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Koh Samui and Thanksgiving

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Our friend Greg was in town for Thanksgiving. He flew all the way from Chicago to visit us and get some R+R on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand and we were lucky enough to tag along.

Greg was able to get us a wonderful deal at the new Hilton Conrad Resort in Koh Samui, so we left after work and were on the island about 2 hours later. Sublime. The resort is very remote from the main center of activity, but that can be nice if you want to just relax. And since the deal involved a stay in a 2bd 2 ba 2 level villa, with private pool tucked on the side of a mountain, remote was just fine in this case.

If India was all about seeing the sites and taking in all she had to offer, Koh Samui was about sleeping, resting, relaxing, lazing about, eating, drinking, swimming, sunning, chillin’, and decompressing.

The highlight for me was the 5 hours spa treatment at Tamarind Springs Spa ( Yes, you read that correctly. So. Indulgent.

The treatment starts with 1.5 hours spent moving between two plunge pools and two steam rooms. One steam is aroma therapy, the other is a body scrub. You move at your own pace and alternate between cool off plunges and relaxing heat. You spoon out the body rubs from dishes and apply the solutions to areas as you choose. The two choices were ginseng (just fresh minced ginseng) and tamarind and honey.

The nice thing, among many, about the spa is that the landscaping is very natural and there are several big boulders on the site, which they incorporated into the design of the pools and steams, so the whole area is very natural feeling. The pools are outside, so you wander from one to the other along garden paths. The steam rooms are nestled among the same big boulders with some man-made forms built around them to create the steam rooms.

After the steams have reduced you to a pliable ball of goo, there is a relaxation area where a small snack is served.

Then, the actual spa treatments. The massage areas are up a series of steps to a small open pavilion on the hill. Surround by trees the breeze flows thru as you receive your treatment. I opted for the 2.5 hour Thai/Pressure point massage.

First let me tell you this treatment was sublime. Second, let me inform you that I paid good money for a tiny young Thai woman to jam her elbow into sensitive points along my back and shoulders. Third, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

At one point I was on my stomach, she was standing on my hamstrings, my knees are bent with my feet up and she grasped my big toe in each hand to step back and forth and massage the back of my legs.

I’m positive they make comedies where the bumbling antagonist finds himself in the exact same position.

But, I tell you it was divine.

Once the work over is completed, there is the choice of three 1 hour treatments, I opted for the facial and it was good, but not great. Just her rubbing some mud on my face and then wiping it off to apply a different type of mud.

If you know Greg, he can tell you the unfortunate story of his big toe vs. the steam room door, and the resulting side trip to the doctor that was generated.  It’s a story you can laugh about, but only after several weeks and some perspective later. And only because it  did not happen to you.

Things I am thankful for this year include, but not limited to: Moving to Singapore, being in Singapore for only 8 months and having traveled to China, Thailand, India, and Vietnam, having a job in these crazy economic times, and of course having Paul there with me thru it all.

We did not have Turkey this year, but we had each other and some nice wine, and sometimes that’s just as good.


2 responses »

  1. This place looks truly heavenly. Glad you were able to take a vacation from your vacation 🙂

  2. Barbara Mullenex

    ok…I am coming to visit on my way to the Conrad. I have to have a tiny girl standing on my hamstrings massaging my toes. You ARE chilled out- 2.5 hour massage- crazy.
    On my way!!!!!
    and the snow globe, Christmas in the heat- it is just wrong. So go back to the spa………


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