Got a text a few days before asking if I wanted to go on holiday for a few days.
Thought about it for a while then got hold of Mia and the business of trying to find flights and hotel rooms began!

The first choice was Bali but the flights were too expensive, then we looked at Kota kintabalu in Malaysia but it didn't look that great. No flights available to the Philippines so we ended up choosing Thailand. the only problem here was Mia needed a visa and luckily she was able to dash down to the visa office and get her passport stamped the day before we left. Hotels were a problem as it was a Buddhist holiday in Thailand so everywhere was booked out. Ended up down the coast from Koh Samet in a hotel called The Ruen Thai Rim Haad Resort In Bangkok to save time we got a taxi all the way there which was fine until we got to Rayong on the coast as the driver was fast! However we weren't staying in Rayong and the driver didn't know or understand the place we wanted to go. He ended up taking us to the tourist police in Bang Phe which is the jetty for boats to Samet.
The friendly plod pointed us in the right direction and soon we were checking into a place 50 yards from the sea but miles away from anything else. Luckily the woman in charge spoke English because no one else did. There were few other guests, an Italian woman out to relax and an English lad with his Thai girlfriend....The taxi left happy as I had to pay extra for his detour...
We arrived just in time for a thunderstorm so passed the time sitting in the open air dining room drinking Beer Chang and munching on some Pak Thai. After a couple of hours of this we asked what else was in the area and were told..."nothing". Decided to take a taxi into Bang Phe to see what excitement was to be had there. We were more than 10km away and the taxi was 600baht round trip....not a bargain! Anyway we found a little bar and whiled away the time eating, drinking not so tasty cocktails and watching the local expats chatting to the local bargirls! I had booked two night at the hotel and seeing as there wasn't that much to do(Mia refused to go in the water as it was the "wrong" colour!) we got time to explore the garden. There were lots of strange flowers and also a collection of chickens and a shaven dog who looked like the best years of his life had already passed!
Here is the dining room where we spent quite a few hours eating, drinking and watching the rain!!
From the beach we could see various small islands but it became clear that the one we had to get to was Samet. Mia is from Hualien, near the sea and where we were was no better than there. We could see Samet in the distance so, after our two days were up we headed off to spend one night on the island with white sandy beaches and proper blue water....
We got a bemo type taxi to take us to the port in Bang-Phe..Mia had never seen one of these before!
Raced over in a motor boat which left Mia feeling a bit groggy so I parked her in a restaurant and went to search for some accommodation. Some of the places were pretty grim looking but a bit further down the beach I found "Tok's" guest house which was quite well designed for a basic homestay.
The beach was perfect and so was the weather! A happy Mia meant a happy Mark so all was good. Of course now there was the regret that we hadn't come here from the beginning!
In the first hotel I couldn't get Mia into the water but on Samet I couldn't get her out!! Here is the water baby swimming around.
Posing with her new swimsuit, Mia wouldn't wear the old one because it was "too small" I would have been interested to have seen "how small!!"
There were a lot of restaurants with huge menu's and like Indonesia the Thai food was quite cheap but anything foreign was well expensive. Still I couldn't resist having an Indian...
The Island is supposed to be a national park and indeed we were charged to 200bht on arrival by guys in uniform. It has to be the biggest scam going. The Island is more and more developed each time I visit. There is now a main strip than crosses the island and is full of bars, shops and restaurants.....What national park???
In the evening we walked along looking for a place to eat...lots of people just chilling taking in the view
The view from our Homestay restaurant. We had to cross a muddy road and climb a small hill to get to our guesthouse.
The next day meant getting up early to take some breakfast and go for a swim before packing and waiting for the boat to take us back to the mainland. The driver going back to Bangkok averaged about 140kmh so needless to say it take that long...A few hair raising moments but we made it to the True Siam Hotel unscathed! That night we went round the Arab part of Sukhamvit which was incredibly crowded. Didn't get to buy anything and Mia didn't get her massage so she wasn't best pleased.


The full four days exploits

If you can't watch the embedded video, click here

Obviously four days wasn't really long enough and it was all a bit rushed because Samet was fully booked out at first. However, it was a nice break and Mia and I had never taken a flight together before so at least we were finally able to do that!