It finally arrived; I turned 30 on Saturday…and where better to celebrate than on a beautiful tropical island in Thailand with a gaggle of mates. It was supposed to be a surprise but as those of you who know me know, I hate surprises! We set off in mini buses at 2.45pm on Friday; destination Koh Samed (or Samet depending on who you’re talking to), an island in the Gulf of Thailand and about 140 miles from Bangkok.
Traffic wasn’t too bad and we were quickly out of Bangkok and heading for the coast. About 5.15pm and 2 wee stops later (where I experienced my first proper Thai toilets…easier than French I must say), we arrived at the port where we were to catch a speed boat over to the island.
There are normal ferries you can catch to the island but Dave and the others who have been before have found private speed boats to be the most efficient…and exhilarating way to travel! We paid our 400THB each for a return and hopped in.
The boat flew along the water, quite bumpily to be honest and there was some screaming which just seemed to encourage the driver to go faster! I quickly realised I needed to hang onto my hat if I didn’t want to lose it! The sun was starting to go down and the views were beautiful on the 20 minute journey to our resort.
The boat literally drives to the beach where you are staying and the staff from the hotels wade into the water to help you off and grab your bags, it was the first time I have experienced this and it really was a novel way to arrive! Top tip: wear flip flops and shorts in anticipation!
Most of us were staying at the Samed Cabana Resort on Ao Wong Duen beach; thatched bungalows directly onto the beach. Some of our friends were staying a little way down the beach at another resort. Dave had booked a beach front villa and our view straight onto the beach was just fab and we could hear the sea from our bed!
Jeps do a wide range of food including western and Thai, but I went for the BBQ. You literally go up and look at what meat or fish you would like and they BBQ it for you, they seem to do a lot of that on this island. I chose a Chicken Tikka kebab with a jacket potato and corn on the cob. It was really good and a little over 250THB. Whilst we were there, we befriended the cutest little puppy!Some more drinks and dancing followed, including a bar with glow paint…
Saturday morning dawned and Dave produced a number of cards and presents he’d been squirrelling away as they arrived from England. It was so lovely to open my gifts whilst listening to the sea outside the bungalow! If you’d have said to me a year ago this would be where I would be spending my birthday I would never have believed you!
After an early breakfast, we sunbathed, swam in the sea and generally just enjoyed being on the beach and in paradise! At midday, most of us hired scooters and headed off to find another beach and some lunch! Dave drove me around which I thoroughly enjoyed! The roads on Samed are really quiet and hilly but are covered in speed bumps – very weird, and the roads leading to resorts are dirt tracks which can prove quite painful on ones bottom after a while! But scooting around an island really is the best way to travel and see everything, as well as being pretty fun!
We found a gorgeous spot for lunch and a swim. I had pad thai and a delicious banana smoothie.The beach was quite different to ours, it was surrounded by trees that were hung with swings and hammocks and you had to get over some shingle in the water before hitting soft sand; a bit painful if you’ve just had a foot scrub!
After a quick pit stop back at our bungalow to change we headed over on a songthaew to the other side of the island to watch the sunset on Ao Phrao beach. The beach here was really beautiful and the resorts looked to be more high end. It was happy hour at Buzz restaurant so we hit the cocktails. My favourite was ‘Samed Trip’; a yummy combination of pineapple, vodka, triple sec and blue curaçao.
We ate here too and the food was delicious. Dave and I shared a mixed satay, including chicken, prawns and pork, a moo dadio (fried pork) and a yellow curry. The curry was by far the best I have had in Thailand; it was rich, creamy and mild yet so tasty. It had potato, onions and chicken in and we ate it with sticky rice. No idea why I didn’t take any pictures…sorry!
Sunday dawned too soon and we spent our last hours on the beach and in the sea. Massages were had, jet ski’s ridden and we ate fresh fruit and griddled chicken from the sellers who walk up and down the beach. Koh Samed truly is an idyllic place to spend a few days; the sea was just so clear and turquoise, with schools of little stripy fish in the shallows, and the sand so white. I can’t wait to go back!
We jumped on our speed boat at about 2.30pm that afternoon, all slightly reluctant to return to Bangkok! The boat back was more luxurious than the one coming out and didn’t feel quite as bumpy! Our mini buses were waiting at the dockside to whisk us back to BKK, where we arrived at about 6.30pm, shattered, sun kissed and happy.
I had the most amazing birthday weekend, the setting was beautiful and the company was fantastic. I genuinely feel really lucky to have such a wonderful husband and fantastic friends; thank you all for coming to Koh Samed with me and making it a really fabulous weekend!
Also, thanks to everyone in England who sent messages, cards and pressies, I miss you all!