MATT: So we have now left Samui after celebrating Christmas and New Year in Fishermans Village, Bo Phut - which should be renamed Falang Village.
New Years eve was a highlight - apart from raining all day we got into the spirit of things by heading up to Chaweng beach in the day (party beach) to check out the rising atmosphere of all the beachfront bars - pumping dance music and full of tourists staying out of the rain and getting drunk early on. We though we might head there to bring in the New Year if the weather held off, but it didn't so we eneded up staying in Bo Phut to bring in the New Year. On the way back from Chaweng we got royally ripped off by a local taxi - who charged us 4 times the going rate for a journey - before getting a few beers to enjoy in our room while we relaxed before heading out. We went out to our local favourite restaurant - a small Thai Cafe behind the strip. This place had been the highlight of our eating all week as it was so different from all the Farang places charging stupid prices on the main strip - instead it was a small concrete terrace on the highway, with a kitchen out the back, that served great, cheap thai food...it was the busiest place we saw....everynight it was packed while all the big fancy places were deserted. Unfortunately it was closed on New Years Eve - so we ended up going for a mexican instead! We sat in the mexican place for a couple of hours stuffing our faces and drinking cocktails until about 11.30 when the restaurant seemed to turn into an expat private party...so we got out of there and headed down to the beach.
The beach was really good. Pretty busy with people setting off fireworks and setting paper lanterns off into the sky...very beautiful. Health and Safety was not high on the list as people set of fireworks by holding them or just sticking them in the sand in front of them before they shot off into the sky. It was pretty spectacular though as hundreds of fireworks went of all around us and hundreds of lanterns floated up from the beach across the island. We could also see the same thing happening on the horizon over Koh Phangan.
This all went on for about 45mins, by which time we were both yawning (old) so deceided to call it quits and headed home - considerably more sober than the previous evening.
So generally on Koh Samui we had a good time despite it raining on us most of the time - but if I am being honest - it is good to be away from Costa Del Tourist. It was too far away from the real Thailand we have already experienced and you feel much more like a walking bag of cash. Saying that - we had a nice time, chilling out, eating and wandering about - visited a couple of different areas and stuff. If anyone was to ask me where to go in Thailand though - I waould say forget about these tourist islands - too expensive and you could be almost anywhere...on the other hand, if you want to go somewhere to eat, drink and be merry and you have plenty of cash...Koh Tao and Koh Samui would be a good choice. The beach of Bo Phut is quite mellow with lots of restaurants and bars, (though mostly full of tattooed, fat english people) and the beach of Chaweng is a party place (still full of tattooed english people - only younger) and has lots of decent bars and stuff, it also has a really nice beach - but more than a few days will bore you to tears.
Needless to say - we were happy to move on when the time came. This is a story in itself.......