Monday, March 23, 2009

Thailand Update - From Bangkok to Koh Samui

So our plan was to board a train south to Surat Thani (12 hours overnight), catch a bus to the Pier (1 hour), then boat to Thong Yang on Koh Samui (1.5 hours), and finally some sort of Songthaew or minibus to wherever we decide to go. The plan was to arrive in Koh Samui sometime around mid/late morning....

So we board the train, all excited about our "first class sleeper" - essentially a private room with 2 beds (bunk beds). This is the highest class you can buy, but is still relatively cheap for a westerner (around $40). We found our room - and let's just say the resemblance to what a jail cell must look like is uncanny! We settled in with a big Singha (local beer), and soon the train departed. We had the beds made, and off to sleep! The sleep was surprisingly comfortable. Unfortunately, the train was delayed two hours....which totally upset our plans. Once we arrived, we found our bus and boarded, only to be removed because the bus had changed destinations. Instead 30 minutes later we boarded a Songthaew (think: pickup truck with benches in the back) and they took us to some central spot to wait....for 3 hours..:( We met a couple of people from France, and a norwegian "hippy" we enjoyed a few beers while we waited. Then a 1 hour bus to the pier, and 1.5 hours to the island. Water finally!

We decided to follow the people from France to Bo Phut (in the north of Koh Samui). This would allow us to share a minivan for a reduced price, as well as bring us closer to our next destination. The drive in the Minivan was, uh, entertaining to say the least. It seems any lane in any direction can be used by anyone at any time!

When we survived and made it to Bo Phut, we rented a room at a place called "Eden" (pictured) - and it was actually quite nice. We got a room for about 1300 Baht (maybe 45 CDN), which is actually a little pricey. Then it was off to the beach for a swim, which was ok at best. Bo Phut is more of a jump-off point for fishing boats, and is not ideal for swimming. Once you are a few feet out, the "sand" turns into clay, and the water is not see-through. It didn't matter however, it was nice to get in the water. Up next - Coconut Thai Massage on the beach!! Yes - it was all you expect it to be..:)

We went to dinner that night for some traditional Thai food which was amazing - a bit spicy, but very good! At the end of the dinner, a thunderstorm passed us - for an amazing display. I did manage to catch some pictures of the sky lighting up!

After an after-dinner beer it was time for sleep after a long day of travel. Today we have booked a boat over to Koh Phangan, and need to find a place to sleep shortly...

And here's the requisite picture of water/islands..:)