One of the perks of living in this beautiful country is that after a week of stress, no sleep, and lots of late nights, a tropical island is just a few hours away. My roommate and I decided we had to take full advantage of this, and traveled to the beautiful island of Koh Samet this past weekend. Koh Samet is located right in the Gulf of Thailand, only a 40min ferry ride offshore, so it is a popular spot for anyone in Bangkok hoping for an island retreat. The whole process of getting there is very Thai – don’t book anything in advance, just go to a monument in the middle of the city, hand over 200 baht ($6 USD) to a woman sitting at a table, hop into a mini van with a bunch of strangers, and get driven to the coast.
On the island, we stayed at the LungWang Wonderland Resort. The name makes it sound glamorous, but it was anything but. Very backpacker-ish, and very simple. Nevertheless, it had clean rooms and bathrooms, decent food, and most importantly, was right on the beach, with beach chairs and lounge chairs included. We could have not asked for anything more – just a weekend with our Kindles, catching up on sleep, lying on the beach, and waking up to the sound of the ocean in the morning (yes, that’s how close we were to the water!). And that was all for $10 USD per night.
Our only excursion was to go snorkeling one afternoon right before sunset. I have been snorkeling before in Mexico and the Caribbean, but there the snorkeling was always in crystal clear water; the fish and coral were at the bottom of the sea, very far away from us, but still very much visible. Well, that was absolutely not the case here…the coral was so close to the surface of the water that I bumped into it at one point (frightening) and the fish were swarming around us the whole time. Our excursion ended at a beautiful resort on the island where we laid on lounge chairs, ate fresh fruit, and watched an incredible sunset over the sea. A perfect weekend getaway.