4th – 5th April 2012
It was time to Regretfully leave Ko Tao after a fantastic day of snorkelling and finally finding my own slice of paradise. I was sure to miss Sairee Beach particularly the vibes there during the night.
So where we’re we off to after packing our bags at Mad Nomads Club Asia Hostel? (review to be coming soon)
Well it would be one of the 3 main islands in the area and seeing as we already been to Ko Tao, that left either Ko Samui or Ko Pha Ngan. The full moon party was rapidly approaching for the 6th April and seeing as we wanted to see more of Thailand straight after, perhaps it would be best if we went to Ko Samui first then go to Ko Pha Ngan on the day of the full moon party to stay there overnight.
Catching the Seastran Express ferry, we arrived at the port of Nathon pretty much on time and caught the Seastran shuttle bus to our hostel which was another mad nomads club Asia hostel (review to be coming soon). We would be staying on Lamai Beach.
I felt pretty down about leaving Ko Tao and since arriving in Ko Samui, there was something really off putting for me that couldn’t put my finger on it…
In search for food, Matt and I wandered down the beach to find a restaurant that just belted out James Blunt tunes that was stuck on repeat…as we were so hungry, we ended up staying there and pretty much mouthed the words to 3 wise men, which was to be in our heads for the rest of the day…
Upon finishing my meal, I realised why I didn’t like Ko Samui…it felt too western. Everything was far too catered for the western lifestyle and I kept remarking it felt like Benidorm of Spain. I felt like I was on a full inclusive package holiday, not backpacking. Plus Lamai Beach didn’t look very appealing.
But it was time to try and get away from the resort towns and into the mountains of Ko Samui and see what it had to offer so I Booked myself on Mr Ugg’s Jungle Safari Tour of off road driving for the next day…only after Matt thrashed me at free pool (9-0) in the Irish Bar. My only defence is I was loving the country music that was being blasted out from the speakers.
Getting up early, we were picked up by a very battered land rover and introduced ourselves to a Thai family (with an English father) and an Australian couple called Zack and Laura. We had some great banter with them especially going off road!
This tour was to give us the famous sights of Ko Samui and the first stop was the grandmother and grandfather rocks. Upon arrival, we saw the rocks but we couldn’t figure out why they were called so? Luckily, the tour guide led me down right to the edge of the rocks and pointed at an opening and with a dirty smile said ‘grandmother!’ I pretty much understood from that point! And the grandfather? Find it in the second photo!
Our next stop was the Monkey Show. We waited for Mr Ugg to arrive to give an educational talk about the monkeys and we were given a coconut to drink from…it was very delish. We needed that, the sun was beating down very hard on us! The Australians complained it was far too hot for them!
After a demonstration by the monkeys getting coconuts and having the opportunity to hold a monkey (very surprisingly light and nimble) who I called Hiten, we were off to a Safari Park that would prove to be very uncomfortable for me…watch out for a further post…
After a couple of hours spent there, Matt and I were given the opportunity to ride on top of the jeep to the top of the mountains! It was certainly a rocking experience! The driver was fantastic and definitely knew the roads like the back of his hand otherwise we would have gone careening down the side of the mountain after one hard jolt!
We stopped off at a Water fall that you had to precariously climb to get the top. But it was totally worth it, especially after having a dip inside one of the pools after a sweaty climb.
After being late back to the jeep from the waterfall, in which we were told off by the driver, we drove quickly to see a mummified monk. Yes, a mummy. Do you know what his favourite animal was? A MONKey! Thank you! I’m here all night!
But the monk mummy was pretty enchanting yet gruesome. He totally rocks the sunglasses better than me.
As other people were grossed out by the skin, we looked out at the traffic inside the temple. We were pretty amused by a family’s attempt to get all on one motorbike and drive off. They succeeded.
Afterwards, we drove up to see the Magic Buddha Garden. The statues and carvings were pretty awesome. Of course, you had to mess around with them and pose…for vogue.
After a scrumpticious meal on the top of the mountain overlooking the views of Ko Samui, it was beautiful to be in such a nice rural setting rather than the bustling western resorts.
Giving the Australians a turn on the roof, the jeep absolutely bombed it down the side of the mountain and everyone was holding for their dear lives as other jeeps tried crashing into us.
We only made be stop on the way down and that was to find out where condoms come from. Mr Ugg gave a very demonstrative talk…no not that extreme! But he passed around the rubber that was gleaned from the trees in Ko Samui.
Then it was to bomb it down again!
Soon it was approaching sunset and our final stop was the Big Buddha Beach. The Buddha there…well…it was big!
Then we got dropped off. It had been a good day (apart from the safari park) and I did have a better impression of Ko Samui as an island but after another night there of swimming in the pool and catching up with news from home, we booked tickets to leave the next day.
Ko Samui, it’s not for me.
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