Koh Samui Dreams (kind of)


Last installment of the honeymoon, y’all. Promise.

Koh Samui was supposed to be the tropical honeymoon dreamland of which I have dreamed approximately my whole life since marriage started seeming like a real thing, which was maybe 6 months ago? Ish.

Imagine my delight when we arrived, and the first thing to greet us once we arrived at our hotel was…


Well, the ACTUAL first thing to greet us was these drinks – roselle juice, with a handmade flower rosary just because, I don’t know, decorations. OMG it was so humid and they were amazeballs.

But the SECOND thing to greet us (are you feeling the suspense?) was a monsoon! And then there was another one later that day. And then there were 3-4 monsoons every day for the next 3 days.

In other words, GREAT JOB, Koh Samui.

All of that aside, it was basically a tropical honeymoon dreamland. For instance, check out the breakfast buffet. Let’s go on a little adventure. 


[the breakfast fruit display, and the view]

Our major adventure on the Koh Samui leg of our trip was that we both finally started (again) and finished (for the first time) our PADI open water scuba certifications. (“But Tess, what did that involve?”)

What a great and also topical question! That involved sitting in a very small room with our VERY French instructor, Thierry, who taught us everything there was to know about scuba diving in his own slightly condescending, only occasionally disdainful way. Also he was very knowledgeable, which was our main concern.


[Please ignore random lady on the float. Conversely, please take special note of purple dinosaur in the foreground]

After 8 hours in a classroom and 8 hours in a pool (there was a monsoon, we were outside, and that was cold), we graduated to day 3: Day One On The Boat.

Day One On The Boat is one that will forever go down in history in our marriage with a different name, which I will not share but you will understand better later. Instead, I shall lead with a two sentence description of our first dive that day: We went scuba diving. And we saw fish.

**NOTE** The following paragraphs contain some mention of puking (sorry for the spoiler). If you get motion sickness from reading about motion sickness, perhaps go and do something else. I have tried to add some nice pictures to soften the blow. You have been warned.


When we emerged from the boat, I noticed that I was feeling quite a bit more queasy than I had during the 3.5 hour boat ride to the initial dive site. I had taken a Dramamine that morning, and I’ve virtually never been motion sick, so I wasn’t too concerned. However, while everyone else ate lunch, I sat with my head down on the table trying to settle my stomach.

The boat ride to our second dive site, Sail Rock, took about an hour and a half, and the seas were incredibly choppy due to aforementioned monsoons. The boat was listing in what I would call a “concerning manner” from side to side, and we were even getting splashed up on the second deck of the boat. About an hour and ten minutes into that ride, I looked up very suddenly from my sorry state, started to ask “Where should I-“, and proceeded to stand up and projectile vomit all over the side of the (second story of the) boat.

One girl within the Splash Zone hurriedly got up and moved to the other side of the boat, and the sole female dive instructor grabbed some plastic bags and came over to help me.


(It feels like now is a good time to remind you that this was supposed to be our Tropical Dreamland Honeymoon. Just wanted to drive that home in this particular moment.)

After another 15 minutes of the same business, Thierry uneasily approached me and stood at a safe distance, giving me a serious case of the Side Eye. “Will you be alright?” he asked, not seeming like he actually wanted to know the answer. “Let’s do this,” I replied.

I climbed down onto the main deck, and started putting on my gear. Right before I had to jump in the water, I felt another wave of nausea wash over me. I pulled my regulator out of my mouth, puked one more time for good luck, put the regulator back in, and got in the water.

Was that a good idea? Definitely not. Did my mom enjoy this story? No, decidedly not. However, the two dives that we went on the next day were gorgeous and perfect aquarium dreamworlds, and it was all totally worth it in the end. Here’s the dive site where we finally became legit:


[Koh Yippun, where we officially became certified divers]

In case you are wondering: no, my husband has not stopped laughing at me since this happened. For your enjoyment, here is a picture of us right after we finished our certification.


Please note the following:

a) Due to mustaches not being optimal for scuba mask water-leakage, my husband was forced to shave for our second day diving. Unfortunately, his clippers weren’t working, and the only part he was able to shave off was his mustache. I spent the entire next week referring to him as “Baberaham Lincoln.”

b) The bald one is Thierry. I don’t feel that I adequately captured his smirk, but you can see the general skepticism and derision in his eyes and that makes me feel pretty good about this depiction.

c) Who’s that other guy? That’s Shuhei. He’s from Japan, and he did the certification along with us. It was quite a motley crew. He was pretty great, but you don’t really need to think about him again.

We spent New Year’s Eve (which was the night of our second day of diving, and our final day of certification) watching people dance with fire in the ocean, and also watching ladyboys dance to 80’s songs. It was very delightful.

2014-12-31 22.01.23

Our last day was all this:


and this:

2015-01-01 16.17.52

(Not sorry for these shameless tropical pictures – please see earlier 100 paragraphs about all of the monsoons and puking.)

Basically, it was the trip of tropical honeymoon dreams – us-style. Which means that we stayed very busy, spent very little time lounging on the beach (maybe 2 hours?) and ate and drank a lot of very interesting and delicious stuff.

(You may have noticed the dramatically lit macarons up above – those were dessert at our fancy last-night-of-honeymoon dinner at 9 Gems, a restaurant on Koh Samui that is comprised of a crazy modern mansion on the top of a mountain, serving modern Thai food with a twist. I am linking to the Google image search results here, because I do believe that this is a situation where a picture can speak a thousand words. And we all know that’s a big deal coming from me.)

I shall leave you with this – in 2015, I’m trying to make this my spirit animal picture (does that make sense?). If you made it this far, congratulations! Chang 4eva. #longlastnameymoon


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