Malaysia

Koh Samui Travel Blog

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(I'm not actually in Ko Samui, but the website wouldn't recognize the Malaysian island we are on)

 

It’s been a busy week or so since I last wrote, and I am happy to say that we are no longer in Ko Chang.  We had a really nice passage to Ko Samui, very sunny and warm.  As we got farther and farther away from Ko Chang we could see the rain cloud still hovering over it.  It was about a two day passage, and we pulled into Ko Samui at 5:30am, on my watch.  That day I think I went to shore briefly to check my email and that was about it.  I’d forgotten how touristy it was, or maybe just never really knew because I mainly saw the hotel in the day and like one bar at night.  But anyways, it was pretty overrun with tourists and I think I saw about five Thai people the entire time I was onshore.  I think we had one more day there before we left, and I think I spent the morning walking around the town a little bit and then did some cleaning back on the boat.  The next morning I went provisioning with two shipmates, and it was really easy because there is a big Tesco about five minutes away on the island.  After lunch I put all the food away and we got ready for passage, which started just after dinner cleanup.  We were underway for just over two days, and it was also a really nice passage.  The only real thing of interest that happened was a like flock of birds that started landing on the boat while we were offshore.  They started off just landing and flying away, but soon they started flying down below, landing on people’s heads, and letting themselves be picked up and carried around.  So we had an amusing time playing with the birds, but we were all pretty upset when slowly they started dying.  We think they were blown offshore in a storm (there was some pretty good wind the night before) and got lost and landed on the boat for lack of another place to go.  But they didn’t have food or water or anything normal to them and couldn’t fly back to their home, so they just stayed on our boat until they all died.  We were hoping a few would last until Malaysia but I don’t think any did.  But anyways, we arrived in Terengganu on my watch around midnight on the 15th, anchored, and went to sleep.  In the morning we were all really surprised to see what awaited us.  I think we all expected a small village, but instead were greeted by a sort of skyline.  I mean there were only a handful of big buildings, but it was more than we had expected.  First thing after breakfast we got underway and motored down the river, waving at all the fishing boats that got close to look at us, and docked the boat at a marina that is under construction.  So pretty much it’s us on the dock, with some racing boats that they use once a year for a regatta, and then some construction work.  But later in the afternoon we took the dinghy to the other side of the river and dropped off laundry and I went to find a computer to send the updates for the website.  Chantale had described to me where the internet place was, but I didn’t find it immediately so I kept walking down the street.  I stopped at about five or six places to ask “internet?” and was politely and with many smiles directed down the street further… until one guy pointed back in the opposite direction.  This was fifteen minutes into my search so I gave up and started walking back to the dock area until I bumped into a shipmate who told me where they had seen computers.  So I ended up in a dark room lined with computers, and mostly guys playing loud internet games.  The computer was probably the best I’ve seen yet though, mainly because the keyboard was really fast.  I hate typing at computers with sucky keyboards.  Ok so anyways, Terengganu seems like a really nice and friendly place, but it is different from any of the places we’ve been and probably will go to in that it is a really Moslem state.  I’ve been to a lot of Moslem places so I’m used to covering up and seeing the women in their scarves and robes and stuff and hearing the call to prayer, but most people haven’t and I’m sure it can be intimidating.  We definitely get a lot of stares, as this isn’t someplace on the tourist track at all, but so far everyone is really friendly and want to know about the boat and stuff.  Last time the boat was here (this summer) the crew met a guy from Germany who lives here and builds traditional Malaysian boats.  He came to talk to us last night and to show us his video and it was really interesting.  In about 1980 he built a Malay junk and over the course of about ten years sailed it around with world with his wife and son.  He had some pretty crazy stories to tell about that.  Now he is building another boat (still all from traditional methods) that he hopes to charter in the area to raise awareness about the style of boat and boat building.  We are supposed to go see his boat and take a tour on the river tomorrow, not sure yet if I will be able to go.  Today has been pretty relaxing, the only real thing I did was drive around in the dinghy with Eliot and Mike to get some fuel for the dinghy.  I didn’t really feel like walking around town today although I know I should because it’s a new place, but I have this weird sort of cold that mainly just takes my energy away more than anything.  We’ve had a bit of a problem with sickness onboard this past week; I would say that over a third of the shipmates have been sick so far, mostly with nasty colds.  I kept hoping I wouldn’t get it, but alas that was not the case.  Oh well, it could be worse.

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Koh Samui
photo by: realrv6