Flying from Narita Airport to Bangkok and then on to Koh Samui
From the 6th July to the 14th July I started on my first trip to Thailand for 9 days of relaxing and recharging in my own pace, no tours etc I had decided, but one of the last days I still decided to go on a relaxing sail trip around Koh Samui. more on this later.
The place I had found on AirBnB was great for my purpose of getting away from everything and not be too near the infamous Thailand nightlife. Basically a i bed bungalow near the ocean in a quiet area. See the place on AirBnB here
The "Lolita 2 bungalows"
Honestly the place was quite hard to find as there was no real address or sign. But after the taxi had thrown me off in the general area, I managed to find the place after talking to the guy renting the place on the phone.
It was basically a string if 7 bungalows going from the dirt road all the way down to the beach.
Each had its own toilet and shower, kitchen, fridge and has stove plus normal tableware etc and one big room with a king size bed and desk + chair. There was also a tv and DVD player and more importantly, a big fan and air conditioning.
I was in bungalow number 4 some 40-50m from the water. :) close enough that there was no need to wear shoes or change clothes when going for a swim, but far enough that the sea that it did not keep me awake at night.
And certainly far enough away from the main road that there was no noise from that either. ♥
Food and drinks
With an available kitchen in each bungalow I had originally planned on making my own food and had done the shopping to do so on the first day(more on this below) but this would soon be limited to breakfast only, as my beach walk revealed many delicious restaurants with view of the ocean and at 130 baht (410¥) for most meals, it was simply not worth sweating in the kitchen to make my own food.
The kitchen did have a small ant issue but nothing major, and cleaning up after oneself and not leaving food out for extended time made it a non-issue.
And with many of these cute small geckoes in the room, they quickly made short works of the ants and any mosquitoes. In fact I did not even get stung once during my 9day stay there.
The bungalow did have mosquito nets in front of the windows (which I generally left open all the time) but the cracks in the nets where big enough for the geckoes to slip in. They did make small "gurgly" sounds now and then, but I thought it was quite charming and really loved having them.
Snorkeling everyday and the inevitable sunburn on the back.
I did however get slightly sunburned as expected, but no surprise with logging at least 1 hour of snorkeling everyday even the SPF60 sun cream was not enough. I did see a special SPF110 sun screen but decided that was maybe overdoing it a bit. (o_O')
Koh Samui vs Thailand
As Koh Samui is completely run by tourism there is no doubt that I went to "Koh Samui" and not "Thailand" but I was perfectly happy with the choice as I was mainly going away to relax and not for the "cultural experience" that many would go to Thailand for.
But that having said, the fact that the place I stayed was so far away from the popular spas etc meant that even the beach restaurants I mentioned earlier was mainly used by the Thai and not overrun by tourists, and I still got a nice look at Koh Samui culture at least. ʕु•̫͡•ʔु
Taxi, but no meters
Taxis in Koh Samui is all about hackling price with the driver before getting in, and the price generally goes up in the evening. And this is needed regardless of whether the taxi has a meter or not, as no one uses the meter anyway. (=_=')!
Getting around without Taxi
Bike rentals are readily available all over Koh Samui, so I quickly got my hands on a nice 550CC Honda, which could really move, and wow!, what a great way to explore Koh Samui. ♥
Products in Thailand vs Japan
In Bang Po, one of the bigger towns in Ko samui there is a mall called "big C" and it has what you would expect from a mall, food court, independant restaurants, small shops and supermarkets etc.
i was surprised and happy to find that they had a big selection of dairy and meat products at reasonable prices. Something that can be hard to find in Japan at times. Ironically they also had Japanese Meiji milk and many other Japanese products. I wish we had Meiji milk in plastic cans with screw on lids in Japan... Where it as made...!? Why don't we ʕु-̫͡-ʔु ?
And donuts made to look like sushi, tapioka tea and likely the most chemically tasting Fanta I have ever had the pleasure of pouring down the kitchen sink.
I was also able to find wine-gums and licorice *weeee! *
"Fisherman village" and the Friday night market
Lovely market during the evening where it is a little cooler, and with a plethora of different food stands and outside cocktail stands. At 60baht (190¥) for drinks like "long island ice tea", "piña colada" etc. it was a gauntlet of tastes and cultural impressions getting to the other end of the cozy night market. I highly recommend trying it if you go to Koh Samui. (⌒_⌒)/
As it is impossible to get shirts in my size in Japan I ended up getting tailored dress shirts at 830¥ a piece with all the bells and whistles almost without negotiation, and ready the next day by one of the tailors along the streets from the night market. (´ω｀)/
Sailing around Koh Samui
On one of my last days before returning to Japan I arranged to go on a sail trip around Koh Samui on the French run maxi Catamaran "Catchasam". More on tours and pricing here <-- This delightful sail trip included snorkeling and meals and soft drinks throughout the tour. Great company, food and snorkeling. I highly recommend going on this sail trip if you get the chance. very relaxing and gives you the opportunity to see some of the smaller islands around Samui.