White-crested waves broke about 50 meters out from the shore. This, I was convinced, was paradise. Ko Samed, Thailand is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand, and is probably the favorite place I’ve ever traveled. From the gorgeous beaches, littered with monumental volcanic rock brought in by tsunamis of years past, to the deep jungle only able to be penetrated by those with patience and a sharp machete, it offers ever facet of tropical adventure one could hope for. Of course, if you aren’t interested in roughing it, there are multiple high-class resorts available for you to lounge out.
When I went, it took an incredibly long boat ride to get to the island. Exhausted, I registered at the first resort that seemed appealing and sprawled out on the beach. Drifting off to sleep as the sun sank, I was incredibly at peace. A few hours later I woke up, startled at first by the cosmic showcase above me. Stars extended from the treeline to the watery horizon, swirls of pale pink and brilliant blue mingling and merging into infinity. Getting up and brushing the sand off, I went a few meters back from the beach to the bar, ordering a black rum and coke. Sipping my perfectly mixed (and by that I mean way too strong) drink, I chatted with some of the other people visiting the island.
The next morning I awoke in my private bungalow, leaving relatively early looking for adventure. Before even making it to breakfast, I had found my plan. Dirt bikes were available for rent, so of course I had to partake. The island is littered with paths and trails cutting through the vegetation, and I spent hours on them, eventually settling near a small waterfall off a brook in mid-afternoon. After a few hours of relaxing there, I headed back to the resort, again crawling onto the beach and watching the sunset.
You can see where this is going – a solid week spent alternating between absolute relaxation and mind-blowing exhilaration. It was definitely the best travel experience I’ve ever had.
(Story by Samson. Photo credit: Du Hangst)