“Let’s just roam around Bangkok instead”- a frustrated voice of my colleague dropped behind me.
“Yeah. Maybe we should do that. Can do some shopping too”- I added agreeing with her.
It was my first trip to Bangkok and I was super excited. So I arranged two days for myself after the workshop. And now that it was ending, I wasn’t still able to decide what I would do. Well not entirely true though. We were suggested to visit nearby island and to tell you the truth; I was pretty thrilled with the idea. Although it wasn’t my first trip abroad, I never ever had seen sea before (if you don’t count from plane of course). And this time, I didn’t want to miss it. So although I agreed to roam around city, part of me still wished to touch those blue waters. And I guess same thing was happening with others too.
“Tickets to Ko Samet please”-I requested to the lady in counter. She was busy with something else and replied its 200 bhat per ticket. We arranged money and bought six tickets. As the van would be leaving after an hour, we wandered around victory monument. When I asked about it to Nepali friend, she replied that it was Buspark of Bangkok. It seemed better version though. Well actually, victory monument is a large military monument located at the center of traffic circle which was erected in June 1941 to commemorate Thai victory in Franco-Thai war. However, it is one of the busiest transportation hubs in Bangkok. Nearly all public buses and vans to city’s outskirts as well as nearby towns leave from this area.
It took us four hours to reach our station. As we crossed Bangkok, small towns of Thailand could be seen from window. Road was so smooth and straight that I easily slept on my way whereas in Nepal, I often get nauseated while travelling in van. As I got off, I saw huge blue sea waving swiftly. I don’t know if I was excited or nervous, but I had shivers.
The Speedboat took off and we were in sea. Suddenly the clam and swift sea didn’t seem calm anymore. I could feel the violent waves shaking our boat. In addition, strong wind was blowing which brought intense smell of salt and rust. My hair was blowing in all direction and I didn’t mind at all because I was busy experiencing every bit of it.
Somewhere someone said that there is no such thing as first experience second time. So I wanted to cherish every moment. But the beach we got off was so dirty and crowded that suddenly I felt cheated. It was nothing as I imagined. There were dead fishes in shore, water was dirty (okay, might not be dirty but not clear blue as well). That, added with hunger made me hangry. That’s why when my friends were searching for room, I wasn’t paying any attention. Perhaps seeing my expression, one of my friend reminded me that we will be going to another beach which was named Ao Phrao. I was so relieved hearing that I finally stuffed pad thai in my mouth and got ready hoping I wouldn’t be disappointed again.
It took us 5 minutes in taxi and they charged us 100 bhat per person. Surely we were fooled. But this other beach was so beautiful that I didn’t regret paying more. It was just as I imagined clear blue water with white sand. Hotels nearby were beautiful and seemed lavish. Some families were seen to be relaxing in beach but it wasn’t crowded. We found ourselves a spot under tree and settled. But I couldn’t stop myself from running towards water. All those time, I wanted to jump right away in water and now that I was so close to sea, I couldn’t. I was flabbergasted by its vastness. Like Paulo Cohelo wrote in Brida, I joined my hands and greeted the sea, asking permission to enter its territory. When the waves gently touched my feet, I considered it as my signal and entered in the water.
Water was warm and beach shallow. Since I am not good swimmer, I didn’t dare to go into deep water beyond my height. Instead, I enjoyed with the gentle waves allowing myself to float to and fro. I had been taught that sea has salt water and for the first time, I tasted it. Frankly, I didn’t expect it to be so salty. I had to spit the water out immediately. Sun was blazing in the sky and salt water made me thirsty. Suddenly I remembered my school teacher Sahana mam giving us riddle to solve water water everywhere but not a drop to drink. I managed to mug up for exams but realized it at that moment.
I felt the waves were like cradles, gently easing you, making you forget all your worries and stress. For me, vacation had always been somewhere hiking or amidst high hills, in valleys and near riverbanks. Sun bathing in a shore was something from fancy movies. And I was living it there. Ko samet is indeed perfect destination for sea experience and family trips.
As the sun went down, I witnessed the magnificent view of sun setting in ocean. Till then, sun always rise and set in hills for me. And there I was, relaxing in water, witnessing truly amazing experience, my first sea experience. I closed my eyes to capture that image so that I can carry it in my memory forever. As the horizon turned golden, I smiled with realization that this Himalayan girl had finally met the vast ocean.