Taking a little beach break

8 May

Nothing to do but watching the sunset...

It is nice to be travelling around, but after the hustle and bustle of Bangkok (including red shirts) and the temple overdose of Chiang Mai, we thought it would be time for a little break at the beach. Ko Samet is only a few hours bus & boat away from Bangkok, so easy to get to… but a lot more difficult to leave…

After our first day there we decided to stay till it was BKK time again to fly back home…

  • Such a lovely stay on Ko Samet slow-down island.
  • Also have a look at the funny Thai English we found there

Recommendable: Candlelight Bay, Koh Samet island, TH

To get there, involved taking the night train to Bangkok from Chiang Mai, changing to the Metro at Hua Lampuang station, changing to the Sky Train in the midst of Red Shirt territory (escorted by the military), down to the Ekkamai Eastern bus station hopping on a bus to Ban Phe and from there a ferry to the Ko Samet pier – and then haggling with one of the lovely green pick-up trucks to bring us to one of the beaches, which in a way were a little village of their own. We ended up in Ao Thian = candle light bay

The guidebook I had, dating back from the first time I went to Thailand in 2003, still mentioned that we should indeed ask from what time till what time the generator electricity would come on, because the rest would indeed be ‘candle light’. But times have moved on, and now there’s electricity everywhere, a few mini-marts which also function as internet cafés and an ATM here and there.

Nevertheless, it is classified as a National Park (with ATMs & mini-marts???), so in order to enter you need to pay an environmental fee: 200Baht (5€) for foreigners, 40B for Thai. Such a discrimination… (as if the Thai would destroy less nature than falang, more the opposite from the rowdy weekend crowd I saw!). But finally the “Thai Filipino confusion” (everybody starting to speak Thai to my Filipino friend because he looks like Thai) paid off: he just took 40B out of his wallet, smiled and we walked past the check point.

  • Yes, we got them! (hehe) – a sweet reward for the 1001 times ‘oh I thought you thai’ ;-)

This beach? Or rather next beach?

We actually first arrived, by the lovely roofless green trucks (in the midday scorching sun), at another beach (Ao Vong Duern) which was far too busy. We had lunch at “stupid Tom’s Pizza” place, resulting in them bringing us 3 wrong dishes for the 2 things we ordered… So we decided to escape to “the Next Beach” (as written on the signs).

Our little house on the little beach for the week

We found a lovely little bungalow smack on the beach, the water (and potential tsunamis??) reaching to our front porch. Inside were two huuuuuge beds, probably meant for 6 people sharing, when the Bangkokonian Thais invade the island in the weekends to get out of the city fumes (and double the price of all resorts). You could tell that the place was used to cater for Thais, because of the lack of English (read about Thai English here), but also the height of the doors. I banged my head at least a few times a day.

The bungalow came with pets included. I don’t mean the ants and mosquitoes, but the couple of black and yellow alarm-clock birds nesting under the edge of the roof. They would start their merry nest-making chores at 6am, just in time for us to get annoyed with them, storm out of the door to chase them away, only to find a superb sunrise just in front of our porch… Wow. Gorgeous.

Was it sun set or sun rise? - Anyway it was breathtaking

Like all coins, this island also has two sides. Our little ‘bankalow’ (see Thai English post) being on the sunrise side, but a bit down the dusty dirt road, we could cross the island to the sunset side. And since there was not much to do on the island, besides going for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, we went for sunsets.

We would also go for a swim now and then, even though the water in the sea was hotter than the ambient temperature. So it was like bathing in a giant bathtub, with waves and a few kg of salt chucked into it. And some gorgeous turquoise blue colouring to add to the exotism.

  • Sigh…
  • Maybe we should start SALTO Thailand?

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One Response to “Taking a little beach break”

  1. mushin 11 May 2010 at 08:21 #

    SALTO thailand doesn’t seem a bad idea at all. Moving to the “new economic center” of the world…

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