Since we didn't want to go for elephant and monkey shows on the guided island tour, we rented a Fifi lookalike for THB1500 (for 24 hours) to go around ourselves. Designated driver - Leonard! We started off from Chaweng beach, taking an anti-clockwise route round the island.
I think the most significant sightseeing destination (other than beaches!) on Koh Samui would be the giant Buddha. After passing through winding, sandy, island/ kampung roads and some idyllic little guesthouses and shops, we reached Big Buddha in 15 mins.
Leonard got bonked by scary Predator
Many shops in Koh Samui are decorated with these larger-than-life sized Alien and Predators. Do THAT many tourists buy metallic figurines??
Located at Wat Phra Yai on a little island off the shore, this Buddha is 15m tall. It was built in 1972. Seen so many Buddhas recently... Lantau Island, Bangkok's Sleeping Buddha... and now this.
Big Bell at the temple
After visiting Buddha, I tried out my luck at one of those coin-inserting, light-flashing devices at the entrance. The machines ranged from all the days of the week depending on which day you were born on. Why would anybody remember what's her birthDAY (literally), except her MOM who would forever remember the extreme pain she had to go through on that day? So I asked mom, then put my coin into the "Monday-child" machine and some words lighted up. Damn. I had never read my luck in my entire life and I had to get a 下下签 (worst luck ever) on my first try, and early in the morning too. Nevermind, that didn't spoil my mood :P
Tidbits at Nathon Market
We stopped by Nathon Town. Leonard bought the Bangkok Post for a whopping RM2++. And to think I complained a lot when The Star increased its price to RM1.50. But the Bangkok Post is a really nice read! It's commentaries are food-for-thought, frank, and sharply written (I'm guessing press freedom is in a better state there) by university intellectuals and its many expats. Heck, it also features The World Is Flat author Thomas L. Friedman among its many columnists! Do you see that in any Malaysian newspaper?
We were thinking of having lunch at some little authentic Thai eateries frequented by locals and we thought Nathon Market would be just that. But no, it's really a real marketplace. Smaller than Gunung Rapat market, lots smaller than Phnom Penh Old Market. But luckily it was clean.
Chillis for sale!
Leonard bought some foul-smelling young bamboo shoots here as tidbits but threw it later after the stench filled his hotel room. My kampung house also makes those for lunch sometimes, you can try it there next time.
More foul-smelling food
Now you durian-lovers out there don't get me wrong, when I said foul-smelling bamboo shoots earlier, I really meant it! Of course Mom and Leonard and Dad HAD to try out the Thai durian when they saw it.
I, on the other hand, didn't want to reek of smelly durian and had to end up with an empty stomach without any lunch :(
Namuang 1 Falls
I wanna jump into the cold, refreshing water
Of course, waterfalls are abundant in Malaysia but since we had nothing much to sightsee on the island we might as well cool in the shade. Mom said she had seen enough of tropical waterfalls and was not impressed. Leonard and I, however, took off like little bunnies hopping through the rocks to reach the cool water.
Playing elephant (Can you spot Jumbo behind my head?)
Mom and dad resting in the shade
I think serenity is something that comes effortlessly when you are surrounded by the beauty of nature and your loved ones. At that moment, listening to the sound of the wind whispering through the trees and the trickling of water beneath my feet, I found peace, love and happiness right there.
We couldn't go up to Namuang 2 Falls because it was too steep and we were not in a 4-wheel drive. Even elephants can't reach Namuang 2. So I guess this is for you, hikers!
I didn't take any pictures of this mummified monk cos it's the ultimate scare. This guy was so venerable that when he died of old age, his body did not decay and so his disciples placed him in a glass case as a display of respect and Buddhist faith. He has on a pair of cool shades too... I guess his eyeballs already dropped out.
Lamai Beach/ Hinta Hinyai
Next, we headed to Lamai Beach which is the next popular beach after Chaweng. Restaurants, shops and rowdy crowds are less here, which in turn makes it a more quiet spot for holidayers.
I wanna build a little hut here and read books and watch Astro and catch fish to grill and swim in the sea and bask in the sun all day long...
*Me reliving my dream*
Notice the peach-coloured scrunchy on my left hand? I lost it while swimming at Chaweng beach...
Coconut trees swaying on the beach
Personally, I have this innate fear of lying/ sitting/ standing under coconut trees because I do not intend to become the Newton-that-was-not-hit-by-an-apple-but-hit-by-a-coconut-instead.
Fear is not a Factor!!
And when we got there, we found out that we had made a wrong turn previously and there was actually an easy way of getting to the beach... by car! But okay-lah, what is a holiday without a little bit of adventure...?
The Fab Four
The whole place was just rocks and rocks under the glaring sun with a wide, endless view of the bright sparkling sea. Standing on the huge flat rocks with the wind in my hair, felt like a Mild Seven advertisement.
Shift your focus and you will see Hinta rearing its head behind
Hinta and Hinyai, or fondly known as the Grandfather and Grandmother rocks, are naturally shaped by the environment to look like human reproductive organs. Click on the link! No kidding... they really, really look like a d*ck n p*ssy!!
Just like an inexperienced teenager, try as we might, we couldn't find the p*ssy-hole. So I'm guessing it could be any one of these three. The left one, perhaps? The websites say that Hinta and Hinyai face each other. Tell me if you go to Koh Samui and find it! :)
Yoga on the rocks
Being the super-Mom that she is, she's always game for anything -- even a bout of yoga stances on the slanted, slippery rocks!!
Dragged me in too... *YIKES!!*
Stopped at the viewpoint at Lamai beach. Unfortunately it was closed for renovation, so we went into a beachfront villa that was under construction instead. It was built against the slopes, something like Damansara Heights, with added seaview.
I wish I live in a place like this
This is central Chaweng, the main beach that most tourists go to. We sat there for a while, basking in the warmth of the late afternoon sun. Later at night we came back again after dinner for a romantic night-stroll on the beach. We lighted 孔明灯, a lantern invented by 诸葛亮 in wartime China to send army signals for reinforcement.
I had lighted kongmingdeng many times during my uni days, as a part of the CNY festivities. Light a candle at the bottom of the kongmingdeng. Just like a hot-air balloon, when the inside of the kongmindeng is filled with hot air, it will go up. We used to write our wishes down using marker pen on the white paper and stand on chairs hoisting the lantern while waiting for the hot air to carry it up. I remember I was scolded once because I accidentally tore a hole in the lantern with my slipper. Calamity!
Last, we visited the outside of the Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) stadium at Samui town. We didn't go in because it was THB800 per ticket -_-''' Just to watch some bloodshed. I hated the sound of the Muay Thai advertisement blaring from the horns... "Muay Thai.. Muay Thai.. Come and watch the champions fight.. Come and watch the champions fight.. Best of the Best.. Best of the Best.." It was like some communist propaganda blaring over and over again compelling people to go join their bloody cause!