Surat Thani to Sichon: On the beach

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Cycle touring South Thailand & Malaysia 2010
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Saturday May 8, 2010, 75 km (47 miles) – Total so far: 620 km (385 miles)

As much as I like to pack up and leave at the break of dawn, this rarely happens when exploring and photographing a new town in the pre breakfast hours. Riding an unloaded bike is also a nice change before the real plodding begins. If there are some distractions like a nice park around the city shrine or a small island dedicated to recreation, accessed only by a small bridge, then my real departure form Surat Thani is going to be 9 or 10 am. Chinatowns in any Thai city are always an excuse to dawdle some more. Freshly brewed coffee or tea, followed by a breakfast of tim sum while observing the goings on in the streets.

Old roof bridges are handy in case of flooding or escape when caught with a mistress

A slow boat to Ko Samui

Riding east nto the sun this morning almost 40 kms of trying to shield my face with a puny bandana, water soaked for maximum cooling effect. Then a long long break at Kanchanadit, with nice views of the sea and distant Ko Samui Island. And of course, not a day passes by without the familiar, ‘ding dong’ chimes of a 7/11 beckoning me into it’s cool confines. Sichon is actually 3 kms off Hwy 401 and it was nice to turn off into a much quieter road. The highway ‘buzz’ from trucks and trailers was getting a bit irritating, though the shoulders were very wide and shady. Some nice karsts on both sides but none too spectacular as on the west coast. Amazing what a semi rest day makes and I got to Sichon at about 2 pm in time for a late lunch by the sea.

About 38 deg C here

The place is about 40 years old but they have maintained it very well. I got a room, # 6 furthest from the bar and restaurant, with brand new bathroom and terrace, looking out to some very sleep inducing palm trees swaying in the wind. Even the bathroom had a view, pull the curtains and shower with blue skies and coconut trees above. I could have been in Bali. There are also larger rooms at Thb 1000, and a 2 storey villa that sleeps 6. No need to ask the going rate, cannot afford it, well actually can, but not without putting a big dent in the daily budget. Their sister resort next door has an exhibit of a complete whale skeleton from 1976. FYI whale bones are very heavy.

Hin Ngam beach 2 minutes from my room

As far as beach resorts go, this was just passing the mark. I judge this by lunch and whether simple variations on the menu can be entertained. Iced Nescafe was priced at Thb 30, the rest being 50 plus. Well I was charged Thb 50, and told a waitress why state 30 when you want to charge 50? Of course, I got my change back. To be fair, things other than F & B were pretty low key and thus quiet, the way I like it.
In as many days, this was the first that I got, being in a room, nourished, washed, cleaned and moisturised by 3 pm. It felt good and sleep came easy. Not much of a walkabout tonight as I am nowhere near a big city, ah but the waves and sea breezes were a refreshing change nonetheless. The bike came in real handy as I explored the village roads and had a 8 km roundtrip in the dark, into the lifeless metropolis of Sichon, just to secure dinner, a so so massage and some supplies.

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