Rob and I are in now in Koh Samui – we are living each day like it is our last! What fun its been….we have been enjoying alternating waves of relaxation with bursts of activity that have led to lots of adventures and a few misadventures too.
There is just always something to do in Samui – we started out with the compulsory Amari Palm Reef Brekkie. Fried rice, eggs any way you want them, sushi, salads, pastries and stir fried chicken with young chilli. I thought young chilli was mild – clearly not! Yes, I am sure that the Amari staff are familiar with hangover cures and the young chilli can sort out just about any hangover.
I popped into the Breeze Spa for some decadent pampering and chose to have a Panpuri massage. I eyed out the therapist who introduced herself in a soft melodious voice. A petite therapist with a gentle, soft sing-song voice….thats what made me opt for a strong massage. Rattana turned out to be stronger than I could have imagined. I am sure that she could knead a teak plank into a soft, pliable mass. I don’t think I could have moved even if there was a tsunami alert….I lay there like a sack of potatoes occasionally drooling into my pillow. I had a swim to revive me and did a bit of shopping from the back of the Moped – nothing like retail therapy to raise energy levels!
We decided to get an early start to the evening so we would have time to take in a few different spots so we put on our glad rags – a flash beach dress and slops for me, and for Rob – baggies, a tee shirt and his ever-present Moon Boot (achilles injury, long story). We kicked off the evening at Villa La Moon overlooking the bay. Rob spotted cheap beer and two litchi martinis for the price of one. It’s the moped driver’s job not only to navigate the crazy traffic but also to keep an eagle eye out for Happy Hour(s) which are at different times in every different place. We soaked in the beautiful view while I soaked up the martinis.
We jumped back on the moped and dashed down the hill to the main street at Chaweng. We noticed a sign saying ‘Walking Street’ which was bustling with people, music and barrow vendors selling everything from clothes to cocktails.
I quickly found some chicken drummies flaming on a small fire while Rob tracked downed an ice cold Singha beer and a Gintonic (as the locals call it). We also couldn’t resist trying out the Pad Thai which was prepared at lightening speed by an enthusiastic local, Nom Poon.
Starz Cabaret was our next stop – with live appearances by Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Madonna and Dianna Ross. Maybe those litchi martini had more of a kick than I thought because Rob told me that the performers were actually Thai ‘Ladyboys’! The drinks were expensive but there was no covert charge. The show was entertaining and they extracted maximum laughs out of caricatures of the real artists’ performances.
We got back on the moped as the heavens opened for a short cloudburst so we popped in at the closest lively spot – The Solo Bar. Rob was happy once again with our timing as Happy Hour lasted until 10pm and it was now 9.45pm. We threw back a few half priced cocktails at double speed. I tried something called ‘Land of Paradise’ – between this and the Bongo Guy the evening started getting rowdy. There was a DJ playing some funky house tracks which we both normally hate. Just as we were thinking of leaving, an athletic looking Thai muso set up his bongo drum and proceeded to get the entire bar rocking with his incredible energy. The bongo beat lifted the monotonous bass line and injected an excitement that got me off my bar stool. Luckily, this was far from the Sandton Baron and anyone I knew. I spent the next thirty minutes dancing my head off with my own cocktail mix of Indian, Arabic and Latin dance moves! I don’t think I did too badly because not only was there lots of whistling and clapping but the Bongo Guy moved his setup to play right next to me.
Rob had seen this movie before so suggested that this would be a good time to move to the Reggae Bar on the other side of the lake. There was a big Jamaican band playing mainly Reggae music. I am constantly amazed at how big Reggae is in Thailand. Bob Marley lives on in music, tee shirts, handbags, rasta caps and mainly in dreadlocks!!! Rasta rebels of all ages from all countries congregate at this bar in their Che Guevara tee shirts singing songs like ‘No Woman, No Cry’.
It felt like time for a change of pace so we meandered on to one of the several dozen small pubs lining the side of the road for a game of pool. The bar girls work hard to get you into their establishment but once you are in, the hard sell stops, and they leave you to get on with your game of pool and a quiet drink. This particular place had no name and its main claim to fame was a laptop at the bar where you could choose the next song or three.
It was now about 2.30am and Rob was feeling quite peckish. Another great thing about the island is that you are never far from a street vendor selling everything from satays to banana pancakes. We had a few of both and decided that was enough for one night.
Just before we got back to the Amari we passed a brightly lit massage place with people still having foot massages. I couldn’t resist a 3am foot rub and was snoring by 3.05. We finally staggered back at around 4am and snuck in a quick illegal dip in the hotel pool before bed.
My last thought before I drifted off was, ‘Yay, breakfast in 5 hours!