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Published: September 9th 2006
As our days in Thailand began to wheel down to an end, we took time to hit the Islands. We actually went to Ko Samet, an Island that still claims to have malaria though they took the sign down as to not frighten off the tourists.
This time of year, most of the tourists are Thai, which can be relaxing compared to the over crowded beaches in the south. Ko Samet is also a national park, but even economic development has precedence over environmental laws.
The bus arrived late into the evening so we were forced to spend the night on the shore. We were taken to the “cheapest guesthouse” that seemed like more of a shady warehouse. There were no signs indicating that it was open to the pubic. The half dressed man gave us a key to a room on the fourth floor where we hiked up and found a room that can only be summed up as “cheap.”
The idea of cleanliness was virtually none existent. Amazingly we had a shower room the size of a broom closet with a shower that ran from a PVC pipe. There was a squat toilet and a rusted
sink that had a hole the size of a bowling ball in it allowing the water to pour onto the floor and through the drain meant for the shower. The flors were covered with grime and walls with webs and moss. In all honesty, a shower in that bathroom would most likely make you feel dirtier coming out. That is if you survived.
In our bathroom a farm of ants had made its home along the side of the toilet where you are meant to put your feet. Also one of the largest spiky legged, flying bugs I had ever seen had made its home above the PVC pipe. I ran for the bed as it flew from the wall on to the floor. Jan tried to capture it, but ended up letting it loose into the main room.
It was awfully hot in the room and the full size bed was made up with a once white, now stained sheet—the same kind that was used as the curtain / window screen along the wall. The blanket was utilized as a means to capture the unidentified monster that ran loose in our room. When we finally were able
to contain him under the toilet flusher (a bowl like container), we went for something to eat.
On our gallivanting around the town we found a really nice hotel (compared to where we were) and decided we would make a switch. We had already experienced the adventure of “the room” and decided we wanted to get sleep and have energy for the next day.
In the morning when we checked out of the fresh hotel, we took the public taxi to the port town. Once in the port town we took two motorcycle taxies, backpacks and all, to the dock.
The ferry to the island left at 2:00. On the ride over, the mist of the ocean, soft scent of the sea, and spitting of the motor lulled me into a relaxed daze. Once there, we found our Villa and settled in.
Walking to the main desk, underneath the grass roof, the white sandy beaches and blue water could be seen through a close frame of Palm trees. People relaxed in the sun and others ran after stray dogs and Frisbees.
We checked into our beach house villa; then Jan and I went and spent
the day on the pearl white sands of the beach. We floated around in the deep green, lagoon like waters and walked along the edge of the ocean looking at coral reef and small crabs. As the sun set, we walked along the shore where the white collided with the blue and created a fusion of foam and salt. The sun set behind the mountains that lay straight ahead as we continued over rocks and past sand castles and kerosene lanterns.
For dinner we ate at our villa’s “restaurant” which was a series of mats and sitting pads lined up on the sand with small intimate tables. The stars were our ceiling and the rolling high tide our melody. We were served a delicacy of vegetable stuffed grilled fish, grilled chicken, a baked potato, potato salad, and fruit with yoghurt for desert. As Jan sipped his beer and I my margarita, we watched the spotted sky shift above us.
The next day Jan’s father Rob, and his travel buddy Aat came with their families. They all spoke English except the youngest, Bob. We met them down the beach were we had breakfast and coffee. Jan and I set
up our towels and laid on the beach for a while until Jan began to not feel well; we then went in one of the near by villas and rested.
When he felt a little better we went back in to the ocean and swam.
Later that evening when it was time to meet the family for dinner Jan said he could not go because he felt awful. I went in his stead and brought a large bottle of Jack Daniels as a gift—or peace offering. It’s a Tennessee thing. We ate at their villa and then went to have coffee. They were concerned about Jan and so some went to go check on him.
On the beach we watched the “fire show” and then called it a night.
When I came back I found Jan in a heated mess. His temperature was so high that it was uncomfortable to touch. I began to cover him with cold wet towels (and floor mats) that I managed to cool off by holding in front of the AC. When he didn’t cool down right away, I got out the Lonely Planet to look up symptoms.
all of the symptoms for Malaria, which scared me, but he doubted that was what is was. It began to cool off a while later, so we decided to not seek help for the evening. First thing the next morning we went to the island clinic. It turned out that he had a stomach virus or something of the sort.
After the nurse loaded him with medication, we went and met the families for breakfast. After breakfast it was time to get ready to head back to Bangkok. Jan told me the morning before that he would take me to the shore, but would stay with his family when I left. So when he told me that morning that he would go to Bangkok with me, I was really glad.
We said good-bye and headed up to the capitol where Aat had set us up in an amazing hotel for the evening. Despite Jan’s not feeling well, he wanted to be adventurous explore the floors of the hotel, the pool, the restaurants, and clubs.
The next day after a dismal and sad good bye, I headed off alone to the airport by taxi from the hotel.
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