Ko Samet

It’s that time of year when people tend to go all reflective and pensive and (maybe) make a resolution or two. With this year being the tenth anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami, my pensivity has turned to Ko Samet, an island in the Gulf of Thailand where my sister and I spent New Year’s Eve 2000.

Ko Samet

Ko Samet was not directly affected by the tsunami, but the time we spent there made it just a tiny bit possible for me to imagine what it must have been like to witness such a horrific event.

Ao Phai Bungalow

As far as Thai islands go, Ko Samet is a quiet one, and my sister and I rented a bungalow on the beach at its quieter end. As far as New Year’s Eves go, it was probably one of the most relaxing ones I’ve ever had.

View From Bungalow

We had a spectacular view of the beach from our verandah ― a beach with the whitest sand and bluest water I have ever seen ― and we spent most of our days lying on that beach.

Beach  Vendor

I also spent a lot of time reading or writing on our verandah.

Woman With Umbrella

Every time I looked up, there was something to see. Which, naturally, made me start playing with my camera.

Ko Samet Taxi

What we didn’t know until we arrived on Ko Samet is that the island is equally, if not more so, as popular with Thai holiday-goers as it is with foreign tourists. That made for a much more authentic Thai island holiday than I could ever have hoped for.

I have no idea how much Ko Samet has changed in the decade and a half since we were there, but I hope not too much.

Because it was perfect.

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