After 10 days of watching movies, walking around with mouths agape - trying to comprehend Bangkok - eating, absorbing the smells, sounds (read noise), intensely different visuals - aaaaaahh!! - sleeping too much and trying to learn how to talk like Tarzan, we gathered our wits about us and booked flights to leave the big city for the beach.
Koh Samui, by air, is only an hour and a bit south in the Gulf and is pretty much the Waikiki of Thailand. Perfect for us old folks just looking for some peace and quiet by a beach. Ooorrrrrr...maybe not.
We ended up at the Suneast Bungalows in downtown Twenty-Somethingsville - Chaweng Beach, Samui. The bar beside our bungalow played this pounding music that reminded us of our trip to Burning Man. The Green Mango opens at 11 PM and is the choice of those that want to "rave" early. A giant tin shack with pulsating sound and girating patrons that look like early film animations in the blue and green strobe lights. I think we may have done some stylized waltz to the three songs we were there for. Then much later followed all the stoned people on down the street to The Solo which opens at 3 AM - but wait - isn't this the little alley to our bungalow we're walking by? OK - slight detour to sleep and let the ravers rave. We gave it a good shot though.
Koh Samui - Gulf of Thailand
Lush - Hot - Floral
What do you want to do today?
I dunno - nuthin'...OK, sounds good - Scrabble?
White sand Chaweng Beach - 6 km long
Silky and soft like powder between your toes
Frisbee in tepid waters
Long walks at low tide
Many travellers - many countries
Time to reflect and share
No "have to's" - learning how to just "be"
A one hour massage on the beach - $6.00
One large icy cold beer and two glasses - $1.75
Chicken dinner for two with rice and salad - $6.50
The gift of being truly "present" - Priceless
There are beaches on Samui that are quieter, but we enjoyed the action and entertainment of downtown Twenty-Somethingsville. People watching is pretty well our favourite past-time and we can literally while away the hours doing nothing but watching the various shapes and sizes...making up stories about them, where they're from, etc. I think that's the reason neither of us can get through a book any more - it's too much of an interuption!
It seems that no matter where you go in the world, when in need of comfort, you can find an Irish pub with the food and drinks we are all familiar with - and they usually have a pool table and a TV with soccer or rugby on all the time. We also enjoyed the fact that there is a Starbucks (no, we're not totally weaned off it yet!) on Samui and it happened to be right at the end of the lane by our bungalows. This is not likely to continue though - as Starbucks have not made it to the parts of Asia we are headed next.
So, after two weeks on Samui, tanned and totally rested, we're off to Bangkok for a few days to book our trip to Hanoi, North Viet Nam.