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Chapter eighty - Nha Trang

Five star luxury

sunny 31 °C

Day 283: Nha Trang, Vietnam 09/07/2012

Up at the crack of dawn for our train trip to Nha Trang, and after our final breakfast in Hoi An, we hit the road and before long we are waiting for the train in the station waiting room. As always, an Asian railway station offers a huge amount in the way of discomfort and people watching opportunities, and is something of an eye opener for the uninitiated amongst us. Dave befriends an American dad, bonding over their common position (self appointed) as family spokesman. One of the American family is a dead ringer for Oliver Mascoll.

The train eventually arrives, in the usual tardy Asian fashion, and we are soon onto the 'upper class' carriage, where there is barely room for the bags, let alone the six of us, and amid sleeping bodies and dirty floors we find the seats we have booked. Not quite the levels of luxury I think some members of our party were expecting but should see us from A to B over the course of the next eleven to twelve hours. Some beautiful scenery and an incredible storm help keep us entertained and after a spot of lunch and a quick kip we are soon in Nha Trang.

A very quick taxi ride to the Sheraton later and we are in our luxurious rooms, complete with huge bed, sea views and minibar. Cue scenes of unbridled jubilation as it emerges that there is a door between Gemma's and mine and Rosie and Billy's adjoining rooms. Again, small things entertain the smallest of minds. A delicious steaming bowl of pho constitutes dinner and before too long we are snuggling down in the huge beds for an early night. On this day my Alan Rickman impression is born...

Day 284: Nha Trang, Vietnam 10/07/2012

Up for the Sheraton breakfast experience and what an experience it is too! Plateful after plateful of fine food reaches our table. Bacon, eggs, sausage, toast, tomato, noodle soup, fruit platters, yoghurt, cheese. The list goes on. Pastries.

After the culinary delights of breakfast, and despite being so full we almost can't move, we take advantage of the hotel pool. Despite the water being a bit on the chilly side and the majority of the pool being in shade for most of the day we have a nice little time down there, whilst also paying a little visit to the games room found poolside. Some epic table tennis rallies and a couple of Ronnie-esque breaks on the table later me and Billy head up to the gym for a big session.

With such an action packed day behind us we head for a cocktail at happy hour in the 28th floor bar of the hotel before we go out for dinner, finding our way to the local part of the town for some serious seafood, a mountain of prawns and an even bigger mound of squid, all fresh off the barbecue. Delicious but far too much of it! Dave looks like a big child sat on the roadside on a tiny plastic stool.

Day 285: Nha Trang, Vietnam 11/07/2012

So, the theme of the Evans family holiday continues with another ridiculously big and sensationally good breakfast. After Anne and Dave head down to the beach for a while, we all go to the pool, where the Russian guests and guests of other nationalities' choice of speedo keeps us all entertained. I don't think there is ever a time or occasion they can ever be deemed appropriate.

Some poolside beers and a huge Uno session ensue mid-afternoon and not even the biggest thunderstorm of the trip can dampen the spirits from the safety of the poolside bar. After a quick shower and spruce up, we head out for dinner, which turns out to be a bit of a disaster. A bit too late and when we do find somewhere to eat it is not amazing. In fact, quite awful.

Day 286: Nha Trang, Vietnam 12/07/2012

Another belly busting breakfast sets the day up well and after a few platefuls each we all head to the beach for the first time. Very nice it is too and despite the brutal, unprovoked attack on me by a snake (maybe an eel) (but I prefer snake) we have a very pleasant day in the sun. One of the all time classic lines is uttered today as the fruit selling lady on the beach promotes her goods by shouting to each and every person on the sand. 'Lady, want pineapple? Boy, want mango?' And then we move onto her description of my father. 'Man-baby, want banana?' Gold. And the man-baby is what he will be known as from now on. In fact, 12th July will forever be known as Man-Baby Day.

After roaring at this new nomenclature we have a quiet afternoon and me and brother Billy hit the gym. The boys and Anne head for some more seafood whilst Gemma and Rosie stay for a girlie night in.

Day 287: Nha Trang, Vietnam 13/07/2012

A quiet day back at the beach with the Man-Baby and the rest of the crew. Despite yesterday's sea snake attack the sea beckons once more and I brave another serpent attack. Little to speak about other than the excellent baguettes acquired by Billy and his mummy. With it being Friday afternoon there are lots and lots of locals out and about enjoying the sand and the sea. A very decent dinner concludes an uneventful but perfectly decent day in the sun.

Day 288: Nha Trang, Vietnam 14/07/2012

A hearty Saturday morning breakfast is followed by a trip up to the central market to pick up some essentials. A new learn-to-tell-the-time watch for Man-Baby and some shorts for the rest of us. We also pick up a Man-Baby sized Vietnamese flag t-shirt for the big guy. A dead rat en route to the market causes Anne to jump out of her skin. Compelling stuff.

After all the fun of the fair this morning, the beach calls us back for a bit of sun, sea and shandy time. After this strenuous activity, we make our way out for a spot of food, calling in and sitting down at one place before realising it is awful and moving onto a place that is really quite sensational, in a much busier part of town but still at excellent prices. Myself, Gemma and the kid brother move on for a few drinkie-poos. Ends poorly.

Day 289: Nha Trang, Vietnam 15/07/2012

A few sore heads in the morning but the sun and sea work their healing powers well. We take advantage of the last few days of the Sheraton facilities and prepare for leaving the lap of luxury in a couple of days. Gemma, Billy and Rosie take advantage of the decent movie channels this evening, staying in with you guessed it, a couple of baguettes. Myself and the parents make our way to the night market where we are subjected to some excellent food at the side of the main thoroughfare. A good discovery and a very nice setting, with a lively atmosphere and a lot to see. The bed beckons nice and early and we enjoy the crisp, white sheets to make the most of our last day here tomorrow.

Day 290: Nha Trang, Vietnam 16/07/2012

A good night's sleep sees appetites restored to their former glory and the breakfast room gets the usual Evans treatment. We have yet another quiet day - I realise this blog/diary is getting less and less eventful by the entry (please don't judge us) - as we hit the beach and enjoy our last day of sea and sand together before we move on tomorrow.

Gemma and I take a stroll to the big hot air balloon at the far end of the beach whilst the storm clouds convene and the wind gathers a bit of pace. The small Vietnamese man in charge of the balloon tells us that due to current climatic conditions he regrets to inform us that safety regulations mean we cannot take a ride in the vessel. Or words to that effect ('Wind. No balloon').

And so we move onto the Cham temple, up in the seafood section of town and realise just how little of Nha Trang we have seen. A beautiful temple and a few mysterious chambers of worship, with some big, shiny idols adorned with garlands and huge burning piles of incense. The robes we don to enter these chambers are truly flattering, giving us both a slightly regal and holy look. Or an impostor nun/monk combo. You decide.

Stroll back to the hotel to find the rest of the gang at happy hour. We then have a very nice dinner back at the night market and enjoy our last night here before our next excellent train journey in the morning down to Saigon.

Posted by tevs 21:47 Archived in Vietnam Tagged beach vietnam nha_trang Comments (0)

Chapter seventy nine - Hoi An

Hoi An, Hi Anne and tailors

sunny 31 °C

Day 277: Hoi An, Vietnam 02/07/2012

Another complimentary breakfast at the hotel, with me getting a beef noodle soup (good) and Gemma receiving a nice portion of dry bread and jam (not so good). Spend a little bit of time in the room watching the telly before we head out for a spot of lunch, thinking of trying the Why Not bar again. Despite having been there twice before, passing it at least fifteen times as we have walked around the town and it being literally round the corner from the hotel and with time being of the essence before our impending bus trip to Hoi An, we find ourselves hopelessly lost. We eventually plump for another place just down the road, watching the clock and panicking that our banana blossom salads would see us miss our coach and have to walk the couple of hundred miles down the coast to Hoi An.

We soon make it back to the hotel where, after panicking about missing the bus, we end up waiting about twenty minutes to be picked up. When we are summoned to the bus, Ruby the hotel manager and our bessie mate for the past two days, runs out to hug us goodbye. And so onto the bus, where the panic of being lost and potentially missing the bus subsides to the nervous energy of knowing an Evans family reunion is just a couple of hours away! We arrive in Hoi An a couple of hours later, where it is near impossible to get a taxi and seemingly more impossible to find the hotel we have been booked into. Eventually find the hotel, check in and they arrive. Gemma jumps out at Billy from around the corner of the corridor, leading to a manly scream from the little fella. It is great to see them again - travel tired Dave, Ozzy and the giddy younger sister, as well as the suave, sophisticated younger bro (haha he wishes) - and after a few drinks we skedaddle out for a bite to eat. We make it third time lucky in finding somewhere to eat, as the joys of being in a group sees us sit down at two places and leave without ordering. A nice dinner eventually ensues in Hoi An town, which is a lovely, decadent and atmospheric old place, full of history and street traders helpfully asking 'want buy something?'

Day 278: Hoi An, Vietnam 03/07/2012

Awoken at half seven by the annoying kid siblings. Make our way down to the small restaurant area and have a superb slap up breakfast - fresh baguettes, bacon, eggs, fruit and Vietnamese dishes. And unlimited portions (would love to say this was not abused but I can't). A morning round the pool follows under the intense coastal sun and very nice it is too. A bit of luxury for the world weary traveller goes a long way and despite being quite used to a bit of luxury recently, is of course much appreciated.

On Billy's instruction we head for lunch (he hates the two meals a day routine he normally 'endures' on holiday apparently). We take a stroll around the town, taking in as much history and culture as possible, supplemented by a few extortionate 4000 dong beers. Enough said I think. A decent day/evening follows and we have a great dinner, taking advantage of some generously priced set menus...

Day 279: Hoi An, Vietnam 04/07/2012

A similar morning to yesterday sees everybody take advantage of the incredible breakfast on offer at the Windbell Homestay. The one difference from yesterday is rather than knocking on each other's doors we utilise the latest in modern technology and ring each other from the in-room phones. Small things.

We are poolside for most of the day and enjoy a lunch of fresh, crusty, very generously filled baguettes (the French colonialism left some good points it seems) and then enjoy an afternoon in the town, with the sights, sounds and smells of Asia again capturing the imagination, for us not for the first time, but still so new to the rest of the rabble, making it doubly exhilarating. The girls find themselves in a tailor shop, which as will become apparent, sparks the beginning of a timeless love affair.

Another excellent dinner in the town - Hoi An is a culinary hotspot - before picking some drinks up from the old lady we have befriended up the road. These accompany an epic evening of Uno. Game after game in fact.

Day 279: Hoi An, Vietnam 05/07/2012

See yesterday morning. Repeat process. Take advantage of the 'unlimited' word printed on the menu. Boyz n the hood become boyz n the beach as me, Billy and the father head to the seaside, which is a short taxi ride away. A very hot morning at the beach, which is wide, sandy, clean and very pleasant. The water is a bit colder than we have been used to in the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean. We get back for lunch time, where the girls are still in the exact same position by the pool as when we left. Tough for some...

We head to the town for the afternoon again, where the girls coerce me into the tailor they have befriended and I end up being measured up for a suit. Another huge set menu is eaten by all, and before long me and my mummy are enquiring into having a cooking lesson in the kitchen at some point this week. The evening concludes with that age old tradition of making a six person bed up in the parents room, watching a film and duly all falling asleep.

Day 280: Hoi An, Vietnam 06/07/2012

The silence of the dawn is broken at six am as the local community coffee shop sets its speakers to loud and plays some seriously bad dance music to do the neighbourhood a favour and wake everyone up. Back to the beach for the boys after another decent breakfast and yesterday's formula is pretty much repeated. Upon our return myself and Billy are sent for baguettes for lunch and return with an epic lunch.

Back to the tailor's for the afternoon and the await the suit to be run up. Rosie picks up her bridesmaid's dress and looks stunning. Gemma is also up to something...We go for another great dinner in the town and before long me and Delia are enrolled in a cooking lesson for tomorrow morning. Bargain. The evening ends with some more Uno, a classic family game for people of all ages.

Day 281: Hoi An, Vietnam 07/07/2012

The usual drill at breakfast is followed by a stint in the kitchen for mother and me, who are the only people in the kitchen to enjoy becoming the proteges of the local celebrity chef. We learn some excellent dishes and before long have mastered the chilli, lemongrass and garlic fried fish in banana leaf, stir fried squid, wantons and our very own spring rolls. Every time I tried to make it look like I knew what I was doing, I managed to make it go horribly wrong. The lesson results in some special food we take back to share with our very 'special' buddies. This goes down a treat. The food that is, not this description of my family.

An afternoon at the pool goes swimmingly, with a couple of frosty ones to help while away the time. We make another quick visit by the tailor in the early evening, where some minor adjustments are made to my suit and whatever it is Gemma has been up to that requires such secrecy and mystique...an afternoon of hush hush secret missions. For some reason Billy is chosen to accompany G for THE dress fitting.

We have a couple of beers waiting for the bride and best man before we head for tea at the place I was very close to being offered the head chef position at earlier. We avoid the things on the menu that we made earlier. Billy takes us to his favourite bar in Hoi An, one he discovered during his previous visit to Hoi An, Why Not bar. Well, I can give you a hundred reasons why not. It's expensive, it's a decent hike out of the town centre, it's poor, it was completely dead, it was rubbish. I could go on. Cheers Billy.

Day 282: Hoi An, Vietnam 08/07/2012

Our last day in Hoi An is celebrated with a breakfast before we are straight up and out and about. The girls head to the tailor for some last minute minor details and a John Cena cinematic masterpiece. After a very brief swim we all decide to go and join the girls in town, which is easier said than done, as they are not where we expect them to be. We decide to take a minute and sit down for some very cheap drinks. We eventually find the girls after taking a detour down a few alleyways on Anne's instructions to get a 'new perspective' on the town. With the girls in tow we have some lunch where nine baguettes are devoured by six hungry people.

We make our way back to the hotel and pack our stuff ready for the journey down to Nha Trang tomorrow. We head for the last supper in Hoi An, a great place to visit and one to cherish for our time with the family. An early morning awaits so an early night entails.

Posted by tevs 18:53 Archived in Vietnam Tagged food beach vietnam hoi_an tailor Comments (0)

Chapter sixty five - Cherating

Frogs, bed bugs and monitor lizards

semi-overcast 28 °C

Day 241: Cherating, Malaysia 27/05/2012

We get up nice and early, have a nice breakfast with Bev and Mark and soon find ourselves at the bus station ready to move on once again. Board the bus for the East Coast (baby), have a little sleep and arrive earlier than expected in Kuantan, from where we catch the connecting local bus service to Cherating.

Arrive in this small, eerie little town around four in the afternoon and it becomes apparent that the majority of the accommodation is made up of wooden chalets modelled on B&Q’s excellent range of garden sheds (other DIY retailers are available). However, we find ourselves something a little cosier and are soon bunkered down in a breeze block shed at a meagre five quid a night. Truly a case of from the sublime to the ridiculous, having come from Mark and Bev’s lovely home this morning.

Head out for tea after chasing a couple of frogs out of the room (‘nature’ the owner helpfully says) and after a decent bit of food we head online to speak to people back home. After arriving back at our home for the night we are greeted by another of our amphibious friends. This time however, he proves to be a bit more athletic and difficult to eject than the dumpy, toady little things everywhere and moving like a ball of flubber, the route he takes before finally being captured goes a little something like this: my leg, the wall, across the room to the curtain, Gemma’s pillow, my backpack and back into the bathroom. I eventually manage to detain him by throwing a fluorescent yellow workman’s vest on him, which helpfully was hanging on the back of the door. Bed seems the order of the day after this drama.

Day 242: Cherating, Malaysia 28/05/2012

After being awoken very early by a monkey running loudly across our corrugated tin roof we have a bit of a lie in and head for a very cheap lunch up the road. Before leaving however, we usher another frog out from behind my backpack (how do they keep getting in?).

A sunny afternoon is spent on the beach, which due to the Malaysian school holidays, is pretty busy. I go for a quick run to the other end of the beach and reach the river estuary which seems to have escaped the attention of the numerous tourists playing at the other end.
A few games of Pictionary in the sand and a couple of hands of Uno later, we plan where we want to go next and the next stages of the trip. We adventurously head for tea at the same place as lunch and hit the hay (well a makeshift foam mattress) nice and early. Disappointingly, no frog activity to report this morning.

Posted by tevs 08:34 Archived in Malaysia Tagged beaches beach malaysia frogs cherating Comments (0)

Chapter fifty one - Krabi

rain 26 °C

Day 193: Krabi, Thailand 09/04/2012

For the eagle eyed readers out there, you may notice that the day numbers don't follow on from the previous chapter. This is because I cannot count and the days have been out for months.

So, up very early for the bus trip to Krabi and after a quick run to 7/11 we are joined at the bus stop by the Plymouth lads, who are heading to Koh Tao. We get the minibus to the ferry point, grab a quick breakfast (asked for poached, got scrambled) and depart the island with a literal boatload of tired, hungover, douchey looking young travellers. We naturally fit in here. The boat leaves the dock and the heavens open, soaking everyone on the open deck, including us. Everybody takes refuge under whatever shelter they can and eventually the sun comes out and dries up all the rain and incey wincey spider...

Some outstanding scenery to be seen on the way into the mainland and we are greeted by some odd looking dolphins playing in the shallows (Irawaddy dolphins no less - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orcaella_brevirostris_1878.jpg). We then take our seats on the bus damp and tired and sleep most of the way to Krabi. Wake up to find we are almost there, a couple of hours earlier than expected. The people touting for business at the bus stop put us in the direction of a half decent looking hotel and despite thinking we had treated ourselves, it is a bit rough round the edges. After a mammoth afternoon nap for Gem, we have a very ropey tea and then skype the folks at home.

Day 194: Krabi, Thailand 10/04/2012

After a very good night's sleep we watch a bit of Real Stories (the only English channel) and laze about. We then take a trip into the town (Ao Nang) and despite the stunning natural surroundings, our first impressions are not good. The whole place is overpriced, the touts and stallholders are very pushy and the whole town has a bit of a chip on its shoulder. We have an overpriced pizza/pasta combo for lunch and then book our ticket out of here. On the way out we see all the bargain food stalls we should have visited. Grrr!

Head back, have a quick dip and back into bed for some more Real Stories as the heavens open outside. Decide on a takeaway and gorge ourselves on our last night in Thailand. Pad Thai, chicken and cashew nuts, spring rolls, corn on the cob, banana and chocolate pancakes and a snickers are demolished. Pack then sleep.

Posted by tevs 09:09 Archived in Thailand Tagged beach thailand krabi Comments (0)

Chapter fifty - Koh Samui

sunny 30 °C

Day 180: Koh Samui, Thailand 28/03/2012

The bus stops and we arrive somewhere about fiveish, are ushered off the bus and told to wait around for an hour or so. We are then back on the bus and back off it again, this time for a couple of hours, where I am able to have a little sleep on the grass in the sun for half an hour. This is more than welcome, but then poked back onto the bus and we eventually arrive at the pier, ready for the ferry across to the island. We board the open top vessel, everyone sat on the deck around the inside bit (not sure what you would call it on a boat - a cabin?) where you have to pay extra. Feeling thoroughly furry of tooth at this point and in need of a shower, we make it across to the island in one piece and into a minibus for our hotel. We are accompanied to Chaweng Lake by a group of annoying, posh gap year British girls, whose innane drivel is enough to drive us all mad. Luckily, I was sat in the front, where I was out of the firing line just about...

We finally arrive, a full seventeen hours after departing Bangkok. Now that wasn't so bad was it? Immediately, the teeth are brushed and we all jump into the amazing swimming pool at Nid's Bungalows (recommended accommodation) and we spend the day in the sun soaking in the water. We eat at the hotel - good food - and end up the evening taking some of Tesco's finest selection of beer and alcopops into the bar area for a game of charades. At the hotel, they have three huge fish in a pool (Alligator gar - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alligator_gar) who I tease by wiggling my fingers across the surface of the water. They have the last laugh however, lunging for me, and it is only my superhuman reactions that mean I am not sat here typing with a hook for a hand.

Day 181: Koh Samui, Thailand 29/03/2012

Up after a well deserved night's sleep and drop the laundry around the corner at the cheapest place around. We then all take the ten minute stroll to the beach for a day of sun, sea and sand. Chaweng Beach is fairly busy but a beautiful beach, with turquoise water and a lot of good food for sale it seems...

After lunch we head to Tesco to stock up on supplies for the evening, hit the pool again and then play curby and watch two young boys (Nid's grandsons) Thai boxing each other. We then go to the night market and have a few cocktails and some amazing food (Pad Thai all round). Demolition Man strikes again, knocking over a postbox money bank. I then try to escape before being collared and forced to pay. I am so clumsy. There is also a stage at the market, made for karaoke pros like us, where we belt out Backstreet Boys and Chumbawamba to the masses. Back to the pool, where we have an aftershow pool party. Too much vodka. Ok, Thai 'white spirit'...

Day 182: Koh Samui, Thailand 30/03/2012

Next day syndrome again - these visitors are a bad influence - the pool party catches up with some of our party and affects some of us much worse than others (read Gemma). A day by the pool it is and the water could not be more welcome and more of a contrast to some of the dry mouths using it...

Go for lunch and there is an abundance of comfort hangover food being consumed by our table - burgers, pies, steak and chips all feature. Back to the pool for the afternoon and we are all a bit knackered. Gemma goes to sleep and then comes back out having fallen out of bed!

Day 183: Koh Samui, Thailand 31/03/2012

A nicer day than yesterday, with some of last night's storms seemingly blowing away the hangovers of yesterday and after breakfast we decide to head to the beach for some more good times. Seduced on the way by the Rocky theme tune outside the boxing stadium ('Real international Muay Thai comes to Chaweng Beach....[on loop]) we end up buying tickets for tonight's bout. After stepping into the ring and knocking Ryan out and posing for pics, we evenutally reach the beach.

Quiet afternoon on the sand, Gemma buys us an American Football and the second coming of Dan Marino is witnessed. Have some barbecued chicken skewers cooked on the beach and I somehow find myself holding a baby chipmunk when we go for water. We head back to the market for food again and after Pad Thai and cocktails we take our seats in the stadium. The boxing is a real spectacle and the fights vary in quality, from the two babies (about sixteen) in the first fight to the brutal Thai and Russian champs in some of the later bouts. The best bit however, is the kid who does the half time entertainment, tightrope walking across the ring. Good, clean fun.

Day 184: Koh Samui, Thailand 01/04/2012

A reasonably quiet day today and with the weather a bit overcast and muggy we hit the pool again. We have lunch at another nearby market and the head over to the internet cafe, where we skype and introduce everyone at home to the shop's resident Chihuahua. In the evening we head out to watch the football, and end up in the nearby Irish bar, where Ryan teaches us all the rules of league pool...apparently. I sit out and have a drink on the balcony with the girls.

Day 185: Koh Samui, Thailand 02/04/2012

We have a bit of an eventful morning, having last night overlooked the fact that our keys were left on the balcony table under a leaflet. In searching for our keys after breakfast, we find the keyring, to find that one of the keys has been taken off by someone in the night. Nid is absolutely brilliant about the whole thing and the lock is replaced within ten minutes of bringing it to their attention. A bit worrying really and certainly a lesson learned.

After this drama, we take a walk up to the golden pagoda at the top of the hill we can see from the pool. The hill is steep and the walk makes the legs burn and starts a serious man sweat but it is definitely worth it! The temple itself is beautiful and the views over the island are spectacular, with the airport and Koh Phangan in full view, as well as Chaweng Lake and most of the north east of Koh Samui.

We walk back down, have a well earned lunch and head back to the pool. Dinner is one to behold - all you can eat BBQ ribs and chicken. The restaurant didn't know what had hit them as Ryan and me are ordering more and more platefuls after the management have tried to shut up shop. I don't think it had ever been quite abused this way before...

Day 186: Koh Samui, Thailand 03/04/2012

All awake early today and Ryan is extremely chipper to be up and about before nine. We hitch a lift to the Big Buddha a bit further along the coast and are greeted by a twelve metre gold Buddha, again a shrine with incredible views. There are fortunes being told here, which point to enduring misery for all of us apparently!

After leaving the Big Buddha, we take a real long walk along the beach to Bangrak, Bho Put and beyond, having to walk through a posh hotel to get to the road. The girls of course befriend every dog and animal we encounter on the journey. We end up back at Chaweng Beach for the end of the afternoon and have a bit of time in the sea here, which is much cleaner and clearer than the water around the expensive resorts at Bangrak.

Back to the night market again tonight. Spicy food and strong cocktails leads to another session on the karaoke stage. Another excellent performance. On a sadder note, the old pull the chair away schoolboy prank works too well for me and Gemma crashes to the floor. Feel a complete dick.

Day 187: Koh Samui, Thailand 04/04/2012

Wake up this morning still feeling a bit stupid for my pulling of the chair ceremony last night. We get up and have a spot of breakfast before heading to the beach for a bit more beach time and some more oceanside grilled chicken skewers. Leave around fiveish as me and Ryan are off for a bit of Extreme Fishing with our mate 'Kevin' (real name is unpronounceable Thai) from Nid's and we buy some fishing line and hooks from the fishing shop. We cast off with our beer bottle reels and guess what? We catch nothing.

Kevin does catch a couple of shrimp in his net and I try one of these raw. In fact, it is still wriggling as it slips down my throat. We have a few beers and the girls go out to get dinner, bringing us back some green curry and pad thai. In the meantime, a couple of rather strange locals take a shine to us and after bidding them farewell, we have a few drinks on the balcony, with Gemma and Paula staying up until all hours.

Day 188: Koh Samui, Thailand 05/04/2012

I wake up around tennish and Gemma is nowhere to be found, despite being up all night talking to her mum. I think that everyone has had enough of me and all gone out together (as Paula is not in her room) so I go for breakfast alone. Ten minutes later, Cesca and Ryan emerge furious I didn't knock on for them. Didn't know I was so popular.

Straight into a two hour game of curby in the pool after breakfast, all the while wondering where Gemma has got to. They arrive back around half twelve barking orders and telling us we have an action packed afternoon ahead of us.

And action packed it is too, as we go elephant trekking on the back of an elephant in the jungle a bit further down the island. A much better experience than the one I had last time I went on an elephant in Phuket. At the end of the trek we headed onto Nua Muang waterfall, which is a beautiful waterfall not far from where the forty two year old jumbo dropped us off. We have a dip in the plunge pool and we jump in off a big rock. A great way to cool off, the only problem being that we wanted to spend longer there. After the swim, we are taught how to make a yellow curry paste from scratch and I end up staining my teeth yellow on the fresh turmeric...hopefully not a sign of things to come later in life. The curry meanwhile is extremely spicy and we all stand with tears in our eyes as we witness Michael the monkey collecting coconuts. Back to the market for tea and cocktails, crocodile kebabs and pad thai, which tonight are sadly not accompanied by karaoke. The German tourists in the crowd breathe a sigh of relief.

Day 189: Koh Samui, Thailand 06/04/2012

A lazy morning then back to chill on Chaweng. Some interesting people around today, my personal favourites being the Essex boys in the sea, one of whom announces to everyone that the worst day of his life was when his mum told him WWE wasn't real.

Good day on the beach (are there any other sorts of days to be had on a beach?) gearing ourselves up for the Full Moon party looming ominously on the horizon. Gem and me look into the boat arrangement for getting to Koh Phangan and before long there are ten of us from Nid's booking ourselves onto the speedboat for the big night. We line our stomachs and then this is where there is nothing more to report as I simply can't remember anything, having gone from sober to paraletic in seconds. Still, good night I hear.

Day 190: Koh Samui, Thailand 07/04/2012

The day after the night before...we wake up about one in the afternoon after a solid four hours sleep and it is lucky that we are all friends this morning, especially as Cesca awoke curled up at the bottom of our bed like a house cat. Straight into the pool to try to rehydrate the skin and regulate my soaring body temperature. We have some food and start to kid ourselves that we feel better. The second wind of this hangover hits me hard around fourish and it takes some serious PMA to pull through to the other side.

The girls and Ryan head to the shops, and I stick around as Nid's grandsons, Am and Em, are playing on the iPods. I eventually go to catch the others up and eventually find them in a handbag shop. However, I must have passed Ryan on the way and I end up jogging back to the accommodation, where I find him scratching his head. After this nice sweaty affair we head to the night market, have Pad Thai and endure the ordeal of some last minute shopping. At least I get to watch the footy I suppose. One last dip with our guests and we retreat for the night.

Day 191: Koh Samui, Thailand 08/04/2012

Up early to say our goodbyes and see the rabble off. We help them up the road with their bags, bid them adieu and go straight back to bed. Second wake up is about twelve and Am and Em are around angling for a bit of iPod action. Lovely kids, so we ask if we can take them to the beach. We take them with us and they are so excites! Not sure how often they have ever been out like this but their faces are a picture and their bucket and spade work is incredible. We spoil them rotten, skewers, ice cream, coke and chocolate, but they have been very good for us and we know we will be sad when we leave Nid's behind. The man on the beach in a rather inappropriate posing pouch cannot even spoil the mood for these two.

We have a quiet evening, pack the bags, go for tea and then watch the first half of the Arsenal Man City game. Early morning departure tomorrow.

Posted by tevs 07:33 Archived in Thailand Tagged beaches beach thailand island koh_samui Comments (0)

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