Saturday, 26 April 2014

Ko Samui and Songkran

12-19 April

After a 24 hour door to door journey from Bangkok, we finally arrived at our destination on Ko Samui.

We had decided to stay in a bungalow on the beach for the week; cabanas a bit like those we stayed in in Tulum. We weren't disappointed. The bar and restaurant area opened onto stunning views of the turquoise blue sea and Ko Phangnan on the horizon.

We relaxed on the beach for the afternoon and had a great dinner of red and penang curry for dinner.

Beautiful view from Island Hoppers bar

The following day was something we had been waiting for with some anticipation since hearing about it in Hue. It was Thai New Year which they celebrate with a festival called Songkran. We had been warned that the minute we left our room we would be fair game for a splashing. Everything seemed calm at first so we set up on the beach, but loud dance music started across the street and eventually lured us out.

What had been a sleepy fruit stand was now a hive of activity where kids with water pistols and teenagers with buckets drowned passers by on their mopeds or sat in the back of pick up trucks. We were soon invited to their side to join the party and share the beer, the owner telling us today is a free day. One woman down the road, an American called Donna, was helping slow the traffic by hula hooping in the middle of the road! It really was crazy!

After some chicken feet red curry and noodles, the teenagers started loading water buckets into a pick up and next thing I knew, Mark had bargained us a couple of seats and we were driving towards Cheweng hurling water at anything that moved. Driving down the street it was clear everyone got involved today; even the guarded 5 star resorts had their guests and staff at the gate with hoses.

We ended the day with a yummy BBQ at the rasta bar a few doors down, exhausted! It was a day I will never forget...

..because is the morning I woke up with terrible stomach cramps like I've never has before. Luckily they were only pain, though excruciating, so I didn't need a Pharmacy and I think I am right in saying it was the amount of potentially unclean water I would have ingested the previous day.

Our pink bike. Well, it was me driving after all!

The next few days were spent relaxing, recovering (for me) and getting reacquainted with a slower pace of life. We'd been on the move for over a month by now, so knowing we had 7 days somewhere was very welcome. 

After recovering, we decided to hire a bike for the day. I had broken 2 pairs of flip flops and Mark was in great need of a haircut. I must admit I was a little nervous getting back on a moped after 5 or so years, but I soon got back in the swing of it. It was great to be on the road again and that evening we found a secluded beach with stunning sunset views for dinner.

Swing time at Freedom Beach for sunset

Before we knew it, it was time to pack our bags again and head off to our next stop, Ko Phangnan!