Monday, June 4, 2012

Koh Samui

After a marathon of over 24 hours of traveling I finally arrived in koh Samui a thai island about 700 miles from Bangkok. First there was the 7.5 hour bus trip from yangshou to gangzhou - it was on a bus with the locals and cost $15. Yes pretty much no English and the bus was filthy - no toilet on bus bus but I think that was a plus. Yangzhou has no airport and no train station so most people arrive from guilin by bus or taxi - i read i could get a bus to gangzhou and that is where i could get a jet star flight to singapore (staff travel) - what i neglected figure out was the actual distance - it looked closer on the map! My hotel packed me a couple of sandwiches and cookies for the journey since it was suppose to take 10 hours - do not ask me why it only took 7.5 as I have no idea. I was told once I got to gangzhou I would be able to get a cab to the airport. There happened to be a young girl on the bus who was from gangzhou and she could speak some English She overheard what I had been told and told me I would never be able to get a taxi to the airport in gangzhou. 1. The bus stops in the middle of the city and you are dropped on the sidewalk luggage et all - not actually a bus terminal - oh surprise, surprise. 2. No cab driver will stop for me - do not know why but I think it is because I am not Chinese and it would be rush hour. 3. Taxis do not want to take people to the airport from the city because they have to come back empty! Well my thought was this is looking like really positive situation right! This young girl suggested she would get a cab for me and direct them to take me to the place where I could get a bus to the airport. So figuring there was not really any option I agreed. She was my guardian angel - although it took three cabs stopping before she found one that would actually agree to take me to the place where I could get the airport express. When the cab arrived at the area where I was to get the airport express two English guys hopped in the cab as I was paying and the driver started yelling at them and it was very clear he did not want their business so they got out - still cannot figure this one out? Arrived at the airport at about 7pm for my 1:15 am flight to Singapore than a 7:30 am flight to Bangkok (all for $100) then a short flight to koh samui arriving at noon

I booked a hotel for 3 nights as I was not sure how long I would stay. - very quickly I knew it would be longer than 3 days - 8 nights sounded like a nice even number. The first resort I stayed was very nice but the room I was in really was not anything special although it did have a lovely balcony overlooking the garden area.

I immediately headed to the beach for some long awaited sun It is interesting that us westerners lay on the beach for hours to get brown and the Thai people cover up completely as they do not want their skin to go any darker. So the lady who sells the most delicious roasted corn on the cob on the beach has on a long sleeve shirt, plus t- shirt, jeans, hat and scarf all day long while she is selling corn and fresh fruit on the beach.

I approached the reception staff to ask how much it would be for an additional 5 nights and the price went up $50 per night. I even checked a couple of the hotel discount websites and it was the same. So after a bit of research I got a room at the Pavilion (no. 1 resort in lamai beach for a little less than what I than i would have paid at my old hotel). Normally I do not go for top rated resorts and i certainly could have found cheaper ones here but since i am traveling on my own I wanted the resort to have a pool, be on the beach and be within walking distance to shops and restaurants plus be nice enough for me to want to hang around the resort. The Pavilion met all these criteria as you can see by the pictures - plus I have the most incredible jacuzzi on my balcony!

My days here have been pretty relaxing - going for long walks on the beach, eating the most amazing street food (phad Thai, masserman curry, Penang curry, mango salad and of course my favorite mango sticky rice - yummy) plus having treatments every day a Thai body massage is about $8 an hour!


The hotel staff tried to talk me into a thai cooking class but i already have that under my belt along with a complete recipe book. Then they suggested a tour of the island to go elephant trekking (been there done that) and to see the big buddha (how many big buddhas can there be in this world - i am done with buddhas and temples). But when they suggested a snorkeling adventure now this sparked some interest. So yesterdayI took a snorkeling tour - by speed boat we went to the islands of koh Tao and Koh nang yuan for Thesome snorkeling adventures - I only wish I had an underwater camera as it felt like I was in an aquarium with amazing colorful Fish and coral. We snorkeled at three different spots and had lunch at a secluded spot on koh Tao - what an amazing day. My snorkeling adventures went well except I was a little concerned about hiking myself back on to the boat as it is not as easy as I thought to pull this body up onto the boat while still looking glamorous - so I forgot about glamour but was able to get back on the boat without falling flat on my face and looking like a beached whale! I could snorkel every day - love it! However my bathing suit bottoms must have ridden up as I seem to have two burnt spots on my butt - glad I couldn't view my butt in the air while I was snorkeling! On the boat i met a young girl Anna - she was traveling alone and lives Burlingame California which is near Sean and Michelle and was where they lived when they first went to San Francisco. So now I have another new friend and we are going to get together when I am in SFO looking after Hannah. I know you might be confused by the picture below and think it is me but no it is Anna - I only wish I looked like this!

In case you have forgotten - this is me!

Anna and I decided to meet up in the evening and go to the night market in lamai. At the market we purchased a couple of mojito drinks ($1.50 each). They were delicious and fairly strong so after a couple we got brave and decided on some street food - samui fish stuffed with lemongrass and basil being grilled over a fire (whole fish $6), phad Thai $1.75 and a rack of BBQ ribs $3. We shared the entire meal and the fish was exceptional the outside skin is salted and crispy, while the inside is a white moist meat you scrape off the bones, phad Thai was excellent as usual. The ribs were somewhat fatty so probably would not order them again. We then made our way through the market to make a few purchases and the then off for an hour long Thai massage at 10:30 pm! What a life! Unfortunately Anna booked to leave the island the next day before she met me as she was getting a little lonely - which honestly sometimes you do but that is when I write my blog or call family and friends.

Well I will be leaving koh samui in two days to go to sydney and see Marianne, Brian and family before they leave for a wedding in Mexico. Then it is off to Darwin, cairns (more snorkeling I hope) and possibly ayers rock. So you won't hear from me for the next few days I need to work on my tan before I get to winter in Aussie land (at least winter in Sydney)



  1. Lorna,

    What an experience you are having.
    Keep well; you do not seem to have suffered eating all the street food


  2. I'm so happy you are experiencing all these amazing things my friend. Still trying to win the lottery so I can join you, or if not it's still HELLO NEW YORK in Sept.Look forward to the rest of your blogs. Love ya.