On the ferry I was delighted to locate a can of Thai Diet Coke. Do you know how hard it is to feed my diet coke addiction in Asia? It's all Coke Zero! What's that about?
We arrived in Naphon, Ko Samui and hopped a "bus" (pick-up truck with seats in the back where you can negotiate prices to various popular spots around the island) to Lamai Beach where we would be staying, on the opposite side of island.
After the busy sightseeing of the previous four countries, we were ready for a few days lounging on the beach, reading Kim Law's Ex on the Beach and drinking Mango Daquiris ...
After some R&R, we snagged a boat out to Angthong National Marine Park where we saw Thale Nai (the Emerald Lake) on Ko Maiko...
The afternoon was spent on another little Ko, where we hiked up for a view of the islands (which was quite an adventure with only flip-flops on our feet and a trail so steep you had to use a rope to pull yourself up at points)...
That night we caught a "bus" over to the much busier area of Chaweng Beach, where we saw fire-dancers performing in the surf - one of whom turned out to be an Australian musician who claimed to be somewhat famous, though we never could figure out who he really was (perhaps he was just putting us on - if you invented a fake persona for yourself on the beach in Thailand, who would you want to be? Rockstar? Spy?)
Our first priority on our second trip to Bangkok was The Grand Palace - oh the opulence! The majesty!
And check out this palace guard who looks about twelve years old:
An afternoon rain shower (read as: sudden torrential downpour) cut our visit a bit short and we jogged through the rain back to our hotel to dry off. That night we wandered over to visit the famous Khao San Road, which really comes alive at night. We got a bucket (yep, you read that right) of (slightly watered down) margaritas, listened to an ear-splittingly loud traditional Thai band, shopped, and munched on some local delicacies (I ate a grasshopper!).
Then it was time to head to Hong Kong!