Koh Samui: 3D Art, Temples and Songkran

Astonishingly (or so it seemed to me), it turned out that there was another 3D gallery in Samui that was quite a lot like the one Luke and I visited in Bangkok, so we all jumped in a taxi and headed to the northern end of the island to see it. Once again it seemed that we were the only people who knew about the place, which was fantastic. So was having a group of people rather than just the two of us – Luke and I got to be in a few photos together.

After we’d been through the gallery Luke and Kupp decided to go to Chaweng Beach and check out the Songkran celebrations. Songkran is Thai new year and a water festival. It used to be celebrated by dabbing others faces with water, but thanks to tourists and young locals, it now means that people stand out on the streets with buckets, hoses and water pistols, shooting anyone and everyone. Toby had gone out earlier in the day on the moped he’d hired and gotten thoroughly doused multiple times.

Lauren, Charmaine, Toby, Lucas and myself wanted to check out a temple complex that wasn’t far from the gallery so we walked to a nearby beach for a late lunch (made later by the incredibly slow service) before fortunately finding a taxi that could fit all of us in and had a driver who spoke reasonable English – the first we’d had in Thailand. He took us to the temples and then waited while we looked.

I can’t remember the name of the complex, but there were a number of gilt temples that were fairly new. There were a lot of chickens and dogs around and fish food could be bought for ten baht. I was looking forward to feeding the fish, but when we walked over to the pool it was murky and didn’t smell great. When we threw the food in these huge, ugly catfish swarmed to the surface – it was nightmarish! There were also turtles competing (poorly) for food so we tried to throw it towards them but the hideous fish were everywhere.

We jumped back in the taxi and headed back to the Tesco Lotus on our way home, after being warned by Luke and Kupp not to join them. Apparently the water fighting was intense and both the boys had had to buy waterproof phone bags, having barely got out of their taxi before someone threw a bucket of water on them. So we avoided the beach, bought some supplies and looked for another taxi outside the supermarket. There was a man in a hi-vis vest who asked us if we wanted one. He was standing next to a minivan so we said yes. A moment later a tiny little hatch pulled out of the car park and we looked at it in astonishment. We were supposed to fit five of us plus the driver in that? Yes, apparently so. Charmaine ended up perched on the back seat between my knees and Lucas, and as the car ride went on she slipped further and further down until she gave up and slid into the tiny footwell, laughing as she went.

I cooked dinner a few times while we were there, but on the last night we went down the mountain to a restaurant called ‘Dr Frog’s’, which turned out to be really nice. The menus were comically large (not intentionally) and they served a range of European and Thai food. After so much Asian cuisine a pizza was nice! After dinner we headed back to the house and watched The Hangover II – the one set in Bangkok. It was much funnier to watch with a group of tipsy friends in Thailand – or Thighland, as we pronounced it after watching the film.

In the morning we packed our bags, said our sad farewell to the pool and piled into the minivan for the last time.  Next stop: one night in Bangkok before flying home!

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