Daily Archives: 2009-11-05

The Final Countdown – Bangkok to Phuket to Samui to Phangan

I know I haven’t been writing lately. I guess a lot has happened so I will just try to give the short version. Because really, its all just a means to an end. All this (and by this I mean everything) was to get there. And now I am here.

After I got off the ship in Bangkok, I spent a couple days getting cheap massages (300 baht an hour or 400 for two hours) and seeing the sights. I really enjoyed the Tiger Sanctuary (350 baht) where I got to pet baby tigers, hug orangutans, and feed elephants. I stayed at the Landmark (75US a night) where I had free access to an amazing state of the art gym called Fitness First. I even tried a yoga class in Thai but much preferred the computerized TV treadmills.

The Grand Palace (350 baht), which I finally got to after several cabs refused me because I insisted we use the meter (150 baht), was breathtaking to say the least. It was almost too much and I felt overwhelmed. My favorite part was sitting in front of the Emerald Buddha while all the locals around me were praying and meditating. It was a heavy peace and I could have stayed there a lot longer than I did. As it were, I was with a free tour so I had to hurry along having already been left behind.

I enjoyed the food in Bangkok and the cheap shopping. I didn’t buy much except for a cute tee shirt (100 baht) and a long flowing skirt (220 baht). Truth be told, I was glad to get on the plane (1800 baht) to go south. I will head back to Bangkok to be sure, but for now it is beach time.

In Phuket, I first stayed in Kata at a place called Sawasdee Village (65US a night). It was charming and quite tranquil with the effort that they put into providing the right atmosphere. My favorite part was getting the three hour spa treatment (2500 baht) I had an entire room to myself and had one therapist dedicated to me.

I first had a steam and soak then proceeded to get a sesame body scrub. After being exfoliated, I was painted with a detoxifying clay mixture before being wrapped up in plastic. Next I got a honey mask on my face and just to make sure the ingredients were pure, I licked my lips. Yes, it was sweet honey indeed. Somewhere in all this pampering, I drifted off on a cloud of bliss. I think, I am not certain, but I may have been drooling. To ended it all, I had a relaxing massage with the aromatherapy oil I had pre selected when I had booked the treatment. The attention paid to the details such as the music being played to the refreshing teas and snacks really put this experience in a class of its own.

Next I ventured to the northern part of the island of Phuket to a hotel called Indigo Pearl (75US a night). The place was fascinating with the design inspired by tin mining. The grounds were huge and well maintained. The breakfast (included) here was the best I have ever had with quality ingredients and vast variety of every kind of fruit, pastry, and meat you could think of. I especially enjoyed the small but very comfortable gym facilities. I got to know the staff who helped me stretch out my knotted muscles and even taught me a bunch of Thai language. I can now count to ten confidently though I admit I still don’t understand the baaaaad sound of “eight”.

There was an Indian wedding taking place at the resort which I attended. Watching the groom make his entrance on the elephant which followed the traditional Thai dancers was worth the price of admission alone. I got to meet the elephant and his trainer who directed her to give me an elephant kiss. It was kinda messy. The best had to be the fantastic fireworks display which exploded right over our heads.

A 5 minute ride to the airport (a flat rate rip off of 150 baht) and I was on a plane (1500 baht) to Ko Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. I took the shuttle straight to the ferry (300 baht) and 30 minutes later I was on the even smaller island of Ko Phangan.




THIS is where I have spent the last two months getting to. My final destination.

Grateful for getting here.

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