Saturday, 18 July 2009

Trip to Ko Samui

On the 13th the entourage packs itself in the pickup again and we head for Ko Samui to visit Jira’s younger sister. I’m still on the road to recovery but feeling ok for the trip. We drive the whole day and take the ferry at Surat Thani to Ko Samui, only 420THB for the vehicle. The ferry seems to be (judging by the old signs) a Japanese 2nd hand find. It has Airconditioned lounges, a cafeteria and foot massage to offer.

The trip only lasts for 1,5hrs and we head down to the car deck to get off. We drive around half the Island towards the airport at Chaweng beach where Plen lives with her husband. Her kids are with us as they are being looked after by her mother, they are all ecstatic of seeing mommy and daddy again. The evening is spent cooking and catching up.

14th we laze the whole day and in the afternoon go shopping for seafood, it is not that much more expensive than on the mainland. Everything else is though as the Island seems to be mostly geared up for tourists which abound compared to Phuket. I have also never seen so many English signs posted, actually more than Thai signs, all advertising for services, restaurants etc. In the evening we head down to Plen and Muk’s restaurant at the beach. All the seafood is BBQ’d there and we all have a delicious and enormous dinner.

15th is spent driving around the Island and visiting tourist spots. The 1st stop is at the Grandfather and Grandmother rock. I have no idea why they are called so but Jira’s sister is leading me onto the rocky outcrops pointing at another rock jutting up saying “that’s the grandfather rock” and we walk a bit further down towards th waters edge and she points at a cleft and asks me “Does it look the same?”. A light goes on in my head and I laugh. They also sell here locally made coconut candy that is an Island speciality. No wonder at all as coconut groves abound everywhere you drive.

2nd stop is at Namuang waterfall that is but a trickle down the mountain side into a pool of muddy water. Kids are seen splashing around there. We don’t linger long and leave after we have fed the elephants with bananas.

Next stop is at Hin Lat waterfall that is at the edge of the nature reserve that is in the middle of the Island. The water is not running much more here either but the waterfall is in several stages and has “cauldrons” of water where one can take a cooling dip. I venture up the rocks that just gets bigger and bigger the further I get. Eventually I discover the waterfall has a fork on it’s way down but as the rains have not started yet it is dry. I go up further and climb huge boulders the size of brick houses. I don’t reach th end after 1 hour so I decide to take one last dip and head back. I discover that the cauldron has many small fish that comes and pokes at me when I sit in the water listening to the birds and the trickle of water down it’s path. When I come back all are ready and waiting for me, Muk is buying Durian fruit several of them and we gorge ourselves on the King of Fruits while driving back home. Dinner was made at home this time, spicy Moo Phad Phet that burns the living daylights out of an ordinary man.

16th July was time to do temple hopping. We visited so many temples that I lost count. I “hired” a Luang Pho Daeng amulet at one temple by the beach while Jira & Co made merit with the monk. One temple that stciks in mind is one with a huge Chinese laughing Buddha surrounded by Hindu deities like Ganesh and Krishna, beside these was a giant Buddha statue with more arms than an octopus. I reckon they depicted all the postures Buddha has (Well, excepting the lying down pose). Once at home we went and visited the temple built on the hill on top of the airport, there was a magnificent view of the Island.

The Buddha and all his hand postures

17th It was tme to pack our gear together and get back to the mainland. We started early morning and arrived safe and sound to Trang same evening.

Related pics posted here...

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