Koh Samui, ThailandDecember 27, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C
Today we had another independent organised tour, meaning we needed to wake up at 6.30am (which has been an early start on this holiday)! After going to breakfast, we headed to the Wheelhouse Bar to find Dave, the gent who organised our tour. Since we were standing in different parts of the bar, we eventually found each other, as well as the others who were from the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Our tender off the boat was quicker than usual as one of our group had Elite Class with Princess. When we disembarked, I quickly found the lady holding the sign with our tour group name, but lost the tour group in the process! When we eventually found each other, we were surprised to find the van didn't have enough seats for us all, meaning the guide had to sit on a cooler in the back whilst Ted and I sat in the front, sans seat belts.
Our first stop was at Wat Phra Yai, otherwise known as the Big Buddha Temple. This was definitely popular with tourists all over the island, and there seemed to be a war of mini-vans trying to get a park. Our guide didn't give us much guidance on what we were seeing but it was still pretty spectacular to view and photograph. We managed to get some good pictures without too may tourists blocking them as well.
Our next stop was Wat Plai Laem which I really liked. It is a big Buddhist temple created recently with huge statues of Guanyin (the "goddess" of compassion and mercy) and Budai in front of the temple. There were so many good photo opportunities here that I would've run out of film with a regular camera.
We then drove to the Grandpa & Grandma (Hin Ta and Hin Yai) Rocks on the south east coast of the island, known for bearing a resemblance to male and female genitalia. There were plenty of hawkers here offering coconut ice cream to the large throng of tourists around. The Lamai Beach area was beautiful as well, and worth seeing just for the view out to the water.
Our next stop wasn't one I was so keen on, as it involved monkeys on ropes climbing trees to retrieve coconuts. Even though this is common in Asian countries, it doesn't mean I wanted to see it. Either way, I did enjoy the coconut samples and coconut milk the guides were offering. Animal exploitation is something I don't support.
Our next stop took us off the beaten track and was totally worth it. We went to the Island View restaurant which was located on the south west coast. There were tables placed on the beach enjoying a spectacular view. We really loved it. The food was also great, as were the beers that accompanied the meal.
Afterwards we visited the Na Mueang waterfall which was also wonderful. If we'd had more time, Ted and I would've been happy to swim there too as the water was really inviting. Our guide told us it was the best waterfall on the island and she was right. Ted and I climbed to a higher viewpoint to get some better photos but I really wanted to jump into the water too.
Our last stop was the least interesting - visiting the body of a mummified monk! Whilst it offered a unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture, it wasn't really something that interested Ted or myself. Once we went back to the cruise ship area, we looked around briefly before taking a Thai boat that was operating as a tender, back to the cruise ship.
We rested in our room for a short while before I joined the girls from Michigan and guys from Canada on the back deck for drinks. Ted and I then caught up with Chris for "Twisted Trivia" which was fun but left in the middle of the following game show which was pretty boring. Once again, our group went to the Wheelhouse for our usual catch up drinks regimen before heading to bed.Read more