Sunday, April 11, 2010
island two: koh samui
After koh phangan we headed to a larger island called koh samui. some of us got a rather wicked nasty sunburn in koh phangan so our time in koh samui was spent less relaxing on the beach and more in long sleeves. and with the heat from hell this could be pretty terrible. but not on bike day! kate and i decided to brave the terrifyingly hectic roads of thailand, left side driving and all, and rented scooters! the first twenty minutes or so were rather terrifying. we were going about 40kph-- the speed limit mind you-- and everyone else mustve been going about 100kph. vans and other huge vehicles passed very close to us and other bikers swerved all around us. we were the only people on the road wearing helmets. but after we started to feel more in control of our bikes it became pretty exciting! and the wind on the road kept my skin cool for the first time in days. we took the bikes to see the grandmother/grandfather rocks, some pretty hilarious rock formations on a beautiful viewpoint. we did some hiking around in the jungly areas as well, but flip flops and the heat and bugs brought us back to the comfort of our bad ass bikes pretty quick!
we went on a day safari while here in koh samui which gave us some of the best and worst experiences we've had thus far in thailand. we got to go elephant trekking which was remarkable! we rode on an elephant name samgee, a well behaved baby boy who was very sweet and let us pet him and ride on his head which apparently is not uncomfortable for them. hopefully. we learned later that it was a very good thing that samgee was so well behaved or we had have seen the terrible way that the trainers enforce orders with the animals. we went to an elephant show, a monkey show, and a crocodile show, and the treatment of the animals was pretty terrible. they stabbed at them with giant spear things and pulled on their ears and the monkeys were all in full makeup and clothing, all for tourist entertainment. it was sometimes quite hard to watch. but during the elephant show an elephant played tug o war with 23 guys and won rather easily. now that was impressive! also on the day trip we got to ride on top of a jeep thru the jungle, swim in a waterfall, see a mummified monk, go to the magic buddha garden, and eat a traditional thai lunch. all in all a good day!
everything was beautiful on koh samui. the hut we stayed in was tiny, stuffy, and the bed was a board covered by a sheet, but we were feet from the ocean and always had a nice breeze. it was a delightful place that perhaps without my skin burning like a mo fo it would have been one of my favorites:-) lovefrom kt