Today l woke up to a thunderstorm and throughout the night it had just rained almost non-stop. Outside everything was so wet; water was flowing whenever it could and there was nowhere you could go and not get wet.
Today I was feeling a bit exhausted after yesterday and I thought it would be a good day to do some more reading and to get my blogs up to date. But first breakfast and yes today I broke with my usual breaky order and ordered French toast, banana and honey plus a glass of yoghurt, muesli and mixed fruit.
That was the beginning of my day and it continued in a similar vein – eating, reading, coffee, Crosswords, shake, Sudoku, eating and blogging.
With so much rain and stormy shorelines, there weren’t many people popping into the restaurant and the place was very quiet until finally the rain stopped long enough for people to feel confident to start walking about.
After a while Sue came to By Beach and we got chatting. Apparently they were all heading do Bophut, to the Fisherman’s Village markets. Sue was confident that the weather would hold out so I decided I would organise a taxi for myself and also go!
First I wanted to finish my blog and have another taste of the fried bananas. Who would have thought they could taste so good! But this time they were served with honey. I never realised how good banana and honey were together!
The drive into Bophut usually took about 15 minutes but tonight I was in the taxi for nearly an hour! I have never seen the road so busy; mind you I had actually not ventured out in Koh Samui at night either. Thankfully, my fee was a set fee of 400 baht regardless of how long it took.
Arriving at the markets it was clearly an extremely busy place so I took off in the general direction trying to skirt past the crowds so that I could purvey my surroundings before setting off properly. In the process I walked through this part that looked like an abandoned mall. As I came out the other side, I spotted a shop with the most magnificent materials and beading. The initial piece that caught my eye was 5000 baht (197 AUD). Yes, the stones were beautiful but I was not spending that much – especially not at the beginning of the night! That said, if you had the money, this would be the place to get yourself something very special.
As I kept walking, my senses were bombarded with loud music from the many restaurants and eating places. A cacophony of geese was more appealing! That said, again it started to rain and I briefly regretted not bring the umbrella Koi from the office at By Beach had offered me. The rain did not last long, but I was extremely grateful that I had elected to wear my sneakers and sports socks; there were puddles everywhere. Really it was just massive amounts of water lining the streets; so much so that I ended up just walking through and not worrying about how wet my feet were.
The shops at these markets were absolutely beautiful and the Indian man who’s shop was similar to the one I have just described, was somewhat more affordable but I still declined to make a purchase. After that I mainly focused on the stalls and they were just a visual buffet of amazing! Jade, pearls, trinkets, bags, cosmetics, clothes, mobile covers, sunglasses, watches, headphones and speakers, jewelry, scarfs, linen, material – it was incredible. The bartering was fierce and if you were luck enough to be a first purchase, then you could get a great deal. That said, there was a limit and sometimes I saw people calculating their profit margin if they accepted the price. This made me realise that while it is great to barter, it also needs to be conducted in respect for the seller as this is their livelihood and there is no minimum wage akin to what we receive in Australia supporting their everyday expenses.
The food along the streets was also amazing and I did enjoy eating some chicken kebabs of different marinades for only 20 baht each (less than $1). One novelty I did notice was that you could buy and drink cocktails while walking around the markets, like you would purchase soft drinks. I did not realise how accustomed I had become to the non-drinking of alcohol in public places. I also spotted a fabulous way of doing eggs – quail eggs no less!
But no, I did not try them as by this stage I finally had the opportunity to try the ‘rolled ice-cream’. The process fascinated me, as you can tell and I did enjoy eating the ice-cream, although it was slightly icy!
Again, once the shopping was finished I went to find a taxi. As I approached the entrance to the markets, the traffic was still hectic and there where ‘lollipop’ traffic guys working hard to create space for cars to move into the traffic and for people to cross the road. Again, I took a taxi home and noted that the ride back for the driver was going to be horrendous as traffic conditions had not subsided. So after paying him the 400 baht, I gave him an extra 20 baht just to say thank you. I do hope he got to keep that for himself! It really was a lovely way to end the day after such a long day of doing very little.