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Published: November 12th 2006
Goodbye Chalee Villa
We loved our stay here! We'll miss the Chill Out Cafe (pictured at right) and its cool tunes with tasty food.
Happy Remembrance Day! Well, it was actually yesterday, for us. Derek, Mark and I held a moment of silence at 11:11am (OK, it was actually 11:12 because we lost track of time) while we were on the ferry to Ko Phangan. It was the first time in at least 6 years that I haven't been downtown at the cenotaph on the grounds of the legislature to lay the wreath on behalf of Scouts Canada, hand out programs of the event, or just mingle with veterans. I must say it was a lot harder to think of the suffering of the soldiers sitting the trenches on freezing cold nights when I was sitting in a boat on a light blue sea on a SWELTERING day. Last year's Remembrance Day, which saw me freezing cold, sopping wet with hair plastered to my face and rain running off my eyebrows, seemed a bit more appropriate. Dad tells me that a Rover-ish youth laid a wreath this year. Good! Last year we didn't have a wreath and I was embarresed on behalf of Scouting. By the discription it sounded like it *could* have been Adam Shepherd. Anyone know who it was?
You're probably wondering
Flood on Ko Samui
We were fine traveling to Lamai beach in a songtheaw, but Mark somehow made it through this on his motorbike! Yikes!
about this scam I speak of. Be patient. I'll get to it!
Our new digs here on this island are pretty nice. Our last place was a very simple bungalow outfit, run by a Thai family (who we LOVED by the way! We took pictures of as many of them as we could, and at the end of the stay I gave them a "thank you" postcard of Victoria. They were super taken aback. I love that family). Our new resort, Weangthai Resort, really seems to be more a resort, despite the fact that this island is much less commercialized and Thai-style than Ko Samui. The resort is fairly small, and while there are a few bungalows we are staying in more of a motel room in a complex with maybe... 20 rooms or so. The location is great though. The resort has a nice pool which is right outside our front door, and the ocean is just steps away. Although our section of the beach is smaller than at Chalee Villa, the water is nicer for swimming (we've been swimming mostly in the pool--lame, I know). It has a "swim up bar," but it hasn't been open since
Walking in the surf
The waves tickle our toes during a walk down Lamai beach. We wanted to have beach day here, but the rain forced us to settle for a walk instead.
we've been here and I think they only do it for special parties around the full moon. Oh, I'm not sure if I've mentioned but this island is famous for it's all night Full Moon ragers, which happen every month. They happen in the Hat Rin area, which we visited today. I did not find the area very nice, though, and wasn't the least bit upset that we weren't staying in it. We're planning on coming back for the January 3 full moon party one we meet up with other friends from Victoria.
Anyway, back to our place. Our room is a decent size, with a double and single bed, TV with a couple English channels, fan, and bathroom with warm shower. The toilet is western-style non-flushing. Yahhhh western toilet! They didn't give us toilet paper, though, so we had to buy some. It's kind of one of those places where they nickel and dime you to death by making you pay a bit for everything extra, including toilet paper. We have a mini-fridge but it's almost completely full of stupid mini-bar stuff, and there's no price list so we're afraid to even take it out of the fridge
Funny Thai Antics
These Thai folks were busy collecting some kind of gastropod from the surf after a big wave had washed up, and I asked if I could take a picture of them. They wanted to do an "action shot" so this is what I got! They were really funny.
to put our own stuff in, for fear we'll be charged. We ate at the restaurant for lunch on our first day, but it was more expensive than Chalee had been and the service was SO slow, with no apologizies given. We're within an easy walk in to town, so we don't plan on eating there again. Where was I going with this? Oh yah! The scam... dum dum dum.
So, for breakfast today we didn't want to eat at the restaurant so we walked in to town to see what we could sniff out. Mark bought a whole pinapple, which he craftily consumed with a big folding knife he'd brought, while I went to this western-style "Big A" market we'd found before. I had spied some Milo cereal earlier, and was mighty interested in testing it out. I love Milo SO much and there is so much tasty Milo stuff here in Thailand. I recently descovered $.50 Milo ice cream cups, which make an incredible snack. For about $2.50 I could get a small box of Milo cereal and a small bottle of milk, which I thought would last me for two breakfasts if I squeezed the milk
Death of an ecosystem
Lots of people on Ko Samui seem to collect little gastropods from the waves, and I guess this is what they go towards. Each of the tiny "beads" on these hangings is a small shell. Although I love the shell jewllery here, I wouldn't buy any of it because it doesn't seem like the shells are collected from dead animals. Maybe it's not making an impact on the enviornment (I don't know about species abundance or anything) but it doesn't seem very good, just the same.
carefully into the minibar. PLUS the Milo cereal came with an incredible toy car from the movie, Cars, that had working headlights and moved and everything. I was really excited. I had brought a collapsable tupperwear container/bowl from home (which has really come in handy. I highly recommend them for backpacking) and I got a plastic spoon from Big A so I had everything I needed. The milk was whole milk, so I diluted it a bit with water to create a delicious Milo breakfast sensation. SO good, in fact, that I had two bowls. The cereal was about half gone at this point so I started looking for my toy car. It was no where to be found. Derek had also bought a box of Milo cereal, and although he hadn't eaten as much of his cereal as I had he also could not find the car. For lunch, I ended up polishing off the box and there was NO TOY CAR!!!!!! I was shocked, outraged, confused, and disappointed. With 6 to collect, I was anxious to see which plastic friend would be joining me on the rest of my journey. Then I noticed something that hurt me to my very soul: the bottom of the box was sealed up with tape! Someone had jacked my car, including the decal sheet, and resealed the box with tape! How could Big A let me down like this? Derek's had also been opened and resealed. Upon returning to Big A, we investigated other boxes that included free toys (we had bought the last boxes of Milo cereal earlier). All had taped bottoms, while non-toy boxes were tape free. I explained this wrong-doing to the cashiers, and while I'm certain they understood my plight there was not much they could do about it and their English comprehension appeared better than their English speaking ability. I feel like one of my own children has been snatched from me. It's a sad, sad day. I'll be sure to check my Milo boxes for tape from this day forth.
On a lighter note, we had a great day of snorkeling today!!! Unfortunately, there was a big thunderstorm today so we weren't actually able to go to a reef for fear of electrocution, but we felt OK paddling around our hotel pool because it was flanked with palm trees and a big radio tower (plus the lightening wasn't actually too close to us). We had such a great time, and probably played in the pool for more than 90 minutes while the rain poured down around us. That play time alone was worth the snorkel purchase price, for me! It sounds like there are lots of good beach-accesible snorkel sites on Ko Phangnan so we're pretty excited. I think tomorrow we'll go out rain or shine (assuming there's no lightning). Mark taught us how to dive under the water then come up and clear our snorkels without even taking our head out of the water, and now we're pros and ready for the coral. I can't wait!
There are lots of interesting sounding places to visit on this island that are free, or close to it. Good reefs, beautiful waterfalls, a number of temples... We should have lots to do for our final 3 days assuming the weather cooperates with us. We want to rent motorbikes (the traffic is MUCH better than Ko Samui) but I won't go on wet roads so we'll have to wait for a drier day. Derek and I have decided to bite the bullet and pay for the more expensive automatic bikes so that we have one less thing to think about.
I'm going to try uploading some pictures now. Hopefully it will work on this computer. Again, mine aren't that great but I have a few good ones. Mark and Derek both have some great photos, which I'll be able to put up once we get home. Derek's new camera is really nice and he's been having a lot of fun with it. I'm going to post some to some old entries, too, so check a few entries back to see those. Well, time to get out the camera!
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