I See A Red Moon Rising

Samui 39As the clouds drift apart to reveal a ruby grapefruit moon hanging just above the horizon, I pull my knees into my chest and wrap my shawl a little tighter around my shoulders. There is a fresh wind blowing over my high perch somewhere between Chaweng and Lamai Beach on Koh Samui. I watch the moon glide through a kaleidoscope of colours, slowly fading from red to orange to yellow to a silvery white that remains like a protective cloak for the rest of its journey across the night sky. It is a fitting farewell gift from Mother Nature as I say goodbye to this enchanting island.

It is a place that has lived up well to the image I hold of what an island should be: waving coconut palm trees and white sandy beaches with lush tropical vegetation covering mountains that tower against a bright blue sky. With it also came cooling breezes, grey skies, and the occasional downpour that refreshed my rain-starved soul. It is an island that caters for every traveller or holidaymaker imaginable. You can stay in a beach hut or a 5 star resort, eat at a beach shack or trendy restaurant, but whatever your taste or budget, the scenery and people will charm you just the same. Whether you get a thrill from zip-lining, hiking, elephant trekking, shopping or just lazing on the beach, Koh Samui has something just for you.

Like a waiter, ready to please, it will hand you a menu and eagerly await your choice. Some experiences may leave you exhilarated and pleased, others could well fail to live up to your expectations, and although your wallet will definitely be a little lighter, you will never leave unsatisfied. Wherever we travel we create an experience that either satisfies, surprises, or disappoints. It is what you make of it, after all, but Koh Samui is an easy place to be a traveller. All you need to do is show up and revel in what it has to offer, but remember to keep Phil Cousineau’s words in mind:

“. . . we may log impressive miles in our travels but see nothing; we may follow all the advice in the travel magazines and still feel little enthusiasm.”

* Renting a scooter is a fantastic way to explore the island as it gives you the ability to discover beaches, waterfalls and mountain roads without the throngs of tourists that lie and sizzle row upon row on the beaches of Lamai and Chaweng.

** My two most memorable days on the island were spent hiking with Laurence, a French expat who lives here with her family. There are various hikes on offer that range from easy to strenuous and is a fantastic way of experiencing the beauty of the island, that could otherwise easily be overlooked. The mountain sides burst with verdant abundance, providing an umbrella of shade when exertion heats up the day. Fruit trees grow everywhere, and coconut palms tower into the sky, while butterflies of all sizes and colours dart amongst flowers, cheerfully avoiding being captured on film.