Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Day in Chaweng Beach and Ark Bar-Day 7

We didn't really have a game plan for today.  We woke to the sounds of a rooster cocking early in the morning.  The hostel provided a nice continental breakfast with an assortment of muffins and pastries so we didn't have to run out to grab anything.

We got dressed and started to walk around Lamai trying to find a travel agent so we could book our snorkeling tours.  Most of the places were still closed since it was still early so we thumbed down a "songthaew", basically a converted pickup truck with two rows of seating and an awning in the back, the poor man's 

Once we got there, we walked along the beach then we decided we would just stay in Chaweng Beach and hang out at Ark Bar until the beach party in the evening.  We bought a mango daiquiri and beer and it came out to a steep $7.75 (steep price compared to what we have been paying.)

Walking along Chaweng Beach

Chaweng Beach, powder sand
Drinks at the bar at Ark Bar
$ 5.00 Mango Daiquiri
Since we didn't plan on going to the Chaweng beach today, we didn't have any of our swim gear.  This is where a little bit of planning would have saved us some money.  We found some street vendors that sold swim suits.  After much bargaining and going back and forth, we walked out spending a little of $20.00 for Billabong shorts and a two piece tankini set.  I still think we got ripped off but it's our own fault for not having our stuff.

We also ran out of Thai Bahts so we had to go to the ATM to take out more money.  Most places charge between three to five percent fee to use any type of credit/debit card.  We just take out $500.00 each time until we need to refill.  The last $500.00 lasted us almost 6 and a half days but there was a lot of "initial spending" for things like a sim card and memory card reader versus reoccurring transactions like food and transportation.  I"m hoping this $500.00 will last longer.

After an hour in the sun, we needed to move to loungers with an umbrella. We were swarmed by hawkers selling jewelry, henna tattoos, pics with monkeys.  I have to admit, we were pretty gullible today.  Not only did we overpay for our bathing suits, but we also bought straw hats and a coverall from the hawkers...there goes another $22.00.  Now I'm the first to admit that I do not do well with hats, but it the sun was too blazing hot to not protect my head.  I didn't want to get sun poisoning as I did many years ago at the Jersey shore seaside heights.

Eggroll Couple and our new hats

The Mo rockin' his new hat

Ark Bar sun loungers

We skipped lunch and just got some snacks from the food hawkers on the beach.  Both the corn and papaya salad was really good.

Around 4PM, Ark Bar set up a free beach BBQ for its patrons.  The BBQ was ok; fried rice, noodles, eggrolls, and assortment of meats.  I'm not complaining though, it was free!  We realized they do this to get people off the sun loungers so they could set up for the beach party.  They also  pushed their drinks heavily.  Prices were ridiculous; canned soda was more than two dollars and mixed drinks were six dollars.  I guess that's how they cover the cost of the buffet.  We bought water and a diet coke from them and snuck in beers and more sodas from the 7-11 across the street.
Free Beach BBQ at Ark Bar, Koh Samui
Food Buffet


Dog eating leftover scraps
That says, "Coke Light" aka Diet Coke

In a matter of minutes, the area transformed into a totally different scene.  They put up lights, tables, candles, speakers, and banners.  It was amazing to see how quick everything was happening.

Mami Eggroll Beachside with a beer
The Mo hanging out

Table side Hookah Pipe service
All lit up at night
We really wanted to stay for the party, which is known to start happening around ten or eleven.  We were already there for eight hours so we left when it got dark and when the lights were turned on.
Packed House at Ark Bar
We took a songthaew back home.  Its amazing how they double the price after dark.  Since we just took out money, we just had large bills.  I pretended I only had 170 baht when the driver  was asking for 400 baht.  He gave us a ride anyway.
The Mo riding the songthaew

We took a shower and walked around  the Lamai beach area to people watch.  We grabbed a small bowl of noodle soup for a late dinner since we just ate a few hours ago.  I got a mixed fruit shake that was very good. She blended strawberries, pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, and dragon fruit.  It was very refreshing.  I think I will start treating myself to these everyday.

The Mo garnishing his beef noodle soup
Beef Noodle Soup $ 1.66 each

Fresh fruit shake stand