This week, my friend Sophie came out to see me! She is the first person from home to make a trip out to see us so gets a medal! 🙂 we've been staying at Cocooning again because, for a weeks holiday, I couldn't really ask for more…we have a lovely room which is affordable, great hosts and access to restaurants, bars, a pool and the beach! Instead of dragging her all over the islands, which would have taken up valuable time, I thought it best we stay on Koh Samui! We've really utilised the pool and beach and, on one night, perhaps utilised the bars a bit too enthusiastically! Haha!
We've also done some “cultural” stuff in that we did a whistle stop tour of the Big Buddha, the Chinese Temple and, drum roll please, the mummified monk!! He was bizarre! We read up on the process after visiting his temple and seeing the body and, apparently, only 24-28 monks have ever actually achieved mummification. It takes 3 years of preparation to self-mummify and the process is pretty gross to be honest…and sounds awful. This particular monk lived a full, family life until he was 50 when he decided to become a monk and then, 30 years later, had achieved “enlightenment” through self mummification. He died in 1973 but the body still has hair, a goatee and his skin, although revoltingly leathery and white to look at, still exists which, after 40 years is a pretty impressive achievement!
Sadly our week is almost over and Soph will be flying back to Bangkok (for a brief visit before her flight back to the UK) on Sunday morning! We've got walking street market and the usual Friday night tapas tonight though, which will be great! If we aren't feeling too rough tomorrow, we might head to a fancy-pants beach resort that do an all-you-can-drink brunch…but we'll see!
I'm heading off to Malaysia on Monday which I have barely prepared for! I have booked a place in a hostel in Georgetown, Penang, so I have somewhere to head to. I only have 2 weeks before mum and dad arrive so I will probably hop over to langkawi to see what it's like there, before heading to KL to meet the parents! 🙂 VERY excited to see them!!
It's funny, before setting off for these travels, I would never have been comfortable with the idea of heading to a totally different country in a matter of days with only a few days accommodation booked. Although people (mainly Alex) repeatedly told me that I'd grow on our year abroad, I didn't really believe that I would ever relax as much as I have. I am usually a much more anxious person and would have had to have my “travel pack” prepared with every feasible travel document, maps, confirmations etc. Although I definitely want to remain organised and prepared, I am glad my stress levels are so much lower!! As they say: