Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Various levels of modesty on Koh Samui beaches

Sitting on the beach in Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s most beautiful and touristy islands, is quite a sight for two Americans like us from the rural Midwest. Jake is wearing his usual swim trunks, and they cover much more skin -- by far -- than any other dude on this beach. Speedos are the norm and no one is shy about it.

As I write this, there’s a European family next to us who's getting ready to go back to their room apparently, and their 9ish-year-old boy has been changing into dry clothes. He’s been standing there naked about five feet away from me for several minutes now, and it’s making me a bit uncomfortable. I guess some folks are just more open about their bodies.

And there are some beautiful slender women around here wearing thong bikinis, including the one who chose a spot right in front of us. I swear her sunglasses offer more coverage than her togs (NZ word for swimsuit). She has spent most of her time this morning bending over her beach chair organizing her belongings. Jake is doing a very noble job of keeping his nose in his book, and I’m probably the one who’s doing all the staring. Please lady, will you sit down already? Sorry fellas, I didn't take her photo.

It’s low season for tourists and especially with all the civil unrest in Bangkok this beach is nowhere near crowded. There’s lots of people but plenty of room to accommodate us all. Instead of the fast food stands and souvenirs shops I’d expect near any American tourist spot, (we haven’t seen any after two days here at the resort), we see several locals who walk back and forth along the beach hauling armfuls of everything from jewelry, t-shirts, scarves and fabric, hats, ice cream and fireworks, which are illegal here although we’ve seen them go off each night.

And of course there are plenty of spots to get a massage, and we've each had a few already. They are amazing, and amazingly more affordable than anywhere else I've seen. Around 250 Baht (which is about $10 NZD or $7 USD), you can get an hour-long massage right there on the beach.

The beaches are beautiful and the water is clear and shallow, which means it’s the hottest ocean water I’ve ever been in. Thank goodness for the pina coladas and other cold beverages that are never far away and do a good job of cooling us down.


1 comment:

Dave said...

I was gonna complain that you didn't include at least one pic of a scantly clad woman....but then I realized you would have felt compeld to include a dude in a speedo and it would have just ruined it. The place looks awesome.