‘Had we landed straight at the resort?’ I wondered as I looked out of the window of the plane. There were flowering gardens, small ponds and neatly thatched rooftops that shaded the small villa like entry points…this was the Samui Airport.
Complete with shopping and small restaurants all lined on either side of a small road, giving off a village street ambiance, one really couldn’t believe it to be an airport. It got me into the vacation mood right away. I slurped on an ice cream as we waited for our bags on the small conveyor belts that were housed under those thatched roofs. I didn’t mind the wait at all as I walked around enjoying the lovely blooms and the small ponds dotted with lotuses. My hubby had to call out saying the car was waiting.
It was about a 40minute drive to our hotel, “Centara Grand”. Situated right on the main street, it was perfectly located for shopping, spa massages and restaurants. It was also close to “The Ark Bar”, the most happening place in Samui.
Bags deposited, we decided to head out right away. The afternoon sun being too strong for a walk, we decided to hire a bike. It reminded me of our college days, me on the backseat, the perfect opportunity to hug him tight, the wind on my face as I rested my head on his back and then…the huge bump on the speed breaker! It took us five minutes to regain our composure and it brought me down to reality, he didn’t see it. We weren’t exactly teenagers. I laughed thinking what my kids would have to say to this, “We had to drive responsibly.”
But that didn’t mean we had to behave like we were old either. Plus since we only had 2 days we decided to make the most of them and headed to the Ark Bar right away. During the day it has a family beach feel, people enjoying water sports, like sky boarding, jet skiing, etc. For the couples there are benches and lounge-beds where one could order iced cocktails, as well as the longest menu ever, right from sea food, Thai and Chinese food to pizzas, pastas, lasagnas and burgers – they really had it all.
I decided to feast on some salmon roses with cream cheese and capers while my hubby satisfied his spice craving with the Green Thai Curry as we enjoyed the chilled out vibe with some lovely retro music.
The sun had finally lowered its intensity and we decided to take a stroll down the beach. Apart from the Ark Bar there were many such properties dotted along the beach front. There was a separate cabana for massages outside almost every hotel, where one could enjoy a relaxing foot massage or even a body relaxing one but we decided to first explore the beach properties. There was the Cha Cha Moon Bar, the White elephant and many such lined up on the Chaweng beach itself, so we could choose from any of those or even go to all if we wanted to party hop.
Walking on the soft and clean white sand was such a delight though one couldn’t not look around and envy the bodies – taut with exercise and glistening with a golden tan, it gave me another incentive to concentrate on my workout back home. But as of now I was on a holiday and we headed to the Dusit Spa for a luxury bodyscrub and massage to get us prepped for the evening. It truly was an experience with lovely aromatic oils and a super qualified masseur who kneaded my aches and pains away…I truly felt renewed.
Showered and dressed in beach party clothing, we began the evening at an open air bar which was actually just a small truck with a bar inside, parked in front of the Central Festival Mall. They had creatively coloured barrels and bins, cut out and placed as seaters everywhere, and a talented young girl spiced up the evening with peppy numbers on her guitar. Plenty of shoppers like us enjoyed their first drink of the evening there.
As we walked down the street, we browsed through the various street shops. Unlike Bangkok, these stores had mainly beach wear and casuals, barring the most exquisite designer store called “Chandra” which had the most unique items – be it clothes, jewellery or table pieces. Window shopping down, we decided on ‘Sala Thai’ a local cuisine restaurant. Seafood restaurants galore, it had been difficult to choose what I wanted to eat and with my hubby being a total vegetarian, I had to make sure there was enough on the menu for him too. Just as we were entering, a man carrying a huge iguana caught my hand and placed the lizard on me dramatically. A naughty ploy by my hubby who thought he would have me screaming my head off. However, there are still things to discover about me he realised, when I turned around and told him quick…. Click a picture. It was completely another story altogether when I turn around and said, “Now it’s your turn!” Needless to say, he made a speedy disappearance.
The food at Sala Thai was delicious, and with our stomachs well lined, we decided to head to the most happening bar on the street, Bar Solo. A mixed European crowd bonding over the football game on the big screen with beers, we ended up making plenty of friends and sharing travel stories. The night had just begun. The crowd then slowly started gravitating to the Ark Bar, where the revelry would continue till 2am.
Entertainers playing with fire ropes and blazing firecrackers, wild exotic dancers and thumping music, it was an atmosphere where one could be a spectator or join in with the crowd – either which way it would be a night to remember. As my hubby refilled his vodka, I reminded him that he still had to drive us back on the bike. “No problem sweetheart, we will be the only ones on the road by the time we head home.” And so it was. Friday night got to another level as we trouped in with our new found friends to the Sweet Soul Café, a huge barn-like structure with a dancing floor and DJ. We grooved the night away into wee hours of the morning, when we finally had to carry ourselves with great effort at 4am towards the never ending line of parked bikes holding a picture with its number trying to find the perfect match.
We had missed breakfast by the time we awoke ravenously hungry at 11am the next day. With just enough patience to shower and head to the mall, we had fortunately decided that we would begin our day with chocolate crepes and banana ice cream. It was delicious and a perfect kick start to the day.We laughed thinking how shocked the kids would be to hear this, but we were on a holiday after all. Two days didn’t quite seem enough though and I promised myself I would come here with my daughter again for a lazy sea, sand and spa week soon. There was also the snake park and the crocodile farm that I had wanted to visit much to the incredulous surprise of my hubby. But I would have to do that on my next trip. For now I wanted to have my fill of some awesome sushi and maki rolls from Zen and then have a foot relaxing massage before we had to pack up and leave. The night was going to be another repeat because today was Saturday…