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  • Day58

    Day 58: Chaweng Beach

    August 12, 2016 in Thailand ⋅ 🌙 28 °C

    Another day of relaxing in beautiful Koh Samui. Today we had absolutely no plans other than the beach, so off we went first thing! Our room didn't include breakfast so we went to a fairly average restaurant around the corner. Nothing but basic refuelling fodder, but at least the price was right!

    Our splurge for the day was renting a pair of sun loungers on the beach. It was 200 baht per person per day, and included access to a hotel pool along with a toilet, a shower and best of all - access to the hotel's wifi! That's about $8 AUD each which isn't too bad, considering we got there around 10:30 am and didn't depart until nearly 4pm.

    We swam, relaxed, swam and people watched. I skyped mum for a bit in the afternoon though the connection wasn't great. Lunch was a pretty laid back affair as we didn't want to leave much cash lying around on the beach, so we just had some off-brand Oreos we'd bought at 7-11 in the morning, along with a freshly grilled corn on the cob. Reasonably filling and very cheap.

    The people watching was hilarious - Russians in bizarre outfits, dodgy old European men with 18 year old Thai girls, topless Americans, a Japanese couple with a gigantic inflatable unicorn, and of course the drunken Israelis. They've been the big surprise here - there's enough of them that there's a whole block with food and accommodation signs almost entirely in Hebrew. Again I'm surprised at how few Australians are around, but I guess during our winter most people head to Europe for holidays rather than Asia. Maybe?

    We left the beach around 4pm and walked back to the hotel. Spent a bit of time in the room showering and recuperating before heading back out. I'd heard there was a good brewery not too far away, so we hopped in one of those local "buses" (really just a ute with a sunshade and you sit in the tray) and got a ride most of the way there. But neither of us knew the protocol about fares or payments, so I paid when we hopped out and I'm pretty sure we got hugely ripped off again - 200 baht each for a sub-10 minute ride in the back of a ute. Fucking assholes.

    The brewery was still 10 minutes walk away so we were a bit tetchy when we got there, having also had a "discussion" about payment for the ride - I'd wanted to get a taxi in the first place but was overruled. Neither of us particular enjoyed the brewery either - the beers we tried tasted OK but it was run by an English guy and the beers were all far too warm for our Australian palates. I can understand room temperature beer in a cold climate, but not when it's 34 degrees outside!

    So we left the brewery a little disappointed and now hungry as our lunch wasn't that substantial. There was a large shopping mall nearby that we'd seen the previous night which we checked out quickly and bought a new sunscreen (ours had run out today, and it's bizarrely expensive in Asia). We were hoping to find a burger van that we'd also encountered the night before, but alas it wasn't there, so we headed to another food market that we'd seen from the ute.

    Lo and behold the burger van had its permanent home in the food market! The burgers were excellent, and with proper meat patties rather than the miserably thin slices of processed meat we'd gotten in Malaysia. Another ultra-cheap cocktail (80 baht / just over $3 AUD) with dinner and we again did the long slow walk back to the hotel through the crowds of hawkers.

    Stopped at the same pancake cart for a pineapple banana and chocolate pancake this time which was again amazing. Shame we can't go back tomorrow! Little wonder that south-east Asia's backpacker circuit was sometimes known as the "banana pancake trail". Off to bed early-ish despite it being Friday night in a party town; we've got a 10am pickup tomorrow for the ferry to Koh Pha Ngan.
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