Travelling During a Pandemic - Koh Samui
Day 3 and 4
When I arrived at the Lamai Samui about 6:00pm I was guided to my room and reminded that I wasn’t to leave until I got my tests results back on Saturday July 17. I was supposed to have my test on arrival but was told that it wouldn’t happen until tomorrow.
My room is a villa. It has a small pool in the centre of the walled in and very private space. At the entrance is the bedroom that is enclosed and air conditioned. It has a small desk where I can do my work and eat my meals. On the other side of the pool, all open air, but enclosed, are the toilet, copper wash basins and a powerful shower. There is a big bath at that end of the pool that I never use.
I begin to unpack, hanging shirts and shorts everywhere they can dry and air out. I’ve got clothes for a month – hopefully more than I need.
I get a WhatsApp message from the resort asking what I would like for dinner and what time I would like it. Of the three options I chose Option A with Green Curry Chicken. They also asked for my breakfast order and I checked off the items on a paper list, which I left outside my door where dinner was delivered.
I message Farah and William and others that I have arrived. Unpacking was interrupted by the arrival of dinner. Generally I love Green Curry, but this version was so hot I couldn’t eat it, as are all the Thai dishes. We are not allowed alcohol so I can’t even chill with a cold beer.
I wake at 7:00am, the usual time I get up, but its 8:00am Singapore time so I feel like I’ve gotten an extra hour of sleep. I photograph the villa before breakfast arrives at 8:00am.
At 10:00 a knock at the door and I’m told its time for the test. I want to lock the door but I’m told not to bother. A small table and stool is set up just feet from my door and a nurse awaits me in full PPE. Again the process wasn’t pleasant, but slightly better than the previous test. Maybe I will get used to it by the sixth test. William says I will be an old pro by then.
I am required to take my temperature twice a day with the supplied thermometer. It sends the reading to an app.
I get exercise by walking around the pool and then I get into the water that is cool, almost warm. It is a pleasant pool meant more for having a bottle of champagne with a companion in than for swimming. I have fun by diving down and picking leaves off the bottom. I clean the pool of the bigger ones but leave the white petals.
I eat the Hawaiian pizza by the pool, on the lounger. There is a fan, but generally it is too hot and mosquito infested to enjoy.
Late in the day William asks if I got a negative test result. I respond that I haven’t received it yet. That’s not the answer William wanted to hear and he shakes the trees until we get the answer that my test was negative and that I can now enjoy the grounds of the resort.
I didn’t feel too confined in my pool villa room, but it was nice to get out and see the resort, the beautiful blue sea and other people.
The Plate, (above) which overlooks the pool and then the sea, is a wonderful place to eat and chill, though we are not allowed to go in the pool until after Day 3.
After breakfast I met with GM Warapetcharat Boonyarattanakul (Piak) who was keen to tell me all about the requirements on Samui and the differences from Phuket’s Sandbox. “The authorities are worried about the virus spreading on the island, so they are being very cautious.”
How cautious? We can’t go on the beach where there is no one. But we can cross the beach to the hotel’s jetty. No alcohol is served in the restaurant.
Piak, is delightful and very concerned for her guests and their comfort. “When the pandemic first came and people got Covid-19 they drank a special tea, they drink it all day and it cures their illness.” She has it included with every meal and it is quite tasty.
The ingredients are: Lemon, ginger, lemon grass, red onion, Pandanus leaf, finger root (Chinese ginger). Boil it into a juice. When it is hot breath in the vapours.”
When I want some recreation I walk around the walled in resort. I discover dry pools and empty rooms as I go along the narrow paths between the buildings.
At night we have dinner on the jetty and I ask Roshni and Bella, two media people from London to join me.
When I’d told Piak that I found the Thai food too spicy she said she would have it specially made for me so it wasn’t spicy. The Green Curry Chicken they served was excellent.
I was becoming a big fan of Piak.
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