Koh Samui Travelogue Part 1
Michael Taylor is flown from Hong Kong to Koh Samui, an island off the Southeastern coast of Thailand, on Bangkok Airways. He spends three nights at a beach front boutique hotel called Hansar Samui .
It had been a VERY stressful summer.
It had been so stressful, in fact, that I passed up an invitation to go on a press trip to a beach resort in the Philippines. I also cancelled plans to attend a travel conference in Singapore that I had really been looking forward to.
Simply put, I was exhausted. I was totally stressed out – for reasons that I won’t go into here. I just wasn’t up to another trip – not yet. I needed a break. I wanted to stay home.
If the Philippines and Singapore were off the table, it was too late to change my plans to visit Koh Samui. The airplane ticket had been bought weeks earlier. The hotel reservation had been made. Koh Samui was a done deal.
But at least I would have a break before and after …
Hong Kong International Airport
My flight to Koh Samui was scheduled to depart at 9.05 am. Working backwards, that meant I should try to arrive at the airport at about 8 am. That meant I should call a taxi at about 7 am.
If I got up at 6.30 am – I could just make it – assuming I could get a taxi at that hour.
The problem is I’m a late riser. And I haven’t used an alarm clock in years. As a freelance writer, I set my own hours, and I refuse to do early morning interviews.
It’s never been a problem – except on those rare occasions that I have an early morning flight to catch.
So panic set in. What if I overslept?
I was so worried that I might not wake up in time that I went out to buy myself two additional alarm clocks – just in case I either mis-set one of them (I’ve done that before) or one of the batteries went dead (that has happened before).
I needed have bothered. I first woke up at 5.30 am and was delighted to look at the clock and see that I could go back to sleep for another hour. I woke up again at 6.15 am.
This time, I thought, “Close enough. Get up, make coffee, take a shower, get dressed, stash your laptop, and call a taxi.”
My worst fears were realized when I called for a taxi and was told that none was available. I called another company and had more luck. I made it to the airport just in the nick of time.
The flight from Hong Kong to Koh Samui on Bangkok Airways took just over three hours. Did that include what seemed like 30 minutes taxiing from the tarmac to the runway at Hong Kong International Airport?
Flights tend to be much of a muchness. The flight attendants were attentive.
They handed out the wet wipes. They handed out the forms we needed to fill in. They handed out the headphones (which I didn’t use).
And they served us lunch.
We had a choice of Chinese dim sum or Thai chicken curry. I chose the latter. When I noticed that my two Thai seatmates didn’t finish their dim sum, I assumed that I had made the right choice.
I washed it down with two glasses of white wine. Then I downed a Diet Coke followed by two cups of coffee followed by several refills of water.
I spent the rest of the flight reading “Google – the Power User’s Guide”, which I bought at the airport – and running to the toilet.
One of my trips to the toilet revealed two rows of empty seats at the back of the plane. I decided to re-locate and continued reading. It never occurred to me to look out the window.
It was only when the cabin attendants were instructed to prepare for landing that I glanced outside. I was mesmerized!
I moved from the aisle seat to the window seat, and this is what I saw: turquoise water with dark splotches of coral, a rugged coastline lined with sandy beaches, a bungalow here, a bungalow there, banana trees marching up and down the slopes of emerald mountains.
Instantaneously, I was enveloped by the calm that had evaded me at a massage parlour two weeks earlier in Shenzhen. I had gone in search of relaxation. I left feeling worse than when I arrived.
My masseur had decided that I was in need of some “tough love” so he pummeled and jabbed me vigorously, insisting (against my repeated protests) that the more it hurt now, the better I would feel when it was over.
He was wrong. I didn’t feel better the next day. I felt worse! I felt MUCH, MUCH worse. Thus, the cancelled trips … (I even made an appointment to see the doctor) …
It took me two weeks to recover from that very painful massage. And it took Koh Samui for me to recover from that very stressful summer.
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For More on My Koh Samui Adventure
Part 1: Just What the Doctor Ordered
Part 2: Arrival in the Land of Smiles
Part 3: My Seafront Room at the Hansar Samui in Koh Samui
Part 4: A Big Thumb’s Up for Fisherman’s Village!
Part 5: Resort Hotel Offers Hands-on Cocktail Classes to Guests
Part 6: Organic Garden Supplies Hotel Kitchens and Aids Charities