Finally some beach time where it is warm enough to swim (although not as hot as you might think), the beaches in New Zealand were amazingly pretty but it was a bit too cold to swim. It has actually been about six months ago since we were at a warm beach at Costa Rica.
We arrived in Koh Samed after many, many delays. It took ages to get out of Bangkok due to congested traffic. We had to stop for petrol, which took about an hour and so on. Anyway, we arrived at about 3-ish and John rented a scooter to scout out a place to stay whilst I had lunch with the children. We lucked out and found a reasonably priced place, a hundred metres from the beach. We dumped our stuff and had a look at the beach whilst the sun was going down. Such luxury. It is a bit of a party beach but we are on the quiet end. The upside is that there is lots going on like fire shows and many places to eat and drink.
We soon found out that this place is very popular with Russians. It is full of romantic Russian couples and it goes like this: the girl poses provocatively in front of the the boy who is carrying the biggest camera you have ever seen and they take picture after picture after picture. The Chinese and Japanese are very good at doing this too. Tis very amusing.
So you can sit at the beach here and people watch. Many restaurants to pick from and many Thais coming around with fresh fruit and other foods. One time, we bought some fruit from one of these guys and found some Swiss people trying to negotiate the price of a coconut, which was 50 Baht (£1). The Swiss guy said: “Oh know that is too much, 30 Baht.” The Thai guy rightfully pointed at the weight he was carrying to bring this stuff to people and said: No, 50 Baht. The Swiss guy tried again: “40 Baht”. The Thai guy says no. The Swiss guy tried to lift all the gear of the Thai guy (and couldn’t) and said: “Fair enough, 50 Baht.” We got chatting to them and it turns out they were staying in The Marriott on the mainland and got here by speedboat on a day trip. Baffling. I mean, they are negotiating over 10p. Why try to be tight with the little guy doing back-breaking work in the heat whilst happily shelling out a fortune to stay at the Marriott?
All in all we stayed here for almost a week, just chilling out. We hired some scooters and toured around the island and had a look at some of the other beaches. It is a touristy place, but the beaches are beautiful and the island small so very easy to navigate on a scooter. Now up to the next island: Koh Chang.