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Tag Archives: Saying Goodbye

Koh Samet: Still my favourite Thai island

SaiKeaw Beach on a weekday

SaiKeaw Beach on a weekday

Despite how many places I’ve been in Thailand, and despite anyone else’s interpretation of favourite, I think that my favourite island will always be Koh Samet. Not only was it my first island away from any of my friends from home, it’s basically where I did my TEFL course. I have so many amazing memories of the island; of what I used to think where the worst bungalows in Thailand at Naga, of the all-night dance parties, of late-night swimming, of partying with Thai’s for the first time, and of course of all the amazing people that I was there with at different times throughout the past year.

During the day on any given weekend the beach can get quite crowded. However, during the week, the place is almost a ghost town. Considering how close it is to Bangkok, many Thai’s and teachers come down for the weekend to let off some steam and get in some beach.

The fire shows are simply amazing, and the bodies on the guys doing the crazy acrobatics and fire throwing make it even more entertaining. I would have to say the fire show at Ploy Bar is, by far, the best I’ve ever seen.

Jep's Restaurant, waiting for our speedboat

Jep’s Restaurant, waiting for our speedboat

The sand is only slightly whiter than I was when I arrived in Thailand, and the waters are almost always calm. Jep’s restaurant and bungalows is always my first choice of places to stay and eat. Their ridiculously extensive menu has very little in the way of disappointment, and I’ve eaten pretty much every meal there every time I’ve been there. It’s also this part of Ao Phai beach, just around the mermaid from SaiKaew, that is my favourite spot to lay out and chill out. It’s significantly less crowded than its neighbour and the chances of seeing Russians in Speedo’s decreases the farther from SaiKaew you get. But you will always see the one we call “leather woman,” who has been on Samet for at least 2 years walking her severely anorexic, brown old self up and down the beach.

UV Paint on the wall in Naga Bar

UV Paint on the wall in Naga Bar

The Lopburi crew went back as a final group trip of the year. It was a chance for us to cram ourselves into a mini-van together and leave our dusty town for some sun, relaxation and crazy nights on the beach. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. While the sun didn’t come out until the day we left, we were all able to get a little too much sun (damn you clouds for making us forget sunscreen!) and a lot of fun in the sea tossing a (Canadian!) football in a circle for hours on end, or lazily floating on the surface of the calm waters.

But by nightfall, we all had our game faces on. Naga Bar ended up being our base and we stayed until the wee hours, when the bar staff

Drinking games turned photo shoot

Drinking games turned photo shoot

shut off the lights and the music and left us to our own devices in the dark. It was at that point that a couple people decided to get into the Muay Thai ring and have a go, having a seriously scary girl-on-girl fight that ended in bruised and damaged faces. Another night, we planted ourselves on the beach in front of Naga Bar to participate in what I could only call a teachers circle of seriously dangerous drinking games. (“Mango, mango, banana, banana,” “I’m commencing a yee-haw to my right,”) As well as card games made up on the spot left us entertained until weirdoes came and stood around us and dogs needed to be buried in the sand. The only thing left was to cover ourselves in UV body paint and dance like idiots until the early hours.

Acting the fool

Acting the fool

Despite my current plans to travel around the South of Thailand, I feel like my teaching career has come full circle in the past year. I started my TEFL on the shores of Ban Phe, and we had our last Lopburi hoorah on the shores of Koh Samet. Considering that it’s my favourite island, I couldn’t be happier.

Reminiscing before it even ends

On the verge of getting too sappy too soon, I’ve compiled a slideshow of pictures of my Thailand family. The people who were strangers once upon a time, but who are currently the closest of friends.

Today is officially most people’s last teaching day. And while I may not be officially leaving Lopburi until the middle of May,  people are going to start shipping out. Whether they’re taking an epic train journey through China, Russia and Mongolia ending up in London, travelling around South East Asia, or jumping on a plane home, my home away from home is going to start thinning out. So I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic about the last year. The things we’ve done together, the laughs, and the experiences. It makes a girl start to get really sappy.

So without further depressing ado; here’s my recollection of a year spent with some amazing people.

I’m in the home stretch… and it’s kind of terrifying

I feel like I’m in the home stretch. The final month before classes officially end, the final lessons, the final goodbyes. March is going to be an awkward month. I’m still not sure if I’ll be working until the end of my contract considering that there will no longer be a summer camp. I don’t know if that means that I’ll be finishing up within the first week, and then spending a few weeks hanging around waiting for the vacation portion of my home stretch to start, or if they’ll find work for me to do and I’ll work up until the end.

People are going to start leaving. That’s going to be really hard: saying goodbye to people who were strangers a year ago that I’ve become so close with that I now consider my Thailand family. My roommate is going to be the first to go, planning on shipping out to Germany to live with her boyfriend as early as the 19th of March. My little heart is going to break.

The group, with a couple exceptions, at our Anything but Clothes Themed post-halloween party

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