Relaxing on a Romantic Thai Island
Holidays are all about relaxing and that's just what I wanted to do when I left New Zealand. Thailand was an obvious choice.
I wanted somewhere to stay awhile to relax, read, walk and ….well….quite simply let the world wash over me. But what of the many islands in Thailand to choose?
The Thailand Island of Koh Samui which promised very appealing white sandy beaches and long days in the sun and surf won my vote and what a great choice it was.
Somehow, I found my way to this spot and away from the busyness of Chaweng Beach. I met Jeffy at his tour desk in an internet cafe. Jeffy seemed to read my mind. I let him know that I want a quieter spot with a bungalow on the beach and he conjures up one at Choeng Mon beach. Between his limited English and my non existent Thai, he managed to get the perfect spot for me and at a very attractive price.
This Thailand Island beach is a charming spot and just perfect for me. The only (slight) downside for this solo traveler is it is full of couples enjoying a romantic getaway! Ah, such is the life of a solo traveler.
At this beach low rise buildings dominate. It’s possible to stay in marvelous bungalows right on the beach. They can be expensive, but there are some cheaper options and I managed to secure one. I don’t know how he did it.
Massage huts line the sea shore along the length of this lovely beach and all day long people wander up and down selling all manner of things; jewelry, clothing, belts, wraps, shorts sunglasses and hats.
Then there are ice-cream, corn on the cob gently roasted over naked hot coals, donut and fruit vendors, plus those selling balls and floating devices of various descriptions. The list of vendors goes on and on. I think they must be sanctioned by some higher body because they all wear red vests with numbers on them.
On this Thailand Island of Koh Samui there are many beaches to choose from and many tourists opt for the very popular Chaweng Beach. But I am there less than a minute and I know it is not for me. Tourists compete for a place to put their loungers on a narrow stretch of beautiful sand on this Thailand Island. It’s busy. It’s loud and I want a quieter place.
A short distance away is Choeng Mon Beach. The beach is gorgeous, white sand like powder and the luke warm sea is a gorgeous green colour as seen in all the best travel brochures. In the distance several of the Thailand islands beckon you visit them.
Choeng Mon Beach has the loveliest atmosphere at night. As day gives way to the early evening there is a changing of the guard. Scantily clad sun burnt couples make way for a sophisticated and alluring scene.
The café and restaurant owners replace sun loungers with tables which they place right down on the sandy beach close to the water. Fairy lights twinkle on canopies and in trees in the still warm evening air. Candles are lit inside cute holders and placed on the tables. It is the most romantic scene to tempt honeymoon couples (or simply the romantic at heart) to enjoy a candle lit dinner with water lapping softly just a few feet away. As diners and relax over dinner couples stroll the along beach. It is pure bliss.
Walking along this beach, especially in the morning, is a social event. By the time I get back to my room I’ve said good morning to about three dozen people.
The massage ladies interest me the most. They seem to have a “hustler” and her job is to get “bums on seats”.
The conversation with me goes something like:
“Good morning ma-DAM…..how are yooou this morning? Ma-DAM, you want a mas-SAGE to-day?” all said in a lilting sing-a-long voice.
My reply is polite and stock standard. “No. But thank you VERY much.” They seem to like this and usually smile and sometimes give me that lovely Thai response of a thank you, hands placed just under a slightly bowed head in the prayer position. It’s very humbling. Other times the response is a regretful look as though there won’t be any redemption for me because my skin is in shocking condition and I really should get treatment with urgency.
Yesterday morning one particularly outgoing “hustler” dressed in a red tee shirt came rushing up to me and threw her arms around me for a big hug. Well, I’m an uptight (ever so slightly!) westerner and I was quite taken aback at this display of affection from a stranger. She proceeded to ask me, as they all do, “are you married?” (The other question is “excuse me ma-dam, how old are yooou?”)
But I digress I had a dilemma. How to choose who to favor for my various treatments?
The temporary “problem” was soon resolved. My bungalow is on a small stretch of beach around the corner from the larger area of sand where the majority of holiday makers like to take in their daily dose of sun. Just outside my bungalow, there are three massage huts all in a row and to get to the beach I walk between two of them. The massage hut closest to me offered a slightly different sales pitch to the one I’d been getting all morning.
She said “When you wanna mas-SAGE, you come to me OK?” and I found myself saying OK. After all, it would have been disloyal to ignore my closest neighbors in favor of anyone else along this colorful stretch of beach.
So that’s how I ended up with a two hour pampering session (and that was just for my feet and hands!) administered by two lovely Thai ladies. It was one of the most blissful pedicure manicure treatments I have ever had. I lay prostrate on a mat in an open sided hut, listening to the waves rollicking onto the shore, barely two meters away. My feet, after uh-um decades of neglect, received the treat of their life.
I left feeling fantastic and with lovely pink varnished finger and toe nails.
Walking the beach the next morning though, the affectionate “hustler” in the red tee shirt was there. Like an adulteress after a delicious night out, I tried to sneak past her without my indiscretions being uncovered. But that was not to be. She rushed up to me and the minute she saw my feet, with the skin glowing and looking lovely, along with flash new nail polish on my fingers and toes, her face fell. She knew, what I had being trying to hide, the fact that I’d been a traitor.
Ah….such is the dilemma of a decadent traveler who found herself on this Thailand Island having a marvelously relaxing time.
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