The first full day with the mopeds and we had every intention of setting off and exploring the island, finding a beach and chilling out for the day. It was Thai New Year though, so we did first of all take part in the obligatory water fight outside our hotel, with a whole host of the hotel staff. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but within 2 seconds of stepping up to the gazebo, we were once again drenched and part of the party. There were 2 huge dustbins and a couple of cooler boxes being permanently filled by a hose pipe and a whole host of containers to fill up and throw water at all the passing motorists.
This was quite an amazing experience in itself as it became apparent very quickly that there was absolutely no way that we were going to be able to stay dry at all that day. As I mentioned before, it was Naomi’s first time on a moped and that coupled with the assault course of people in the middle of the street throwing water at you, was quite daunting to say the least, but she coped magnificently well and only had one small fall when she tried to turn to quickly on some loose gravel!!
We did manage to get round most of the island on that day we didn’t get to our beach, but we did see a lot of the island – we thought that places might be closed but we actually found the most divine little restaurant, where to this day we both agree, is where we had the tastiest authentic Thai feast ever! It was amazing, with only a few other people there, on the beach with the fisherman just off to the side, playing dominoes and chatting. It was incredible.
It’s also where we actually had a real life situation of having eaten and drank well and then realized that we didn’t actually have the cash to pay for it or any credit cards on us!!! So I had to do a quick exit, jump on the moped and drive about 15 minutes to the nearest cash machine!
We also managed to stop in to the Magic Alambic Rum Distillery for a quick taste of some of the smoothest rum you will ever taste. Eliza was a wonderful host to the two of us, we tried a little, but not too much as we had the mopeds but we left with a couple of bottles as well as some mixers to make wonderful Mojitos!! Well worth a visit and if you don’t drive there, be prepared to go a little cross eyed!! We continued our journey around the island and popped into the Bangkok Airways office just to see about changing our flight to a later time, but it was a busy time and the seats we had were the only ones available. After that brief stop, we had a quick hunt around for some postcards to send to family and friends and then back to the hotel.
Our dinner plans this evening were at a hotel just up the road from us, where they did a dinner and show deal! We figured we should really try that out – the restaurant was packed when we got there and we hadn’t booked, they immediately showed us to a table right at the front of the stage, but as we had suspicions about the show, we opted for the lovely table for two overlooking the sea, just off to the side of the buffet and stage. In the end we ordered from the menu, as we both have a tendency to get buffet fever and eat way too much, just because it is there! The food again was lovely and then the show began. Before we knew it, Britney Spears was belting out of the speakers, accompanied by a number of lady boys dressed to the nines singing and gyrating about 10 inches from the table that they had offered us when we first entered!!! We watched the show from afar and enjoyed the food and drinks and then hopped in a Koh Samui pick up cab for the short trip back to our hotel. Yet another fun filled amazing day on the island.
Our last full day on the island and it was our Anniversary as well, so we wanted to make the most of it. Naomi had organized a half day at the Tamarind Springs Spa from about midday onwards. There are a number of Spa’s on the island, but the Tamarind is highly recommended and we now know why.
Before the Spa though we had a couple of errands to run, we still had the mopeds and we wanted to see if we could change our flight out of Koh Samui. We popped into the Bangkok Airways office just to see about changing our flight to a later time, but it was a busy time and the seats we had were the only ones available, so we were stuck with leaving the idyllic island on the first plane out back to Bangkok the following morning.
We pottered back to the hotel a different way in order to take full advantage of the mopeds, but made sure we were back at the Kala for our date at the Spa. We were picked up from the hotel and brought to the Spa itself and what an entrance, it is effectively built into the landscape and so as you approach, you find yourself walking deeper into what looks like the jungle, with a number of open rooms high up above you. Quite incredible and my description doesn’t do it justice. When you book a treatment you are entitled to use the facilities beforehand. I highly recommend you do this, as the steam room which is actually built into the rock is quite amazing along with the various plunge pools in between the rocks and the relaxation area where you are provided with a small snack and access to as much tea and natural cold juices as you would like.
I use the word a lot in this series of posts, but the treatments themselves were amazing. Naomi had booked a couples session, so we shared the same open air room high above the ground and the 2 ladies went about delivering one of the best massages I have ever had. Testament to their skill was that both Naomi and I were so relaxed we both fell asleep for a while during the treatment! Before we knew it the treatment was over and we had some more tea and water and then slowly made our way back to the reception to be taken back to our hotel. The whole experience took up most of the day and it was well worth it. If you have the time in your schedule, check into the Tamarind Retreat for half or full day and you won’t regret it. Check out the spa at http://www.tamarindretreat.com/
We had a couple of hours to kill after the Spa treatment, but were both so relaxed that all we could muster was planting ourselves by the pool, which was lovely and continued the relaxed theme of the day!
As dinner time approached, we had been told that there was a restaurant in Chaweng that we had to go to in order to try authentic Thai food and experience a traditional puppet show. As we were flying out early the next morning we arrived, by Thai standards, quite early and were one of only two sets of guests in the restaurant. This was great as the manager who coincidentally had run a Thai restaurant in London for many years, came over and talked to us at length about his restaurant and the show that they put on. The puppet show consists of actors with wooden puppets re-enacting scenes from Thai history.
There is up to 3 people operating each puppet and the co-ordination is absolutely incredible. It is an art and one that is best experienced with authentic Thai food and drink. It was a fantastic experience and a great way to end our stay on the island.
After a wonderful dinner, we hopped on our mopeds and headed back to our hotel. In true hospitable style, the owner of the moped hire came out at 11pm to receive the mopeds back and more importantly give me my passport back, which they had taken when we hired them! I was a little worried, as I obviously needed my passport to travel the next day and when we turned up at the moped hire, it was firmly closed and no sign of the owner who said she would be there. Luckily, across the road was a hotel and they were kind enough to give the owner a call and 10 minutes later she was there to sort it all out. Another example of the kind of customer service you can expect on the island!
As luck would have it the moped hire was a mere 5 minute walk from the Kala, so we walked back to the hotel along the main road, contemplating the experience so far, safe in the knowledge that we also had a full day in Bangkok the next day, after arriving early morning and our connecting flight home, not leaving till late evening.