This past week, a few friends and I decided to go on a weekend retreat to Koh Samed, which is one of the closest islands to Bangkok (approximately three to four hours away by a minivan taxi, which is a pretty common form of transportation around here). It proved to be a beautiful and much-needed respite from the chaos of the city!
This experience was especially memorable to me because it was the first time I have ever been on an island, and it lived up to every expectation that I had about the place. Once you reach the island, there is a small, idyllic town that I still vividly remember – it’s essentially just a long row of little restaurants, open-air food markets, temples, bars, and motorcycle rental shops. The hostel that we stayed in was right in the middle of the street, which meant that almost everything was within walking distance. We spent a lot of time meandering our way around the town, checking out the street vendors and the markets to see if they were selling anything for a bargain (they weren’t – Koh Samed, as it turns out, is a tad bit more expensive than Bangkok).
And of course, there were the beaches… and let me tell you, they were some of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever seen in my life. With silky white sand, crystal clear waters, and breathtakingly gorgeous views, it was a snapshot from paradise if there ever was one. There are quite a lot of beaches around Koh Samed, but due to time constraints and cost, we only went to three. We lucked out, however, as we somehow managed to time our last beach with the sunset – which resulted in the most beautiful view I have seen so far in Thailand. We were worried at first that we wouldn’t be able to see a good sunset because it was a mostly overcast day, but the presence of the clouds ended up only enhancing the spectacular views. It was something out of a movie – especially because the beach was more remote and less touristy.
Afterwards, we decided to check out an open-air glow-in-the-dark nightclub. We had heard good reviews about it from people who had come to Koh Samed before, and it did not disappoint. The vibe of the place was carefree and amazing, just like the rest of the island. We left around two in the morning, and decided to stay up another four hours in order to catch the island sunrise. After all, when else are we going to see the sun come up on an island?! (Real answer – probably soon, after glancing at our upcoming itinerary… but that still feels like it is forever away).
So how was the sunrise?
The perfect way to end a long night and start a new day.