Friday, February 03, 2006

Samui Escapade

How I wished I could have more time in Koh Samui! Two full days were definitely not enough! Had not read up on the place and was surprised that the island is indeed so large with many small `townships' so to speak. Our resort is at the Lamai beach area.

Day One: Arrive at Surat Thani

We arrived at Surat Thani quite late at night and headed straight to hotel and filled our stomachs, and then to bed as we had to get up at 6am the next morning.

Day Two: Slow Boat to Koh Samui

The ferry ride was 1 1/2 hour. It was a huge ferry that could house all the buses and private vehicles. I spent some time enjoying the sun and sea breeze on the deck. You could see the water was quite clear!

When we landed, my cousin Viv and me decided to join a half-day tour with another coach (ours are `free&easy' package). Basically we only visited two tourist spots and lunch in between.

The first is a temple called Wat Kiri Wongkaram which has the famous `mummified monk'. It was considered a miracle when a 90 year-old monk died in 1973 and his body did not decay. It was apparently preserved in its original form and placed in a glass case. The dark glasses is a little out of place but was there probably to cover the hollow of the eyes!?

After lunch, we were taken to Samui Aquarium & Mini Zoo. First we thought it would be boring but it turned out to be a memorable experience for me as it was the first time that I ever touched a real tiger and pose for a photograph with her. Although taking a pix with Sara came with quite a high price!

We also watched a bird and tiger show which was pretty cool and entertaining. The animals were so smart! But they were so quick so it was hard to snap pictures!

We stayed at Serene Hill Resort & Spa which is on a hill slopt and has a pretty nice, cosy ambience with lots of woods. The accommodation is villa concept.. and I got the whole villa to myself! ;)

Went for a spa at Natural Wing in the late afternoon. The place was highly recommended by our local guide. I was slightly disappinted with the set up as it was not as `luxurious' as I imagined it to be although it has a very distinctive Thai resort flavour. The service and treatment was very good so it more or less made up for it. My package included a hair pack, steamed bath, ground coffee body scrub and a jasmine essential oil massage. The treatment, especially the scrub and massage was heavely and after three hours, I felt so blissful and relaxed...

Had a walk at the Lamai beach road dominated by nightspots and shops and flooded with toursits. Couldn't find any thing to buy compared to the Chiang Mai market. Came across an outlet which says `caberet' and standing by the street were these elaborately dressed and made up `show girls.'

Day Three: Snorkeling at Islands Paradise

Have signed up for a snorkeling trip to Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan, again recommended by the tour leader. I went by myself as my other relatives were not interested. And I was fortunate to have the company of a friendly honeymooning couple from KL too. We also exchanged phone numbers.. :)

The snorkeling part was unfortunately disappointing. There were not much corals at all and if there were, they were already dead. Fishes too were sparse but at the second island, there was a bit more. It was still worth the trip as the sea was really beautiful and Koh Nang Yuan had a streatch of sandy beach too.

Well, we had fun and some most `exciting' moments, thanks to the volatile weather. Most of the time when we were in water, the sky was clear. Other than that, it rained.

It was also the first time I had a shower in the rain - literally! Since I already finished snorkeling and swimming in the sea, the rain came just timely to wash away the sticky sea water.. then, it cleared up when we walked to the speed boat, but finally rained cats and dogs on the way back. Because of the bad weather condition, our speed boat ride took almost two hours to come back!

After a good shower and rested a bit, I had a little something to eat before trying out foot reflexology at our resort spa. I only could afford 1/2 hour treatment as I didn't have enough money left! :p It was good.. hoped I could do it longer.

We had dinner at this place called `Beverly Hill's - sumptuous Thai cuisine. And then proceeded to a club called `Buddy' which building reminds me of a cross between British colonial and Asian style. We really had fun playing pool - not that I was any good - and also foosball! There were barrel of laughters especially when my cousin got so over excited that he broke the old and rusty rod!

Day Four: Long Journey Home

Took a picture with the lady who runs the resort. She is only 23! The resort is part of her father's many businesses.

The trip home was loooooong. Lets see, first we boarded our bus to the pier - waited a while before entering the ferry and it was another 1 1/2 hour before reaching Surat Thani. After `tapau-ing' some food as lunch, we hopped onto the bus again and another 1 hour plus to the airport. Half way, we were told that our flight was delayed from 4:40pm to 7pm! So we were taken to Tesco to shop! The only problem was most of us have spent all our Thai Baht! And really, there weren't much to buy anyway. Ended up at KFC. Then it was long wait again at the airport and finally the plane took off at 7:30pm Thai time.

By the time I reached home it was almost 12am... Yeah, it's like 13 hours of time on the road, sea and air!

I was totally exhausted, but I had a really good time!

p.s. some staray dogs I spotted at the trip

This poor dog with a wound on his head was wondering the jetti where we took the speedboat.

This dog was seen drinking from a bucket of unkown liquid at the busy Lamai Beach Road.

These two dogs were at the Surat Thani pier but I think they might belong to some one.

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