Koh Samui

The journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui was our first long one that we weren’t travelling by air. Instead we took the sleeper train from Bangkok to the lovely town of Surat Thani.

Being over 6 foot tall I was a bit dubious about sleeping in a bunk on a train overnight but I was pleasantly surprised at both the legroom (I could lie fully flat) and the comfort of the bed. Honestly it’s the kind of thing you’d pay thousands for in Business Class on a plane. The downside however is that it felt like being on a plane that was going through constant turbulence! So we both slept a bit but not too good.

We arrived in Surat Thani at about 4.30am and got off the train to see nothing but a row of shops/cafes and some buses. We headed for the shopfront that had the name of our travel company on it but took an immediate detour when we saw the shape of it. So we went to the much cleaner looking cafe a couple of rows down and ordered some toast. But before we sat down we had our first encounter with a cockroach on our travels…!

At about 5am, while eating our toast, a woman came in and asked/barked ‘where you go’. We told her Koh Samui to which she responded ‘bus leave now, go’. When we’d bought our tickets at the train station in Bangkok we were told the bus would leave at 6am, and as Thailand is full of con artists, we presumed she was one and told her we’d wait until 6. A few minutes later she returned with another woman who asked the same thing and said the bus was about to leave, but again, as neither had anything on them with the name of the travel company, we ignored them. Shortly after we saw the bus of doom drive away and were both glad we weren’t on it!

As it got close to 6 we moved along to the first place we’d seen to wait on our bus. At that point we noticed the 2 women from before were there. None of the staff spoke to us or gave any indication of when our bus would be. At about 6.20 I went outside to ask the man we thought was in charge (and who we had nicknamed Jabba the Hut) if the bus was soon. 7.30 was his reply. I said we were told 6 at which point he said that was the agency talking rubbish and that we should have listened to the 2 woman. So it was another hour and a bit in my favourite place in the world, happy times!

Eventually we did get on a large bus (and a much newer and safer one than the one we’d seen leaving at 5am, so it wasn’t all bad!) and left behind the joys of Surat Thani. The journey then consisted of a coach ride, then a transfer to the ferry (a bumpy ride thanks to the choppy seas – Colin, you would have been in trouble), before finally getting in the back of a pickup truck which had a couple of benches under a canopy in the back.

The hotel in Koh Samui was a sight for sore (and weary) eyes and, although it was too early to get into our room, the pub directly opposite provided us with some food, drinks and a rather nice view:
View from the Swing Bar, Koh Samui

Once we got into our hotel we had planned to grab a shower and go to the beach but both fell asleep and woke after the sun had gone. So we headed back over the road for tea and some more drinks, including a rather cheap way to drink vodka and lemonade
Mo drinking her vodka bucket in the Swing Bar Martin drinking his vodka bucket in the Swing Bar

Our first full day in Koh Samui and we hit the beach for a couple of hours in the sun. It was absolutely roasting – just perfect!
View from the beach at Koh Samui

Then we had some lunch, went back to the room and had a siesta. Unfortunately, we had made the tourist mistake and stayed in the sun too long, with some poorly applied sun cream which lead to some areas of pretty bad sunburn! I had what was named ‘the equator’ – a red line right round me just above the waistline of my shorts and one patch of white on my lower right arm surrounded by redhot sunburn!

That night we headed back over to the pub (it was just too convienient, literally 2 or 3 steps from the front of our hotel) for tea and a couple of cocktails and got speaking to Annika, a girl from Canada who is currently working as a teacher in South Korea. She had been travelling with friends but was squeezing in a couple of days of sunbathing and reading before she went back to reality.

The next day we ventured further afield for lunch to a posh looking place along the road. It too looked out onto the beach and was part of a hotel which included an infinity pool right next to the beach. Mo’s lunch came with a very large prawn that she could barely cut through!
Mo and her massive prawn

On Saturday Mo’s sunburn had recovered enough that she could hit the beach again (with more liberally applied suncream) while mine wasn’t so I took the time to do some work while sitting in the pub looking out across the sea. Definitely the nicest place I’ve ever worked!

We had originally planned to check out on the Sunday, stay the night in Krabi before heading to Koh Lanta on the Monday. However we spoke to the receptionist about transfers and discovered we could get one that left at 6.30am and got us into Lanta at 2.30pm, so we decided to stay an extra night by the beach.

Mo wasn’t feeling too great on the Sunday (which we later put down to the 2 Bacardi Breezers she had taken from the minibar on Saturday night that turned out to be out of date in September last year!) so we just had a relaxing day, went up to the posh place again for tea and then watched the rugby through the fuzzy picture on the tele in the hotel room.
Mo at the posh restaurant

For our final night in Koh Samui we went to an Australian pub up the road and spoiled ourselves with a pint of Magners each, and a very large plate of fish and chips (good, but no match for the Ferryhill!).
Fish and chips at the Aussie bar, Koh Samui

4 Comments

  • mum k says:

    I know the Thai beasties/security arrangements/driving were not impressive but the sightseeing sure is!!! These photos are amazing. You two are so lucky to have seen these things ‘in the flesh’ Glad the sunburn is OK now. Happy Valentine’s Day (tomorrow) Lots of love xxx

  • Dan says:

    Nothing beats the Ferryhill fish and chips!

  • Beverley says:

    I expect you to give Marisha (and Brian) a huge hug tomorrow night for me! So jealous you’re there with fab weather. We’re having a wee mild spot ourselves right now. A scorching 17 degrees. Almost out in shorts and a t-shirt the now! 😀 xx

    • martin says:

      Hi Bev – we’re heading for Perth today, but won’t be with them until next week. But we’ll pass on the hug then! 🙂 Ged dear, 17 in February is pretty mental, although it’s not 39 degrees!! xx

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