To Ko Samui
Surat Thani Travel Blog› entry 3 of 41 › view all entries
The overnight train took twelve hours. The ride was fairly comfortable in wide seats that only slightly reclined but Dave and I managed to doze. Approaching Surit Thani, the sky began to lighten and we sat the last hour in the open door-way absorbing the thick and heavy jungle air. A two-hour bus ride got us to the port where we boarded the fast boat to Ko Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.
The approximately ten-mile-square island of Ko Samui was the largest in the Gulf of Thailand and provided a tropical haven for globetrotting backpackers. Inexpensive accommodation sprinkled beautiful beaches lined with paradisiacal white sands, coconut palms, and clear-blue seas.
Pick-up trucks called songthaews congregated at the base of the pier at Na Thon, offering cheap transportation. Padded bench-seats lined their open-sided beds and tin roofs provided shade from the sun which was tropical and intense. Drivers shouted the names of specific beaches. Dave and I chose Chaweng Beach which was on the east side of the island, opposite the town.
We found accommodation at the New Star Bungalows. The weathered wooden huts stood on stilts three feet above the sand, twenty feet from the water's edge, and cost about $1.50 per day. The simple rooms contained a mattress on the floor, a small bathroom with a toilet and cold-water shower, and a modest covered veranda. My bungalow, number 17, had a coconut tree brushing its thatched roof which provided a pathway for rodents to reach the rafters, evident by the occasional tell-tale rat turd.