Live the adventures of Dan Walker's travels through reading his travel journal. The travel journals are listed below in descending order of date. To search the travel journals, use the keyword search at the bottom of the page.
|Monday, February 26, 2018 19:39:51|
China, Thailand to Singapore 2018: 7 Ko Samui Island
Friday, February 23, 2018
We were driven to the airport for our 45 minute flight in a Bangkok Airlines A319 to Ko Samui. In that time they managed to serve a 3 course hot lunch. It was stairs up into the plane and then again on arrival in Ko Samui, something that is difficult for both Marilynn and I – we will have to check our carry on suitcases on the next short flights.
A guide and driver were on hand to take us to our room at the unbelievable Sala Samui Chonengmon Beach Hotel. Our "room" is unlike any we have experienced- it is actually a walled open air compound. The large air conditioned bedroom is well furnished with sofa and all the other amenities of a deluxe hotel room, but outside we have a private pool 6 X 4 meters (20' X 13') and about 1.6 meters deep (5') with a canopied king size bed and two cushioned sun lounges beside it. The bathroom is roofed, but otherwise open air, with a separate open room off it for the shower. The huge bathtub is near the pool. When settled on the toilet you look over gardens to the wall that encloses the compound – no bathroom wall. This may be the best hotel we have ever stayed in, obviously highly recommended.
The sandy beach looks great, but once one walks out up to the knees you are on sharp stones, so it is time to start swimming. At about my waist depth there is thick Japanese seaweed growing, limiting further progress. The water temperature is perfect, and the seaweed and stones end about 100 meters from the hotel.
We participated in happy hour at the beach bar, and in talking to a fellow from Denmark were warned that the snorkelling tour we were booked on for tomorrow would be a disaster – he was right. Dinner was at the hotel restaurant.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Marilynn was not feeling great, and after the warning about today's program decided to stay in bed. I went for an early breakfast, and was picked up right on time for the boat trip, not believing the warning of last night. So far all events arranged by Khiri Travel have been first class so I expected the same.
Wrong! On arrival at the departure point there were hundreds of people milling around in great disorder. On the beach were 5 fast boats, each of which was to carry 35 to 40 people on the 3 1/2 hour round trip to the snorkelling location. When I signed the form for my boat there were already 34 people ahead of me.
I first photographed the crowd in each direction, then went to the beach to photograph the people crammed onto bench seats along each wall of the boats shoulder to shoulder so I could send them to Khiri Travel. The seats were so low it was not possible to see over the side of the boat. Many people had not been in a boat before, it was windy, so the sea was a bit rough, so I can imagine the sea sickness that would be inevitable. I got the boat operators to arrange a ride back to the hotel- no way was I getting in one of those boats.
Marilynn and I walked to the village just outside the hotel in the afternoon, stopping for an hour's massage, which cost about $12 each and to pick up some convenience store items. The rest of the afternoon we enjoyed our private pools and compound, emerging again to head for the village for happy hour drinks. The place we stopped had first class mojitos for me and caipirinhas for Marilynn at $3 each. At the Orchids restaurant we had jumbo shrimp and honey BBQ spare ribs for dinner, again at very low prices. The food was excellent – the place had been recommended by the massage people. On the way back to the hotel we were spotted by the massage lady and she ran out with a large bag of the home made cookies for us.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
We thought of taking a taxi tour of the island – it takes about 4 hours to see everything worth seeing including a stop at the aquarium and another at a waterfall with a pool, but decided we were feeling far too lazy and wanted to enjoy the tranquility of our private reserve. A swim in the ocean, catching up on emails,writing, and generally being lazy passed most of the day.
We did the same massage, happy hour and dinner route as we did last night, but doubled up on the happy hour drinks as we got into conversation with the proprietor. Once at the Orchids Marilynn ordered a kilo of butterfly prawns and I ordered some mussels, all of which were excellent but the quantity of prawns was greater than our ability to consume them so we were sharing with people at surrounding tables. After a fair bit of wine we had quite a festive atmosphere going!
We will be sorry to leave our hotel enclave, but tomorrow we fly to Phuket.