I was manhandled. By a woman. On the beach.
After going snorkeling with a particularly enthusiastic marine biologist, a super excited man gone kid pointing at things and telling me all the species names and their life cycle and what type of family they come from and how they mate, at which point my head was filled with too much fishy information, I wanted to relax. I have always wanted to experience one of those magical, tranquil beach massages, widely shared on Instagram by people who travel to Asia. As it was also almost 12 in the afternoon, which meant peak sun, I thought it was a perfect time to go and make my dream a reality.
Warning: some mental graphic images follow…
I walk up to the four poster beds, where a bunch of ladies are having their lunch, with their kids, cats, and flies of Chewang beach. I peruse the menu and saw that a Thai massage is only a fiver, cheap as chips! I will have that, please – 40 minutes of stretching, clicking, massaging and tension releasing – or so I thought.
Not knowing which one of these ladies I will get as my masseuse, I get the greasy, fat one. Surprise, surprise. She wipes her hands on her trousers from the prawns that she has just been going to town on and smiles at me sweetly. I lie down on the four poster bed, which is right next to the kids, the flies, the cats, and dogs, which are still having their lunch… as she puts her hands on me.
For the rest of the 40 minutes, I was as tensed as I was scared that at any moment she would break my petite frame by crushing my bones, and leave bruises with the way she was squeezing my arms. I don’t think these ladies on the beach have any proper training, because if they did, they would probably be doing massages in proper shops; but I wanted this experience, so just firm the pain, I tell myself. It didn’t matter how many painful noises I made or how many times I told her to go softer – she wouldn’t ease up on me, ohjesustakethewheel. She hadn’t even managed to click anything but a few fingers, although one of the main reasons I wanted to get a Traditional Thai massage done is to have my spine clicked, but she didn’t know what she was doing. She ruined my day. I went back to the hotel and had a long shower to try and wash off her prawny, unprofessional handprints.
I was really craving a bubble tea and some papaya, so we headed into Chewang Centre for a bite to eat and for me to satisfy my bubble tea addiction. We found a bubble tea pop-up stall, which was popular with the locals – always a good sign. I got a fresh watermelon bubble tea with double tapioca pearls, ah – it was so refreshing!
Naturally, I had to go and visit the lady who I got my papayas from. They were 70p each, and she unwillingly but still lovingly peeled and cut up my papayas, whilst her 7-year-old daughter took my money. The papaya had just the right soft texture, it was juicy and totally not for sharing with anybody.
As it had started to look like it was going to rain again, we went back to our villa and climbed into a steaming hot Jacuzzi. Whilst watching the rain from the inside of our outdoor Jacuzzi, we debated on where we should have gone for dinner. We settled for the idea of staying in and get room service, as both of us were not really hungry and couldn’t be arsed to go anywhere because it was raining. As a woman, by the time you put your cute sandals on, the last thing you want to do is to get wet and muddy feet. However, I remembered that it was Friday, and I had a night at the Fisherman’s Village planned for Friday, so having wet muddy feet didn’t seem like such a bad idea now!
Fisherman’s Village is the place to be on Friday night’s – full of street food, little stalls with souvenirs and other random little shops and restaurants – looked like we were in for an authentic night with both the locals and visitors.
Although this festival is catered for visitors and tourists, it is still very authentic. Not a lot of people speaking English, loads of enthusiastic visitors and tradesmen doing their best to sell their tut, despite the miserable weather. The stalls were full of local arts and crafts. Mind you, those were not the ones you might see in a typical touristy area, you know the kind – little souvenirs, very tackily branded with ‘Koh Samui’ or ‘Thailand’ written on them. No, sir! These were all genuine, crafty little things which you can take home for yourself and your loved ones. Apologies for the wet GoPro Pictures below..
I spotted a Japanese restaurant which looked very chic and contemporary. Yeah, yeah, I know – kind of defeats the whole idea of having street food and experiencing the authentic blah blahs, but I knew that I wanted to eat at that Japanese restaurant and that was that.
Satsuman, owned by friendly Aussies, was buzzing with tunes and good vibes with mainly upper-class people in their 30s, having sushi and drinking fancy cocktails. Intricate black and white Japanese décor was complimented by the beautifully presented food and the super casual friendly service. It felt like we were having sushi in South Kensington and not in Fisherman’s Village! Outside they also had a small pool and some outdoor seating, which is great for the hot days on this tropical island. After having a chat with the owner, I was delighted to find out that they are incorporated into a boutique resort, so you would also be able to rent a room in case you had one too many cocktails!
I took my time to order as I was still not very hungry and you get a little book for a menu so you are spoilt for choice, but I definitely wanted something that I knew I would enjoy. My drink was a virgin watermelon cocktail with a note of something funky in it that I wasn’t a fan of, but it was presented in a tall glass with lavish decoration. For my food I ordered a vegetarian maki and a California maki, which were to die for, so fresh and well-made I didn’t waste time getting them in my belly! And of course, after your main meal, you have to have dessert – what’s a dinner without dessert, eh? I really fancied a cake on one of the stands outside, which caught my eye earlier, and plus we couldn’t have gone here without trying anything out from the streets, so I bought a home-made Japanese cherry cheesecake which was deliciously super smooth. I had it with rice tea back at the Japanese restaurant, which was nice of them to let me do. After that, my day was complete with a cherry on top, quite literally. I was ready to have an early night and be a good girl and be home by 10 pm curfew like a good girl does.
Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs