A Travellerspoint blog


Ko Samui, Thailand

Friday, 4 April 2014

View 2014-03 Singapore on greynomadm's travel map.

We arrived off the island of Ko Samui in the early predawn and were safely anchored at 07:00. We were booked on a shore excursion and were assembled at 07:15 and soon after were escorted onto a local vessel for the short trip to the pier. On arrival we were allocated in groups of eight to 4WD vehicles which whisked us to the Namuang Safari Park. There we were seated in pairs on an elephant, quite an interesting process and all expertly conducted by the staff. The ride was most uncomfortable given the ungainly gait of the elephant. Our steed was determined to overtake slower animals ahead and walked close to the edge of the road, from atop that beast the ground was a long way down. My attempts to photograph resulted in unidentifiable blurs.

When all of the group had safely returned we watched a demonstration of a trained monkey harvesting coconuts. It is claimed that a monkey can harvest between 800 and 1000 coconuts in a day. This was followed by an entertaining display by a pair of elephants who performed a number of unlikely balancing feats. Next on the tour was a demonstration of Thai cooking. Our tour guide concocted a Green Papaya Salad. It looked great and was fiercely hot. Most of the group refrained from eating any of it.

We were loaded onto our vehicles and driven to the Na Muang Falls where we joined a multitude of other tourists. Our guide explained that due to a record dry season there was NO water in the waterfall. Not deterred, there were dozens of local vendors selling a bewildering range of local craft and other gift items. Next stop was a demonstration of the rubber-tree tapping industry which has faded with the rise of tourism. The demonstration site looked like the remnants of a once-thriving operation. That was the final stop on quite a busy morning and we were taken back to the pier where we boarded one of the ship's tenders.

Back aboard our first priority was to strip off our drenched cloths and had a welcome shower. Once refreshed we found our way to the buffet for lunch after which we retired to the cabin to study our eye-lids from the inside. We woke in time to dress for "Formal Night" and joined Mike for a Jewish Sabbath Eve Service in the library. There was just Mike and Rachel and Jenny and I and they explained many of the elements of the service. Afterwards we drank a small glass of wine and some pieces of a very soft special bread. We missed a repeat of the Captain's Cocktail Party but the experience was well worth it.

The dinner was the usual 'formal' affair with wonderful lobster tails on the menu. Dr 'Chuck' Mitchel paid us a visit to pass on his email address. For some reason he's befriended us and shares breakfast with us most mornings. After dinner we attended the encore performance by Paul Cincotta, an excellent show worthy of the standing ovation.

Clocks forward an hour tonight and we have another full day at sea before we arrive in Singapore.

I'll upload an image from this morning. You'll find it on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-04-04
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 08:42 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Across the Gulf of Thailand

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The sunrise this morning was quite spectacular as we sailed slightly South of Westward. Joined Jenny for breakfast and then she went off to Tai Chi, I went down to the Cabaret Lounge for the cooking demonstration by the Executive Chef and the Maitre. This was followed by a visit to the ship's galley, much more compact as is to be expected.

It is surprising how quickly we've found familiar faces amongst both the passengers and the crew. There's a real "small country town" feel about the ship and I'm convinced that much of that is due to the relaxed nature of the Captain as well as the reduced size of the ship.

After an early lunch we attended the destination lecture for Singapore, it was interesting to see the various attractions that had been selected. Jenny stayed on for the "Dancing with the Stripes". The ship's version of the TV show with the on-board dancers being teamed with some of the Officers. I elected to spend the time at the keyboard. Jenny came back with high praise for the event, she claimed it to have been the "best hour" she'd spent this cruise.

Most enjoyable dinner, best chicken and chips and way too much - but I ate it anyway. Disembarkation documents have been delivered, stark reminder that the end of the cruise is almost with us. Another of the over-rated 'production' shows so we may make an early night of it.

We arrive in Ko Samui tomorrow morning, we've noticed a change of course as we are now sailing NorthWestward. I'll upload a sunrise image from this morning. You'll find it on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-04-03

Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 06:14 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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