October 19, 2008
After a long 3 weeks of midterms, I felt I well deserved a beach vacation.
Deserved it or not, I was off to the beach! My friend Aaron and I took off for our sandy getaway Friday morning and arrived at Ko Samet ( a beautiful island only a few hours from Bangkok) Friday evening. We took a truck taxi to Ao Nuan, one of the more secluded beaches farther south on Ko Samet. Then we walked around for about 30 minutes, through jungle and brush, totally off the beaten path. Too bad we didn’t find any treasures. All the guesthouses were quite expensive on the secluded beaches, so we ended up walking all the way back to where we started and staying at Ao Phai, where we had both stayed when we previously came to Ko Samet (my first weekend trip after arriving in Thailand). Not only did we stay at the same beach, we also stayed at the same guesthouse! Why mess with a good thing?
After we find a place to stay, we go to a restaurant on the beach (the water was literally hitting our feet as we ate) and had a dinner of grilled mussels, pad see yu, and noodles. After eating, we stroll along the beach for a while, catch a Fire Show, and head back to our guesthouse to grab some drinks and hit up the beach for a midnight swim.
After swaying in the ocean for most of the night, we polish off our drinks and head out to see what kind of nightlife scene is going on. We stroll into a bar in our bathing suits (why bother putting on a shirt when you dont have to), hang out for a few minutes and then Aaron decides he wants to challenge me in a game of pool (bad idea buddy!). We find a pool table and Aaron and I play for about 5 minutes before he beats me (but I was SO close to hitting a ball in, really). Then we begin the walk home. At one point, we get to a rock obstacle and as we’re walking/climbing across it, I feel myself falling. I catch myself. Then I feel myself falling again. Catch myself again. 3rd time is not such a charm though….this time I feel myself falling and I go down. Straight into a tide pool. On the bright side, I saved the bottle in my left hand! Wish I could say the same about my head…
6:30 am, rise and shine for the sunrise! I drag Aaron along with me and we head to the only restaurant I can find open at the hour. I get a few tastes of egg with my butter (ew) and Aaron gets a few tastes of omelette with his ketchup….what a weird meal. I wonder if the Thais cook this, thinking its an American breakfast we will like, even though they think it is gross? Or, do they think drowning everything in butter/ketchup is good? Either way….not the best meal.
Afterwards, Aaron and I walk south to the more secluded beach and proceed to park ourselves in front of the water for the rest of the morning. Read for 30 minutes, swim for 15 minutes, nap for 30 minutes, read for another 30 minutes, swim for 15 minutes, nap for 45 minutes…. hard life, but someone’s gotta do it 🙂 Oh, I broke the routine up with a banana shake break and an hour massage.
After we’ve had enough of the sun, we head back to civilization, book a snorkeling tour for the next day and sit down to enjoy a bloody mary and ice cream (separately). Then, some more beach reading/napping, followed by a movie at our guesthouse and dinner, a shower, and some hardcore partying (arriving home, ready for bed by 11pm haha). Highlight of the night: I made 5 pool shots in one pool game! That beats my life time record of 4 pool balls knocked in 😉 AND, I beat Aaron at a game of darts. Unprecedented. After the victory, I’m more than ready to call it a night. Quit while I’m ahead, right?
We head to bed, to be woken up a few hours later by a ridiculous monsoon. Streaks of lightening brightening the entire bungalow, following by thunder loud enough to scare off the terrential rain. Wake up at 8:30 am to a beautifully sunny day. Brilliant. Get up, have a normal breakfast (NO ketchup, please!), and head to town for our snorkeling tour, which ended up being a snorkelling/ fishing/ visiting a fish farm tour. Not to mention there wasn’t a word of english spoken the entire trip; Thai only! Love it.
The first snorkeling spot wasn’t the greatest,as my mask didn’t work and I therefore didn’t see a whole lot….but after lunch we hit up another snorkeling spot, where I quickly grabbed a better mask and was able to see a whole lot of colorful fish (sadly, unable to catch any of them). I was however, able to stab myself in the foot on a coral reef. Yay.
After we get back on the boat, the captain begins handing out water bottles with string on them. At the end of the string is a hook with a piece of squid attached to it. Is this Thai fishing? Yes it is. How Thai fishing works: You unroll the string, and sit on the edge of the boat, yanking on the string every few seconds until you felt a pull. Simple, but it works. Not for me though… I got bored after about 50,000 seconds and peaced out to read my book on the upper deck. Aaron, however, stuck it out for the next hour and caught a good sized fish, which we later grilled up and had for lunch # 2! Delish. No ketchup, please.
At the end of the tour, we stop by a fish farm and see enormous fish floating around! One of the tanks even had a shark in it! A shark, with a tortoise, in the same tank. How harmonious and unnatural. After the tour of fun, we get dropped off at the ferry and proceed back to BKK.
Good weekend… I am thoroughly relaxed and ready for Malaysia next weekend!
On a side note, I’ve been having recurring nightmares about having to return to the States. I can’t believe I’ve already been here for almost 3 months… I just want to freeze time so I can stay for as long as possible. It’s going to be so hard to say goodbye to all my new friends and the country I’ve called home for the past few months. Mai ben rai, I’ll worry about that when the time comes!