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
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.
||Excellent pluming skills, very consistent, extensive use of
electronics, Onsen very civilized
||Excellent pluming skills, reasonably consistent
||Equal second place with America, (Ok I am biased)
||Same as Australia
||Fair plumbing skills, not very consistent, low water pressure,
lots of damp
||Reasonable pluming skills, not very consistent
||Same as Chile
||Poor plumbing skills, very inconsistent, somewhat stone age in
||Very poor plumbing skills, to all most nonexistent; Neanderthal
||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
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.
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