Meet Me in Thailand

Centaura bliss
When I realized that I was going to get 40+ days off for Spring Festival, Ses and I immediately scrapped the plan of her visiting me in Zhangjiajie for Christmas and started planning which part of my trip she'd join me on.

After a lot of back and forth about which island(s) to visit, we settled on tropical Thailand. I really wanted to see the beautiful island of Koh Samui and she'd been wanting to visit Phuket, so we came up with the perfect plan: four days in each.

I landed in Bangkok Friday night, then woke up crazy early to collect her from the airport on Saturday morning. We made a scene in the airport. You know how lovers react when they see each other at the airport for the first time after a long absence? We were worse than that because we're sisters and best friends who hadn't seen each other since August.

Sesame in Samui
After a lot of screaming, squealing, hugging, gushing over how good we each looked, a shuttle to the other Bangkok airport, a terminal that looked like a crack den, the correct, much nicer terminal, a short flight, a long ferry ride, and an even longer van/shuttle ride, we arrived at our hotel in Koh Samui.

"I'm sorry, we have no more bungalows, so we're downgrading you to one of our poolside rooms," said the manager. Downgrading? Where they do that at? 

He was wearing an untucked white t-shirt and black slacks and looked about 19. He was not ready for the fury that was Samantha Williams, The Tired and Irritated, First of Her Name, Breaker of Spirits, Queen of Wishing a N*gga Would.

After a thorough tongue lashing and a refund, we moved into our room for the night and went in search of drinks to take the edge off. Our first night in Thailand was saved by the strong drinks and loud music at a local bar, and by our own happiness at being together again.

The next morning, we woke up bright and early, had a quick breakfast, and then packed up to move to the island paradise home that was Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui. Everything about Centara was absolutely gorgeous and perfect, from the cold towel and hibiscus juice upon arrival, to the picture perfect vista views and private beach. It was where we were meant to be!

Our anger at the other hotel quickly dissipated as we realized that our bungalow being "broken" at the other place was just God-speak for, "I've got a private villa 30 minutes away with your names on it."

Sunburned in Samui
We spent the next three days sleeping in, drinking on the secluded beach, staging our own ANTM-style photo shoots, reading, eating deliciously prepared meals, and lounging on fluffy, yellow towels. My Koh Samui vision was realized the moment I saw the clear, blue water and woke up each morning to tropical warmth and sunshine. Ahhhhhh.

The theme song for one of my favorite guilty pleasure, trash reality shows, Bachelor in Paradise, kept running through my head throughout the entire trip. Of course, I sang it loudly (private beach), every time I walked along the shore, got a beach boy to bring me another mango margarita, and/or jumped and frolicked in the waves. "Almost paradise!"

We had serious conversations in our villa before bed and lighthearted nonsense talks on the beach. We took a walk during the hottest part of the day once, mistake, and found a great restaurant, Big Coco, not a mistake. When I ordered a glass of rosé and he pulled both my glass and the wine bottle from a refrigerator, I knew we were in the right place.

After our time in Samui was up, we were sad to bid our private villa, quiet beachfront, and fond memories goodbye. However, the blow was softened by the fact that we were only moving to our next paradise location in Phuket!

Samui waves pushing sand up my crack
After a quick, 30 minute flight, we arrived in Phuket excited to see another part of Thailand. We immediately realized that Phuket was going to be a lot busier than Samui, and that was gravy for part two of our sister vacay.

We checked into our gorgeous resort, Sunprime Kamala Beach, and quickly made note of the three pool locations and shuttle schedule into town. Since the beach here was public and we'd already been spoiled by our private beach, we decided to make Phuket a private pool relaxation leg of the journey. After seeing the two swim-up bars, I was quite pleased with this plan.

What I wasn't expecting was to get a mild head cold, probably from traveling to such different climates in such a short amount of time.

The next day, we took the shuttle to one of the main tourist stretches and decided to explore. We browsed inexpensive jewelry, I bought some cheap, one-size-fits-all shorts, and we found a pharmacy where the nice, Thai pharmacist prescribed and sold me Boracough. Sweet.

Ses and I head back to the resort and decide it's dinnertime, so we go to their "Restaurant by the Sea" and order drinks and delicious entrees. I pop the prescribed Boracough, swallow it down with a random blue drink and think nothing more of it until my head is 30cm from my plate and I'm shoveling rice in my mouth, all the while making dazed eye contact with my amused sister.

Knocked out by the pool - thanks, Boracough
The next day at breakfast, I have zero appetite, but I take my friendly Boracough. Ses finishes eating and we walk back to the room contemplating which pool we'll lie by when I abruptly say, "If we stay in the room for more than 3 minutes I'm gonna pass out."

It's then that I realize that something's not quite right. I'm not usually a "pass out and hit the floor" person in the middle of the day. So I decide to Google what's in Boracough, something I regret not doing before taking it religiously for almost two days.

What do I find? In addition to being an antihistamine, antitussive, and nasal decongestant, it's also a partial sedative and alcohol (obviously) makes the effects worse. One of the warnings is, "Do not use to sedate a child or make a child sleepy." Excellent. I've been sedating myself for two days.

We speedily change into our suits and coverups, deciding that it's more vacation appropriate for me to sleep it off next to a pool than in the room, and head down to her pool of choice - her choice took 75 years to make and I snapped at her to make up her %@!$ mind more than twice.

We get to the pool, find loungers, and I promptly pass out. However, I stopped taking the medicine, immediately felt better (not exhausted and my symptoms got better), and we got back to living our best, Thailand lives.

"Don't scare me like that, Coloniser!"
We went to the mall to see Black Panther (WAKANDA FOREVER!) on the one rainy day we had and immediately fell in love with it. I sincerely doubt it'll be showing in theaters in Zhangjiajie anytime soon, so I'm super glad that I got to see it with Ses while in Thailand.

"I would make a great queen because I am so stubborn." - Nakia

 We also just had fun at the mall. We got manicures, at ice cream, had dinner - it was great.

After sunset, we decided to see Patong Beach to see what all the fuss was about. We learned pretty instantly.

"Come see sex show! Pop! Pop! Pop!" we heard men and women holding up graphic signs shout at us from every direction. "Good gracious!" I'd say back at Ses before we burst out laughing in disbelief.

As we walked the strip, the signs got more and more outrageous with everything advertised from "girl on girl" to "f*cking show" to the infamous "ping pong show." I thought I was impossible to scandalize, but I was wrong. Phuket scandalized me.

Add in the strip shows in almost every bar and almost naked women advertising them as you walked and Patong Beach is every 17-year-old boy's dream. For us, we needed a drink. Margaritas!

Swim at night for an empty pool!
After drinks and Ses' first games of "Connect 4" (she'd never played before!), we decided to call it a night and head back for night swimming before an early night. All that relaxing is exhausting!

On our last full night together, Ses took me out to celebrate my upcoming 28th birthday. Squee! She took me to the absolutely gorgeous Vanilla Sky Bar & Gastro Pub in Phuket. The views were as stunning as the drinks were strong. We ordered a bunch of food to share and tore it all up, all the while talking about our hopes for the next year and how blessed we were to be together in that moment.

All in all, Thailand is beautiful and amazing. Koh Samui was relaxing, quiet, gorgeous, and the epitome of "tropical paradise, luxury vacation." Phuket was wild and free, full of bars and poolside days.

Oh! Did I mention that Ses got sexually harassed by an Italian Santa Claus look alike at the swim-up bar? Yep, that happened. "Your body is so beautiful! I want to rub it. Such perfect tits! Oh!"

"Oooh, no!" we both exclaimed, shaking our heads as we quickly abandoned our seats in favor of getting the hell away from him. His wife was busy not giving a damn about this encounter over to his left. Memories!
Vanilla Sky birthday love

Regardless of anything else, time spent with Ses is always incredible. The best parts of Thailand were just catching up with her. Sharing pictures and stories, watching Netflix on my phone, talking on the beach, chatting and goofing around in the pool, gushing about Killmonger and M'Baku, and just getting to spend time together again. Sister fun time is always the best time.

I'm so glad that I got the opportunity to spend time with her in Thailand, especially since I have another four months in China before I'll see my family or American friends again.

My time truly has flown by so far, and I know that these next few months will do the same. However, this small bit of home and the happiness that familiarity brings has definitely given me the push I needed to enjoy the time I have left in Asia.

What else can I get up to before I head back to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Until June, Ses!

Crowds, food, drinks, and beating my big sister at childhood games - Phuket!

Yes! Light my birthday candles in extreme wind, minions! Mwahahahahaha!

Koh Samui: 10/10
Phuket: 8/10