Sunday, October 12, 2008

Koh Samet Island (Ko Samed)

(All Photos Here)
This last weekend a few of us got together and decided to go to the island of Ko Samet, which is just off the city of Rayong where some of the other crews are staying. The island is technically called Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet (Ko samet national park), and so there is a 200 Baht fee to "enter" the park. Even though its a national park most of the coast on the west side of the island has hotels/resorts, restaurants, etc on it. And I was told one part on the east side is also a little developed. Its a small island and you can walk around the whole thing in 3-4hours.
We didn't have much planned in advance besides leave for there on Saturday and come home Sunday night. So once we got to the pier in Rayong (there is 3 we found out), we rented a speed boat for about 250 Baht each to take us to Sai Kaew beach. Its the largest beach on the island and we were told has the soft sand in the world! The translation is diamond beach or crystal beach.

Sai Kaew beach-
The speedboat took about 20 min once we left port to get us there. When we did get there, there was no port so they just "landed" the back end of the boat on the shore and we had to jump out to get to the beach. This was fine for us but kind of entertaining for the people with luggage! Once we got there some Park Rangers came over and collected our entrance fee of 200 Baht and gave us a little receipt. We were feeling pretty lazy at this point so we walked up to the first place we saw to sleep and rented rooms a the Grand View Resort. We later found out we just book the most expensive place on the beach, but it was only 2800 Baht (less then $100/night) so we didn't really care. Next time we will plan ahead (I know I always say that and we never do LOL). So we got checked in to our nice little private bungalows (had hot water/ac/tv/fridge/the works). Then off to the beach!!!

Our bungalow (Alex had the other half).The people in Thailand (and most of Asia) don't want to be dark in skin color. The lighter skin color the more beautiful you are. So I have never seen a Thai person laying out in the sun working on their tan. I rarely see on in a swimsuit either, if they swim its with full clothes on and they usually are covering their faces at all time with hats/umbrellas. Due to this there are hundreds of beach chairs with umbrellas over them covering on the beaches. Our resort has its own section of free chairs we could use. If you don't have a local hotel you can rent one chair for the day for 30 Baht (about $1).

Our home on the beach-On this island the best part was that people are walking around trying to sell you things. They do that everywhere but here there is only a few so its not annoying like it is in Pattaya. So we sat down with our local rum (SangSom) and then just bought cokes/food/ice cream/henna tattoos/blanket/sarongs/etc for the locals. Also we sat next to a group of women who offered manicures/pedicures and many types of massages--most of us got one of those! Each cost about 200 Baht (yep $6!) for an hour on the beach.

Bottle of SangSom (this was the little starter bottle)-
Dan getting a $6 pedicure (REAL men care for their feet!)My $6 massage-Troy's henna tattoo (the symbol in the middle is the sign for "om" like when you meditate you make the sound ommmmmm)-Tom getting his henna tattoo-
Our chicken salesman! (note how they cover up when in the sun-its in the 90's)-While on the beach we had come prepared to play! We brought with us a Frisbee, beach ball game, football (soccer ball), and an American football. So there was tons of activity.

Alex (from UK) playing American Football-
Seth (USA) playing football (soccer)-
Dan (USA) playing football (soccer)-

After spending all day on the beach and playing games till the sun set we went back took quick showers and go dressed to go to the bars. Well turns out there aren't really bars here. We found one little place where we sat and drank and played connect four (its BIG here), Jenga, cards, and dice.

All cleaned up and ready to go out-(left to right-Seth, Alex, Dan, Troy, Me, Tom)
Then we had a nice BBQ at a the Korn Restaurant, you can pick out the food there and they grill it up for you-fresh. The fish was wonderful!!!!

Boys at dinner-
After dinner we headed to the one club we knew about-SilverSand Club. It was on the beach near ours so we took a songthaew (bahtbus) down there (cost about 10 Baht). The club had a few different levels to could sit out on the sand with mats and table thrown down, or there where tables and chair and booths you could sit at. We stayed out on the beach with the mats...this is where they have their free fire show every night. I met with the guys after the show and apparently they teach classes!!!! So I am sooooo going to try to do that before I leave Thailand. After the show we sat around and drank, danced and talked with all the other tourists that were there. Overall a great night!

Fire show-

The next day....well we poured ourselves into bed about 5am so the next day came early. LOL. We all just sat under the umbrellas and nursed our hangovers while on the beach. Eating plenty of the chicken that got walked by us. It was a pretty relaxed day. And at 4pm we caught a speedboat back to Rayong.

Us on the beach-
Seth napping after a long night-
Me and my beach chicken-