I don’t know about you, but when I dream of honeymoon I envision ultimate luxury and relaxation and thong bathing suits.

After Bangkok for a few nights, Jamie and I were a little sad to leave. We had gotten familiar with our 6-block radius and we were sad to leave it for this new leg of uncharted adventure.

Several months back we booked this amazing looking two-story villa, complete with personal infinity pool, for our 5-night stay on Koh Samui. We were excited and optimistic, but also a little traveler’s fear crept into our minds. We decided on Koh Samui based on one stranger, an Italian girl we met on a plane this past summer. She seemed to know her Thailand and we picked this island out of her many suggestions.

We had some good vibes about the place as there was an eccentric gentleman who was walking around barefoot through airport security and etc., boarded our plane.

We took the quick hour flight right to the island and landed with a breeze at the tiniest airport I have ever seen.

KOH SAMUI AIRPORT

It wasn’t just about the size of the airport, it was the fact that the azure sea was off in the distance and there were orchids and palm trees growing out of the baggage claim belt up into the open sky. I was amazed, just at the terminal, how beautiful this island was and how friendly everyone was.

Feeling brave, I walked up to the man with no shoes and talked slowly and clearly (with some mime-gestures included) about how I love his shoes. He looked at me and smiled and in perfect English replied “Thanks, so do I.”

Jamie and I walk through the terminal and find our driver who kindly loads all of our belongings and we head off.

Re-reading my Airbnb messages I saw that we couldn’t check into our home for another couple hours.

We weave in and out of scooter traffic on a seemingly one-lane road when our driver asks us where we wanted to go.

Having no idea about this island we just romantically say “take us to a beach where we can drink”. Also worried that this guy is going to just drop us off and take-off with all of our luggage, we keep hopes high and believe him when he says he will take us to a sister company resort.

It all seemed too good to be true. After a quick conversation with our Airbnb host, Dani, he assured us that the driver was going to be back and to just walk into the resort like you own it. I handed the phone back to the driver and pulled my bathing suit from my suitcase and stashed our luggage in the resort lobby.

We bounded off down the pebble stairs and we smile at the sun in the sky, the happy families lounging by the pool, and the sea only a few feet from our toes.

BEACH AT IMPIANA RESORT

We change, we order a drink and jump into the ocean!

It felt amazing. Having grown up by the salty Atlantic, my body felt at home swimming circles around Jamie’s legs with my minty-blue mermaid hair trailing in the water around us.

We wade out of the water and sit down on the resort beach-side sofas and just as we wished for towels in our minds, two resort attendants bow with towels for us. We wrap ourselves in the soft chocolate colored towels and sip our Chang and Singahs, completely satisfied with the first two hours of our island honeymoon. With still some time to spare before we could enter our home, we decided to get 90-minute massages together.

With each of us paying a whopping $30 each, we could not resist the lunchtime deal the hostess mentioned. As we wait for our room to be ready, the ladies brewed us rose-hop tea and had us choose our preferred body oil scents from whimsical glass jars.

They show us to our room where we are instructed to take showers, put on these hilarious mesh panties (that actually accentuate EVERYTHING) and then knock on the door when we are ready.

We lay face down, with a beautiful bowl of water and happy orchid smiling back up at us we both drift off to sleep.

I have had many, many massages in my time from working at BlissBlissBliss for years, and I have experienced some amazing sessions, but these girls… oh man!

Not only were they both ageless grandmothers, but their touch was perfect and the oils were warm and soothing. I passed out almost immediately and only woke up when my massage therapist told me it was time to turn over.

We hear sounds of water running, assuming it was a person showering in the room next to us, we paid it no mind. Both Jamie and I independently thought that whoever this person was, they must love showers. They went on and on for the remainder of the session. It wasn’t until the ageless women left the room did we peel back our curtains to witness the last day of monsoon season on Koh Samui.

I had never seen rain quite like this before. I have flown kites in hurricanes and survived many a rainy season in West Virginia, but the rain came down in buckets and pails and there seemed to be no end in sight.

Jamie and I, being the happy people we are, are not distraught by the pails of rain. We look at each other hungrily and are happy that we have to stay inside and love up-on each other for possibly the remainder of the trip.

Perfectly timed, we exit our message after some more hot tea and our driver is ready to take us to our home.

Despite the beautiful pictures of our Airbnb place, we did not imagine that it was at the top of mountainous jungle, with roads that go straight up into the sky. Apparently, the Thai have never heard of switch-backs.

It was a mix of jungle, poverty, glamour, and luxury and trash. It was awesome.

OUR AIRBNB STAY

We finally arrive and meet our German host, Dani.

He and his wife give us the obvious tour of the place; bathroom here, the kitchen here, the bed here, pool, etc.

Jamie and I asked him about how to navigate the island. Do we get scooters, or have his driver take us, or do we get a car?

Dani must have been a Gemini as every response he had was like a coin, two sides to every story.

He recommended a car, but said it should have been booked by the airport as it was a safe and scam-free rental. He recommended scooters, and how much fun they are; how scooters were also very dangerous and to be on the lookout for mudslides, snakes, dogs and trucks that will run you over. He suggested having Cha, our driver, take us around, but then it would be 400 Baht each way.

Jamie and I stood eye blinking, completely perplexed at his suggestions, so then I ask, “how about weed?”

He immediately got serious and was very clear about the illegality of marijuana and the undercover cops who will arrest you. These cops are also corrupted and would detain you until you paid one million Baht. Then Dani’s sweet Thai wife chimes in with, “or you could go to the Full Moon party or Rock Bar and there’s all the drugs you could want there and nobody cares”. Dani nodded in agreement and again said, “yes, there are endless drugs there if you want them, let me book you a boat ride!”

After the tour and flip-flop suggestions, Jamie and I immerse ourselves in our rosepetal-filled bathtub. It was like a dream come true. We relax in the warm water and watch the mists of the rain fill our house. I massage and crush rose petals all over his chest and legs as we sip on our Glenfiddich, both of us thinking “this is the life”.

With monkeys hooting off in the distance, and the rain slowly settling down, Jamie and I venture out and decided to check out a Thai food place just down the hill from our house.

Walking through the rain Jamie and I enter this seemingly empty building, which we thought was a restaurant. We see no sign of life, other than the stray dogs eyeing us up, but us being us, we walk up the concrete stairs to a balcony. We spy some people lounging on a terrace connected by a footpath, so we go and tap on the man’s shoulder.

Huddled under a blanket, our waiter is startled at our sudden arrival and quickly gets up and gestures for us to sit right where he was just napping. He takes our wet raincoats and then swaps his blanket to me so I could be warm. So sweet!

Jamie and I have our first island meal; I chose beef with black pepper sauce and Jamie ventured another green curry and we both shared chicken satay.

Drinking our Chang and whiskey, we soak in the misty views from our jungle mountain. I can’t remember the conversation verbatim, but I recall lots of loving touches on the hand and dozens of “I love you”.

FIRST KOH SAMUI DOG

This meal was one that stuck out in my mind. Not just because we had an adorable old chocolate lab drooling over our every bite, but because of the fresh peppercorns that smothered my beef. I had never seen a fresh peppercorn before and was delighted at the soft and spicy flavor they provided. I was surprised that they were not very spicy, despite the fact I was gobbling up dozens of these precious green pearls with every bite.

Lucky for Jamie, his green curry was edible and not even close to the spice level that our Bangkok curry was. He had these curious small halved-balls of some kind of vegetable in his dish which later we found out were young green eggplant.

After lunch, Jamie and I explore this cute tower that we could see from our rental house.  We ooh and ahh at the amazing post-rainfall views of the jungle and sea stretched out before us. We hold each other tight and express how lucky we are to be here. We make a pact for the rest of our lives together that we will love and adore each other, that we will slow down and take time to love each other and appreciate the strong and beautiful life we are going to build together.

ME BEING AWESOME.

Walking off our beers and food, we sneak behind a deserted resort and make it to the beach. We stroll along for quite a while until we stumble upon one of the resort’s Spirit House. We peed behind a bush and then scrambled away.

We had decided to explore a bar called The Jungle Club. It was in the same neighborhood as our villa, and Google-Maps eye view, it did not seem very far. We start to walk up the hill, which started to turn into a mild hike, which did turn into a mountainous climb. Jamie and I were practically crawling like a Samui Dogs the hill was so steep. To make the whole jungle climb even more dramatic, I had cut my pinky toe on the curb walking in the dark a while back and now my entire foot was soaked with blood.

We finally crawl up to the entrance of this resort/ bar and feeling underdressed, drenched in sweat and blood and hysteria, we head in. The ever helpful Thai staff was imediatley upon us, asking if we wanted to sit. We cry “YES!” and the I try to mime my way through “I need a bandaid” and the waiter bowed and disappeared.

I head to the bathroom to improve the blood-soaked Chacos and wash my feet. Lucky for me all Thai toilets have a small hose and shower nozzel attached to them. I showered my feet and re-emerged onto the deck feeling fabulous.

Sometimes, sitting in a plush bamboo chair is just what you need after a grueling stroll to a bar, I was thankful for those red pillows upon my bottom.

JUNGLE CLUB NIGHTTIME VIEW

Day 2 really starts at midnight.

Jamie and I (always so romantic) slept with all the doors and windows open so the tropical ocean breeze could sway us to bed. There were some great breezes that night, and also some things that we did not know would blow in with the wind.

We woke up at 3 am to a voice. It was calling, it was calling us. The voice didn’t want to startle us and was softly cooing “hello, hello”. Completley naked, and totally freaked out, Jamie struggles to get his shorts on while I follow behind with my lace robe (the robe was more of a gesture, but it does not actually cover anything). Jamie and I, wide-eyed, stare at each other and wonder who is going to go downstairs first to respond to the ever raising volume of the voice.

We wind down the spiral staircase, hoping our foot doesn’t slip, which would send us to another demise, one step at a time until we are both in the foyer to the downstairs bedroom.

We do a quick disco-light-show trying to figure out which switch controls what, and enter the room from which the voice came….. only to find it empty.

We searched for people running away, someone under the bed, in the bathroom? Nothing.

We decided the worst was in our minds and we proceeded to close the doors and windows that night, and for the rest of the stay there, just so we would feel secure and safe.

Upon morning, after all middle of the night hallucinations were over, I knew that there was no old crone cooing “hello” in our house last night. It must have been the wiles of nature. Sure enough after a quick search and youtoube vidoe, we heard the voice bellow out of my phone speaker.

It was just a geko… a Tokay Geko Lizard.

We laughed at ourselves and got ready for the day.

We had decided to rent scooters afterall, figuring the risk was well worth it. We did our best to avoid said snakes and mudslides. The use of our scooter allowed for more fun and fast!

OUR SICK HELMETS ON OUR SCOOTER

Our host, Dani, recommended some small beaches and a few bars that would be good to explore, so we grabbed our fashionable helmets and set off to Lami Beach.

Coral cove was our destination… the hope of white sandy beaches and beers.

We quickly find the beach and sigh in relief to see there’s a beach bar included. We feel right at home with the speedo-laden males and teeny-bikini older ladies. I try to convince Jamie that he too should invest in some speedo… everyone is doing it.

We had learned the Thai word “sabaai” the night before which means to relax, or take your time, or chill. Jamie and I embraced the island way of sabaai and chilled on Coral Beach, soaking in the sun and sipping Chang.

The storm from the day before washed up some treasures, and there were these ultra shiny black objects that kept catching my eye. After being board trying to catch a tan, I reach out to the nearest shiny black treasure and my finger does not grab anything.

Surprised, I look at my hand and find a slick brown oil stain. Slightly embarased for havign to touch everthing, and totally gorssed out I quickly wipe my hand in the sand and inform Jamie of the new discovry.

Jamie chuckles at me and then glares suspiciously all around the beach for more oil blobs.

BEST HELMET EVER

We head out to a more southern part of Lamai, where we got a great picture moment with a giant chinese warrior, and the most chill bar ever. The Rock Bar was heaven on earth. With several porches built into the rocks, short tables so you had to sit on cushions and the ocean behind you. Lapping waves and the sound of reggae coming through the speakers made you feel so relaxed, you might think they put pot in your pad Thai.

Even with the lack of weed, the food was amazing, I had entree envy over Jamie’s peanut pad thai, and I still scarfed down my pepper beef and noodles.

CUTE JAMIE PHOTO #1

We laid back on the warm rocks and let the food and drinks slowly settle into our bodies. Jamie let me play muse and I remained in repose while he sketched.

BEST PAD THAI EVER AT THE ROCK BAR

We wandered down to a secluded cove just on the other side of the Rock Bar where we made out, giggled, and took seductive pictures of me rolling in the sand. Honeymoon checklist getting ticked-off.

Upon the arrival home we were greeted by a new Koh Samui dog who looked like an egyptian sphinx and a dachshund all in one.

We made use of our private infinity pool and sun bathed nude on our patio.

The night markets in Koh Samui is something you don’t want to miss. Growing up with the vibrant european markets, I was a giddy child spying all of the clothes, food, and Thai-made objects. With my bright red lipstick and iridescent shirt Jamie and I scoured around for the best deals on gifts for friends.

One thing that surprised us was the haggling in Thailand is not the same as China or in Europe. The Thai people are proud, and very proud of their products. Some vendors wouldn’t even begin to haggle, and none would come down as far as half price. We still got everything for very cheap, but there was less of haggling margin with them.

WE DID NOT EAT THESE

Jamie had to tame my intense Italian haggling methods and expressed how he would just rather give them money as they are proud, but still poor. We see the need they have for the income, since everything was still a good deal for us, we only haggled a little.

After some baby octopi and fried alligator we decided we were ready for some real food. We headed back down to Lamai area and got a private dinner served on the beach.

We made use of the otherwise unoccupied restaurant by ordering green curry, fried fish, satay, and Chang after Chang until we licked clean our mango tiramisu. Italian style, we took a digestive walk on the beach, running away from encroaching waves and both of us giggling like a happy couple on their romantic honeymoon.

WE DID EAT THIS

We rode our scooter back to the house… the whole way when Jamie would hesitate or go slow I would have a small fit in my head. Sometimes I would emote my frustration of our slow pace verbally too, but lucky for Jamie (and me) my words were half lost in the wind.

Upon safely arriving home I told Jamie that I wanted to drive the scooter tomorrow. I felt confident as the mechanics of this motorized bike were not complicated. I ride a road bicycle at home, and the brakes worked just the same, except this bike didn’t need my thunder thighs to power it.

We slept soundly, and gecko-free and I awoke with the confidence of a male lion. I was going to drive today.

After breakfast Jamie and I went around the corner from our house to a deserted golf course where I could test my skills as a scooter driver. I was doing just fine. I was surprised that it was exactly like my road bike, but balancing two people was something new to me.

We went up hill, down hill, muddy hills, and as I turn left to cross a small bridge I wave one arm out to the local pound fisherman and yell “Sawadee kaaaaa!”

We turn, we cross, and before I can do anything, my front tire is pointed directly towards the thick jungle. I was squeezing my rear brake as hard as I could, avoiding the front brake so we would not endo. The road edge kept coming closer and the jungle started to open its arms, ready to swallow the scooter, me, and Jamie.

At the very last second I squeeze the front brake, at this same moment Jamie attempts to reach forward and squeeze the front brake. Instead, he just punches his hand on the handle, crushes his testicles on my back and we come to a halting stop right at the edge of the paved road. Hardly avoiding being tossed overboard, we stop at look at each other.

I start showering I’m sorry’s, Jamie turns the bike around, I grab hold of his waist as I turn my head away from the fisherman as we pass by in humiliation. I had surrendered the knowledge and power of scooter riding to Jamie for the rest of the trip. I vowed not to complain out loud or in my head if he is driving slow or silly.

CUTE JAMIE PHOTO #2

We drove our trusty scooter north towards Fisherman’s Village, where fun bars and beach bean bags were promised by Dani.

Coco Tams was the suggested stop, so we started the day with a cocktail and mediterranean salad.

AND #3

The thing about Thailand is that everything is beautiful. No matter where you go, there’s an energy of sabaai, respect, pleasing the guest and a healthy amount of pride. Most everyone is super nice to you and it’s always a pleasant exchange. In short, it’s a tropical paradise with amazing fresh flavors and kind people.

We walked up and down the street of Fisherman’s Village, eating oysters and smoking the occasional vacation cigarette.

AND #4

As the evening went on, a night market started to come to life. Booth after booth our eyes scanned around for more gifts, a big duffel to fit all of our gifts in, and soon, the wafts of hot and juicy foods were teasing our noses.

BROWN-BAGGIN’ IT

Just getting started with the shopping, we pit-stop back to the scooter to lighten our load. We we approach our bike the flood of taxi hustlers start shouting “taxi, taxi” when I was up to one loud hustler and with a smile say “your sitting on our bike”.

A moment of mirth is exchanged as he hops off our bike and I ask him of he wanted a taxi ride.

MEAT ON STICKS = AWESOME!

Re-entering the market, this time our eyes and noses are set on food. Jamie’s love of ice cream has us stop at the rolled ice cream stand and we watch and video the sensational practice of rolling the frozen cream.

LEFT TO RIGHT: CHICKEN, PORK, CHICKEN ASS

We we watch two sweet Filipino boys behind us start to comment on the process. We say hello and they offer me a bite of their market food, i decline but then offer a sip of my caipirinha. John says okay and we become fast friends.

We all express that we are going back to Coco Tam’s for a beach beanbag beer so we walk and talk and the plop ourselves on a floppy chair.

No matter where Jamie and I went, we always made a new friend. John and Ray were working as hotel staff in Thailand and sending money back to their family in the Philippines.

COCO TAMS BEACH-FRONT

To Jamie and me, Thailand was cheap, but we learned from John and Ray that it was a richer country than theirs. This truth about money and wealth crossed over all of us, these guys were just a little younger than me, but supporting their family in a big way. I still had issues paying all of my bills with an American salary!

We talked about which island adventure we should take, where to visit and which to avoid due to over tourism and trash.

The next thing I knew Jamie excitedly emoted “I just booked us an island hopping tour for tomorrow!”

Happily confused, I fall in love all over again, this man who is capable of making these fun decisions on his own. It feels like I’m opening a surprise whenever he does things like this.

We cheers with another round of drinks and chat a little longer, sinking deep into the chasm of the beanbag.

We wake up at the crack of dawn ( which is not difficult as the birds and monkeys never stop singing through the night) and we get picked up by the tour bus shuttle at the end of our road.

For a moment it felt like we may have fallen into a trap and for all we knew we would be shuttled off somewhere else. The big van turned a corner where we could see the sign “Koh Samui Tours”. We would not be shuttled into the sex and drug industry today!

Our boat tour was destined for several island stops and the promise of good food and chill time.

Something that stands out when Jamie and I travel is our ability to make a friend anywhere, like kids on a playground. Before we had even arrived at our first stop, we had invented a game of flirtation and jealousy with our tour guides.

THIS WAS MY NEW LOVE

One tour guide joked about he was in love with Jamie (though he has a wife and kids himself) and the older tour guide pretended (who are we kidding, it was real love) that he wanted me and was ready to “fight” Jamie for me.

These guides could see that the two of us had a fun and relaxed nature about ourselves. We had adopted “sabaai” and it was safe to play. Several times I had to fight off Jamie’s new lover so that my husband and I could take romantic boat pictures. Just as Jamie had to keep his eyes open for the opportunity that my new mature lover would try to steal me away on an island.

Our first stop was snorkeling at Koh Wa. Even before I had a chance to grab onto any limestone, the guides told us rock climbing was strictly forbidden. I tried to explain that what I do is rock climbing, but they conveniently forgot how to understand english at this time.

Instead, we followed the other tourists with our snorkel gear into the water. The water wasn’t super clear that day, but jamie and I had a grand time choking on fish-shit and coral debris when we would plunge too deep with our snorkel.

Dump a sicilian in the ocean and she will start to point out all the edible creatures on the sea floor below. I excitedly showed Jamie the spiky sea urchins, the fish, the coral that would hide away when I got close…. I already became hungry and was hoping for lunch soon.

We swam for a good 40 minutes or so and then we all climbed aboard our boat, ready for the next stop. We traveled past Halloween Rock, which was aptly named for its orange color and the haunting skull shape in the stone.

Our second stop was at Koh Mae Koh. This hike brought us to the top of this “hill” which had a freshwater lake at top of the mountain. Being from West Virginia, the steep stairs did not falter Jamie or I and we dusted the rest of the tour goers on our way to the top.

We stopped at Koh Paluay’s Fisherman Village for lunch, finally! We had a simple meal of chicken broth, rice, stir fried veggies and more chicken along with our Chang. The beer buzz directed us to the island inhabitants, who produced beautiful beaded necklaces, bracelets, and other shell-adorned items.

JAMIE’S NEW BOYFRIEND

We wrapped up lunch and of course and I tried to board the boat again, my new mature lover threatened to keep me on the island with him forever as they let Jamie pass right onboard.

Our last stop was On the other side of Koh Paluay on Song Pee Nong beach, where we could actually relax, take out sea kayaks, or tan on the beach.

Jamie and I grabbed a kayak and headed towards some amazing looking rock faces. I desperately wanted to climb, but I did not want to upset my new lover. So I behaved and followed the rules. Instead, I jumped off our kayak to join Jamie in the water while simultaneously smacking him in the face with the hard plastic kayak. I forgot to consider the wake and shake my diving booty would cause the kayak and lucky for me, Jamie only had a slightly bruised nose and missing sunglasses.

Some curse words later, we silently paddled our way back to the island beach.

We arrived to find the French tourists & our Thai guides were engaged in a playfully intense game of volleyball. Some of the men were better with their feet and sported the idea of soccer-volley.

Observing this fun and loose game from the sidelines I decided that perhaps, even a girl could play.

I paced up and down the border of the game, waiting for some old man to croak out so I could take his place. Referring back to my high school gym class days about best techniques and strategies for volleyball, I weighed my odds of being accepted into this game. Along with my skill set, I weighed the odds of my bathing suit (which was actually a leotard-bodysuit) busting open at the crotch when I would make a unladylike-badass move for the ball.

I decided my crotch escape plan would be to bury my pussy in the sand if such an occasion was to arise. I guessed maybe one or two people would see my waxed lady-parts, but that was a risk I was willing to take.

Eventually a portly old man bowed out of the game and I was quick to respond by positioning myself in the middle of the court before anyone else knew what was going on. The men looked and seemed to accept me.

I participated well, and also failed a few times, just as much as anyone else. We got comfortable with the new team set up (also Jamie jumped in, yay!) and we played.

The moment that stands out in my mind was when the ball came down towards me and there was only one option. To spike.

My massive Sicilian-pole vaulting-thighs did not disappoint me that day. I jumped, I got my ups, and a long and fat spike later…. This 5’3” American chick got the point for that round.

Maybe it’s my own perception, but I swear for at least 10 seconds everyone playing just stopped, nodded in approval and awe. My soul was illuminated and pleased with my choice to potentially expose my privates for this moment.

With my luck, my leotard did not bust open, despite the dives into the sand and desperate attempts to save the ball. Jamie and I boarded the boat for our trip home with happy endorphins of success.

FEELIN’ FABULOUS

The boat ride home was brief and soon enough we were back at our house sipping the last of our Glenfiddich. {I’m not sure how to eloquently fit it in, but we also passed a massive gold dick-shrine on the van ride home. This was important for you to know.}

YOU’RE WELCOME.

To seal the last romantic night of our honeymoon on Koh Samui, Jamie and I called in a reservation for 2 at The Heights restaurant at the Silavadee Resort.

Since most of this trip was not a bank breaker, we figured we could splurge one night at one of the most romantic restaurants on the island. We each started with fancy cocktails, appetizers to share followed by the most luscious entrees and just sweet enough dessert.

Neither Jamie or I could remember what we drank or ate that night, but let me tell you… it all went down easy. I really cannot express how amazing and fresh and simple Thai food is. You taste each individual flavor, so well balanced, every spice has its own spotlight on your tongue.

Even when the spicy papaya salad came out, the spice never overpowered the citrus or the fresh flavors of tomato and green beans. I do remember ordering a tiger shrimp dish, and it tasted like a buttery ocean.

Besides the amazing food (did I ever mention they have fried chicken for breakfast?) the culture and the people are top-notch. I have done a fair amount of traveling in my time, and being a blonde, I’ve always had great welcoming experiences. The Thai people and the service industries really put their guests on a pedestal.

It would make no difference if you were eating and staying at five-star restaurants, or grabbing some street food on the corner at 3am, you’ll always have a great experience.

If you’re not sure where to go for your honeymoon, anniversary, or just a quick getaway…. Please consider Thailand, the people will welcome you with open arms and amazing green papaya salad.

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