Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodbye Krabi, Hello Samui!-Day 6

We picked up our things and said goodbye to our beautiful Tiki room that we called home for the past few days.  We were leaving Krabi and taking a joint van/ferry ride the island of Koh Samui. 
The travel agent told us that the trip would take no more than six hours.  Well, the bitch lied.
We were picked up from our hotel promptly at 8:30 am to head into Krabi City which is about thirty minutes away.  Our van was supposed to leave at 9:30 but of course it was late and we didn't leave until 10:30.  We met a bunch of other tourists, mostly from Israel and we were all herded like cattle, individually tagged with destination labels on our clothing. 
Our van came and we were finally off to the port town of Surat Thani...so I thought.  I was expecting a two hour drive but the van stopped after only one and a half hours, right when I was in a deep r.e.m. stage of sleep.  The driver told us that we would have to wait here for our next ride.  We were all pissed, we thought we paid for a direct non-stop ride to the pier.  The woman at the stop advised that the wait for the shuttle was an hr.  The place charged five bahts to use the bathroom which I thought was bogus.

Our waiting Station
I was relieved that we stocked up on water and snacks before our trip because this place was gouging the tourists.  For instance, we paid five bahts for a small bottle of water in Krabi and this place was charging twenty bahts (4 times the price).  We paid twenty-five bahts for a can of beer in Bangkok and Krabi but this place charged sixty bahts (more than double).

An hour past, and the woman came back to tell us the wait was another hour.  Everyone was bullshit, meanwhile the travel agent was trying to push his taxi service on all of us waiting.  We declined since the Mo looked it up online and saw that the ferry transfers were supposed to be a fraction of the quoted price.

After what seemed like hours of waiting, our bus finally arrived.  I was happy to hear this until the agent told us we had to cross two busy roads with all of our stuff.  I would like to think that we travel lightly but that was a lot of stuff to carry and run at the same time, the whole time, he kept saying, "hurry up!"
The bus finally arrives!

The cattle getting on the bus
The bus ride was quiet comfortable
Another hour on the bus and we finally arrive to the Raja ferry that is waiting for us.  We quickly board the vessel and it takes off immediately.  I was relieved that the ferry had AC and comfortable seats.  The only annoyance was a local Thai man snoring really badly. We ate our "lunch" on the ferry that consisted of gummy bears, prawn crackers, and orange juice.
View of mainland from Ferry

Outside seating of ferry, we opted for the inside with AC
Thai Gummy Bears, a bit different from Haribo
We arrived at the pier and was greeted by aggressive taxi drivers that wanted our business.  After  unsuccessful negotiations, the Mo and walked out of the ferry terminal and into town.  I have to admit, I was getting nervous that I would have to walk around town with all my crap.

A few minutes passed by and a transfer minivan approached us and asked where we were going.  We replied, "Lamai Beach, 200 baht total? No more pay" (our English has worsen since we have been in Thailand, we try to speak in slow short fragments so the locals and other tourist can understand us). The driver immediately agreed on our first offer and took our things, this price was less than half the price that the other drivers were asking for.

We arrived at our hostel and it was exactly how it was portrayed on their website: chic and modern.
koh samui ibed
outside view of our hostel, I-bed in Koh Samui

Everything looked like it was from an IKEA catalog.  Our 2 person dorm room had it's own LCD tv screen and each bunk had it's own outlets and wall lamp.  The showers were adorned in glass tile and the common kitchen has stainless steel appliances.  This was definitely not your typical hostel, after all prices were in line with the moderate hotel prices of $30.00 a night for twin occupancy.  My amateur photos doesn't do this place justice, go on their website to see how amazing this place is. http://www.ibedsamui.com/photogallery-en.html
The Mo claiming he's on "top"

Bunk with outlet and lamp

Sitting area in our dorm room
Outdoor sitting area

Please take your shoes off

Downstairs smoking area
Communal Kitchen with free breakfast
To make up for our pathetic "lunch" we wanted to go somewhere decent for dinner.  We googled restaurants in Lamai Beach and found that Sala Thai has exceptional reviews.  The restaurant was a short 5 minute walk from our hostel.

On our way, we passed by the Lamai Night Market with a variety of food stalls to accommodate any taste buds.  We almost changed our minds about the Sala Thai restaurant and just eat at the market but we knew we would have the opportunity to eat there since we would be in town for five more nights.  
Cafeteria Style Seating
Many Different food stalls to choose from

We got to the Sala Thai restaurant and it was packed with westerners.
saka thai restaurant

We got a table and ordered whisky on the rocks and a carafe of wine.  The waiter brought out two glasses for the wine, he was surprised when I told him we only needed one glass, the whole carafe was for me.  Didn't you know how much of a lush I am?  The carafe served about 4 glasses of wine so I was happy that I ended up getting a free glass of wine.
Red Curry w/Pork
After looking through the extensive menu, ( Kinda felt like it was the menu from the Cheesecake factory), we ordered red curry with pork, spicy beef stir fry with chili and holy basil and grilled shark fillet with garlic and pepper crust.  Yes I said shark.  
We have never had it before but it was strongly recommended by travel forums and travel books.  The texture and flavor remarkably resembled swordfish.  I was not disgusted by any means.  Our bill came to about $45.00 for three entrees, a carafe of wine, and two whisky on the rocks.  It was definitely a splurge compared to the noodles and rice dished we were paying $1.75 for.
Overall, it was definitely a great restaurant and the food presentation was great!

Stir fry beef and holy basil with chili
Fillet of Shark Crusted with toasted garlic and pepper
Our bill, about $45.00
After dinner we walked (I stumbled) back to our hostel and I just past out.