Our day started out with a pickup truck to collect us from the villa. The front cab was already full so we (me – reluctantly) got up into the open back. The kids thought this was sooooo cool. We obviously had a couple more stops to pick up other riders at their hotels/villa’s so we got a good tour of Koh Samui island!
We even got pulled over by the police. I am not sure what our driver was doing to get pulled over, but we were stopped for nearly an hour while he went to pay a fine. Meanwhile, we were all watching the police pull over anyone not wearing a helmet on the many bikes/scooters that you see on the roads here. It was comical seeing some of the riders trying to get out of the fine by turning around before the road block. However, there was a policeman stationed further up the road turning them back around!! Contrary to popular belief, there is a helmet law in Thailand and you must wear one. Owen and I joked that the police were hustling for money – we must have watched at least 100 get stopped!
Once we were back on the road, we had a hair raising journey up twisty turny roads towards the top of one of the mountains on Koh Samui. Breathtaking views across the island and could clearly see Fisherman’s village in Bophut as well as to Chaweng on the other side of the island. The lush green vegetation on the mountain sides is thick and dense.
We pulled into the Quad Bike facility and were greeted by smiling, friendly and apologetic staff. Because of our unscheduled stop, we were late starting….. However, this did not stop a fast start to the day.
In total, we were a group of 10 – the 4 of us, 2 Aussies, 2 Russians and 2 Chinese. There was a choice of several different types of Quad Bike and the girls were recommended the lighter, smaller bikes, while the boys had the heavier, more rugged and powerful bikes. We all got helmets and then listened to the safety and operational briefing. Owen and I had both been quad biking before. Our friend Paul who lives on a wonderful piece of land in Indiana, USA had hosted us several times where we had experienced the joy of quading! I am very glad that I had done this before and knew how the bikes handled, otherwise I would not have been comfortable taking Oliver on mine.
I was on one of the “girlie” bikes with Oliver sitting in front and Owen was on the “man” bike with Isabelle in front of him. We were excited to start! The group set off with Owen and I taking the rear of the convoy. We were out for about 90 minutes on the first trail around the mountains. We stopped for a drink at a place that was building a sleeping Budha. Again, more spectacular views across the mountains to the ocean either side. This trail was a little tame for Owen and I, although it was a great introduction for beginners. It was funny watching the novices tackle the bumps and holes and hills! Oliver loved it from the beginning and was laughing for most of our trip. Isabelle said it was a little scary to start, but she thought it was “fun and wonderful” once she relaxed into the experience.
We headed back to the facility for lunch and it was superb. Some of the best Thai food that I have ever eaten. It was cooked by locals and we had 3 different Thai curry’s and the yummiest fried vegetable fritters, plus rice. I had 3 plate fulls before I realized that I had definitely eaten too much!! The sweet watermelon and pineapple were a perfect ending to a delicious meal. This was a completely unexpected bonus to this great day out. The only downside was the toilet (yes, I am back on THAT subject!) Isabelle and I both needed to use “the facility” after lunch and were dismayed to see that it was a squat!! Needless to say, Isabelle decided to wait……. I am getting quite used to these now so it was all ok for me!!!
After lunch, we were back on the bikes for part 2. Oh my goodness, what fun we had. The afternoon trails were spectacular. We went through lots of water, which Oliver and Isabelle both loved, and the trails were much more challenging. Lots of hills, tight turns, rugged terrain and large bumps and holes to navigate over. I let Oliver control the speed of our quad bike and it turns out that he is quite the natural – he knew to keep a safe distance from the bike in front, but was a speed demon through the water so we got soaked multiple times! I only had to take over on a couple of the more challenging, steeper hills. He LOVED it. It turns out that Owen was also letting Isabelle control their bike with similar results.
We stopped at a beautiful waterfall where we all had a swim/wade, took pictures at the top of the waterfall and generally enjoyed the wonderful scenery, ice cold water and relaxing environment.
The only thing that we wished for was more photos of us on the bikes! We were so busy enjoying the action that it was difficult to remember to take some action shots. What a fantastic, fun day out. And, the best Thai meal of our vacation!!