As stated in a previous post, we decided to spend the holidays in the Islands of Southern Thailand. We woke up from our evening with Kish (and 3 hours sleep) and got breakfast at the hotel lobby restaurant at the Bangkok City Hotel. Shelly stated she wasn't feeling well and neither was I. We caught a cab and headed for the airport. 45 minutes later we arrived, paid our 9 dollars cab fare, and went to the ticketing counter. We had Buddha with us and had already called the airline to let them know we were traveling with a dog.
Koh Samui Airport
Koh Samui, Thailand
Flight to Koh Samui
They checked us in and had us pay a 5 dollar extra baggage fee and we boarded the Thai Airline flight to Surat Thani. We arrived one hour later and as we got our bags and headed outside, we noticed something peculiar. There were no airport cabs. We were told that we must take a bus to the city center, and then go to the ferry what would take us to Koh Samui. We reluctantly hopped on the micro-bus and rode approx 30 minutes to the main city of Surat Thani.
Herded Like Cattle
We again.. reluctantly, boarded a larger bus and made it to the pier where we would take the ferry, one hour later. I wasn't expecting to be herded from bus to bus like this and with the lack of sleep both Shelly and I had... we were grumpy. We then boarded a huge ferry (capable of holding buses) to Koh Samui. The ferry was nice and the water was emerald-green. We slept a little on the bus and fell asleep for the two-hour ferry ride to Koh Samui. The ferry ended up only taking about an hour and a half, and we arrived at the dock and caught a cab to our hotel called Cocooning Hotel.
Cocooning Hotel - Bo Phut Fisherman's Village
Bo Phut Beach, Koh Samui
The Cocooning Hotel is a small privately owned hotel by a gentleman named Andrew from New Zealand. It's located on the coastal road a stones throw from the Gulf of Thailand and Bo Phut beach. The area is called Fisherman's Village and it's a quaint place of bars, shops and hotels on a walking street (Which still has cars and bikes riding up and down the street). We had only booked two nights as we didn't know how hotel would be. We entered our stylish room and were pleased with the internet, bed, bathroom and television and settled in.
The Beach - Bo Phut Fisherman's Village
The Last of the Sun
We decided to go to the beach later that afternoon and sunned and swam under partly cloudy skies in the 80s until the sky darkened and it suddenly started to sprinkle. We packed up our stuff in a hurry as we saw the rain approaching on the water and within a minute torrential downpour. It was ok, as we had already been at the beach a couple of hours and got our daily dose of vitamin D. Little did we know that was the last of the sun we would see for days. And Shelly really started to feel sick. She was hoping that she was just tired from the lack of sleep and night on the town, but realized it was a cold brewing. We therefore picked up some Vitamin C as well.
Seafood, Shisha, and Christmas Eve
The Island is beautiful and warm even at night. Temperatures are between 85 in the day to 75 at night, and our hotel is fantastic! We have been spending the last few days bouncing from restaurant to restaurant, getting massaged, and relaxing. Shelly has been sick and not feeling the motivation to get out and explore and there has been a constant cloud cover with infrequent rain storms. The rain started up again yesterday and it rained the entire day on Christmas Eve day. We stayed in our room most of the day until it broke, then rented a motorbike and headed into town for some Christmas Eve dinner.
The town I was referring to is called Chaweng Beach and it's about 5km away on the northeast tip of the island. This is the busy part of the island for tourists as the beaches are better than Bo Phut. There are a million bars and restaurants of any nationality and appears to be where everyone comes for the night life. We settled on a place that had seafood and for 60 dollars we ate like royalty. 2 Lobsters, two full plates of clams in garlic butter sauce, 2 full calamari, one whole white snapper fish cooked whole, 4 gigantic tiger prawns, two blue crabs, and potatoes and corn on the cob.
The meal also came with drinks and we sat there and gorged ourselves on seafood watching fireworks (which are 100% legal here in any size) go off in the sky above our restaurant. There was also a man playing guitar and singing songs from the 60s and 70s. Everything from the Carpenters to Elvis and Frank Sinatra. It was a great evening.. no rain... and Shelly was feeling much better after being sick for two - three days. We then dropped by a Hookah Bar and shared a shisha and hookah. Apple and mint flavored. It was a non-traditional Christmas Eve for both of us as we shared Christmas family traditions with each other over seafood and hookahs, yet we loved every minute of it!
Bo Phut Village Cafe
Today is Christmas and we would like to wish everyone a fantastic holiday! We plan on going shopping today at Big Buddha Beach and the weather is windy and cloudy again. We hear that this is the tail end of the monsoon that hit the Philippines and is moving out tonight. Tomorrow and Tuesday are supposed to better and we will most likely try to get a couple of hours more at the beach. We have also decided to go to Pattaya for the New Year. The weather is supposed to be sunny for two days, then rain for the next week and a half in all of southern Thailand. So we are heading back north to a beach city that has a pulse, and an excellent weather forecast until well after the New Year. We head out on the 27th and will post more pictures of Koh Samui.
Merry Christmas EVERYONE!