From the temple, we headed down the hillside, making a stop at a shrine adjoining a vantage point called Lookout Ladkok, which overlooked the ocean.
The sun was blinding – I really wished I had worn sunglasses.
There was a holy tree, and devotees would stop by to leave offerings. Most fascinating was that in addition to the flowers and candles were cans of soda pop and things like packages or potato chips.
I saw one spot with a make up kit, dark glasses, and a teapot.
I mistook it for discarded rubbish, but our guide quickly informed me that, no, it wasn’t rubbish. The goddess at this particular spot was particularly vain.
Muslim Fish Market
From there, we continued on to Hua Thanon, where we inspected the local Muslim community’s wet market.
I wanted to try some tasty treats that smelled a bit like the fortune cookies you get at Chinese restaurants in the United States. After purchasing a bundle, the affable stall-keeper gave me one.
That’s all I really wanted – to taste one. So I didn’t know what to do with the ones I had bought. I couldn’t palm them off on any of the others on the tour.
When we returned to the Amari Palm Reef Koh Samui later in the day, the ladies at the concierge desk asked me what smelled so good. They seemed very, very delighted when I gave the cookies to them.
Touring the fish market convinced me that I didn’t want seafood for lunch. But we all came away with spices and curry powder.
From the wet market, we went to a fascinating shop selling handmade jewelry, which was made of 92.5% silver with turquoise, coral, shell, and various gemstones. The owner, Niwat Wichityam, was quite affable, but he didn’t want his picture taken.
This was followed by a stop at a rum distillery (more on that later). We had a yummy lunch high in the hills at Paradise Valley, a restaurant with breathtaking views of Southern Koh Samui.
After lunch, we visited Magic Garden, which was built by a local farmer more than 50 years earlier. A bit kitschy, it is filled with sculptures of creatures from Thai mythology that were of questionable artistic merit. It started to rain so we had to cut our visit short.
To Be Continued
Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: offerings to a vain goddess at the viewpoint Ladkoh in Koh Samui Photo Credit: Alvin Lee