Sunset Dinners on the Beach

Sunset Dinners on the Beach

One of the things that never gets old for me is sitting out at night, in the comfortable heat of the tropics. It’s a novelty to me.

As a native to Seattle, night time means freezing cold weather that requires a down jacket, a scarf, and maybe gloves. Even in the Summer, a light jacket is usually needed. At least for me anyway…

Cheers to tropical weather and sunset dinners on the beach! ❤

Dinner Surprises

Above are a few pictures of my dinner from a few weeks ago and again a few days ago. Upon first glance of the bowl I was a little anxious. My dinner looked… kinda gross.

I said to myself, “We don’t eat things like this in America…” Or at least, I don’t. It reminds me of eating bugs. But it’s not bugs. It’s fish and it is sustenance and nutrients. I could either stress myself out trying to communicate that I didn’t want it without offending the cook, or I could just try to eat it. And so I did. It didn’t taste great and the texture was foreign and uncomfortable. I ate as much as I could with giant spoonfuls of rice. The second time, I mixed them into the noodles. Just another typical dinner experience in a foreign culture. Each day brings new surprises.

Koh Samui in a nutshell

As my previous blog post explains, I had the opportunity to hop over to Koh Samui to celebrate new years. It was a last-minute decision which provided me with plenty of info on what NOT to do. Here are my tips and description of the area.

Tip # 1
For major holidays such as New Years, Loy Krathong, Songkram and during peak season (December-January) it is very important to book accommodations in advance if you can. This is especially true on New Years. A couple different hotels told me that they had been booked up since March or April for New Years. INSANE. The rest of the year I would suspect it would be fine to just show up and find accommodations. I was lucky and had only booked a hotel for December 27th, but managed to find accommodations for the rest of my new years trip. I was traveling alone so this provided more flexibility.

Tip # 2
If you plan to visit Koh Samui for new years and you want to fly into the airport on the island make sure to book your flight well in advance. I was only able to book the guest room I found because the people who had reserved it weren’t able to make it onto one of the flights in from Bangkok. They were fully booked and had to create a massive number of additional flights to accommodate the New Years crowd. The island was so packed that they had flights arriving every 15 minutes. They had to borrow planes from other airlines to get everyone flown in.

Tip # 3
If you plan to spend a lot of time lounging on the beach working on your tan I suggest that you try to stay at a resort ON the beach. Unless you are staying at a resort on the beach there are very few places where you can access it. I only found one “public beach entrance.” When I tried to leave the beach, I found that almost all of it is reserved for resorts. I walked a long ways and had to try cutting through resorts without getting caught.

Tip # 4
If you’re a solo traveler hoping to meet people, you’re better off on Koh Tao. I mainly saw families and couples on Koh Samui. There weren’t many backpackers. When I was on the boat over to Koh Samui I noticed that most of the back packers got off on Koh Tao. That’s the place for you as well as oodles of divers! While there, you can get your diving certification! The blue waters are so tempting.

Tip # 5
If you will be getting out to the islands by boat, please read up on the different options. There are at least 3. There is a night boat and some sort of drive on ferry. The boat I took is the Lomprayah high-speed catamaran. The service is professional and it is much quicker than the others but if you get sea sick you may want to opt for another option. My experience included musical vomiting from all directions. They have staff whose sole role appeared to be vomit support. Hand out bags, throw away full ones, and pass around tissues. It looked like a busy job. I was surprised at how violently the large boat rocked. I’m not easily rattled but I was slightly frightened at first and I did get very nauseous. On my return trip, I joined the choir of musical vomiting. It was very unpleasant. BUT, please note that sometimes the ride is fine. I spoke to a couple whose previous ride over was very smooth and enjoyable. It’s a gamble.

General Description:
Koh Samui has a few different stretches of beach areas. The most popular part of the island is Chaweng Beach. After that, Lamai Beach. They are about a 30 minute ride from the boat docks. Both have accommodations in all price ranges but since Chaweng beach is a larger area you will have more options there. Chaweng beach has the best nightlife on the Island. If you’re looking for a party, go to Ark Bar towards the North part of Chaweng beach. For a massive party hop over to Koh Phangan, the neighboring island, for one of the world-famous Full Moon parties. It is only a short 15 min speed boat ride away. They also have half-moon parties, jungle parties, and a few others. If you plan to visit this cluster of islands for several days it’s likely that there will be some sort of party going on on Koh Phangan.

A Mini Theme Park Discovery

While en route to Chumphon with some friends, we stopped for lunch to meet our caravan at a fun looking restaurant. From the parking lot, it looked to be a nice quality restaurant in a jungle setting. After eating and wandering around I started to realize what a shitty place it was, literally. I came to find out that the restaurant was called “Happy Toilet” and it’s sort of a mini theme park dedicated to toilets. As you walk around you can enjoy fun sculptures and working toilets in interesting places. The sky’s the limit… again.. literally haha. There was a “sky toilet” in a 360 degree glass observatory (the bottom half was double-sided glass so you couldn’t see in). There were also a few toilets in “the underworld” set in a cave with sculptures, art, and stories from history. There’s even a toilet within a giant sculpture of a….well… turd haha. Take a gander through my photos, it was such a fun place to stumble upon!

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