Friday 10th Aug 2007.
Some of the photos published here are courtesy of limsingking.multiply.com
Fireflying into Koh Samui from Penang was generally a pleasant 1hour 10min flight. My mind was full of curiosity on the surprises this island can offer after heard much about it for months. Unlike any of my other trips where I would do much research before hand, this trip was 180-degree different where I didn’t involve in any planning or booking. Thanks to my good friends Agnes and Kooi Sim who took care of them, really appreciate it!!! All I did was just glancing through some of the beautiful photos of Koh Samui embedded in wordy Thailand travel guides and imagining myself relaxing by the white sandy beach heavens in Thailand. Frankly, I didn't have any clue of what has been installed and could not even pronounce the name of some of the isles around Koh Samui properly. All I know is that these isles start with Koh, i.e.,island in Thais. :P
Yes, it was also my first experience with the “Malaysia’s first community airline”. The only thumb-up that I have is the seating that is arranged on first come first served basis. Similarly to “Now everyone can fly”, flight delay is a norm adn there is no exception this day. In term of the design of costume and in-flight interior, Air Asia clearly outshines Firefly, my personal thought.
Before Koh Samui was renowned as one of the hot tourist spots in Thailand, the island’s economy relies mainly on coconuts export. As Firefly was slowly touching down, coconut trees were visible everywhere, scattered around the island. In fact, many are standing gracefully among the newly built seaview mansions on the northern hill of the island.
After we alighted from Firefly FY3602, airport coaches were waiting beside the plane to chauffeur passengers to the resort-like international airport. Yes, the airport is a collection of atap-roofed huts with lotus pond seperating the arrival and departure halls. Right before the checkpoint, exquisitely printed travel maps and guides were available free of charge. Yes, I will rank Koh Samui brochures the best that I have ever collected. The printing, details and even the paper quality are surely of top notch standard, in fact, superior than typical wedding invitation cards that we commonly receive. :P At around 5pm, we were on our way to Varinda Resort in a huge Nissan taxi-van that zoomed through villages and eventually small town.
Left: FY3602 (Fokker 50) from Penang to Koh Samui
Right: Departure hall taken from the arrival hall with lotus pond as the divider.
Staying on the hilly end of Lamai Beach, we have to take a small route that connects us to the beach road. It is just 5-10 minute walk to reach the southern part of the Lamai touristy beach road. Massage parlours, bars and pubs, souvenir outlets are ubiquitous along the road. Soon, we came across a small local Thais restaurant. Yes, we were a bunch of youngsters crazy about Thai food but never really satisfied until our last meal in Koh Samui... tell you more in my last blog about Koh Samui. I am, particually, all eyes watching out for Phat Tai and Thai Sausage. I heard about Thai sausage from Velse. So, a must try for me. The smell of the cooking from this small restaurant teased our stomach where we unfortunately succumbed to its temptation.
One plate of Pad Thai (Fried Kuih Teow) with chicken, another Phat Tai with prawn, Panang Curry Pork, Mixed fried vegetables with seafood, Fried jelly noddle (Tong Fen) with squids, couple of carbonated drinks and a young coconut drinks summoned 350Baht.
It was a total disappoinment to me when the two plates of Pad Thai were served. Phat Tai without crunched peanut, fresh beansprouts and spring onion cuts? No way it is Pad Thai. In fact, it tasted rather "yucky" compared to the many Pad Thai servings that I had before. Panang Curry Pork was no doubt much tastier than the rest of the orders, a consolation for me. :P The spiceness is equivalent to Nando's hot peri-peri. Hehe, of course it does not taste like peri-peri.... :P
Left: Southern part of Lamai Beach road
Right: Golden Sand Beach Resort
Group photos taken along Lamai Beach
Left: Far reaching white Lamai waves
Left: Me at Lamai Beach
Mid: A dog lazing on the soft beach
Right: Seafood restaurant menu board
(My favorite photo. Good job Sing King!!!)
Seafood Buffet Dinner at Thai House Beach Resort
At the northern end of Lamai Beach, we were approached by Thai House Beach Resort manager offering us a savour of seafood buffet dinner by the beach at 690Baht per pax. The temptation grew when we learned that the BBQ section serves a good choice of seafood including rock lobster, juicy tiger prawn and freshly roasted muscles, squids, chicken and beef kebab with pineapple and pepper slices. Besides, the buffet has a generously laid fruits station, a standard choice of cooked dishes including baked salmon in lemon source, stewed beer with mushroom, mixed vegetables, green curry chicken and etc. In the salad station, hidden gems of smoked salmon were served along with ham and sliced sausages. The smoked salmon really made the ladies excited when the gems were discovered. Virtually, all of the smoked salmon rolls were wiped by you know who.... :P
As we dined with much less chit-chat because everyone seems really busy "dining" to ensure 690Baht is worth the value, time tick-tocked towards 8pm when live performance of Polynesia cultural show commenced. It started with a much upbeat dance where Thai ladies dressed up in Tahitian grass skirts with coconut shell top and topless male. After the opening dance, the shows became dull where topless male performers in different size (thin, fat, tall & short - what a good spread of human size... :P) were performing Polynesia warrior dance. Love song singing and some other cultural shows were followed next... the poor sound system further degenerated my focus on the show... so I did another round of scouting for smoked salmons. Hehe.. luck is with me...
Well... the ladies liked the salmon so much but too shy to "sapu" and were at one point of time grousing about the smoked salmon rolls not being refilled yet...... So, let the man do the gentleman got to do: Like a prey scouting for salmons, multiple trips were made to the salad station for such purpose. In the midst of the cultural show while other resort guests stay-tuned on the performance, the man virtually "smuggled" all the newly refilled smoked salmons. :P
The finale of the show was fire torch spinning acrobat which was really good. Big hands from me as I tried to take photos of these acrobatic performers but in vain. Luckily, our official group photographer, Sing King, did a good job then. Double thumb-up!!!
So, our original plan to just find a cozy beach-side area for a drink turned out to be a sumptuous savour of seafood buffet with entertaining performance. Something that I would recommend you to do when you are in Lamai Beach. A downside of having buffet dinner here is that it didn't come with any drink at all. A glass of lemon juice is at 70baht. If you fancy live music, I would recommend the buffet dinner next to ours. The male singer's voice is really good, welly accompanied with guitar pluckings. At one point, I was hymming and singing along with the performer on Country Road, a song that I love very much for years..... la la la...
Before we headed back to rest for the tomorrow snorkeling trip in Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan, shopping came naturally after a much fulfilling meal. Well, the souvenirs sold in Koh Samui are pretty standard. The only souvenirs that really drew my attention are the scented flower curved out of Palmolive soap, probably is is standard souvenirs that I overlooked last time I came to Thailand.