Even though my friends and I had a few papers due, we still decided we could head to the beach for the weekend. Because it is far better to work on an island with white sand beaches than in hot, sweltering Khon Kaen (weekend temperatures reached 111 degrees). So we threw in some towels, swim suits and lecture notes and headed out 6 hours after making the decision to go.
It was a total of 31 hours on buses, taxis, and ferries to get from Khon Kaen to Koh Samet (an island on the Gulf of Thailand) and back; 13 one way and 18 hours back. And I ended up in yet another Thai clinic. But it was worth every single minute.
What I love most about Koh Samet was the lack of farang (foreigner/white) men with Thai women. True, sometimes it’s a real relationship, but a lot of times farang men purchase a woman for a night or for the weekend as a “companion”. I didn’t really see that at Koh Samet; it was more couples and families, and the dread-lock and elephant-pant wearing backpacking crowd was also significantly lacking. All of this led to a way more open, friendly atmosphere.
But there were a fair amount of couples and families, so we motorbiked down the island a ways in search of a more secluded, private beach. We found this in a fancypants resort’s private beach.
If you walk through the resort like you know what you’re doing, no one will question you.
Anyways, it was a large, sprawling resort and there were probably five other people on the beach so we spent most of the day swimming, napping and reading books.
That night, and most of the next morning, were spent writing and editing papers, with a little adrenaline kick. That came as me hastily fleeing my hostel’s shower stall after I discovered I had showered with an evil-looking, potentially poisonous frog at chest height two feet away from me. But in my haste to flee, I cut my hand on the shower stall’s rusted handle and had to go to the island’s clinic to get a tetanus booster shot. It appears like visiting island’s hospitals and clinics has turned into a habit!
We also spent a good chunk of time wandering the town looking for Mango Sticky Rice. Now that mangos are in season, this is probably the most delicious thing I have ever eaten; the texture is perfect, and the sticky rice is drizzled in sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk (as near as I can tell) in the perfect blend of sweet sugar and carbohydrates. I ate three plates of this delicacy on Sunday alone, and I regret absolutely nothing.
Overall, it was an amazingly fun, restful and productive weekend full of warm sun, ocean breezes and mango sticky rice.