Yup! Jumping spiders. Not ok. These can have their own paragraph later on, oooh and so will the hermit crabs <3. Ohhhh and this is the post about Hannah almost getting married to a 70 year old man.
So in Thailand there seems to be this sticker system. Somehow when you are trying to get from one location to another, you get given a tiny sticker that just about says your destination and from then on you get herded like cattle from one person to another until somehow you reach your next point where you are staying. We had our first taste of this on our 12 overnight bus to Koh Samui. A small sticker was stuck on us at a street market travel agents, then you are lead by a small Thai lady down lots of tiny back alleys until you get to a coach park. We had been told not to worry as most of the overnight buses come with beds, so there we were kind of excited we would actually get a full nights sleep only to find we were on a bus that looked like it could just about turn on with small up straight sitting plastic seats. We couldn’t complain as it had only cost us £13 so quickly shook the princesses within us away and made ourselves comfy… featured below is Hannah modelling a Burger King and getting very comfy for her journey.
It actually went fairly quickly and we stopped half way in the middle of nowhere at this service station? Kind of …. it was more like a dining hall with some rice and toilets that were holes in the floor with a bucket of water to the side to wash away whatever you had put in the hole, an experience in itself. I hate saying this as if it is a down fall, it’s not, we just aren’t used to not having fully working toilets. Something that we have discovered to miss, as no where in Thailand can you flush toilet paper down the loo… I think that will be in the top three things I am missing from home – a working toilet. Another 6 hours and we stopped again, thinking we had reached the port where we would be getting the ferry to the island. However we had actually just stopped in the middle of this random town, we stood there for 20 minutes as the sun rose to find it was just for a man to come and check all of our tickets for the bus, even though that part of the journey had already come to an end, were we going to get left there if we didn’t have a ticket? That seems. To be another common thing in thailand’s transport methods, halfway through a long journey without a doubt the tuk tuk or van will stop off half way to drop off some money at what I can only assume is their boss. It always seems to be done so secretly though, as if we are being used for some sort of sketchy deal. We had been given a free transfer from the port to our hostel which was awesome. My only memory from this was being hysterically laughed at by two young children at the amount of mosquito bites I had on my legs. I don’t know what it. Is about the Thai mosquitos but they love pale skin for sure, we are apparently very tastey.
Soon after we found the ferry and ended up on Ko Samui, a relatively small island covered in a lot of trees, some small towns and lots of sandy beaches. The whole week was filled with contradicting weather, we would have bright sunshine which would rapidly change to huge thunder claps, impressive lightning flashes and cloud formations. Despite this, I still managed to get the worst sun burn on my back. I’m pretty sure it was from a hungover day of lying on my front in the sea… woops. We stayed on Chaweng beach, clearly a very touristy area but it was ideal for us as we managed to meet lots of people and had lots of crazy experiences from that. Our hostel was great and not so great, again we had got it on the cheap and it started out great even though we had a small fan to share between the whole room in 38 degree humid heats, but it had a great communal seating area which obviously turned into a place where Hannah and I hosted British drinking and card games in the evening attracting all the fun party people. It was here we met our new best friend Nicole from Brazil but currently teaching English in India. (HI NICOLEE WE MISS YOU). She taught us to love the song Desparitos and to use an element of Brazilian sass whilst haggling. Over a few international drinking games we also met an Australian and Frenchman! They showed us the correct place to party on a Friday night. We went to a place called ArkBar which was basically a beach party with fire jugglers and lots more alcoholic beaches. A long nights partying resulted in semi skinny dipping in the sea. It was super nice to lie half clothed in the sea just watching the stars, it was a really clear night so there were lots of stars to see.
Hannah and Nicole slept most of the following day but I managed to crawl out into the sunshine and go for a little explore and swim in the sea. The sand is perfect on the beaches, nice and clean and powdery. My favourite thing about the beaches though were the hermit crabs!!! Hermit crabs before were just something I had heard of and knew they didn’t grow their own shells, they had to steal their own ad change as they grow. I clearly got down to the beach at hermit crab rush hour as they were everywhere. I think I spent about 2 hours just watching the social life of hermit crabs and the hardcore fights that go on to steal someone else’s shell, one guy ended up throwing his pal into the sea to try and get his shell. They were very cute and funny. If they sensed something was coming they all simultaneously stuck their faces in the sand and pretended to be ordinary shells. This was funny until you jumped out of your skin when you discovered you had been sitting on one and it had decided to emerge from the sand.
Samui was inhabited by lots of animals, mainly dogs, cockroaches and cats but also spiders. After my morning on the beach I came back to the room to have a shower. As I opened the shower door I saw a quick flash of movement in the corner of my eye, I kind of shrugged it off thinking oh it’s probably just a cockroach, something which had become quite familiar already. But just as I turn the shower on I see something jump towards me, in a moment of panic i jumped out of the way to see it was the biggest spider I had seen in my life. Rushing out of the shower I got Nicole thinking she would be calm about spiders seeing as she is from South America, but no, she poked her head round the corner and the spider jumped about two feet in the air towards us again and she screamed the hostel down making us panic even more. This huge spider then went and hid itself under Hannah’s bed and wasn’t to be seen again. This was ok until we googled what spider it was and discovered that it was actually a dangerous one… brilliant; and they could jump up to something crazy like 6 feet in the air. This lead to careful movements around the room trying not to disturb it and sleeping with a blanket fort despite sweating from how warm it was.
Luckily the day was saved and we didn’t have to sleep with the slider for the night. This next adventure was literally like something from the movie The Hangover. Every stereotypical character was there and some similar events too. On our first night we had met a lovely group of Indian people who were on a Bachelors party in Thailand (Congratulations to Zak who got married last week). We met them again on the Friday and they had invited us (we thought jokingly) to their big bachelor party they were having the night after. This was the best thing we had agreed to do despite almost bailing as it was quite difficult to get to. Thank goodness we persisted as it resulted in us being wined and dined for free in a 5 star villa resort on top of a mountain. The villa was owned by an elderly English man who had already had 5 wives from 4 different countries and was determined to make Hannah his 6th. He had built this apartment himself and had a crew of bar men and chefs who would attend to your needs at any point. It was crazy, we felt like we were in a movie. Swimming in an infinity pool in the middle of the night whilst being served cocktails until sunrise. It was a cracking night and we had lots of yummy food and great conversation. We also had swimming races … really random, but it was quite an achievement of mine to beat 7 men in a swimming race and be named swimming champion of the night. We also got offered a room there for the night which meant no jumping spiders and air conditioning, I don’t think we had ever appreciated cold air more.
Next post about moped accidents and full moon party madness.