Courtney. July 1st @ 10:00PM
The last 48 hours have been crazy.We started Monday night going to dinner with 3 of our Italian neighbors and their British friends.The Italians were incredibly entertaining as they had only been speaking English for 10 days, and implemented their Italian hand gesturing, voice fluctuation and double consonant accents to communicate effectively. But their English was actually just as good as some that Americans I know.It's crazy how non-Americans can pick up a new language so quickly.I think we're missing the bilingual gene.
The restaurant we went to was on the beach, on a strip with 50 other consecutive restaurants.They all had colored lanterns hanging over the tables and bamboo shoots loosely separating them from each other.The tables were 2' x 2' and sat on a giant flat couch thing so that you take your shoes off and sit cross legged. On the side toward the beach, they had the fish that they had caught that morning laid out in a fish bar, and the customers walk up and chose what they want.A monsoon came through about half way through dinner so we moved our party inside.The monsoons here last anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour so it was gone by the time we were done eating.Its kind of cool seeing weather like that, and its even more amazing to have lightening lighting up the sky every 10 seconds all night every night, even when it's 80 degrees and there is no rain or wind.
After dinner we hung out at the hostel for a while.We ran into five guys that we met at the airport and then saw again on 2 different islands and they decided to come out with us, too.They are from the states, Mexico, and Switzerland.Leo, the Swiss guy is only 20 years old and speaks 6 languages. And I don't think he's studied more than 2.
Later we went to a ladyboy cabaret show.Interesting.It definitely lived up to its slogan - "She's more of a man than you'll ever be." Afterword the Italian guys danced with one of the ladyboys on the stripper pole for a while, then we went to get some drinks.But we got distracted by the children who were out on the streets, selling flowers.We have been told by a lot of locals, expats, and informed people that you're not supposed to buy their goods, because the money goes straight to their parents, or whoever is forcing them to stay out until 7AM selling crap to tourists.So we asked them if they were hungry, and after an enthusiastic nod, 'yes,' we took them to dinner instead.Everyone we were with came, too, and it was actually really fun.I'm not sure the Thai Burger King staff has ever seen 20 backpackers and 3 Cambodian and Vietnamese kids sitting around wearing cardboard crowns and eating together.
The next stop on the party train was the ocean. Not the beach but the ocean.Because there is a huge coral reef about 30 yards from the shore that stretches all the way down Chawang Beach (the part of the island where we stayed), there is no current and the water only gets as deep as 3 feet.So it's safe to swim there at any time.We went out there with about 10 other people and swam around until the sun came up.Chawang is on the east side of Ko Samui Island so the sunrises are gorgeous.It looks like a Mai Thai in the sky.
There wasn't much time to sleep that night because the bus that began our journey to Phuket left at 9AM.So we went straight from the ocean to the bus station (but stopped by the hostel to get our bags of course).
This is how we spent our day:
8:40AM - cab to Chawang bus station
9:00AM - bus to ferry station
1:00PM - back of a 6 seater tuk tuk/ pickup truck with 8 other backpackers and luggage thrown on the roof
1:30PM - ferry to Surat Thani
3:30PM - bus to Phuket Island, but the opposite side of the island that we were supposed to have gone.
9:30PM - walk around the wrong side of Phuket Island, looking for an internet cafe
11:30PM - cab to the Hilton at Karon Beach
We rolled up to the Hilton that the most generous person in the world gave us as a going away present, with giant dirty backpacks, dreadlocks and tattoos, to find out that were now diamond reward members.
They greeted us with some exotic Thai champagne-type drink and hot towels with lavender on them.They told us they were giving us a free upgrade to the top floor, seaside view.We're not sure why, but we're not sure what's going on about half of the time in this country.Live people are playing traditional Thai music at all times.There are 6 pools, 2 lagoons, a grotto with a waterslide that goes through it and under a waterfall, an aviary, 4 restaurants, a few cafes, a holistic spa, a full gym, squash ball, billiards, ping pong, and the nicest staff ever.They will not allow you to do anything for yourself. They walk you up to your room and explain what every single thing in there is."This is the sliding glass door, if you open it up you can walk out onto the balcony.This is the air conditioner, if you turn the temperature down, the air in the room will get cooler."When we went to eat last night I couldn't finish mine so I asked for a take-away bag.They said they aren't allowed to let us carry our own food, so instead they brought it up after we left on a room service tray and stand with new silverware and a folded napkin.We decided this would be a good place to do our laundry, since we have our own bathroom and its not disgusting, like the ones we normally live it, so right now we have clothes hanging in every place that clothing can be hung in this room.It looks like a wild pack of backpackers took over the Phuket lsland Hilton resort.