Friday, April 22, 2011

Live Borderless - Charm Churee Villa, Koh Tao

Live Borderless, not LG LCD TV, but a resort I will blog about. Live Borderless, see the view out into the gulf spanning the horizon from my personal patio overhanging off the cliffs as the long tail boast sped by. Every morning, I woke to the warm radiance of the rising sun under the shadows of the weathered cliffs. The gentle salty breeze caressed as I stood looking down below into my personal aquarium. The spotted green crabs sunning their shells warmed up as the vibrant fishes played amongst the corals. It was the second time I was there, a hint that I found this resort worth a second visit.

Not your average budget type hotel, but worth every dear Baht I had earned. The resort had been around since 2002, but the corrosive waft of the sea had taken its toll on the wooden huts that makes up the accommodation of this dwelling. I had stayed in unit 34, for the second time. A one bedroom one living room suite, with what I gathered to be the one of the best view Charm Churee could offer. The hike to the room however does require a certain fitness level. It was through 10 minutes of meandering steep steps, over sand and challenging corners that we arrived panting and breaking out in perspiration.

And the first think I could think of was to wash myself down in the outdoor shower. It was, outdoor very much indeed as the so many gaps in the bamboo walls offered quite a good view of my tan free fair shiny glow in the dark butt cheeks. The bathroom and toilet, nestled on rocks offered a most interesting wash experience ever, guaranteed.

Getting to town was like playing a RPG game. I had to look for signs in the jungle path that indicated “To Town”. It took a good fifteen minutes off the beaten track through several resorts before arriving onto sandy tracks that lead into bustling Mae Haad Bay. Through bushes, steep slopes, narrow path and nature, I was half expecting goblin gangs to spring out from behind hidden corners and I had to kill them with my magical sword or cast an exploding spell to wipe them out in a single attempt. The Mae Haad Bay township is laden with restaurants catering to the Caucasian tourist at Caucasian price. Its here you could locate bike and ATV rentals, pharmacies, a Seven-Eleven, packages that offers round the island snorkeling trips and such. In short, there were simply no free shuttle services between hotel and anywhere on this speck of an island in the gulf.

Breakfast was buffet, not a wide selection but not too bad really. And as for dinner, if one does not want to suffer the ordeal of trekking to town in the night and having to kill magical demons of the forest, dine at the Starlight Restaurant I would recommend. Dinner was pricey for Thais, but it was the average price if compared to urban countries elsewhere in the world. And the portion was huge, therefore dividing quantity by price, it was every bit reasonable. Would suggest sharing main course of spaghetti as an option for Thais who do not want to suffer cream and carbo overdoes. The meal setting itself was exotic enough alone. We sat on the floor dining in dusk colors for dinner, we looked over the sides and we could see fishies preparing for their nightly slumber through the clear waters. One thing I do have to mention, while we dined, the mosquitoes dined on us, the whole family of them, several generations across feasting on my arms, legs, neck and even though the clothing into my back. Must bring mosquitoe repellent unless you want to become swell man.

And daytime itself was a time to just laze around and bask in the sun. Enjoy the waters of private Jansom Bay. Jansom means Orange Plates in Thai and the place was named as such for some unknown reasons. I didn’t see any plates in the water, I did’t see any orange trees growing out of the sea. The bay itself has abundant sea life. Sat still in the water and the incredible amount of fish would have chewed off my nipples clean. So, I tried as much as I could not to sit still for more then 5 seconds. Waters near shore was already stunning but swimming out beyond where the bamboo platforms where, it was exquisite. Colorful corals and shoals of large fishes, giant clams with purple lips greeted us as we waddled out with our snorkeling gear. The sea was a clam, occasionally churning only when the distant diving or long tail boats sailed past. Downing that ice cold beer in the high afternoon sun was refreshing. The only problem was getting that beer ordered. The staffs here, neither good in Thai nor English, the lot are from Myanmar, cheap labor I guess.

All in all, Charm Churee was a good stay, and in fact I find myself having good calve muscles after staying there. Yes, Koh Tao may not offer the best waters crystalline like those of Similans, but definitely, it was a resort to rest and blend one’s soul to the rustic charms of the breathtaking scenery. Every morning, I woke to the sound of the sea and the glimmering specks of colors from coral fishes playing out front under my patio. And every evening I watched the vibrant reflections of sunset broken by silhouettes of long tail boats blaring past. In aw, I was in, in paradise again I had been.

Full photo sets here under Koh Tao Feb 2010 & Koh Tao Apr 2011.

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