Thailand, my home country has been gifted with amazing beaches and natural beauty. It ranges from the cold and pleasant hills in the North-east to the tropic islands down south. Yet, I was stuck at work.
Grinding day ad night, I was exhausted. I needed a break. This lack of free time was starting to affect my work too, my focus was low. I would get distracted easily and the stress was resulting in me performing at a level that was level than my best.
Just 200 kilometers from Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, the T-shaped island of Koh Samed is famed for its white sandy beaches, exotic coral and crystal clear waters. Koh Samed has developed steadily over the past decade or so, but it hasn’t been the victim of over zealous construction which has hit the likes of Koh Samui (or even Koh Chang). The island is typified for its splendid beaches and white silky sand, surrounded by tropical coral reefs and crystal clear sea. Tourists can also enjoy a plethora of delicious cuisine and fine nightlife.
It’s a popular tourist destination for Thais and foreigners alike. As Ko Samet is so near Bangkok, the island is ideal for those in the capital wanting to chill-out with their families for a couple of days, without having to go through all that rigmarole of having to travel down south. It’s only a 2.5 hour ride (in good traffic; expect 3- 4 hours in normal congestion) to Ban Phe, where one can take a 20-minutes ferry to the island.
But here is the catch, I wanted to go there because it was not crowded like the other islands of Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. Pattaya on the other had was overrun by sex tourists and creepers.
I needed a break from the crowd. A place where the number of people were lesser. There was less noise that distracted me from the nature. I wanted to feel pampered by nature.
Koh Samed was the best option for me. It is believed that once upon a time, Koh Samed was the home of pirates and that to this very day there are still lost treasures buried somewhere on the island. Thailand’s legendary poet Sunthorn Phu was the first one to put this island on the map when he set his classical epic there, Phra Aphai Manee “The Story of Princes, Saga, Mermaids and Giants”.
Once I decided this, I contacted my two best friends, who were than read to escort me for my trip. The next thing to do was to get there. I didn’t want to spend too much by hiring a cab to go all the way so we chose to take a bus and then got into a boat.
Let me simplify it. We went to the Eastern Bus Terminal located in Ekamai, Sukhumvit (therefore often just called Ekamai Bus Terminal) and took an air-con bus to Ban Phae (3 hrs, 166 Baht). These buses leave every 1-2 hours from 7:00am to 6:30pm. From there we got into a boat that took us to Koh Samed.
The moment I stepped foot on the island, the salted fresh air that rose from the sea and drifted towards the island touched me on my back. I kept walking towards our hotel and with each step. I was leaving behind all the stress in the sand.
The journey to Koh Samed was tiresome. So we all went back to our hotelrooms and relax to head out in the evening. By the time we woke up, all energetic and fresh the sun had already gone down. It was dark.
Torches were lit outside hotels and signs were placed for the public to know what was available. We kept walking on the sand. It was too early to eat.
We kept walking we saw various shapes of florescent colors in the dark. Some dancing it the darkness, other walking towards the waters. We walked to the place where they were painting florescent body art and covered ourselves in it. Atleast wherever the skin was visible. Except for my face ofcourse. I still wanted to look good for dinner.
After painting ourselves and taking pictures, we moved on to the nearest bar that had people dancing and joined there. There were many guys who were dancing along with us. A few of them were cute too. The paint made everything feel that it was out of the world, not to mention the beer buzz that was able to help us groove to the music.
After we were exhausted from it all we went to the nearest restaurant. I started off with my regular order of papaya salad, once done I moved on to the more solid food which I was going to eat to fill myself up. Fried rice, noodle soup and pasta. That’s what we ordered. Once I gulped down we sat and gossiped for a few more hours, until they were going to shut down the place.
The next day was bright and sunny, I took out my swim suit and went straight for the water. After getting myself wet I came back and sat on the towel for a little sun bathing. This was pure bliss.
By the time I decided to head back I realized that all the stress had been washed away with the salt water of the sea and roasted away.
I was going to head back to Bangkok with some good memories to last me until my next holiday.
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Author: The Brown Nomad
Also published on Medium.