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Published: October 31st 2016
We said some sad goodbyes and with a heavy heart we left Cape Town for our first trip to Asia. Three flights later and we arrived in Koh Samui. We picked Koh Samui based on a travel program we had watched earlier that year as it looked so beautiful. Koh Samui is Thailand's second largest island. We had been so busy that we were very much looking forward to relaxing and lying on a beach soaking up some sun. As an anniversary/birthday present to Alex we stayed for four nights in a lovely place called "Palm Cocoa Mantra". We had a spectacular view and it was probably the best view i've ever had from a hotel room. If you want a few days to unwind, we would certainly recommend it. The staff are so helpful, polite and welcoming. Two days of relaxing and we didn't know what to do with ourselves, so we tried to venture into the centre of Lamai but unfortunately we couldn't find it and turned back as the 32 degree heat was too much. We got a taxi that evening to the centre and explored the night vendors. Although relatively small, there was plenty on offer with
fruit juice vendors, traditional thai food vendors followed by the banana pancake man :-). Typically a main dish would set you back about 70 baht (just under 2 pounds) with a fruit shake typically costing around 35 baht (approx 80p). We got brave one night and sampled crocodile... quite chewy and gristly. Not something we would be in a rush to eat again.
We found it relatively cheap but not as cheap as we thought. When we left 44 baht = 1 pound.
Sundays seem to be popular for the big night markets so we got a taxi (about 200 baht) to the night market to see what all the fuss was about. We sampled some of the local delicacies e.g. mango sticky rice...hmm if you ever get a chance do try it! I tried to purchase some clothes to be told by a Thai lady I was to big for Thai clothes! Charming! We witnessed some promotion for Muay Thai boxing in the middle of the street and then a man continued to sing on the stage behind...was a very surreal experience. After four lovely nights we moved on to Rich Resort which was in
Doing the washing backpacking style!
the centre of Lamai, a street behind the main centre and also on the beach. We found the accomodation online and then visited it in person to check it out and see if we could negotiate a price. Most places seem to offer you a good discount if you agree to stay four nights so we had our room reduced to 608 baht a night. We had a few days of pampering, swimming in the crystal waters and walks along the beach. To pamper yourself is very cheap on Koh Samui with a Thai massage setting you back about 200 baht for an hour...be prepared it is not a relaxing massage and not for the faint hearted - something we were not prepared for. They give you these thin pants and 3/4 sleeved tops to wear, so once we were dressed and lay down, our first every Thai massage began! My massuist was a few minutes ahead of Alex's and didn't appear as harsh, so when my massage had finished I turned to see Alex being swung around with his arms behind his head with this Thai lady commanding "crack crack CRACK!!!". Once the ladies had finished, they left so
we could change back, to which Alex asked me "did she touch you...you know did she touch you? She touched me three times!" This thai lady had taken a shine to Alex and it seemed we passed her every night, requesting Alex to join her for a Thai massage. Funnily enough he declined each night. We also used our time in Koh Samui to have our feet done which was lovely and will cost you about 200-300 baht to have a pedicure and to get your feet scrubbed.
Our overall thoughts are Koh Samui, it's an island with lovely beaches, perfect for a relaxing break but there doesn't seem lots to do on the island itself. We didn't rent a moped due to my lack of balance so we were forced to walk/get a taxi which could be rather costly. If you want to see anything around the island you need some form of transportation to get from one town to the next. We looked at booking a tour with a company but they were either extremely costly/sending you to other islands/involved activities we werent comfortable with e.g. riding an elephant so we decided to just relax and enjoy
We were pampered and ready to move on. Sadly, the day before we left Koh Samui, the Thai king passed away so Lamai had a very sombre feel to it the day we left with no music being played. Also with Thai law, it is actually illegal to discuss the monarchy with the Thai people and punishable by 15 years in prison therefore we couldn't actually offer our condolences or ask the Thai people about how felt.
If you ever fly out of Koh Samui airport, you really do feel like you are on a tropical island. We had never seen an airport like it before, it had a thatched roof with the runway not so far away and the best part, Bangkok Airways offer you unlimited food, drink and wifi, as we are trying to save money where we can....lunch was served!
We climbed, literally climbed up a ladder onto the smallest aircraft we've ever travelled on with two cabin crew and 68 seats. A short hours flight and we would land in Phuket.
From Koh Samui, with love x
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