Our flight to Koh Samui was incredibly uneventful…the flight was so short it was amazing how quickly we left the limestone rocks of the Andaman side and were flying over the torquoise blue of the Gulf of Thailand. We landed and made our way to Villa Nalinadda and were surprised to find we got a free upgrade on our room! And it turns out, somehow, I had booked the room with a free daily massage…these were all welcome surprises! It was a quiet, little boutique hotel with only eight rooms total and right on the beach. The food was amazing. AMAZING. The noodles and soup and ribs for lunch daily and the Massaman and Green Curry for dinner…unbelievable. We laid low the first day and watched a storm blow through the island…pretty cool to watch.
The next morning we went to work planning the rest of our trip and putzing around the hotel before heading off to Sitka cooking class. We made Chu Chee curry paste and curry, Tom Kha soup and this lemongrass/fried chicken and shrimp thing. We got to do the class with just two other Aussies. Really a good time! We also drank some tea made from a flower that changes color and taste completely when you squeeze a lime in it.
Then we went a checked out fisherman village night market. It wasn’t anything terribly exciting. Koh Samui is the biggest island on the gulf side and the most populated as well it turns out. Ko Phang Nga is the next biggest and is notorious for their full moon parties that are allegedly nuts…we missed out on this…darn:) Then there is Koh Tao the smallest in the area and this is where we headed the next morning via a speed catamaran ferry.
We arrived at Koh Tao and got set up to go scuba diving with a marine conservation group that does a lot of work with conservation of coral reefs, trash clean up, turtle rescue, etc. I took a quick course with two guys from Germany who were working on their open water certification and Deeter went out with a dive instructor as his buddy. I know most of you know my irrational fear of fish and I will say this was much better than I remember it being…other than these stupid fish who wanted to snuggle while I was working on my damn skills!
The second dive of the day we got to do together and was actually pretty fun! Then we ate some more awesome food…this time we discovered som tom tod…a fried papaya salad and the best dipping sauce! We fed some turtles and helped inspect them for injuries and treated those if they were found. We watched the sunset from a infinity pool on the beach and then we intended to check into our room and explore…but we maybe fell asleep around 7!
The next day brought two more dives…the first of which I enjoyed and the second was perhaps maybe not my favorite…but I survived and most importantly Deeter really had a great time diving!
We took a very rough catamaran ride back to Koh Samui…I must say I am looking forward to not being on boats with people puking all around me! When we got back to our hotel they set up a table on the pool deck overlooking the ocean and we got to eat dinner by candlelight overlooking the ocean…pretty great if you ask me!
The next morning brought the rain with it…but we were determined to make our sailing appointment. We headed out and got a little lost but then found our boat and our guides, Dong and Lucky for the day.
We sailed towards Ko Phang Nga in the rain and it was great! Very relaxing waters and as we sailed the sky started to clear. We ate lunch on a little beach on Koh Phang Nga before headin back towards Koh Samui. The sun came out and it was beautiful…couldn’t have asked for a bette afternoon. Until we got dropped off on this island…from here on out I will refer to it as Cut Foot Island…there was glass and trash everywhere. Locals were burning trash and our guides dropped us off and told us they would be back in twenty minutes…then we watched them take off into the bay in the dingy boat. So, that worried us a little.
We had some red flags going up…so we flagged down our new friend Ton, a fisherman on a paddle longtail boat and asked if he would take us to the sail boat. He did and turned out he was a really nice guy…but it was a little weird hitch hiking via a long tail boat. Turns out Lucky and Dong went to the fisherman boats to buy some fish…still was a little weird. We then made our way back to the hotel via a massage and some local Thai food for our last night in Koh Samui.
Our last morning was lazy and full of massages:) We caught our flight and headed to Bangkok where we checked in to the Ramada…for the third time. Today we laid low and packed…and here we are at the airport getting ready to enjoy our surprise upgrade to Business class for our first flight.
I can’t believe we are heading back to the states today…it has come way too quickly. But this was just the best adventure ever…I got to spend two months traveling the world…something I have always wanted to do but never could…with my best friend and love of my life. So when I think about it, I can’t be too sad…mostly I am overwhelmed with happiness and thanks that we had this opportunity. And we do get to see some of our people on the way back home…we are incredibly fortunate and we couldn’t ask for a better start to our lives together post training. But, having said that, I can’t wait until our next adventure!