Written on Sept. 5 at 3:00pm.
We took a tiny mostly empty plane to Koh Samui, arriving around 3:30pm. The islands are definitely changing the pace and urgency of our trip because we had a very low key night. We checked out a nearby beach lined with plush resorts, then got a ride with our hotel owner to the main tourist strip, Chaweng beach.
We wandered through a market, ate some spicy Nam Tok (meat and herb salad) and a mild glass noodle soup with round slices of tofu, ground pork, and cabbage. In the islands they also sell skewers of various meat and fish that are slowly grilled for hours before being selected by a diner and finished off with high heat at the last minute. That night, Jessica chose a piece of eggplant which was roasty, sweet, delicious, and served beside a small pile of salt for dipping.
Tired from a long morning of travel, we headed back and got a good night’s sleep and lazed around all morning reading. In the afternoon, we rented another motorcycle and decided to head around the island’s main looping “highway” and see where we ended up. First we stopped in a grassy patch on the side of the road hoping for an ocean view and we were rewarded with a set of concrete stairs leading down to some massive flat rocks at the edge of the ocean. Next we pulled over for an amazing lunch of stir fried whole sea bass, which was light, mild, salty, crispy, and topped with handfuls of smashed sweet garlic.
We crossed a perilous bamboo bridge, climbed up to two slightly disappointing waterfalls, and swam in one cool deep waterfall pool. We saw an “undecomposed” monk mummy and had an unexpected encounter with a young elephant. We followed signs up a narrow dirt road for “Wine Farm” and chatted with a local woman about her children, the island, and her German husband over a mug of fruity santol cider. Dinner was a flavorful soup with glass noodles and pork broth. A sugar and butter coated bread dessert came from a little produce market.
This morning we took our motorcycle to nearby Lamai beach for a swim and a visit to the famous genitalia shaped Grandmother and Grandfather rocks. I also ate my first Thai breakfast which was a porridge-y rice soup with grated ginger and ground pork. It was surprisingly tasty and quite filling. We are currently at the Samui airport waiting for our flight back to Bangkok. The airport is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It is almost completely outdoors, from the covered walkways to the tropical flowers, to the giant palapa that is the departure lounge. We are currently reclining in breezy wicker chairs and enjoying Bangkok Airways’ complimentary snacks and beverages as we wait to board our flight back to Bangkok – our last stop in Thailand.