Short Getaway to Koh Samui, Thailand – Day 1
Took a short 4D3N trip to Koh Samui over the weekend and had a pretty good time.
Day 1 was almost non-existent, since we took a night flight. By the time we arrived, it was about 9pm local time.
For someone who does not enjoy flying (I get airsick), the short flight of 1hr 25 min was quite a relief. Nevertheless, I took my airsick pills, wore my accupressure bands, drank ginger tea beforehand, and hoped for the best. Everyone would tell me “it’s all in your head!”. Oh right, wait till you feel as terrible as me, and start puking all the time, then it’ll be my turn to shout the same to you. Always makes me wonder how I survived a 20hr flight to and from New York many years ago. I slept almost 18-19 hours of the flight, so much so that the crew had to wake me up a few times, I guess to make sure I was still alive.
The flight on Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui was on a small plane, as expected, and it was only more than half full. Honestly I had never heard of this airline before. It was only when reading up on Koh Samui, that I learnt that Bangkok Airways used to monopolise the flights to and from Koh Samui, not anymore though.
As we flew in the dark skies, I saw the most beautiful lightning flashes in the sky. Now, I used to always take the aisle seats (so that I can run to the loo), it’s only in these past 2 years that I start taking the window seat and realised how much I had missed out before.
The flashes were at a distance and they were non-stop, like disco lights. I wanted to grab my camera, but I knew the pictures would suck, because of the reflection in the plane window. Instead, I spent about 10 minutes admiring those flashes and then suddenly hoped that the pilots also saw them and were not steering towards them. We were served dinner, which I did not eat (smell of food onboard is nauseating to me). There was not much entertainment, since the flight would be too short for a movie. They played Just for Laughs but I preferred to get into my flight mode -> sleep.
It was raining when we landed and in the partial darkness, I realised I had arrived at the smallest and cutest airport I have ever been. There was no aircon and no concrete walls! It was open air! With roofs of course! I saw another Bangkok Airways plane that was even smaller than the one we arrived in. It almost seemed to me like a private jet. I crossed my fingers and hoped that will not be the plane that will fly me home in a few days.
3G Data Sim card for travellers
Now this is pretty important for me. I had checked out information before leaving and learnt that Koh Samui, being an island, just had 3G services not that long ago. There was a TrueMove (one of their telcos) booth at the airport, and you can get your SIM cards from there. You will not miss it. It is along a path that you must take to get out of the airport. TrueMove 3G is said to be the most reliable on the island, so to the booth I went.
There was a free SIM card for tourists, which gave a short amount of talktime. You can use it for both international and domestic calls. To use it for data, you have to top it up at 7-11 stores or TrueMove outlets, which are all around the island. We took one, just in case we needed to make a call.
We also bought another SIM card, which only gave data, and not talktime. We bought the one with 350MB for 250Baht (SGD10). There is an adapter for micro SIM card, so Iphone users need not worry. We use Android phones and there were instructions for settings. Take note that APN Type should be left blank, not as what was written, otherwise it would not work. At any time, you can dial a number to check the amount of data left.
Checking in at the resort
There are numerous resorts along the various beaches on Koh Samui. We chose to stay at Bandara Resort and Spa in Bophut. As the airport transfer coach drove through the area, we could not see much since the roads were not too bright. Within 15 minutes, we reached the resort. After checking in and leaving our bags behind, we quickly went out to check out the nearby area before the shops close for the day. Found a Family Mart (minimart) just across the resort and a 7-11 in a petrol kiosk about 5 minutes walk away. Anything else, we would have to wait for daylight.