“Why don’t you go to Bangkok for the weekend?!” Neil suggested.
Our daughters had gone on a three day Malaysian Studies school trip, and I had booked myself in for a rejuvenating three days at The Shorea. After a one and a half hour drive through dense haze I arrived at the Shorea. The property was everything I had hoped – quaint, secluded, and surrounded by nature. There was only one problem, the haze from the fires in Indonesia was suffocating me. With great disappointment I drove back to Kuala Lumpur. One saving grace is that the lovely Roza from The Shorea credited me for a future stay.
Neil’s suggestion of Bangkok didn’t appeal to me, I was looking forward to nature, beauty, and relaxation. After a quick search on Kayak and Trip Advisor, I booked a flight and accommodation at 7:00 pm on Wednesday for a 8.25 am flight the next morning. This is one of the many benefits of living the expat life, the ability to travel to exotic destinations quickly and cheaply.
My first time flying Bangkok Airways was a wonderful experience. The crew were so friendly and eager to please, the meal was delicious, and the flight was on time for our 9:25 am arrival into Koh Samui. My heart skipped a beat as I took in the view outside my window.
After a quick 15 minute taxi ride I arrived at the Hansar Samui Resort & Spa. I smiled as I read that Hansar is taken from the ancient Sanskrit language and translates to mean happiness and joy. I felt that as soon as I waked into the open, uncluttered beauty of the foyer. Given that I booked last minute, I in no way expected to have, what I consider, the best room in the resort. Room 3201 (3+2+1=6, known in numerology as the most harmonious of all single numbers), greeted me with simple elegance and a breathtaking view.
What better way to get this weekend of bliss started by a spa treatment. The Luxsa Spa at Hansar is peaceful, serene, tranquil, welcoming, and beautiful. The tough part – to pick a treatment. The Healing Body, Mind and Soul Shirodhara, two and a half hours of total bliss and deep relaxation was the choice. It definitely lived up to it’s divine write up. The therapists touch was gentle yet firm, calming yet invigorating. It was obvious that she loves what she does. I left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, in the perfect state of mind and being for this solo weekend to myself.
Hansars proximity to Fisherman’s Village is a definite bonus. Wandering through the quaint, yet lively street gave me a sense of exploration, amusement, and stillness. This wonderful first day in paradise finished with a stroll along the beach taking in the beautiful sights, and a delicious beachfront dinner at the Smile House Restaurant.
What to do the next day? Another visit to Trip Advisor for suggestions, and Angthrong Marine Park was my choice. After reading many reviews I chose a full day trip with Boutique Yachting. The laid back cruise to the marine park appealed to me far more than an overcrowded speedboat to quickly get you to and from the island.
As soon as I was on deck I felt a sense of excitement rush over me. We were a diverse group of people – Germans, Russians, Americans, English, and then there was me, the only solo person, the Aussie who has lived in Canada for 20 years and now lives in Malaysia (try explaining that every time someone asks – great conversation starter!). Rob our guide was welcoming, comical, with an obvious love for what he does. With a somewhat dry sense of humor (which seemed to come out more when he spoke German, based on the laughs), he kept us entertained.
The two and a half hour cruise to the marine park was exhilarating. At first I had wished I brought my book or journal, this oversight provided me an opportunity to simply be.
Our first stop was Ko Wua Ta Lap. Cruising into the beautiful park was breathtaking.
The Baidee cast it’s anchor and we awaited the long boat to take us over.
The trail to the top lookout is quite treacherous, and many people have injured themselves, so for safety reasons we were offloaded without any shoes, and given strict instructions not to go to the top – otherwise we’d be waving good bye as the Baidee sailed away. The resting point of the trail (which was recommended for us to do) was a 100m climb up slippery rocks, surrounded by lush greenery. Walking up barefoot was quite the little adventure. The view that laid before my eyes was well worth the slight scratch on my foot, and sweat dripping down my back.
To cool down from the intense, humid heat, I took my camera and ventured along the shoreline where kayakers were coming in from their journey.
Back on board the Baidee we were treated to an exquisite lunch cooked fresh and served with a smile.
We continued on taking in the magnificent cliff faces and emerald green waters.
Mae Koh Island provided one of the most spectacular sights. The climb up the Lagoon Trail to see the Green Lagoon is not for the faint hearted. The steep stairs are challenging, especially in the heat. The view though, was well worth the effort.
And then it was down some more stairs to be at the base of the natural wonder and beauty.
Back to the Baidee by longboat we went, and enjoyed a refreshing swim, and some entertaining jumps off the boat in the beautiful waters.
We were trailed by a storm on our way back to Koh Samui. The sky was moody, dark and eerily beautiful.
Ahead of us was a breathtaking rainbow. Along the way fishing boats were heading away from the storm.
After a full day filled with majestic natural wonder we disembarked at 6:00 pm, and were whisked away to our hotels. I’m so grateful to Boutique Yachting, the crew (especially Rob), and the other guests for a remarkable day.
Fisherman’s Village comes alive for the Friday night market, so I ventured down to take it all in. Without camera, I just strolled along, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of this lively scene. I finished off this incredible day with an absolutely divine dinner of Fried White Snapper in Green Curry sauce at the lovely Krua Bophut Thai Restaurant. As I sat, I listened to the sweet laughter of children playing on the beach, watched the young bartenders practicing their ‘Cocktail’ skills and took in the calming sound of the waves rolling in.
The rest of my trip, well that’s between me and Koh Samui. What I know is this – I am so deeply grateful for this remarkable and beautiful experience that I am so blessed to be able to experience and share.