Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ko Samet National Park---- Rest and Recovery

To get to this beautiful island park, I caught the sky train to the Ekamai stop and bus station. It costs just 236 baht for the 4 hour bus ride to Ban Phe followed by a half hour boat ride to Ko Samet.

If you think this dock area and pier looks pretty shakey, you should see one of the ancient boats you take to Ko Samet.

After loading us up, we had to return to the pier to catch another boat because they could not keep the engine running. Good thing that happened in the harbor area.







It was a fairly choppy crossing to Ko Samet with thunderclouds scudding across the sky punctuated by jags of lightening and rumbles of thunder. The park admission fee is 200 baht plus another 10 baht for environmental cleanup. The park provides a pickup truck ride through the village up to the park entrance where the first series of beachfront resorts can be found. For another 30 baht I got a bouncy dirt road ride past about 4 major beach areas to my favorite Psuda Bungalows.

As I walked toward the reception office, I noticed they had two vacant beach front bungalows. When I asked her about the availability and cost, she said it would be 900 per night. I told her I had stayed here for 700 baht per night. When I told her that I would be staying about a week, she let me have it for 700 baht per night.

Since I last stayed here, they have installed tile floors in the bathroom and installed instant hot water for showers. They still have no A/C, just fans for cooling. it use to be that you were only to run the fan from 5 PM til morning, but now you can run it all the time. They have also installed mosquito screens on all windows and doors and no more hanging mosquito nets over the beds. I can see why their normal charge is now 900 bahts.

After unpacking, I had a beachside lunch of red curry with chicken and rice and then headed back to my bungalow. My slight sore throat had now become a full fledged sore throat so I just hunkered down to weather it out. I slept right through dinner, and just kept sleeping until morning. When I got up in the morning, I gargled with some hydrogen peroxide followed by a swim in the bay where I would sip up some of the salt water. After three days, the sharpness dissipated and I began to regain enough energy to walk about all of the resort beaches.

During the weekends Ko Samet fills up with young Thais and families from Bangkok who love to party and engage in all kinds of water sports. I would typically see about six to eight young Thais at the restaurants where they would start by ordering cokes and ice cubes and then pull out their Johnny Walker Black or the local whiskey favorite, Mekhong Whisky, and beginning to drink. While drinking they would order various seafood dishes, with most of them cooked at the table. Their talk would be more animated and louder until late in the evening. In the morning, the debris from the night before still covered the tables and laid on the ground nearby as well as some stray shoes and clothing.

Fortunately over the weekend the wether was sunny and fair and it only began raining hard on Monday morning. After two hours of hard rain, the storm was over and the skies cleared up.

Some of the bays further south have these rickety piers for their resort clients.

View of Pudsa Bungalows from my morning swimming area.

Every morning these three monks a would collect alms from the resort owners. In turn the monks would chant a prayer in honor of the resort owners.

Monks are walking by my bungalow on their way to the next resort.

New Ko Samet pier with a tusked mermaid.

Return to Ban Phe harbor.


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