December 19 – 27, 2014
We had always planned to spend our Christmas on a nice beach with the warm sun shining down on us and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Just where that beach was didn’t really matter to us. We looked at the beaches of Thailand and even Vietnam, but by the time we actually got around to booking anything the decision had almost made itself. Accommodations and transportation had skyrocketed and now were out of our budget. We finally found a good deal on travel and accommodation in Koh Samui, Thailand so we quickly booked it. We were spending Christmas on the island of Koh Samui and we were pumped.
What we didn’t know at the time was that AirAsia does not land on the island, but it arranges bus and ferry transportation that is included with the price of the flight. How bad could this be? Well, it was a very long and gruelling day. Our day played out like this: by taxi from the hostel to the airport was about a 45 minutes, the flight was 1 hour, then there was a 1 ½ hour bus ride to Surat Thani, followed by an 1 ½ hour ferry ride to the island. Once to the island it took another 40 minutes by minivan taxi to get to our villa. All together we spent over 5 1/2 hours in transit and another 3 hours waiting in between our different modes of transportation. By the time we arrived at our villa we were exhausted, it was very dark (adding to our sense of tiredness) and we were hungry. In retrospect I wished we would have paid for the higher priced flight and arrived on the island, it would have saved us a whole day of travel. Something to remember, if we ever go back I guess.
We booked into the Verinda Resort, with an amazing view to the sea. It reminded me of a Swiss Family Robinson place in the jungle. Wooden plank walkways, lots of jungle greenery, quirky art décor, knickknacks, statues and other garden items. Our place was a two bedroom villa with a kitchen. It was a perfect oasis.
Spending Christmas away from family and friends was yet another first for us. We did not have any school Christmas shows to attend, or Christmas music recitals to go to, or hours spent scouring the malls the just the perfect gift, or Christmas cards to send out, or Christmas baking to do. Instead we went for walks on the beach, listened to Christmas music on the iPad, and made Christmas decorations. A more simplified Christmas of just being together.
This Christmas was about spending time together. This year someone else made the Christmas meal, maybe it wasn’t turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, but it was on the beach listening to the waves roll in. This Christmas the kids got to play on the beach chasing the waves. This Christmas instead of lighting a candle we sent up a Chinese lantern into the night sky filled with our Christmas wishes. This Christmas was snuggling on the bed watching a Christmas movie we bought at the store. This Christmas was about spending time with new friends. This Christmas Santa and his elf found us on Koh Samui. This Christmas was perfect.
As much as we missed everyone back home, we enjoyed our Christmas just the way it was. I would definitely go away at Christmas time again.