If you think about it, the admittance to any trip, in most cases, is the airport; it is the entree to the things to come, yet it remains so unmemorable that it most naturally gets dismissed from the memory. Dependably Dull is all that would come to mind if you were to reluctantly exercise the muscle to recall your experience at an airport. Not in a million years did I think that I would be raving so much about an airport, but then, I never came to this one either.
Less of an airport and more of a resort, yet extremely efficient and travel centric; the Koh Samui airport has set a standard of its own. Something its more muscular siblings can relatively take a cue from. And when you would think, the arrival was the best part, wait till you you depart from here.
A short drive from the airport to the north eastern tip of island gets you to a green headland that overlooks the Gulf of Thailand. Amidst a thick rainforest, there is a sanctuary here called the Six Senses Samui. Upon arrival – on one side there were vertical stacks of weathered bamboos laced in front of a backdrop of a thick green, stunning; and on the other, an expansive ocean with an indigo coloured velvet sky enveloping the gulf. Over the horizon, the clouds had converged to form a layer laced with red – lava from a celestial volcano, perhaps. The outline of the red was cast with an extravagant silhouette of an orange, which would ultimately dissipate in a huge field of indigo. Add to this a perfectly clear sky with scattered stars and a moon whose luminosity got firmer as the indigo grew surer in a dusking canvas. Surreal, definitely; beautiful, most surreally.
Since it was dark already, we did not have much to do except for head to one of the restaurants and grab hold of a pad thai followed by a coconut panna cotta with a passion fruit puree, the latter was the undisputed hero of the menu here and the culinary mainstay of our entire trip; headed back and hit on the snooze, while the green lights of the night fishermen’s fishing boats scathed the the gulf like little green fire files dashing across a night sky.
They say there are things waking up early to; if it was a place that was being referred to, surely “they” were here at dawn; at the deck of a room, on the sun rise side. At dawn, the gulf was still with a gentle misty breeze seeping through the trees, maybe, a distant bird singing. But with the ascend of the sun, the calm shifts to an unmistakable movement and reels in a brilliantly synchronised transformation. The bird songs intensified, the prettiest butterflies emerged and started their customary whirling, a purposeful breeze wiggled though the flora, the waves in the ocean emerged and started crashing into the rocks at the coast, the trails left by the boats became distinct, ruffling the still waters and the once dark patches in the gulf transformed to blots of a bright fresh green. It all came to life; all was in motion with the rising sun.
There were stairs going down from the pool deck of the room. They led to a bamboo roofed terrace with a day bed, suspended below the villa and supported by stilts. An equivalent of a look out, they called it the sala. It felt like a platform was floating over water. Perfect for sipping on a morning tea with the rising sun staring back at you.
The room, an asian contemporary thatched roofed cottage with an unmistakable inclination to be as earthy as possible, while not compromising on having all features that you would expect from a six senses. The most striking feature of the room was its full glass ocean side facade. Roll up the blinds and you have a humongous floating enclave with mesmerising vistas of the tropical surroundings. The resort is built on a headland with a naturally inclined terrain and the gentle elevation makes for the best panoramic views, from every corner. Although it is very much part of the mainland, it just feels like a standalone island. A quintessential tropical paradise.
The blog continues…Part 2, soon…