Monday, June 12, 2006
Koh Samet, Thailand: The Tiniest Island With the Best Beaches
Since Troy and I can't get enough of exploring Asia, we discovered another great spot for a long weekend getaway. When we were in Tibet we met a couple from Canada who has travelled the world. When we meet people like this we always ask where their favorite destination is. We have heard of some very obscure places in the world by this method. Their favorite place was this tiny island in Thailand called Koh Samet. It is about a 3 hour bus ride south of Bangkok. Troy had to be in Bangkok for the week for work, so the timing worked out perfect (again) for me to join him and see if this place was any good. It was fabulous!!!!!
I am slowly breaking Troy of his first class travel habits. I actually got him on the bus for the 3 hour ride without him throwing a fit :)
I think since he knows he doesn't have to worry about planning these trips that he just goes with the flow. After arriving at the pier and buying our boat ticket from the ticket "woman" with the adams apple (yes, they are everywhere in Thailand) we were on our way.
Our little resort was at the end of the only main road so it was very quiet. The low season had just started so it was almost completely empty. We had the beach and dining room to ourselves most of the time we were there. Our beach was awesome but believe it or not we found some beaches that were even better. The beaches had the softest, whitest sand we have come across since Africa.
The second best thing to do on this island, besides hanging out on the beach, is to rent a motor scooter and explore the island. It was so small that we were able to do this in a few hours while stopping to explore other beaches, take pictures and check out where to have dinner at night.
In an area called Ao Phrao is where most of the hotels and restaurants were located and of course where most of the tourists congregated. The restaurants would lay out huge straw mats and pillows on the beach and the most relaxing thing was to get a beer, pull up a pillow and watch the surf, boats and people. At least that is what I did, Troy kept checking e-mail on his evil Crackberry even though it was the weekend. I think this is my new favorite place.
The only downside was it litterally took us 11 hours to get from Koh Samet to HK between the ferry, bus, taxi and plane ride. I don't know if this was shown in the US news, but there was a huge celebration throughout Thailand and mainly in Bangkok to mark the 60th anniversary of the reign of King Bhumibol. The Thai's love their King!!! Everywhere was the color yellow because yellow is the color for Monday and the King was born on a Monday (kind of goofy). On our taxi ride to the airport, huge sections of the highway were closed off for arriving royalty from other countries. I would have liked to have stayed for another day or so to watch the celebrations which included 50 royal barges, that were paddled by 2000 Royal Thai Navy men, floating down the main river in the middle of Bangkok.