Day 4: Ko Samui (Coral Cove Beach, Misguided Elephant Tour, Spirit Guide)
We woke up a little late this morning (by late, I mean 07:40…looks like the time change has settled in for us!). Breakfast is free at our hotel, so we wandered over and sat down. Like everywhere else, the restaurant has a great view. We ordered some eggs and noodles with chicken and grabbed some fruit. Breakfast lasted about 2 hours for us..but mostly because we had some great conversation about traveling, culture and life!
We had planned to head out to one of the beaches for the day, but it was cloudy and a little rainy. So, instead we booked a half day tour through our hotel. We still had a few hours before the tour started, so we went down to Coral Cove Beach.
Coral Cove is a relatively small beach. The sand is not even sand really, but instead lots of small rocks…and coral (hence the name!). Even though it was small, there was hardly no one there (it seems it picks up more in the afternoon). It was a great opportunity to chill…however, it did have us end up with some of those stereotypical, awkward sunburn spots from where we missed sunscreen.
The tour that we had set up was at a “safari” center. It included some shows, elephant trekking and a trip to one of the waterfalls. Truthfully, this was not on our list of things to do (it was last minute), but was something that we had discussed doing. Elephants and Thailand kind of go together in our minds. I have had friends traveling here and many have done it…although, as you will read, they all had a similar experience to us. We had reservations about doing it because of the way we suspected the animals were treated. Miguel feels less strongly than I, but I am against zoos and aquariums…animals should be seen in the wild (or at the very worst, in an animal reserve where there are no cages).
The tour started after a buffet lunch (the highlight of which was a dog friend that came over to join us). After that, we went through a series of “animal shows”. The first was an elephant show, followed by monkey, crocodiles, birds and then snakes. The facilities were poor….small and dirty. We even passed some tiger cages that were pitifully small. (although I should point out that the dog joined us again for two of the shows).
Next was an elephant trekking. At this point, we both felt morally repugnant. The elephant trekking was really sad. At one point the elephant nearly slipped on a steep hill. Overall, they treated the elephants more like objects or tools than animals…horrible.
Next was a trek up to the waterfall. We got to a certain point where they left us, although it wasn’t the best part. So, Miguel and I hiked about 20 minutes up to a higher point in the falls. It was incredibly beautiful and we had the highest part almost to ourselves (only one other person…which luckily took a great pic of us!). On the way back down, the dog joined us again (which is….really random as we took a five minute truck ride up a big hill and then hiked 5 minutes to the start point…which totalled to a 15 minute hike up to where the dog joined us). At this point, I decided the dog was probably my spirit guide (and if I see him again, he will come back home with us).
They dropped us back off at the bottom of the hill towards our hotel. We decided to climb the hill (super super steep) and then hop into the infinity pool when we got back. It was a nice way to wind down!
For dinner, we headed to Orgasmic.
This was a really cool experience for us! Despite having awesome reviews, when we arrived it was pretty empty. Although after seeing the view during the day, I can see why it was a little empty at night (amazing view). For us, it was a little reminder of our first date in Aruba at Barefoot (a restaurant right on the beach and our table was really close to the water, just like this one!). The food here was really incredible and the location wasn’t so bad either!