A Travellerspoint blog

March 2011

Recovery Time in Thailand

Relaxing on Koh Samui

storm 30 °C

So now we have turned round and finally started to head in the right direction- towards home! I knew we’d find our way some day...

From leaving the guesthouse in Cook Islands to arriving in Koh Samui took 36 hours, 4 flights, crossing of the date line- 5th March didn’t exist for us this year, 1 stressful episode where our luggage was taken into Australia, but we didn’t have a visa to go and collect it, the inside of 5 airports, lots of awful aeroplane food , and not much sleep!

Not really surprising that for the first few days in Koh Samui (a little island in the south of Thailand- where the book “the Beach” is based) was spent sleeping and nursing sore muscles from settling on tiny seats for so long! And for quite a few days after that one of us would be awake at 4am and asleep by 6pm- normally we took it in turns!

Once we’d gotten over that we spent time walking through the markets and the nearby main strip of the island- Chaweng Beach, which is basically an 18 year old’s paradise. Nevertheless it is still a gorgeous beach (when there’s no sudden tropical storms- a daily occurrence) and there are plenty of places to get a cold beer.

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One evening we went to the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts for a Thai cooking class. I am proud to say that we each made (FROM SCRATCH) red curry paste (quite tough on the arms- there’s alot of pounding involved, red curry with roast duck, stir fried pork in oyster sauce, and pad thai. I have to say, all of the dished were scrummy! Only problem was, between us we made enough to feed about 10 people- the folk that work at the guest house got lots of it when we got back!

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Yesterday we went on a day trip to the Ang Thong National Marine Park which is an archipelago of 42 islands covering about 100km2. We started off by kayaking around some of the islands, through caves (including the one which is a secret passage in the book The Beach) to Mae Koh where we were able to take a short climb to see Talay Nal (again, inspiration for The Beach) which is the most beautiful and secluded emerald green lagoon. Then we made our way over to Wua Ta Lap- another bigger island with gorgeous stretches of white sand. We climbed (and I mean climbed- this was not for the remotely unfit) 500m to one of the highest points on the island for the most amazing view of most of the marine park. It was really hard work (today, once again, we are struggling to go up and down pavements and to do any sort of walking) but well worth it- another recommendation for your bucket list folks!

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Our experience in Koh Samui has been quite different to the cultural Thai experience we had a few years ago when we visited the north- this is very much a beach and party destination, but for us it’s been an excellent way to end the trip.

Posted by lesleymw 08:30 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Chilling on Cook Islands

And realising that Island Time is all it’s cracked up to be!

semi-overcast 26 °C

We both agree that the Cook Islands are the best place to relax and take your time to do.. everything and nothing.

To start with, we left for Cook Islands in the early morning of 1st March, and arrived late at night on the 28th February! But after spending some time on the islands, we’re surprised they even have a time zone, everything is just so relaxed!

We stayed on Rarotonga, the “main” island where the total circumference of the only road which follows the coast round is 32km, with some markers so you know how far round the island you are. They only have two busses “clockwise” and “anti clockwise”- nothing as strict as numbers here!

The fact that the place is so tiny, and within a day you do learn that the best way to do things is slowly and at whatever pace you fancy that day, means that you can do and see pretty much everything on the island in the short time we were there. A lot of our time was spent wandering along the beaches which surround the island, going through the main town on the island, wading/ kayaking between some of the surrounding islands (on one side, it’s basically a lagoon with ocean waves not reaching the beach), and driving into the island where the dirt tracks were wide enough.

The place is so laid back that we were able to pass time sitting by the water drinking beers and eating pizza (I know, exotic!) for 12 hours between leaving the guesthouse and catching the plane... good times! And that helped us prepare for the mammoth surge of flights, airports, and sleepless days ahead to get to the next stop!

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Posted by lesleymw 15:00 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

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