Wanting to make the most of our free day in Ko Samui, Eli signed us up for a trek through the waters, sands and hills of Angthong National Marine Park which is about an hour northeast of our island home.
We were picked up at the hotel by a van containing a very large very excited Chinese family who happened to be taking the same tour as us. We all tumbled from the van out onto the main harbor on Ko Samui to be checked in and herded (with at least 500 other people) into the appropriate tour groups to wait for our respective speed boats. While waiting for our boat, I thought I’d use the restroom.
I wandered into the first open door on the womens’ side and found it had no toilet paper. No prob, I’ll try another. I knocked on another door which I thought to be unoccupied and was met with no response from within until I started opening the door which was promptly slammed shut by its silent occupant. After enough investigation I found that none of the stalls had toilet paper but they DID have 2 things in common…every one had a drain in the floor and a handled hose propped up next to the toilet with which one could…rinse. Ah, I’d finally come upon an “international bathroom.”
After a bit of emergency yoga posing I emerged from the now overly damp stall very eager to jump into the (definitely cleaner than the international bathroom) ocean and onto our tour boat. The large and soon to be 100% seasick Chinese family and a few others were waiting for us and we set off for adventure.
After our first trial with the snorkel material we hopped back on the boat and were off to our second tour destination: Ko Wua Thalap. This island houses the main office for the National Park as well as a little open air lunch spot for tourists.
Landing on the beach we opted to relax and catch our breath instead of jump in the kayak line, so it seemed as good a time as any to capture some reflection on our trip so far.
We lounged and had lunch with a pair of sisters from the UK (one of whom had been backpacking through India and Southeast Asia for the last 4 months and had found the previously mentioned international bathroom pretty swank) and then it was off for a hike.
This would be our first of many life changing vistas throughout the trip. It was one of those moments when you think “Gosh, self. I must be stuck in a screen saver or something.”
It was a really beautiful adventure unlike any of the others we experienced while in Thailand. A few minutes before we’d land back at the Harbor of Dangerous Bathrooms our tourguide came over and said “You’re staying off Maenam Beach, right? We could drop you off there if you’d like.” We agreed because we thought that meant taking a van back to the hotel. Nope. That speedboat pulled up right here where we bid our farewells and leapt out onto the sand:
I’d been told Ko Samui was a major tourist spot but for the vast majority of our time there it felt so quiet and laid back, even on our day trip. It was the one place in the country that we visited and agreed we would return to one day. The same goes for Angthong. In the words of the govenator…