Sometimes you know better, you really do, and you do something stupid anyway….One of those experiences kind of put a crimp on our visit to Ko Samui (sometimes spelled Koh Samui). We had stopped into a bar called Surf House over and over on our daily morning walks in Phuket (for soft drinks, I promise) and watched young and old give flowboarding a try. Wikipedia says flowboarding is an “alternative boardsport incorporating elements of surfing, bodyboarding, skateboarding, skinboarding, snowboarding, and wakeboarding.” I say it is like surfing an artificial wave in a bounce house while at a bar.
After much prodding on my part, Robert tried the flowboarding on our last day in Phuket. And, he was pretty good at it. And, he had a blast. Until he took a tumble. And, landed right on his shoulder and nearly passed out from the pain. For a bit, he actually thought he might have separated his shoulder. So, that kind of put the kibosh on our plans to rent a scooter for the whole week in Samui. (Robert swears he wouldn’t have hurt himself if only he had some beer before trying it out instead of being mature and sticking to iced coffee….I swear I would have tried it if only I didn’t wear contacts….).
We made the best of our time in Samui nonetheless. Our hotel had a great pool right on the ocean, and we spent hours there almost every day. We ate some amazing Thai food (including some from a lady who would park her boat on the beach and sell things like grilled corn, grilled chicken, and fried spring rolls). We found a pub to watch the Premiere League. We ate some of the best Italian we have ever had. We shopped the night markets (I got my first ever pair of atrociously ugly fisherman’s pants for our upcoming visit to Angkor Wat) and walked along the beach.
And, when Robert’s shoulder healed, he went diving twice (once at Koh Tao and once at Sail Rock) and we went snorkeling once (at Koh Tao). The sea life here is almost enough to make me take up diving. Yeah, not!
While diving, Robert saw several moray eels. Most kept themselves hidden under the rocks (like the spotted ray and porcupine fish he also managed to see but not photograph), but this guy popped up to see what was going on. How cool is that?
Robert also saw several banded sea kraits. I’ve always heard that: (1) their bite would pretty much surely kill you; and (2) they have such a small mouth they are unable to bite humans. However, in doing some research for this post, it looks like neither of those things is true — they definitely can bite (but are pretty docile so rarely do) and their bite is not necessarily fatal because they don’t always release venom. Thankfully, we didn’t see any of the banded sea kraits while snorkeling (although I’ve seen them on prior snorkel adventures in Thailand).
We both got to see bright yellow butterfly fish. These guys are so bright and pretty, and they tend to be friendly and curious.
Robert saw several yellow box fish. These guys are so cool — they are actually shaped like a box.
He also saw some huge grouper. While it is hard to tell from this photo, they were about 2/3’s his size.
Neither one of us can remember the name of this guy. Maybe a wrasse of some sort?
Or this one. It is a ruffled something or other, and we both got to see one. Apparently, it is pretty rare.
There are tons of parrot fish around. Some of them are the prettiest shade of lavender you will ever see.
Robert managed to spot a six banded angelfish. This one is also apparently pretty rare.
I’ve always thought of these as angel fish, but they are actually banner fish. They were everywhere.
Sadly, we didn’t get a good picture of the numerous trigger fish even though one followed us while snorkeling and one got a bit aggressive and bit at the fins of Robert’s dive guide. Also sadly, didn’t see a whale shark or a turtle You know what that means? I guess we have to come back to Samui someday…..
(We did all of our dive/snorkel trips with The Dive Academy (https://www.thediveacademysamui.com/) and would definitely recommend them (and their massaman curry for lunch). But take your seasickness pills because the seas get rough!)