Day 6: Ko Samui (Motorbikes, cooking class, exploring)
This was our last full day in Ko Samui. After breakfast at the hotel, we went into town to rent a motorbike. Neither of us had really any experience driving one, but they are so common with locals and tourists alike that we figured it can’t be that hard!
After a few minutes of paperwork, 300 THB (which is roughly $10 for 24 hours), we had our motorbike. Miguel took a ride down the street solo and then came back for me. Truly, I’m sure I ruined the experience a bit for him at first. I have never been a fan of motorbikes and, while I am a bit of an adrenaline junky with a lot of things, motorbikes scare me for some reason. However, after nagging him for a bit to slow down and/or be careful…he drove a little better and I relaxed a little more!!
Our first real activity of the day was a cooking class at Pai Cookery. Several friends who had traveled to Thailand had suggested a cooking class. During my research for the trip, I had come across a few blogs that mentioned her cooking class. Coupled with that and some incredible reviews on Trip Advisor, I decided to book a class with her for our trip.
We arrived about 30 minutes early and parked near Superpro Samui (a Muy Thai gym across the street from her). It was neat to see the gym. We had planned on doing some Muy Thai while in Ko Samui, but a bad rope burn that got infected on my leg prevented that.
Pai holds her cooking classes literally in her home. So, the vibe in the area is quite cool as we were in a neighborhood. Upon arriving, Pai greeted us with a smile and some much appreciated water. We had signed up for the yellow curry course and the Massaman course. I chose to do the yellow curry course as I am forever trying to make a good yellow chicken curry and Miguel did the Massaman course (turns out…he is a good cook).
The first thing we did is cut everything up to make the curry paste. While curry doesn’t seem to be too difficult (I say that because we made delicious curry, but Pai was there with us the whole time!), it is a labor of love! Making it fresh like that not only requires the proper ingredients (which are not always easy to find) but also cutting it so small that they are like powder!
After cutting and preparing everything, we went outside on her back terrace to cook. Pai guided us through cooking several dishes. It was a really great experience and Pai even took pictures for us when she wasn’t busy getting things for us or making sure we didn’t burn anything!
After everything was cooked, it was time to eat. We couldn’t possibly eat everything we cooked…but we sure tried! Miguel commented that it was pretty amazing that two people who really don’t know how to cook anything like this can actually cook something pretty delicious!
Well, it was time to say goodbye to Pai. She gave us the recipe books of what we cooked and then we were off.
We hopped on the motorbike and started some exploring adventures! We basically took the main road until we turned off to go to Big Buddha, a temple with a massive Buddha that you can see from around the island depending on how high you are. It was pretty cool, although it’s not necessary to spend more than 10 or 15 minutes there. After that, we went in search of a good beach.
As it’s an island, there are plenty of beaches (although, there is a good amount of rocky coastline as well and what beaches there are, are narrow). We pulled off in a few places in deserted beaches, but they didn’t beckon us to stop. We eventually pulled off in a place that we thought might be an area with a sand bar that we could see from our hotel. We parked our motorbike and walked through Olivio, a restaurant within a resort. The beach was stunning. The water was varying shades of blue with the depth…a nice light blue close in where it’s shallow and sandy, then a little darker and then light again on the sand bar and then the deeper blue as you go a little farther out… We put down our things and went out into the water to enjoy. The water temperature was akin to a hot tub…which I of course loved and Miguel thought was way too hot!
After a while, we decided to head back. When we returned to the villas, there was a birthday party going on for the owner’s son (2 years old). The owner is an expat from the states who is now married to a Thai woman. He was really nice, welcoming us, offering a beer and food and enjoy. We sat by the pool for a while during the party. It was nice to just relax and also to enjoy a family type atmosphere.
A little later, we decided to try out the restaurant at our hotel (we’re not really into the party scene). We split Chicken satay and a plate of Red Snapper with kale. It was a nice, light meal and really delicious. Neither of us our so used to such a heavy load of carbs with each meal, but it is actually really difficult to find a better mix of carbs with proteins (as Miguel pointed out, if you are traveling here, it might be a good idea to add some whey protein to your packing list).