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Koh samet Island

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I arrived on time at the appointed hour 8 am but no sign of Teerak. Got To victory Monument and did some waiting. I was on time 8 am but Teerak was one hour late and that can happen. Funny it happens with her I am more punctual. No worries the trains were sardine cans and one every five minutes..

 

Apple finally arrived and we got on a train to Ekamai still standing room only .One of the most unpredictable things here is the traffic there are lots of jams and getting from A to B can be more time consuming moving at a snails pace on packed buses and trains standing room only.. Hopped off the train and has some breakfast for Apple and later after buying the bus tickets one way we found a coffee for me.

Breakfast at Ekamai Apple likes her traditional Thai type breakfast while I just opted for a coffee Ron . The ticket sellers seemed to mob me and I ended up just getting a oneway ticket and would buy the ferry boat and return ticket when needed as it sounded like the price was inflated . This later proved to be a good move as there was a surprise waiting for me on buying the return bus ticket.

 

We have been to this same little cafe in Ekamai a couple of times it is a chinese owned place and is long and thin with the usual red and gold Chinese Buddhist alter with lights and incense burning . The meals are small and cheap with the whole thing costing 40 baht . There is always the water and the ice served with all meals and Apple is very conscious of her water and drinks plenty of it something I have to cultivate..

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The bus was comfortable and air con.and all except for the little tug of war with the Thai lady in front who wanted to pull the curtain effectively blocking my view of the passing countryside and the raucous coughing or the Felang behind the trip was sweet and took a couple of hours . I let her win for a while and then pulled it back later she conceded defeat without a fight.

 

I did end up with a cold on the Monday and it has lingered for nearly four weeks not nice . Lots of coughing and spitting and difficulty in breathing but last night Apple got up and made me a hot lemon drink and how effective that was , can’t beat the old remedies took me back to my Mum’s days..

We had a coffee and got the tickets for the ferry 100x2tickets =200 return.

 

Walked the long jetty to the waiting boat and did the pirate boarding thing . The boat was full all seats taken as there is a continual stream of tourists heading out to the Island one of the Largest ones on the Eastern seabord of Thailand..

 

The 40 minute trip was soon over and we disembarked again walking the plank sort of an adventure playground initiation there was a japanese girl who was nearly in tears and visibly terrified at having to do a mini parkour exit .

Our hotel was Outside the National  park so we escaped the park fees but it was up a nasty little track with a great pot hole at the bottom which was tricky to negotiate on the motorbike .It was very close to the ferry wharf so not far to go in or out.

 

We had a motor bike for the weekend and I did most of the riding well all when I was on it with Apple on the back. The roads were mostly rough except for the main drag which was concrete . The traffic was continuous with hundreds of motor bikes and some vehicles . There were also four wheel drive motor bikes.

On Friday we rode to the beach and watched the fire twirlers and they were highly skilled . We got there in the afternoon and there was some setup with all the beach chairs neatly laid out in front of the restaurant ready for the evening .

 

We came back just as it was all beginning and Apple took the video camera and did all the filming she is good at that and later I was able to edit the footage into a memorable tribute to a great evening . The skills of the main Thai performers was something to marvel at the balance and the finesse the fitness and agility of the dancers was paramount and very entertaining .

 

The show was on stage in front of the restaurant bar with several of the top acts and then moved to the beach for the finale with fireworks and group fire twirling. This all happened on the Friday Evening and will long be remembered as a gala start to the Island weekend.

 

Here the weather is so predictable there has not been any day when it has not been hot and sunny with no rain in sight . All outdoor activities are guaranteed success . Here there are no sudden surprises in the weather department . Well that is 99% correct there was one thunderstorm a month later I remember in Bangkok on one Sunday and that did cause some flash flooding but the sun came out and it all was gone in no time..

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Up early on Saturday morning and out on the bike . Came across a neat little spot and met a few locals..We slept well in our small room . It was an unusual room had no furniture only a fridge and a double bed no chair or table and there was a hanging thing for your clothes so it was stand up or lie down nothing in between Oh sit on the toilet . The choice was made over the internet and it was the cheapest not the best .

 

The air-conditioning was really cool and the bathroom was adequate with a hot shower although the water did run out a couple of times. Here on the island all the water is delivered by water tanker and the owner who was from Iran originally told me it cost 800 baht and was not very good he had to put lots of chlorine in it and only for washing .

 

As we rode along the rough dirt road that followed the beach we saw a little stop . There were some tables and it looked like a good place for a stop so we pulled in . A couple of friendly Thais soon had us drinking a beer and this was the start of Saturday morning . I am sure he offered me a smoke but that is not on my menu . I did end up having some shots and Apple did too I remember the poor dear threw up .

 

Soon my adventurous lady was heading for the water . The beach was a beautiful sight clean sand and deserted except for one long time Felang who had his own canoe complete with canopy . I was feeling good might have been the concoction offered I think it was a tincture of cannabis . Anyway I took the plunge and had a swim too. The local Thais made all sorts of offers from building me a house on the island to monthly rentals . Later I felt it would be a quick trip to alcoholism living here for any length of time .

 

We had a look next door to the small outdoor restaurant and there was a large Russian disco that brought patrons from Pattaya in speed boats from 10pm onwards dancing to loud beats with laser lights and a sex show according to our new found friends .

 

We hopped back on our bike and headed for our room to regroup and make our next move .

Apple went off on the bike something that worried me as she was more that a little tipsy but she  came back in a while wanting to take me to the beach “I have a chair for you”.

 

Well she was listing badly by now and we took up our position in the deck chair 50 baht thank you. In the next chairs were some German tourists one was having his feet massaged and the dead skin removed . Here on this beach there is a melting pot of tourists mostly europeans and lots of back packers . Young and looking for a good time in their two or three week holiday .

 

Then there are the middle aged fat men sex tourist with their willing girlfriends . I did not place myself in this class as I am not a tourist but more a resident and my girl friend is much more than a sex object she is my guide and my best friend and is showing me the Thai culture like no other . She is high spirited and I am still getting used to the way things are here . She is the most selfless person I have ever met and very committed to the Buddhist way..

 

The whole beach thing was getting to me and the sand something that is part of the beach was starting to overwhelm me . I went in for a swim keeping and eye on my seat . There is not much to worry about but it pays to be on the ball . Well after some time we decided to leave . Apple was flopping about the result of too much alcohol not a pretty sight. On the way past a coffee shop she offered to buy me a coffee . Okay I said and in we went . It was a rather upmarket place all the customers looked well heeled and well dressed and I felt a little out of place with no shirt on . We didn’t get served I kept telling Apple it wasn’t table service . In the end we left without a coffee. It was then I realised “NO Raybans” shit shit shit raced back to the beach chair nothing …..HORROR 9000 baht.. But in the end I just happened to pop my head into the coffee shop and there they were sitting on the floor where I had been sitting how lucky was that .. VERY LUCKY..

Later after a little rest a pitstop and freshen up a feeling of basking in the afterglow of the good luck of finding the Raybans we hopped on the bike and headed up the road stopping for some beer and BBQ pork . Moving along the rough track in the dark was more than a little tricky the pot holes causing the bike to bottom out badly hoping the frame wouldn’t collapse .

 

We did make it back to the spot were we had been in the morning the friendly Thai guys and had some more beers with them . In a way I was feeling smokey and I am so glad that didn’t happen . We did take one of the guys up on a hot air thing and for 100 baht it was too cheap . We went down onto the beach by now it was night not pitch black but dark and getting some illumination from the shore lights of the Thaibiza disco which was still dormant time being eight o’clock the disco wouldn’t start till later . There was a brief bracket of music with all the pumping and several lithe bodies were dancing on the raised deck.

 

We were down on the beach lighting the fire under the fabric hot air balloon. After some time it started to lift and the operator skillfully nudged it into the air . The fire was quite large something like six inches in a ring form and the whole balloon would have been 120 high by 40 wide . I watched it sail away up into the sky and finally out of sight . We then were offered some hand held fireworks , the balloon cost compared to the fireworks seemed way out of proportion but we did hold a couple of rather boring Roman candle type fireworks . After the balloon it all seemed second rate..

 

We headed back to the hotel before out carraige turned into a pumpkin and had a good nights rest..

 

Got going early on Sunday morning ..as this was our last day on the Island and personally we had the trip back to Bangkok in front of us so I wanted to start as soon as possible . We packed up , I had done some the night before said our goodbyes to the owner . I had found him reasonable and he had told me the place was his and he had a Thai wife and a couple of daughters on the mainland . Been running this for four years and was thinking of spending more time with the family but would need to get someone to manage it . He said he would have to know them for a while sounded reasonable easy to hand it over to someone who would not look after his interests and the running of the guest house is full on .

 

That morning I heard a really loud tree fall and a huge branch had fallen onto a nearby roof doing some damage. There were lots of trees and this one was dead a widow maker as we called them back in OZ. The owner told me that the island was being fought over and was overcrowded the navy the parks and wild life and the tourist operators all wanted a piece of the action. I noticed there were three large 7/11’s on the place.

 

All packed we had our return boat tickets and hopped aboard . Getting onto these boats is like a pirate boarding party definitely not wheel chair access . Had to step onto the top of a pile and then across a 30 foot drop onto the boat . We got a seat and settled in for the 40 minute cruise back . Fortunately the wharf was a bit more upmarket with a new gangway so getting off was reasonably easy and safe..

An umbrella came back from the past . Kind lady had kept it all that time and recognised me.. As we walked off the jetty the bus operators rushed me but I said no not now and luckily too.

 

We stopped for a latte in a shop I had used on the way down nice coffee and good air. There was a street thing going on a religious procession which involved dragons and firecrackers. The dancers dance was even more animated by the fact that they danced on strings of exploding firecrackers . One Macho man did it in bare feet .

 

The umbrella was one left on the bus from our previous trip to Rayong and the lady in the bus ticket office had kept it all this time and remembered me the Felang. It somewhat renewed my faith in human nature . There are a lot of good honest Thais that’s for sure ..

On the bus home I could feel a throat infection coming on..

And sure enough it developed into a severe bronchial constriction . I was drinking beer and largely ignoring it until it did really hit me on the Monday and for a couple of days breathing was a really conscious effort . In the end I went to the chemist and got a ventolin inhaler which did help .

 

One month later I am finally getting it out . I have much more energy and last night Apple made me a hot lemon drink that was really good. Oh on a positive note the onset of the cold completely killed my appetite and now I have managed to loose around 7 kilos .

Written by Andrew Speers

April 3, 2012 at 7:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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