Ko Samet is a small island four hours from Bangkok, two and a half hours by bus, one hour sat on the ferry in port, while they loaded everything (including the kitchen sink) on the roof, and then thirty minutes once it gets going. We arrived into the small, but busy port. We first attempted to walk across the island, but gave this up as a bad job when Becky’s flip flops repeatedly got stuck in the mud pit that doubled as a road. So, we hopped in the back of one of the pick up trucks that act as taxis. We clung on in the back, with our back packs and other travellers as we bumped and splashed along the roads.
As this was a little beach break we splashed out on a very sexy air-conditioned bungalow, just to make sure ultimate relaxation was achieved (when I say splashed out, I still mean under £20, just!).We even had a proper shower, that wasn’t directly over the toilet – quite a luxury!
In the evening, the restaurants put tables with candles on and cushions out on the beach, so you could listen to the waves as you had your meal. We soon discovered though that there were actually only about 3 or 4 restaurants, and unfortunately this was what ultimately caused us to move on after just a few days. Every evening was about relaxing; there were no loud bars or music blaring out and most things died down before midnight!!
By day, the beach was a beautiful white sanded bay, with lovely warm blue water lapping up against the shore. Most of the time there were only a handful of other people to share the beach with. Every so often we would be aroused from our slumber by a beach hawker selling their wares or offering massages! Maybe if they had been selling sun lotion I wouldn’t still be peeling off my skin (1 week later!). Even though my wife consistently reminds me I am the whitest boy on the beach, will I ever learn? No, apparently not!! So I spent the next 2 days stuck in the room looking like the devil with white panda eyes! (Incidentally, now I just look like Freddy Krueger, with huge pieces of skin falling off!).
Eventually, we decided it was time to move on, so we packed up and headed to Pattaya, otherwise known as ‘sin city’, as we weren’t ready for Bangkok just yet! Pattaya is a full blown resort with huge hotels, casinos, bars and the like! Walking along the promenade at night, it was massively evident what makes this place infamous. In fact everywhere you looked you couldn’t help but notice ladies of the night (or quite often ‘ladyboys of the night’!)!!
Having said that, the place itself is not that bad! There is a decent enough beach – not quite the white sand, blue sea, ideal scene you imagine, but a beach all the same. Our hotel had a pool, where we spent most of our time. (Becky lazing in the sun, me swimming laps of the pool!) The beach was very long so I was able to get in a good run every day too!
On our second night there was a huge thunderstorm, that didn’t last that long but managed to flood the two main roads in Pattaya. When we headed out for dinner that evening, the roads were like rivers. There was no way round it so you had to go through it!! At some points the water came up to our knees as it gushed up and out the drains. Worse though was the still dirty water, when you couldn’t see what was in it! Thankfully, by the time we’d had our dinner it had all but nearly drained away!
Literally we sat in the sun, went out for dinner and wandered in the numerous shopping malls for 3 days. By then it was time to head back up to Bangkok for the Asian Gaelic Games and to meet Vicky and Dave, who thank goodness are bringing Becky some proper shoes, at last!