the street slips into an even sleazier mode. The bars are filled with young Thai, and what appear to be, female hookers. There is the constant sound of fireworks and skyrockets exploding in the background mixed with the thumping of some outdated disco song. The restaurants display their fresh fish catches of the day which they will cook for you in any way you desire. I am sure you could get anything else you desire at the bars. When rich people meet poor ones the result is this street.

From Julia: One of the interesting things about the street seems to be that it hasn"t yet been overtaken by big business; maybe It's on the verge as there is a McDonalds but no other signs of foreign ownership such as Starbucks, Hiltons, Marriotts, etc. I think this adds to its feel of lawlessness and anything goes. The positive side could be the money is staying locally, although we don"t know. We know our hotel is owned by a local Thai family. The first time we walked up the street we were a bit horrified by its ugliness and sleazy side. Strangely, after a few days we are starting to like it a bit more and feel glad we are staying on it rather than out at an isolated resort. We like to partake a bit of the Yobbo entertainments -- well the fresh BBQ fish restaurants, ice creams, and beers. We haven"t yet gone as far as wet T shirt competitions or hooker bars...

At the waterfall.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Today we rented a small 4x4 car and made a tour of the south western part of the island.

The rainstorms really moved in on us as it rained all day and poured down on several occasions so much so that many of the roads we traveled on were covered in water; nothing that our trusty and rusty 4x4 could not handle. We visited the Namuang waterfall and Elephant park first.

On the calmer side of the island after buying my tropo shirt.

After this we made a loop around the south western part of the island stopping for a swim on a southern facing beach, which had much calmer waters than our hotel which is on the eastern side of the island. Then we made our way to an aquarium and Tiger zoo.

Julia in a resort we ate lunch at on the southern part of the island.

From Julia: The aquarium was interesting, but it was hard to see the six or seven captive Tigers pacing their cages. I just hope the notice that said they had more space available and only stayed in cages for short periods was true. The staff usually has some kind of Tiger show, which thank god was cancelled due to rain. I can't imagine those pacing Tigers settling down to performing tricks for the crowd without at least one person being mauled.

Koh Samui Beach

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