Feb 15, noon

What a relief. I’m in my new room at the Lamai Inn 99 resort. It’s a quiet collection of bungalows right on the beach, and just a block away from town. It’s much better than the Bill Resort where we stayed last night, and about half the price. That means we can afford to get two rooms. It took me about an hour of walking in and out of places all around town before I found this one. A lot of the places I checked out were pretty dodgy looking. Now I can relax. I think I’ll get my first Thai massage today.

Feb 15, 2pm

Ok. Thai massage is famous for a reason. I went to a place down the street from here that was advertising massage for 100 Baht. They got me to change into a fairly ridiculous pair of pants that was about a size 60 waist. It had a couple of strings on it to close it, and it provided about as much coverage as a hospital gown. Anyway, after a few minutes, I figured out how to put them on, and I was directed to lie down on the mat. For the next hour, I was subjected to the type of treatment that grade four boys perform to torture each other. Leg locks, arm twisting, noogies, Indian rubber burns. At one point, as I lay on my front, I believe she was standing on the backs of my thighs, with my ankles wrapped around her knees, and she was walking up and down my back with the heels of her hands: despite all of the twisting an bending inolved, somehow it was all supremely relaxing. All of the tension from the last two days just disappeared. I could lie down and sleep right now, but now that I’m in a better state of mind, I want to go out and take some photos.

Feb 15, 10:30pm

Isn’t it odd that I can be enjoying Kho Samui now, yet know that I’ll be sick of it in two days? I think that’s the skill I’m developing here: knowing my tolerance for a place. Now that we’re settled into our bungalows here on Lamai Beach, we both kind of like the place.

I spent the afternoon walking the length of the beach with my camera. I had the 70-200mm lens on, and managed to squeeze the 12-24mm and 105mm lenses into my daypack. I didn’t get any groundbreaking photos today, but the walk was certainly pleasant.

We went took a songtao (covered pickup truck used as a bus) to Chaweng Beach for dinner tonight. We both felt we deserved a nice meal after the stress of the last couple of days. And did we ever find the right place. I will just say: Best. Meal. Ever. The restaurant was called Zico’s and was a true slice of heaven. Inside, it was spacious and airy with high ceilings, pot lighting, and slowly spinning fans. The décor was trendy without being pretentious. It was decorated simply but not sparsely. Service was attentive without being clingy. The food was excellent. It was a Brazillian grill, so staff carried a seemingly endless variety of grilled meats and seafood from table to table on long skewers. There was beef, about three varieties of chicken, lamb, giant prawns, squid, salmon, swordfish, pork, and a few things I can’t remember. Apparently there were about 15 types altogether. They would slice or unskewer the food onto your plate, which was pre-loaded with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. Not only that, but there was the best salad bar I’ve ever seen. Including drinks and tip, our meal for two came to 2000 Baht. Although that’s a lot for Thailand, a similar meal in Canada would cost more than twice as much. I felt like I really needed a break from Thai food after being sick, and this was just what I was looking for.