4 April 2012, Gail’s trip log

Another incredible day – in Koh Samui, Thailand. This resort island is in very beautiful green water – the main industry of it is coconuts – several million trees all over – mostly harvested by trained monkeys [pig tailed Macaques, about 2 feet tall]. After riding to shore in a huge (non-Princess) tender, we got on the bus and rode to our first stop – a coconut plantation to watch the monkeys. It rained a little during that stop, but was sunny – though very hot and humid the rest of the day. Back on the bus, the next stop was to see the Big Buddha – not as huge and ornate as the ones we saw in Bangkok – but complex was less crowded and more interesting in lots of ways. There were a number of monks there sitting around – Dan commented that one of them had an earpiece and was talking on his cell phone. There were vendors around selling various things, but I got a bug bite in the bathroom and it was hot and humid, so I just went back to the air conditioned bus a little early. Next stop was the temple, with several different kinds of buddhas. The guide explained that the first stop had been a place of meditation, but the second one had been a temple. I think he explained the difference, but we didn’t hear – will have to look it up later. He did explain why there are several different forms of buddhas. Anyway, Dan got lots of good pictures. Back on the bus to our next stop – a very posh restaurant on the water – a Thai buffet with a huge array of foods and wonderful fresh papaya and other fruits. Dan ran across to a pharmacy and picked up a bottle of “Tylenol”. Lots of medical stuff around the island – the guide explained that many stars and very rich people come here for plastic surgery because the Samui people just let them alone – seems to be a booming cottage industry – along with tourism. The last stop was a beach area with a shopping opportunity – but we found a Starbucks and spent our hour sitting in the cool and drinking iced latte and eating fresh coconut cake made with local coconut – awesome! We had the ship’s video guy on the tour with us – may have to break down and order it tomorrow (last day) We were on the last tender back. Quick dip in the pool, early dinner and we will probably crash pretty soon. Last sea day of this leg tomorrow.

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