This weekend I had my first experience with tropical islands in the Gulf of Thailand. In fact this was my first experience with Tropical Islands ever.
We rose weary with blurry vision from the previous nights festivities and fumbled downstairs to a pair of vans which would drive us to the Gulf Coast. Roughly 3 hours later or 1 long nap we made it to a bus terminal next to our destination, Baan Phe Pier. It was littered with freelance tour busses, street vendors and motor taxis pandering for business from everyone and everything. We walked down a shaded corridor to the pier looking out to the tropical abyss. The pier was massive and a littered as the terminal lot. Packed with fishing boats, schooners, and tour boats as far as the eye could see.
We walked down a construction style improvised ramp onto a smaller dock where we boarded a sea worthy speed boat for 24 and off we went. Blasting through the water with the dual 250hp honda motors the boat cut through the water like a knife that would every so often grind against a rock. Crashing into swells and bouncing the people in the front of the boat. The captain, a small man with leathery skin maneuvered our boat through the choppy sea like we were going into battle.
We arrived at the main pier on Koh Samet and when the boat was docked our director from uni stood up and told the driver we were at the wrong area. From there we preceded to cruise almost to the complete other side of the island. None of us had any idea what we were in for.
We came around the point of the island, mostly jungle, and were greeted by the most beautiful white sandy bay bay bathed in clear aquamarine water with the slightest green hue. This was our spot, an incredibly secluded island resort by the name of Baan Thai Sangtien and it was clear on the opposite of the island away from all the seemingly aussie farangs.
The captan beeped the horn as his first mate tossed the anchor. Like clock work 6 employees of the resort ran down to the boat to help us off and see us to our rooms after check in. All of this for us, it felt so strange.
I jumped off the boat and walked up the beach to the most picturesque site i’d seem in some time. The sandy beaches faded into the base of the small island resort and up to a shaded area. Tree roots sprawled across the ground beneath us like veins. To the left an elevated beach by a sea wall with a small restaurant and a bar. to the right limitless island beach.
We headed up and were shown to our rooms. We stayed in small elevated one room beach cottages which were on the side of a hill so they were increasingly higher than one another giving an amazing view down to the beach and into the sea. They had two beds and a small bathroom with a shower that was partially exposed to the elements. It was amazing.
After walking around for a little bit I met some of the students down on the beach for a beer and we took it all in. After a while our group met at the top of the hill. We were heading into the center of the island for dinner and to check out the area. First our director walked us across the end of the island where its very thin to the other side and we watched a spectacular sunset.
When it was just dusk we hopped in the bed of the pickup taxi and headed for the center. We zoomed down the winding road passing jungle and descended down. We arrived at the main center and were free to go for a few hours and were to meet back later. Garret and I had dinner with the directors and a few other students and it was quite nice.
After things go a little crazy. We walked around and I saw 2 of the students take off on a moped. The shop they got it at was charging 100 Baht or 2.9 dollars for 1 hour. we had 45 minutes left. I told Garret screw it and we both hopped on one. Funny thing was, my moped was actually a minibike. My buddy Max hopped on the back and we took off screaming down the center road. Blasting past the mopeds and off into the dark of the jungle. Up and down, back and forth we zipped around the island with great speed. Overtaking anyone ahead of us. It may have got a bit out of hand we a Taxi tried to take us out. Perhaps the most fun I’ve had for 3 bucks in my whole life.
While Max and I were out buzzing around we saw a street side stand in the middle of nowhere on the island. A woman was selling home made,Ya Dong , which is rice whiskey mixed with herbs. You shoot it back and bite on a piece of pickled melon. We bought a pint off her and road off into the dark.
Later that night I may have had a little too much Ya Dong and ended up sleeping in a hammock on the beach so I could watch the sunrise. Unfortunately with the high tide because of the full moon. There were an extra hundred thousand sand flys to dine on my body while I slept. Guess how that ended.
Next morning I stumbled from the hammock over to the restaurant for an early morning coffee and a traditional thai seafood and rice soup breakfast. What a better way to start the day.
After breakfast were we’re toured around as a group on a boat with a drive named Yak. He was a large man with long hair, a beard and a larger smile. We went to 7 islands and snorkeled for a better part of the day. I spent most of my time diving as deep as I could with Garret. It was quite beautiful. The experience was truly unforgettable.
We found a look out on one of the clifs on a small secluded Island and could see for miles. Coming to Samet and the smaller islands is an amazing thing.
After we returned Garret and I got Beach side massages and then our group went for dinner in the town. We watched a fire show and shared a meal as the family that we have slowly become.
I highly recommend traveling to Samet if you ever have the chance.
Cheers to ThailandTags: Boating, Diving, Island, Kow Tum, Motorbike, Samet, Snorkling, Swimming, Thailand, Ya Dong, Yak