*This post was originally published on October 13th, 2011 on amywarcup.com.
Well, if one night in Bangkok makes the hard man humble, then seven nights in Bangkok will surely make the soft one bold. By my final day in the city I could navigate confidently on both the sky train and the metro, know what a fair bartering price is in Thai baht, swiftly ignore the owners of the girly clubs who tried to trick me into entering their bars, and even cross the streets…all my myself. It has been an interesting week. As a female travelling solo, there have been some challenges. I received dozens of odd stares while dining at restaurants alone. Thai hostesses would sometimes exclaim “just one? All by yourself?” However, I observed hundreds of men in Bangkok alone, so the strangeness viewed by others likely lied more in my gender than my solitude. I made the most of my visit, though. I even tried my first (of what may be several) elephant ride on my last day in Bangkok. I noticed the bond between the elephant and her caretaker, too. They were very playful together. The caretaker shared that he has two baby elephants at his home, and that I was riding “Mama elephant.”
Yesterday evening I arrived on Koh Samui, which is located in Thailand’s beautiful southern gulf coast. “Koh,” meaning island, and “Samui,” meaning safe haven, is a place that may appeal to many types of travelers. For those who love a bustling nightlife, there is the clamorous and touristy Chaweng Beach, but for a quieter experience, one can travel to the south of the island, where the well-known Samahita Yoga Thailand Center resides. The latter is my primary reason for visiting this charming refuge. At the yoga center, I will be attending an eight-day intensive course in Ashtanga yoga and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation. As I’ve stated previously, Thailand’s people are predominantly Theravda Buddhists (not Tibetan). The class at the yoga center will be led by visiting international scholars of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. In my next post, I will share a brief overview of some of the primary schools of Buddhism.
I decided to arrive on Koh Samui a few days early. Currently, I am in the town of Bo Phut in northern Samui, which is referred to by the locals as “fisherman’s village.” Bo Phut is a mix of tourist shops and a variety of ethnic cuisine, and little Thai homes and thatches. Most of the Thais that live here have a Chinese heritage. My sleeping quarters at L’Hacienda is owned by a French gentleman and his Thai wife. There is a strong French influence in the town. So, I have been delighting in eating exquisite croissants and drinking espresso here. The place is lovely..especially the rooftop pool. The gulf coast is lined with white sandy beaches and pristine, warm, clear water. needless to say, I am most thoroughly enjoying my stay. Koh Samui is definitely for lounging.
Oh…one last thing. I finally tried the fish massage my on last night in Bangkok, and yes, it tickled immensely. I must say, though, that my legs were the softest they have been in years afterward. I highly recommend that you try one, if given the opportunity.
October 14, 2011 at 12:41 am
Is that a picture of your room? nice!
Amy Warcup says:
October 14, 2011 at 3:28 am
Yes, at L’Hacienda. Only $40 USD a night! There are just as many French people as Thai here.