Koh Samet: a little island three hours drive and a speedboat away from Bangkok. Perfect for the weekend getaway. Also perfect for twenty or so tired teachers in desperate need to some R ‘n’ R and some dancing on the beach- and in a club flood. Want to know what that is? Read on…
We took the nice, comfy, private mini van from Bang Na, sweaty, with bags, at 4pm on a Friday afternoon. By 4:05 the beers were opened and four family bags of crisps demolished. An aux cable got plugged into the front and an iphone was connected. We were away. A stop at Starbucks after an hour saw us some espressos and upon return the seats facing in and strobe lighting bouncing off the padded ceiling of our van. Tired teachers? Our driver had already called it, no … Suddenly, my granny days were long gone, as I clambered back inside with a warm gin and tonic and my hair thrown into it’s usual saggy bun. Beach ready? Unlikely. Maybe these boys were… Here is Will with Ronan and Andrew…
Another hour in… ‘guys the man is trying to drive’. The van had turned into some karaoke on wheels. The squawks from Nikki Minaj impressions were nearly swaying the palm trees outside and the van sort of seemed to rock from side to side. After a while nobody seemed to care about our man, poor thing, as Beyonce ‘Halo’ was blasted from the boys. Good job we had arrived at the port, although some friends thought we had arrived in Samet. Obviously the fun in the van had made everyone a little off centre. Luckily, we all managed to get onto the boat safe and sound, clutching our bags for dear life as the boat whizzed us over the the island in a speedy twenty minutes.
Pulling up into our resort, we were asked to get off the boat, and wade straight through the sea and onto the shore. Imagine that with a million bags and beer bellies? At the same time, the feeling of sand under your feet and beautifully warm sea water on a weekend was completely surreal- and it was only 9pm. After check in it was time for a ‘Jess special’. ‘Special’ being the service you get, rather than the actual drink itself- gin with some berocca-like fizzy infusion. It takes two to prepare this beast.
The night rapidly rolled into lots of dancing, UV paint, cocktails in buckets (compulsory), a very late night swim in the sea and post-swim beach relay races. We later found out that someone had been stung by a Box Jellyfish in Samet a few weeks earlier. A close call, but, you know, YOLO.
Will and I decided to change rooms after the first night as the view we woke up to was not what we had seen the night before. Funny, that, considering the journey to Samet and the evening antics. At night our room seemed idyllic, almost ‘foresty’ and romantic. After yanking back the curtains at 10am we realised that we were in the ‘cul-de-sac’ with the washing machines on the right and some tubing/guttering debris on the left. There was also some kind of chicken in a pen laying eggs during the early hours. Not worth the 2,200 baht we had paid for ‘superior forest view’. Time for a complaint- and an upgrade. The new view:
Although a bit overcast, we could handle it and fell a little bit in love with room A7. Even the sand in the bed didn’t put us off and Will remarked how smooth his back felt after a nine hour stint of roly-poly sand exfoliation between the sheets. Perfect for that beach tan.
The Saturday was very chilled and one of the reasons we came to Samet. There’s something about being on a little island with the warmth of the sun and sea that helps you to completely relax and feel like you have all the time in the world. We haven’t really been able to do that before. Our lives are certainly very different here. Time feels like it’s on our side and any stresses don’t feel like mountains anymore, but hills that you can walk up and gently roll down from, if you want to.
Cocktails were the order of the evening, as they always are in Thailand. Prices of cocktails range from about 130 baht in happy hour (£2.50) to 400 baht in up market places in the city (£8). A great deal, either way you look at it.
We decided to pick the rickety shack next to A7 and I ordered a Pina Colada to get me in the island spirit! A lovely start to the evening, listening to the waves, chilling on our little cushions laughing about our funny old lives in Thailand.
Here’s me with Hollie and Jess- my wonderful partners in crime.
Oh how civilised we all were, until the rain came in and we visited the neon nastiness of Naga bar (read on). I can’t quite describe the rain here. The raindrops are like the size of broad beans. One single drop seems to get you soaked. Then all of a sudden, it stops. The skies clear and life goes back to normal. Some days it has been so bad that Will and I have had no choice but to buy pink ponchos from 7/11, take our shoes off and wade through the water that, for some reason, seems to always be suspiciously murky. But the rain didn’t stop in Naga bar. Ohno, we were in this for the long run. What do you do? You could dance in it and let the mascara run it’s course.
I’ve been in a bar lock in in my time, but this bar didn’t have a door. So how do you get locked in? Please look carefully at the next picture.
Floor- what floor? The one covered in three inches of rain water, perhaps. Naga bar got submerged in rain, which was most likely mixed with other stuff- and we danced in it. We got locked in Naga bar because the rain hit hard, and it didn’t stop. Some described Will’s dance routine in the middle like a scene out of ‘Step Up’, splashes of water flying from under his dizzy, little dancing feet. Others decided to swim in it, you know, pretend like it was the sea. Utter, utter madness! But it was so much fun.
Payment was due the following week, however. Everyone who danced in Naga bar that night seemed to be under the weather with funny tummies or swollen insect bites. You could say ‘I told you so’, but we are still laughing about our weekend in Samet a week later, and probably for a long time…
Thank you, Samet. It was a pleasure to meet you and to experience all of your beauty and beastliness. We will be back soon, but may save Naga bar until we are armed with weapons of dettol, disinfectant and swimming gear.