Saturday, September 24, 2011

Taking on Samui Roads

The good point of having a car on Samui is that one will not be restricted in coverage , bounded by an invisible barrier limited by the range covered by "two-rows" (truck taxis) that one can hop on. And they ain't cheap just for hopping from Chaweng to Lamai or the surrounding areas. I had discovered this stretch of beach facing the sunset. Takhoe is the name of the restaurant and I remembered the food was great and cheap. In contrast to the farang filled stylish restaurants on Chaweng, I was dining among the locals sipping Hundred Pipers with the soda or Coke. We came a wee bit late and missed the setting sun, the waitress told us we should have come earlier when the beach was shimmering in warm tones of orange and red. Didn't want no sand flies to jab into my foot and lay its entire family in there, so for all I would suggest - bring your insect repellent.

Takhoe place is well known for its very weird food. Away from the realm of common seafood, we had jungle mushrooms of some sort accompanied by healthy brown rice which health freaks find it ok but for me felt like chewing on dried straws I feed to my rabbit. Dining on the white weathered plastic chairs sprawled on the sandy beach, the condiments included one of the tastiest Kapi (prawn paste in chill) specially baked on coconut husk which not everyone could stomach. Normally I don't take on these weird dishes guaranteed to cause unusual lingering breath for hours, but this Kapi was something extraordinary.

Coordinates 9°34'40.53"N, 99°56'34.10"E for your reference.

On my previous blogs, I had mentioned of dining up the mountains in a place called Paradise Park. Well again, Samui is not just about the sun, sea and beach. Driving inlands heading up the mountains guided by very poor maps, I had stumbled on The Mountain Grand View Restaurant & Swimming Pool. This restaurant, they tried their best to offer guest a dip in their infinity pool which has one of the best Samui's view, but I don't think anyone would want to dip in the neglected algae infested very green waters. Pool on Samui and what comes to mind is farangs heaps basking in the sun, but I guessed this place is a challenge to find and therefore the desolation.

No guest was there and we had the whole place to ourselves. It became not economically viable to maintain the pool water and so I suppose its purpose now is a giant bird bath, a frog breeding pond or a tourist trip over and fall into water trap. Other than that aside, enjoying a cup of coffee or cooling down that cocktail accompanied by the mountain breeze with an incredible view of the distant horizon makes the trip up worthwhile.

Just watch out for the land slide areas on the way up which ate up half of the road. We were told that the weather these late years had been extreme and Samui had been trying their best to cope with fighting nature.

Coordinates 9°28'42.60"N, 99°59'49.20"E for your reference.

Here's a restaurant that offers quite a feast, not too local and reasonably priced, the crowd is a mix of locals, farangs and mosquitoes . Offering the standard range of cholesterol laden tasty Thai seafood dishes is Sabienglae Restaurant. Its located in between Lamai and Chaweng not too difficult to find. Expect the place to be packed as it is quite well known. I was not too impressed by the dinner but I would rather not risk driving into the dark mountain roads in the night and have my hungry carcass discovered in a Vios at the bottom of a landslide scene. Coordinates 9°27'11.33"N, 100° 2'10.74"E for your reference.

As you cruise the coastal roads and ascend the hills of Samui, one does come across many little spots of pleasant settings so inviting for a chill-chill (Thai slang for chill out time). Appeal of all kinds from contemporary back to rustic rural and pure simple offers a choice too many for the curious soul of an explorer. Amongst that which I mentioned, food for the belly, we scaled the hundred steps up into the temple overlooking the airport, and shopped the weekend night market of Lamai.

And as we tire we had our cocktails by the fiery night beach nearby. Just driving, maneuvering corners and watch that endless horizon revealing up as we rolled on over the top of the hill is already an episode of endorphin in my warm bloodstream.

Full photo sets here under Samui Aug 2011.

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