Day #136 - The Day we Took a Tractor to Paradise!

Our time in Rayavadee is short; today we move on to our penultimate resort. We are heading to the island of Koh Samui off the coast of the eastern side of Thailand. This means we have to take a few more boats and a taxi across the island. It's actually only the second time we've headed east in any significant way - most of the trip has always been about going west!
We were able to have a lovely relaxing start to the day since we didn't have to check out of Rayavadee until 12 and since this place was on the more expensive scale of things we wanted to ensure we got our money's worth! 
So we spent our time as you would expect having a leisurely breakfast, swimming, chilling in the room and of course, packing up our bags for the transfer. 
When it came time to go, the tide was out, so our first vehicle was a tractor trailer to take us out into the sea to rendevouz with the boat to take us back. If you recall, this resort was inaccessible by road even though it's on the mainland and so guests have to be ferried back and forth from the resort to a dock in a small town on the coast.

The crossing back was quick and smooth and there waiting for us at the jetty was our taxi driver. James had asked for a "nice taxi with air conditioning". What we got was a luxurious mini-van, complete with leather interior and flashing lights. I felt like I was about to go on a Hen Party night out!
The drive from the west coast to the east coast took about three hours and we had a few stops on the way. Once petrol station we stopped at had these amazing sculptures of movie characters and robots made out of scrap metal and engine parts. Very impressive. 
We were safely dropped off at the ferry terminal at Donsak which was a hive of activity. We hadn't booked in advance since we thought it wouldn't be too busy. Wrong! Despite being a Sunday afternoon, lots of people were looking to make the crossing. Luckily, there was still plenty of room for foot passengers and after a 30 minute wait in a rather airless waiting room, we were allowed to board. 
The crossing was smooth and took about 90 minutes or so and it was really easy to grab a taxi at the other end to take us to our hotel. We had a lovely lady driver who we believe was in training since she was accompanied by someone who gave of the air of being her boss and she was really keen to please and do a great shop. 
When we arrived at our next hotel, we faced a situation that has become rather common for us in Bali and Thailand. The entrance to our resort was tucked in between typical Thai shops along a busy main road - it didn't shout "luxury accommodation awaits"! However, knowing that first impressions really can't be trusted in these situation, we weren't concerned. The driver squeezed the taxi down a narrow alleyway that then broaden out into a beautiful courtyard and a welcoming party of staff were already to welcome us and take our bags. 
We made our way across an impressive  walkway to some stair, where we then ascended to be greeted by the most magnificent entrance to a hotel I think I have ever seen.
Taking its inspiration from Chinese culture, the entrance pavilion was a courtyard with covered terraces on all four sides with a still water pond filling the central space. 
We had the most courteous of welcomes and after the admin was all taken care off we were taken to our room - or in this case villa! The fact we arrived when it was dark, made it all the more magical!
What can I say? This place is amazing. 
After our host finished showing us around and left, we jumped straight into that pool to enjoy the cool water and that starry sky before then heading to dinner so that the magic could continue.