About This Blog

Memories of my travels between 1972 and 1982

Thursday, 9 September 2010

September 9th: Ko Samui

On September 9th 1981 I was on Chaweng Beach, Ko Samui.

It's hard to extract memories of a fortnight spent on Chaweng beach from thoughts about change and exploitation. Of course 30 years ago Chaweng was relatively "unspoilt", but it was still a beach resort, and Europeans, like me, came for a holiday on the beach. There were a handful of people staying at our set of bungalows (Long Beach Bungalows) and it was a good stroll to the next set, and maybe a ten minute walk to the central part of Chaweng. Our bit of the beach seemed deserted. There were no hotels on the beach, but the central part was beginning to solidify into development. Many of the owners of properties were planning developments and thinking of how the place might change... roads, hotels, an airport. Many of the tourists were on short breaks from Europe, and there were a few Western men passing through with Thai girlfriends. Of course road veterans looked down upon Ko Samui at this point, but it was fine for me.

We spent a week sunbathing and swimming and eating in our restaurant before thinking that we might go further. We tried other restaurants and they didn't offer anything better or worse. We doubled up with neighbours for trips to the harbour to get fresh fruit, like mangosteens, lichees and a durian.

Finally we went for a walk to Big Buddha and from there tried to find a coastal route back.  From my journal - 9th September, the only entry for Ko Samui.
Buddha beach was disappointing as they're building a highway, but we found a back way there which involved crossing a hill with Mediterranean views and a bushy-tailed squirrel. We walked north on to the peninsula, sat on a shallow shady beach and decided to try to walk back down the coast. The rocks were lovely, and there was some good swimming in between, particularly the first deserted little cove we found. It was a hot day and we had no water until we found a mine caretaker who gave us hot water and directed us back to Big Buddha.

We had merely walked around a headland and still had the journey back to do.

Chaweng Beach 1980 (My picture)

I think the route of this peaceful walk passes near what is now Ko Samui International Airport.

There are pictures and description by Sanuk from 1981:  here 
View from our bungalow (My picture)

No comments:

Post a Comment