Koh Samui is known for its white sandy beaches and we couldn't wait to get there. The Koh Samui Airport is the perfect welcome with its open air pavilions and architecture that is designed to blend in with the tropical setting. Our hotel transfer was there to greet us and whisk us off to our home away from home for the next few days.
We chose the Banana Fan Sea Resort on Chaweng Beach. Chaweng beach is one of the biggest and busiest beaches on the island, and one of the prettiest. The resort is at the southern end of the beach and was the perfect spot, away from the busier areas but close enough that we could venture out in the evenings for dinner and a bit of nightlife.
The hotel is located right on the main drag that runs along the beach, but once you step up into the open lobby and through the grounds to the beach, you're in paradise. Someday I have to live by the water. I can't get enough of the sound of the waves and the smell of the sea.
We had a Garden Bungalow that was the perfect little hideaway. We didn't spend much time in the room but when we did the Air Conditioning was much appreciated. Each day we would wake up and head straight to the beach or the pool. We never had any trouble finding lounge chairs, not that we really needed them. We spent most of our time either in the pool or bobbing in the surf for hours on end.
Koh Samui has different weather patterns than the rest of Thailand. We were there during their low season and it was perfect for us. The beach was pristine and the water was clear. Only a few late afternoon showers that brought us rainbows to enjoy.
There were beach vendors selling grilled corn or jewelry and souvenirs. Everyone was relaxed and so friendly. After the stoic faces of a daily London commute, the open smiling faces of Thailand were like a balm to the soul. I didn't realize how much I was missing eye contact. Have I mentioned that I love love love Thailand?
In the garden area of the resort there are frangipani (plumeria) trees and we would find the sweet-smelling blossoms along the walkways or floating in the pool. I would gather them up and take them to our room. We would also find them on our pillows each night. (The service at the Banana Fan was wonderful.)
Did you know that Koh Samui is also known for its coconut trees? There are 3 million coconut palms on the island and they export 2 million coconuts to Bangkok every month. When I found this coconut shell hand-painted with frangipani blossoms I knew it had to come home with me. I keep it close by and look at it every day to remind me of Thailand.
At the top of my list of things to do in Thailand was a cooking class. The Banana Fan Sea Resort offered them and I ended up having a private lesson overlooking the beach. The staff were terrific and made it so much fun. Matt got to join me and take pictures. Although you won't see the pics of me actually taking the class because ain't nobody got time for hair and makeup on a beach vacation.
They had everything ready and laid out and we made everything from scratch. I made Chicken Satay with the most incredible peanut sauce and two different curries. Afterwards, we got to sit down while all of it was served to us on a white table cloth.
It was a great meal and I was quite proud of myself even though I did have a massive assist from an amazing cook. As a momento, I got an apron, a chef's cap and a recipe booklet. I left with every intention of cooking all of this at home, but haven't yet. Maybe this weekend. My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures and remembering that meal. Would it be wrong to eat the peanut sauce with a spoon?
The Banana Fan's Baitong Restaurant was right on the beach and is were we had lunch everyday before getting back into the water. Always good service and good food, not to mention the view. If only I could wiggle my nose and be back there.
Each day also included a Thai massage. If you've never had a Thai massage be prepared. They are wonderful but a little intense. The therapists will use their hands, elbows, knees, legs and feet. You will be left without and ounce of tension in your body, they
In the evenings, we would head down the main strip for an explore and dinner at one of the many restaurants. Our best meal was at Stacked with their Signature burgers. Yes, I know..."you go to Thailand and your favorite meal was a burger? Seriously?" Yes, seriously, I still dream about that Cowboy Burger.
The rest of that verse is "...not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today, life is good today." Traveling with this guy, on a beach in Thailand... life is good. Even when I'm no longer there, I have the most incredible memories and new adventures to look forward to. Life is good.