Women travelling solo, or women travelling with children, whatever you choose to do, will have a great time on the island of Samet, Thailand. It's small, the beach is fantastic, and it's not too far from Bangkok. It's laid-back, at least it was when I was there with my daughter.
Before our arrival, a fellow had been carted off with malaria, and there are bag loads of mosquitoes at night, so bring repellent. There is very little threat of malaria in Thailand; however, it pays to be cautious. I decided that we wouldn't take malaria pills because I would be travelling for nine months, and one of the instructions for taking them is to stay out of the sun. Duh. Sun. Thailand. I figured I'd probably be sicker taking them than not. I slathered my daughter in mosquito repellent at night and kept her covered up, and we minimized our time outside. Other than that, we were fine.
On the bus to Koh Samet we took in some of the devastation from the typhoon. It was extensive, as you can see. All the trees were knocked down or heavily damaged.
I was really in the mood for swimming after being in Bangkok because it's just SO HOT in the city. This was November, the perfect time to visit because there were so few tourists. Here are some of the friends that my daughter Aimee made while she was there. Students from Korea. I wound up doing everybody's hair.
Swimming - it was a wonderful beach.
The bathing beauties on the beach
Monkeys were everywhere and although they're sexy, stay away from them! These guys ran off with everything.
Aimee making more friends.
Breakfast on Koh Samet
While we were on Koh Samet we celebrated Wan Loi Krathong, a festival where everybody sets out home- made floats on to the water to celebrate and worship the water gods. It was quite something to see all the lights from the little floats flickering on the water. Later there were fireworks. Friends Taj and Rita from Oregon were with us watching the fireworks haphazardly set off, missiles that streaked off in any old direction. I thought they would eventually land on the thatched roofs on the huts that lined the beach when sure enough, we followed one through the air right to the roof of a thatched hut. It caught fire and flames started to shoot up. Taj ran like a cheetah over to the hut, climbed up the side and heroically put it out. He was the star that night. It was fun. We all sang songs on the beach and had a huge fire.
We also went snorkelling with Taj and Camille, a woman we met from Sweden.
When it was time to bid adios to the Korean students at six in the morning, Aimee ran out in her nightgown to kiss them all good-bye. Sometimes she used to cry after people left, and I had to tell her that that was what happened when you travelled - you meet people, you have fun with them, and then you have to say good-bye, because everybody has to go home at some point and we all live in different places. It didn't make it any easier for her, she got so attached to some people.