Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
After about 9 hours in the air we arrived in Bangkok and got a cab with Nat and Mike to the hotel we'd arranged to stay in for the night
So we got the shuttle to the airport, driven by a man with a very casual approach to getting us to our destination, and then a short flight saw us arrive in Samui. Shallard had sent me a message overnight to let me know that his room had been double-booked, and that the same would most likely happen to us when we arrived. Nevertheless we took the shuttle to the resort but were immediately informed on arrival that we too had been double-booked and would be offered alternative accommodation. We were showed the options and assured that the place they had recommended had a higher rating and would be better for us anyway. They were wrong. We were impressed with the room, but not so impressed with the lack of facilities the "resort" offered. So we kicked up a stink and said "no, this won't do", and asked for another option. We were then shuttled to their sister resort at Chaweng Beach, where we would stay the night before being transferred to yet another resort the next day. We were offered a complimentary dinner, but the staff were sure to make clear that the drinks were not included
We headed down to the beach and wandered along the foreshore for a while before stopping at one of the many bars to have a drink and something to eat. I decided that on this trip I would eat only Thai food, and so I started with a pad thai, an obvious choice. Watching the hundreds of tanned and charred bodies was entertaining, but after a while we decided to head back to our resort, get our togs on and head into the beach. Now, this is groundbreaking and will come as a shock to most people, but I haven't swum for at least 10 years. It has been longer since I owned bathers - the last pair I remember owning was a pair that did up at the back of the neck and regularly came undone when I was swimming, threatening to expose my teenage chest. Today though, I decided that there were so many bodies on the beach worse than mine, so I was going to brave the big waters and have a dip. And it was great fun!
After we'd dried off we cleaned ourselves up and had dinner on the beach, compliments of the resort, and then headed up the street to meet Nat and her growing posse of friends and family who had all flown in for the wedding.
It wasn't long before we were all settled in and familiar with each other, and it was decided that we would change venues and head up to a bar in the main area of Chaweng. Mambo it was. Thanks to Sophia, the buckets of vodka and red bull, and Shallard negotiating fair and reasonable prices (ie happy hour prices for the whole night) we were all in a pretty messy state by about 2am
Earlier that day I'd noticed a hospital not far from where we were staying, so I saved it in my memory bank in case anything happened to us while we were there. I was glad I had, because walking along the beach on the way home, Phil saw what he claims were buddhas made out of sand. I maintain that they were sandcastles, but tomatoe-tomato. Whatever he thought it was, he thought it had a head and thought that it would be a good idea to take a running kick at the mound and try to kick its head off. Fail. He ended up rolling around on the beach in agony, realising that the sand buddha/sandcastle was actually concrete and had taken two big chunks out of his left foot. I sat crying my eyes out thinking that the injury was worse than it probably was, and imagining all sorts of scenarios from Phil hobbling around Samui on crutches from breaking his foot, to amputation following an infection. I sobbed and sobbed and thought "that's it, our trip is ruined on day one", but after washing his foot and leading me home, I calmed down and saw sense again.
We got back to the resort and thought we'd have a swim in the pool - what we would've done had we had the private pool we'd paid for. It was short lived though, because not long after we jumped in, someone approached us and told us to get out
In the morning we were suitably hungover. Kicking the sheets off to get up, it looked as though someone had been murdered at the bottom of the bed. Phil's injured foot had bled all over the sheets during the night. Lovely. Thankfully we were checking out of that resort. At 1pm we would be met by the shuttle to be taken to Montien House where we would spend the rest of our time in Samui. It was a much better room, and had its own private pool for us to use at 4am if we pleased. Still feeling seedy, we went down to the beach (about 20 metres from our room) and had a swim. At one point I was lying on the sunbed in a daze, and tried to look for Phil in the water. He was easy to spot - the whitest person out there! Seriously though, some of the bodies you see on the beach are awful, so brown they're black, all leathery and gross. And then there are those sitting there with barely anything to cover their bodies, sucking back on a ciggie. Really, how many forms of cancer could you expose yourself to in one go? Ok, ok, so I'm a bad reformed smoker. Sue me. But it really is a shocking sight.
The madness started again in the evening, with the same crew all convening at Ark Bar for more cocktails, Singha and shisha. We tried to make sense of some of the things that happened the night before, and everyone thought Phil's buddha story was rather entertaining
On Tuesday morning we rose with yet another hangover, but had to get up to the alarm clock - we were going elephant trekking! We had to make a quick dash to McDonalds before getting the bus that would take us to the elephants. The sausage and egg muffin went down a treat, but came up again a while later after spending 45 minutes at the back of a very bumpy bus. Yuck. The elephants were cool, even though I felt sorry for them being forced to wander around a beaten track day in day out. Afterwards we went back to our room for another swim, and then got a taxi over to Bophut for dinner with Nat and Mike's ever expanding group. A few of us got a tuk tuk back to Chaweng Beach and ended up back in Mambo Bar. The live band was playing again and it wasn't long before Jane wrenched the microphone out of the singer's hand and started belting out the tunes
Wednesday was wedding day! Phil and I had a sleep in and a swim, and then wandered down the main street to have a look at genuine Tiffany's jewellery and bargain designer clothes and bags, but decided none of it was worth buying. We got ready for the wedding in record time (isn't it always the way that when you think you've left yourself loads of time you still never have enough time!) and then the Tango Luxe shuttle came to pick us up and take us to Tongsai Bay. We wandered down to the beach bar and saw the first guest to arrive: Shallard. Who else would it be, sitting at the bar! We had a cocktail and then watched as the staff put the finishing touches on the wedding venue, and waited in anticipation to be ushered to our seats and witness the happy occasion.
The boys looked great, the girls looked great, and Nat looked beautiful. People may have wondered whether Julian was the right choice to conduct the ceremony after seeing him bodysurfing on the bar a couple of nights before, but he did a great job! After the photos and official stuff was done, we all sat down to a beautiful buffet dinner of the most amazing Thai food I think we had on the whole trip
After a restless sleep we had to peel ourselves out of bed and pack our bags to head back to the airport. We were met by a small plane, one with the propellers on the front, and at the mere sight of it I was nervous. I'd never flown on a plane that small before, and so I squealed when we took off, and squealed when we landed! Poor Phil had to put up with a lot of squealing on planes on this trip!
I was sad to leave Thailand, having had such a great time with Nat, Mike and the crew, but also visiting a place that was so amazing from every aspect. I vowed to return, sooner rather than later. The food was great, the people were great, and despite the hiccups with our accommodation, we ended up with a pool villa room in an amazing location.
I'm trying desperately to think of a way I can get back there, sooner rather than later!