I’m writing to you a little sunburned and a little sore, but very refreshed from a fun weekend on the tropical island of Koh Samet! Maggie, Crystal, and I went to the beach this weekend for a nice getaway from smoggy Bangkok. We took a bus and then a ferry boat to get to the island, both of which were pretty questionable, but we got there just fine! We stayed in a little guesthouse which only cost us about $35 per night. We chose to save money over being in a place right on the beach and it ended up working out really well for us!
When we first got there, we headed straight for the beach! It was only about a 10 minute walk from our place. The beach was absolutely gorgeous and not crowded at all since we came during the off-season. First, we ate lunch at a beachfront restaurant since we were sooo hungry from traveling! Then, we laid our stuff out on the beach and jumped into the waves! The water was nice and warm (probably about 80-82 degrees). We had a lot of fun playing in the water, trying to ride the waves onto the shore, and laying out in the sun. Hello, paradise!
All sandy and salty, we headed back to our room to shower off and get ready for the evening. We then went to another beachfront restaurant to eat dinner. At night, the restaurants put little tables on the beach that are low to the ground and you sit on these spiffy little cushions, making it a really fun and casual atmosphere. There was a band playing popular American songs, which was pretty funny. I never get sick of hearing Jason Mraz sung in a Thai accent : )
Little did we know what we were in for next. All of a sudden, some guys came onto the stage with large sticks that were on fire on both ends and started spinning them around like baton twirlers. Eventually there were about 7 firespinners on the stage, all doing different kinds of tricks. Then they worked their way through the crowd and onto the beach where they put on a huge firespinning show with fire sticks and fire balls on the end of a chain. They even did some cheerleading-type stunts where they would stand on each other and spin. It was soo cool! (And while this was all going on, I was eating whole fresh steamed crabs, making the night even better!) When the show was over, we walked the rest of the beach to find somewhere else to hang out for the night. Not finding much, we came back to the same restaurant where the firespinners had been. Now there was music playing there, so we were dancing at our little table when one of the firespinners saw us and asked us to come up on stage and danced. We couldn’t say no, so we got up on stage and danced with the firespinners and some other people. It was fun talking to them and dancing with them, but after awhile we were tired and ready to go home.
We decided to spend the next day just hanging out on the beach again. We rented a tube and an inflatable purple dinosaur to float on in the water. The speedo-wearing men loved our dinosaur and also loved laughing at us trying to stay on the dinosaur while covered in slippery sunscreen. It was so nice to just relax on the sand and then get in and swim occasionally. A ways down the beach, we saw people riding these boats that looked like large bananas being pulled behind speed boats and decided we wanted to try. The boats held 5 people, so we found 2 Korean girls who wanted to go, and we all went together. Turns out, the point of the Banana Boat is for the speedboat driver to throw you off the Banana Boat as much as possible. So he would get us going pretty fast (probably about 40 mph) and then go around a sharp corner to throw us off the little boat and into the ocean. We would then have to flip the boat back upright and climb back on. It hurt a lot, but was sooo much fun! Needless to say, my muscles are pretty sore today and all of our necks hurt from whiplash.
We hung out at the beach again that night, which was a lot of fun, but didn’t have any run-ins with the firemen this time!
This morning, we woke up early because we wanted to find a place to windsurf on the beach before we had to leave at noon. However, breakfast took a long time and we couldn’t find a place to rent the windsurfing equipment, so we just decided to chill on the beach a little more, which was fine. After a quick lunch, we got back on the ferry and then the bus to head home.
It was a good weekend all around filled with lots off good food, sun, and sand.
Back to work tomorrow, can’t wait to see the kids!