Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kozy in Ko Samet---7/16-26

I have enjoyed my stay here in Ko Samet, just lazing around and reading a number of adventure novels. It has been mostly cloudy with periodic downpours. At least it is warm and the sun eventually comes out.

Everytime I take my morning swim, I walk past this beautiful vertical rock garden. Even the three monks that pass by collecting offerings from the hotel guests and owners stop to look at the garden since it is so tranquil. If I am still in the water when they pass by, I wave at them and other times when I am in my cottage, I too give them an offering---no rice, just some Baht.

In the beach just further west of us, they have a dock so the passengers that bring visitors here can stay dry as they make their way to the shore and beachfront hotels and guesthouses.

Even the larger ferry boats can use this beach.
This beach is just to the east of our beach and can only be crossed when the tide is not high.
Toward the main village, there are lots of sports activities---kite sailing, jet skiing, banana boating. It is also where most of the tourists stay with its many upscale hotels and restaurants----these restaurants even have concrete floors rather than sand.
Even with the concrete floors, most tourists prefer the sand under the cover of trees or umbrellas. Most of the tourists here seem to be Thais who are escaping Bangkok for short vacations. Many seem to be brought here by tour groups.
I am at the nearby Jeps Bungalows having some coconut curry chicken and rice for lunch, and you can see that it is much less crowded the further you get away from the main area. I am about a 15 minute walk from where all of the tourists congregate.
Here is how the speedboats drop off and pick up the tourists for an exciting water entry on to Ko Samet.
This is another beach area to the west with cabins tucked into the woods with a great sandy beach with good snorkeling around the rocks.
This is the Silver Sands Restaurant and Resort just a five minute walk from my cottage. It has concrete floors in most of its restaurant.
This was the sunniest day at my Pudsa Bungalows beach with a speedboat coming in during low tide as well as lots of fishing boats on the horizon.
This snake came wriggling out of the water which drew a lot of attention before it disappeared in the foliage around my cabin. Nobody could say that it was poisonous though.
The main beach area is behind this Thai mermaid that divides the larger resorts in the distance from the smaller ones that I am staying at.
I was able to get an early ferry boat back to Ban Fe for just 50 Baht. It was smaller and the weather was pretty rough with water spraying over the bow a few times. A couple of the Thais on board got seasick and puked down wind of us---good thing.
Once there I got a mini bus to Pattaya where I stayed for a few days in the Swadsee Pattaya Hotel for just $11.15 per night compared to the $25 per night for a fan/cottage at the Pudsa Bungalows It was a good break from the beachside cottage with clean sheets, hot showers, A/C, swimming pool, TV---again fair and balanced with choices of Fox and Al Jazeera---and WiFi.
For those that do not know, Pattaya is the sex tourist capital of Thailand if not the world. It came to the forefront during the Vietnam War as a place for the GI's to come for some R & R and has grown from there.
I headed to the Walking Street, a place where there are door-to-door go-go bars and beer bars where the women wear numbers and little else. You can sit with them and buy their drinks or take them back to your hotel or out for the evening after you pay a bar fine----supposedly to cover for the loss of revenue by not having patrons buy them drinks. Costs for bar fines range from 300 Baht to 1000 Baht. In addition, the women then charge from 1000 to 3000 for them to be with you for a short time---a few hours, or long time----overnight. The adage---"no money, no honey" is the operative word here. It seems their attitude toward sex and nudity here is quite open if not financially driven. Most of the girls you meet are from Issan---a big farming province in the NE of Thailand, and are not handled by pimps, but either connect them selves to beer bars, go-go bars, or are freelancers. They generally come because one of their friends tells them about the "big" money they can make for "easy" work. Some foreigners or "farangs" as Thais refer to them really fall for these women and there are lots of sad novels about how that turns out. "Private Dancer" is one such book. I also occasionally saw the farangs with their Thai girl friends--wives---with their children. At least these guys are supporting their love children.

One thing I had not mentioned was that when I started my trip, the Thai military had executed a coup that removed the Prime Minister and replaced it with a military junta. Initially there was a 10 PM curfew and no more than 5 people could gather or they would be hauled away. Now in Pattaya, these military guys are the only evidence of the coup and the normal hours of bar closings at between 2 and 4 AM are now the norm. Tourism has suffered initially, but has now returned to the normal summer norm. This is about the 20th coup in as many years. You just have to wonder how things will work out. However, just like in the US, money talks.
Last stop will be Taiwan for about a week just following a horrific typhoon. Hope people there are OK.


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