Quick stop to Koh Samui: friends and beaches

IMG_20151105_142724

Once I arrived in Surathani, I boarded a ship at 6am to cruise across to Koh Samui, which is one of the largest island on East coast of Thailand. I have been there a few times before and it’s not my favourite island as I think there are more beautiful beaches and landscapes on other islands. I decided to just have one day there to meet a couple from my hometown, who I did mission work in Zimbabwe with.

IMG_20151105_132101After being pestered by private taxis offering a ridiculous price, I managed to find a songtaow to take me to Choeng Mon beach.

Once I found their accommodation, I chilled for a while and booked my onward travel ticket. I met my friends for lunch then hung out at the beach, which was quiet and beautiful. As there was warnings about jellyfish in the sea, I decided to go to a recommended hotel nearby for a swim and a beer, where my friends met me after class.

IMG_20151105_143813In the evening, we just had dinner at a local restaurant and played board games. The food was more expensive than I was used to as it was a touristy area but I couldn’t do much about that. I was lucky enough to stay in a double bedroom for free.

Advertisements

Koh Samui: same place, different time

IMG_5020

Beach huts we stayed in

Feeling absolutely exhausted, we mounted onto the ferry towards Koh Samui. This trip on Koh Samui was similar to the one I did about a month earlier. As I had raved about some specific beach huts on the island before deciding to join them on the island, I ended up staying in the exactly the same spot. Our first day consisted of eating, lying on the beach and sleeping.

IMG_5047

Hin Yai

After a descent amount of the sleep, feeling fresh the next day, we started to explore the Island. Again, we hired some motorbikes and drove to a famous landmark: Hin ta and Hin Yai on Lamai beach. This is an odd tourist attraction. Basically, it is some fascinating rock formations known as Grandpa (Ta) and Grandma (Yai), which look, respectively, like male and female genitalia. It was just amusing how many people were here, taking photos and posing. With clear blue skies and cliff faces, the view beyond this was beautiful. Down the road, not far from here is the Pueng Waterfall, which I did go to before but didn’t climb to the top. I am a slight sucker for waterfalls, I just love the beauty and water gushing and glistening in  the sun.

IMG_6397

Pueng Waterfall

Then we went for a leisurely driving in search of food, where we found a quiet market. In the afternoon, we drove for miles and miles beach hopping to Nathon beach. On our way back to the hostel, we met some friends from our training at Hin Ta and Hin Yai, where they planned to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, it wasn’t thought out as the sunsets on the other side of the Island. While we were here, we bumped into some different friends. Next to here is a small place called the Rock Bar, which we walked through and climbing onto the huge stone to see the sea beyond the horizon.

Once we had food, we strolled towards central Lamai town for a few drinks before heading back.

IMG_5134

Coral Cove

The following day, we carried on exploring the Island, mainly beaches on motorbikes. We beach hopped from Coral Cove, which was more rocks to climb than an actually beach but the view was incredible in both direction, to Chaweng beach, where we enjoyed a spot of lunch in a local cafe. After, we headed to Bophut beach, which has a fisherman’s village, where there are fish restaurants to dine in or markets with souvenirs and clothes or quaint gift shops. The beach area was extremely quiet as the seaside wasn’t spectacular due to the sea being dirty and with a disappointing view.  We decided we wanted to see the Sunset on beach so we drove to Nathon Beach on the west side but as the sun was disappearing the clouds covered the sky.

In the evening, we ate at Harry’s Restaurant, which is in Lamai town centre. Here, they have a wide variety of foods where they give huge portions at a cheap price. Then we motorbiked to downtown Chaweng to meet some of our other friends. I had such an unexpected great night, where we played pool, experienced different bars, received free drinks, wandered around, lost some of my friends, danced and met some guys from England. I was on the Red Bull all night as I had to drive back to our hut. By the time I hit the pillow, it was about three-thirty in the morning.

IMG_5106

Nathon Beach

On our last day in Koh Samui, we had a chilled day, where we meandered along the beach to Lamai town, devoured food at Harry’s, relaxed while enjoying a Thai massage, bathe in the refreshing sea and laid among the golden sand. Somehow we had forgotten our shoes so our feet burned in the process on the blazing pavements in the town.IMG_6437

Thailand is home to many astonishing Island and I am so bless to have the opportunity to travel for a couple of weeks around three of the most popular ones: Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. Even though I have done two of these previously, I still found new places to explore and had new experiences with different friends.

I will be back to see these sights again in the future.

Koh Samui: motorbikes, waterfall, zip lining, 4×4 driving and elephant trekking

Today has been my favourite day in South East Asia so far. It was definitely not planned, activities just sort of happened. This post is going to be full of photos and not so much writing.

IMG_3329To start the day we hired out motorbikes, which I was extremely excited about. I have never driven a motorbike (well, except a friend’s bike a few days earlier to a 7/11). It was harder than expected and even by the end of the day I still wasn’t confident. If i’m going straight on a quite road then I’m okay but put traffic, turns and uneven gravel into the mix then I will fall on my face. I did, however, fall off my motorbike turning into a gravelly car park but i was going so slow that I didn’t injury myself, just scratched the bike. I had to pay for that later. To hike out a motorbike for 24 hours, it cost 150bt (approximately £3).

We decided to find a waterfall so we followed some road signs. the first waterfall we encountered was a small waterfall, but the place also had other things to do so we took the opportunity to see an incredible view, zip lining miles above ground and have a fish pedicure.

IMG_3194   IMG_3200IMG_3210  IMG_3217

After, we hopped back onto our motorbikes to search out the biggest waterfall on this island. As we arrived, there was an elephant trekking area, which we couldn’t resist, especially as the other two had never ridden an elephant before. Bumping around on the elephant as it dawdled along the dusty track, we got the chance to climb on it’s neck and stroke his head.

IMG_3252  IMG_3259

Next, we enjoyed a ride to the waterfall on a 4×4 jeep. Enjoyed might not be the correct word for it. Throwing and tossing from side to side as the engine revved up the windy, chaotic path was a scary but exhilarating experience. one of the girls flung from her seat, nearly being thrown off the vehicle altogether. Luckily the driver noticed and stopped to let her slide back onto her seat.

IMG_3303

Once we wandered to the waterfall, we swam in the refreshing water before heading back to our hut for some food.

IMG_3308

As we had some spare time before going out in the evening, two of us rode our bikes around Koh Samui, soaking up the sun, the beautiful views and the atmosphere.

IMG_3222

In the evening, we had a few beers at the restaurant then caught a songtaew to the clubs. It wasn’t really a club, just an open space on the beach with loud music and a bar. On the beach area were young children trying to sell flowers and bracelets to the tourist to earn money. It saddens me that parents send out their young children as they know people are more likely to buy from children than adults. I’m not sure if these families live in poverty or know that they can get most of their income from drunk tourist. Either way, children have the right to be kids not to be working.

We met a group of people, who were living in Sweden but came from Peru. unfortunately, we didn’t get to dance as one of the girls I was with had drunk a little too much. We dropped her back home before searching for food, then staggered back on the beach shore. As we were walking, some stray dogs joined us and made sure we got back to our accommodation safely.

Travelling to Koh Samui: beach and bars

IMG_3155   Three of us decided to take a trip down to some of the islands as we had a few day before Songram started, which we wanted to celebrate with our group. 

After heading to a night market in Hua Hin, we took a tuk tuk to the train station. Anxious about what to expect on the 225bt over night train, it slowly pulled up. Finding our designated seat was simple as the guard were helpful. It was a simple, clean coach, full of thai people. Opposite us were a couple with a cute, little, fluffy dog. It wasn’t going to be easy to fall asleep but after tossing and turning and trying differnt positions, I finally got some interrupted sleep. More than I expected as well. IMG_3170

When we arrived in Surat Thani station, there were masses of promoters hoarding us to their coach to take us to Koh Samui. The journey to the ferry station took us long than I first though it would. This was probably due to the amount of unnecessary stops. Next, we boarded the huge ferry that overlooked on the beautiful view of the sea and scattered, little islands. 

Soon enough, we were wandering on the island turf to find accomatation for the next few days. We found a magnificent hut literally on the beach, which revealed the sea view from our door. Inside had two large mattresses, which we put together, a fan and plug sockets.IMG_3169

Due to the lack of sleep, we just laid on the beach, swam in the sea and walked along the golden sand, which ran through our toes.

In the evening, we grabbed some thai food and beers at our place before searching for the nightlife of Koh Samui. Unfortunately the area we were in only had restaurants and bars but that was good enough for us.  While enjoying a cocktail at one restaurant, I was chatting to the waiter, where hewas teaching  me some thai. Wandering the streets, I noticed several stands selling beers and cocktail. This would not happen in England. There were many young children out late at night with their parent. This seems to be quite common in South East Asia. I ended up talking to one family, practicing my thai. IMG_3172

Suddenly loud music and bright light surrounded my vision. Somehow we were in the red light district of Koh Samui with several round pods like you would find at the circus and a Muay Thai ring. Girls dancing around poles and on platforms in the centre of these pods while drinks are served around the edge. Tourists scattered around tables laughing together and watching them. It breaks my heart to see that girls have to dance in short shorts and low cut top to earn money. They will talk , play games and flirt with men to receive more dosh. From observation, they don’t like it if a foreigner tries to speak to these men as they are taking away their customers. Most of the time, the tourist just lay back in their seats just watching, not interacting. 

Opposite was a McDonalds and I couldn’t resist some fries with the delicious cheesy dip. After, we met some Italians, who were a range of ages from 20-60. We jumped on the back of their motorbike and took us back to our accommodation. As we were on the beach, we decided to take a swim in the warm sea. It was lush. One of the Italians decided to swing my friend around in the sea, which was amusing. Another guy, who was in his fifties, tried to kiss  one of my friends. I suppose that what happens when people drink. He didn’t succeed but it was funny to watch. Later, I discovered that my two friends got in the shower room together to run away from him.

It was definitely time to sleep.

Archives

Follow ___ Life as a travelling teacher on WordPress.com

Instagram

There was an error retrieving images from Instagram. An attempt will be remade in a few minutes.