Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Began our day with a drive up to view the Big Buddha temple. Cost us 600B 2-way, cab driver doubling as our guide and photog. The giant statue is a landmark to look for on arrival by plane, but it was too dark to see anything on our night flight. Bought some cuttlefish from one of the stalls for M-i-L and they gave us 3 whole barbecued cuttlefish to sample with a sweet hot dip.

Took our first dip in the hotel pool (it's quite small) and took a little snooze in the weak morning sun. Sky still overcast here, though it didn't rain. Walked the beach too, me topless in support of the psychotic equine activities currently going on in Singapore.

Lunched at Prego. Didn't cost us an arm and a leg like we thought it would. We had a lovely lasagna and spaghetti frutti de mare and a fine apple pie ala mode for dessert. Here, seafood is always fresh so it's a good bet.

After lunch, we were accosted by a couple of fellas on a motorbike with a scratch-and-win opportunity for us. Of course, we won the "big prize" and they were all jump-up-and-down, wave-arms-in-the-air and shout, "yahoo," about it. Caught unaware, though we should have known better, they bundled us off into a cab and drove us to their head office for a presentation. My mind was going over all the possibilities of such an unwary-tourist scenario on the way there. Boy, were we tense.

The resort they're selling is called the "Samui Peninsula Spa and Resort," so such sales gimmicks have reached the remote shores of this island paradise too. The office turned out to be a little place on the outskirts of town. We filled out a form that focused on our demographic rather than our specific personal information, then were informed that, unfortunately, the presentation staff had left the office for the day, and would we be so kind as to postpone the presentation till tomorrow? A private car will be dispatched to collect us if so. We consented and got a free ride back to our hotel to await tomorrow's song-and-dance.

Meantime, we walked the beach again, trying to decide which beach restaurant to dine at in the evening. Much of Chaweng beach transforms into beachfront dining rooms in the late afternoon. Miraculously, palms and bamboo spring up on the beach draped with soft lighting over intimate dining tables-for-two set up on the sand. How romantic when darkness falls. Unfortunately, our faces fell when we looked at the menus. These prices we couldn't afford.

So back to the main Chaweng Beach Road where we found Rice and Stars, a fusion diner. Chic Zen themed with a koi pond right at the entrance. Fabulous tom yum, and the best mango salad we've tasted. Such chunky, sweet mangoes blending so well with the tangy Thai salad. My roasted snapper on mash was really fresh too with a hint of stingray in the fish. I like.

Sadly, Rice isn't well patronized. We and only 2 or 3 other tables were occupied while we were there. The price isn't bad for the quality of the food we get. Oh, well. We were there early. Maybe the place really gets jumping much later?

That's us. Too cheap to buy souvenirs, but always on the lookout for new ways to increase our waistlines. Burp.

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