I dedicated my first full day on Kho Samui to exploring Chaweng, writing, and reading ” Do Travel Writers Go To Hell“? by Thomas Kohnstamm, a book I came across in Bangkok. Published earlier in the year, it chronicles the experiences of a first-time writer for Lonely Planet on assignment in Brazil.
The beach was perfect, soft white sand, multi-colored water with light green in the shallows, and turquoise fading into darker shades of blue near the sections of reef. It was far cleaner than what I saw on Kuta, Bali, and the Thai people in town were much more laid back in regard to trying to sell tourists on tailored suits and taxi rides.
In the early evening, I went for a sunset walk minus the sun (which sets on the opposite end of the island), drank a Singha (Thai beer), and read some more while comfortably lounging on one of the free beach chairs. It felt like I was in a Corona commercial. I then followed the electronic music to Ark's for dinner on the beach. I had a delicious tuna steak with baked potato and salad.
Wanting to save the end of my book for another day, I joined a few Dutch girls at an adjacent table. They were spending a month in Thailand, and like me (and thousands more), headed to Kho Phagnan for the July 19th Full Moon Party. We talked over a few drinks, and as it got dark, more and more kids came around selling Styrofoam and flower leis, games of Connect Four, and various other novelty items.
Lanterns began to drift into the sky in the distance, and I was all about lighting one (having first seen them in ” The Beach”?). I wrote all three of our names on it, along with a flower, butterfly, and peace symbol, made a wish, and lit it up. Fireworks were shot off intermittently, adding to the wonderful all-around vibe and experience. The girls were staying at a different beach, and interested to check out one of the big dance clubs so we fought our way through the gauntlet of Thai prostitutes to The Green Mango, which filled up around 1am. After a bit of dancing, and a late night stop at McDonald's, we called it a night.