Three Ladies, myself and two friends, arrived at San Francisco International Airport at 11pm Sunday, April 25. The China Airlines flight departed at 1:35am Monday morning. The 13 hour flight took us to Taipei, Taiwan airport, where we had a 3 hour 40 minute layover. China Airlines then took us to Bangkok, Thailand, where we landed at about 11am Tuesday morning, local time (9pm Monday night in the US). The flight costed $846 each. China Airlines is great, although I recommend bringing your own snacks, as the food is quite mysterious. I also recommend drinking beer, the white wine was not worth sampling; but if wine is your thing the red seemed popular amongst other flyers. In comparison to my international flight to the Philippine Islands, I would have to say that I rate Delta International the best still, based on the quality of the food, booze and service.
Our time in Bangkok was short, we did not even leave the airport. Given the current political setting, we were thankful of this. We had less than two hours to get our luggage, be waved through customs (he literally waved us through while he spoke on the phone), check in for our next flight, get through security and onto the next plane. The flight from Bangkok costed us each $130 -ish and took us to Koh Samui. The Bangkok Airway’s plane was small and very colorful. The flight was a bit rough, especially the landing, and our food consisted of tolerable sandwiches. Alcohol was cheap but not included. In comparison to our Philippine Airlines flight in January, I would rate Philippine Airline higher. Beer and wine were included on the Philippine Airline flight, the food was questionable, but the service and flight were good. Philippine Airline gets a better rating based on alcohol being included and a smoother take-off/landing.
We arrived in Koh Samui at about 3pm. It had been misting a bit in Bangkok when we departed, but when we walked onto the Island it was really raining. Seems that Asia likes to greet me with rain (as it was raining in Cebu when I arrived in the Philippines as well four months ago). Koh Samui is an Island in the Southern Gulf of Thailand. It has an airport, so we flew there and then took a boat to Koh Phangan, our first destination. At the airport, we were able to purchase a shuttle and boat ticket for about 600 Thai Baht each. The exchange rate now is approximately 30 baht/1 us dollar. No longer raining, the boat arrived at 4pm and we were in Koh Phangan by 5pm. On the boat we met “Dude”, a young man our age from Northern Lake Tahoe as well…small universe. I also met a man from New York who had been to 40 countries and counties so far.
Once off the ferry, we took a taxi (similar to a Philippine Jeepney, but a taxi nonetheless) -these cost 100 baht/person, to Milky Bay Resort. During the Full Moon Party there is a minimum requirement of four nights at many hotels, and it is difficult to book. We booked through Hostelworld.com about three weeks out. When I was not having luck booking a room, a friend who had previously traveled Thailand recommended this site, and I’m glad we used it. Many of the resorts in Haad Rin, where the party is, were booked already. So Milky Bay Resort became our home for the next four nights. This costed $320 total, breakfast included. Well worth the money. The rooms were clean, with internet access having web-cams, a pool and a nice clean beach literally steps from our room. We swam in the ocean, then the pool, then when hunger struck ate bbq at the resort. For 150 baht we each had a skewer and corn on the cob for dinner. The chicken skewers looked great, but the shrimp skeweres came with shell, legs, eyeballs and all. Not something I will get again, but if you can handle all the work it tastes quite good. Once full from dinner we retired to our room. With the Full Moon Party scheduled for the next day, we needed to rest up.