Sunday, February 2, 2014

Thailand Part I: Ko Samet

My things are unpacked and my apartment is for the most part put back together again.  My pictures are organized and uploaded on facebook.  The reality that I have to go back to school tomorrow is just starting to set in.  It's only now, as I look through the myriads of pictures I took in Thailand, that I can really start to wrap my head around the experience as a whole.

After spending an uncomfortable and cold the night in the Bngkok airport (, Megan finally arrived in Thailand at 6 AM.  The beginning of our trip wasn't quite going as planned, but luckily she was able to get on a flight that allowed us to keep our plans to go to Ko Samet that morning.

After we met up we grabbed a taxi to the bus station.  Now, Thailand has two bus stations. We thought we were being clear as to which one we wanted to go to, but when we got to the bus station and tried to find a place to go to Ko Samet, one of the bus station workers informed us that we needed to be the other bus station.

Without any other real options, we begrudgingly got in another taxi and hoped that this time we were headed to the correct place.  Our first taxi ride had been long, but the second one was even longer.  I would say it was over an hour that we sat in traffic just wanting to get on our way.

At last we made it to the CORRECT bus station and bought our tickets to go to the pier, where we would then take a ferry to go to Ko Samet.

The bus was different from what I've become accustomed to in Korea, but not bad overall. We drove through some really rural parts of the country, which ultimately is quite the contrast to some of the areas we saw later in our trip.

After about a three and a half hour ride, we arrived at the pier, where we then got on a ferry to take us to Ko Samet.

Once we finally got to the island, we piled into the back of a truck with a bunch of our tourists and were brought to our hotel.

Thailand is an international travel destination for many reasons, one of the major ones being the beautiful beaches in the south.  Although Ko Samet is by no measure one of Thailand's most famous or beautiful beaches, it was nonetheless beautiful an quite refreshing to be surrounded by green vegetation and bright blue water.

We stayed at a place called the Samed Cabana Resort, and our room was literally a on minute walk from the beach. Although we arrived feeling exhausted and like quite possibly the dirtiest people on earth, it was satisfying to FINALLY arrive at our first destination.
The view from our room.  Right beyond those rooms was the beach.  

After taking showers (which felt like the BEST showers ever after all that traveling!), we settled in and had a beachfront dinner.  Naturally we were tired, so it was an early night.
Really delicious food.  And super cheap! This cost maybe$3...and food was MORE expensive on the island than in the rest of Thailand!
Beautiful sunset.

The next morning we woke up early, had breakfast by the beach, and settled in for a day in the sun.  The weather was warm, but by no means unbearably hot.  I was a lovely relaxing day, where we enjoyed fresh fruit, afternoon cocktails, and reading in the sun.
Beautiful water with some of he Thai vendors. They had lots of fresh fruit and snacks. 

Afternoon mojitos!
We almost forgot to take picture.  A little dark, but at least we can prove we were actually there.

At night we had another awesome dinner and a few drinks, followed by some fire performances along the beach.  The performers were actually pretty young, which naturally made me even more nervous, although they definitely knew what they were doing.   
Fire performers!

The next morning, we had breakfast then gathered our things to return to Bangkok, where we would catch the overnight train for the next part of our trip in Chiang Mai!

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