The location we are staying at in Koh Samui is night and day difference from where we stayed in Koh Phangan. We are staying at an actual hotel, although it's not on the beach, and we are in a very highly touristic area. I get my own room this time around because a group of is is alternating roomies so we can get to know eachother bette. Our rooms have air conditioning (although mine hasn't worked both nights) and hot and cold water (although I prefer cold showers in this heat). The hotel also has a really cool infinity pool on the roof top that overlooks the city.
After arriving mid afternoon, after our ferry ride and bus ride, we all dropped our bags and set out to explore the area with Willie. When his tour was done, a few of us grabbed a late lunch on the beach at a great place and relaxed while taking in the scenery. It was very peaceful. I've found myself getting a lot better at living in the moment and not fretting about what's going to happen next or in a few days or what's going on at home, it's been hard, but very rewarding. I'm definitely getting the most out of my surely not enough time in this amazing region of the world.
Because most of us ate a late lunch, we re-gathered in the lobby of the hotel to head out as a group for some drinks and dancing. We started with buckets (a very popular thing in SE Asia) at one bar, and then made our way to a bar with good dancing music. I had so much fun dancing around, watching everyone let loose and enjoy themselves. I secretly/not so secretly was watching the Colombian girls dance and was wishing I could move like them. Eventually we made our way towards another bar that was a karaoke bar. Two of our group members gave it a go and it was absolutely hilarious. I picked, "lucky," for Rachel, one of the English girls, to sing. She's basically the cutest thing ever.... and with loads of confidence, she took the stage and rocked it. More people should have her carefree spirit, the world would be a much better place!
After karaoke, most of the group went to bed, but Rachel and another girl, Duja and I decided to head back to the main bar strip. We ended up getting lost, and by the time we found the bars again it was closing time, so we made our way back and went to bed.
For our second day in Koh Samui, most people took part in excursions, but Rachel and I decided to stay on Koh Samui itself since we had such a short time here. We started at the pool then made our way towards the beach for lunch. It was drizzling rain and overcast so we decided to make our way towards a highly recommended reggae bar overlooking a rock formation called the Grandfather rock at a different beach on the island. My phone said it was about 19 minutes away, so we figured it would be an easy trek. Apparently the journey was a bit longer than expected because we had a tough time getting a ride. Finally a shared red taxi agreed to take us and we were on our way. We didn't mention to the taxi driver we wanted to go to the exact bar, we figured it would be easy to manage, so we asked a local on our shared ride to let us know when we were close.. He did, we got off, and as Rachel was getting cash, I realized the man had seen "shamROCK" bar. This obviously wasn't what we were looking for, so we started all over walking around asking people where to go. We found what seemed to be a knowledgable lady and she said it was 5 minutes walk, so we took off. 10 minutes later, no rock bar in sight, as we were walking on a highway, we stopped and asked again at a random hotel along the route and they said 10 more minutes walking. We continued to walk but happened to see another shared ride and convinced him to take us the rest of the journey for a low price. He didn't know where this place was, we fibbed and said we did, and luckily saw a sign for "rock bar" along the way. Although we had another scare of being lost and had to ask another random hotel where the heck this place was, about 15 minutes from there, we found the rock formation and the actual bar. We stayed at rock bar for an hour or so, indulged in their cuisine amongst the hidden secluded rocks/trees, and then made our way back towards our beach, this time with much less hassle but still equally as exhausted.
When we got back to the hotel, we hung out at the pool for a bit while waiting for our 7:00 meeting. Then showered up and went for dinner at the night market, the most amazing street food I've had yet. After dinner, we went to a lady boy cabaret show (my second) then got a drink at another bar, and made our way home.
Today's wake up call is 5:00am as we make a 10 hour journey from the island to the mainland and over to the island of Penang in Malaysia.
I'm sad my time here in Thailand is done. I hope my future plans bring me back here at some point!
More to come from Malaysia.