So I decided to leave the calm and relative coolness of Chiang Mai for the pleasures of the south, namely the islands above and the beach.
I had a very long journey to Koh Samui- a flight, coach ride and ferry all before I landed on the island. Some of you may have read elsewhere of my arrival at a pretty poorly run hostel. However, my time in Koh Samui was saved by meeting fellow traveller Fran. She took me to the beach- which was gorgeous and we spent the day in the sea and soaking up the sun.
Our days became a routine of beach and going out at night. We had a sweaty, shot fuelled evening at hush bar where we danced the night away to old r’n’b. There are some amusing pictures of me dancing with the Thai drinks promoter holding a large sign for sleazy named shots! We also had a much more chilled evening at lipsmackers bar on the beach, a background of cheesy reggae as we drank pina colada’s. I also got to send off a paper lantern into the sky with a wish and later there was a firework display. In all after my rough start, I had a lovely few days.
As I don’t ride a scooter (which everyone does in Thailand, including tourists sometimes with bad results) I was limited in getting around the island, so on my third day I took a whistle stop tour. It was ok. The highlight was the last stop where there were huge statues of different Buddhist figures alongside temples floating above the water.
My plan was always to do at least two islands and my next stop was to be party island Koh Phangan. I won’t bore you with the mix up that meant we had to wait for 4 hours before we got picked up but after a short ferry trip we were there.
We took motorcycle taxis to our hostel feeling daring as we did so. I have taken them in Kenya but was still apprehensive about it and not wearing a helmet. Oh if only I had know how much more often this would be happening! We arrived at the hostel, dropped our bags and headed out.
It was dusk as we walked along a short path near the hostel and already being on Koh Phangan seemed like such a good choice. The wide expanse of navy blue sky and charcoal sea felt a million miles from the bustle of Koh Samui. We went for a meal beside the sea sitting under the stars. I spent a good proportion of it trying to capture the lightening on the other side of the harbour unsuccessfully! After the requisite stop at the omnipresent seven 11 we shopped for black moon party clothes but decided to buy the next day.
The next morning I talked fran into having a scooter lesson with me. I unfortunately can not go slow and so had to forgo the freedom of having a bike. Fran was much better but decided that she’d rather practice later. We got our bikinis on and headed for the beach. The latter was a bit disappointing- it was pebbly and you needed to wade out for ages to get deep. However, we found two sun loungers and a pool in an isolated spot so it felt as if it was just there for us both. We whiled away our time taking pics and soaking ourselves in the clear but bath warm water. I also gathered some shells for my collection.
Later we went to the food court which had a great array of foods including one stall that had insects. I didn’t try any but the others did. We eventually headed back for this was the night of the black moon party and we were expecting to be partying til the dawn.