Visited the Grand Palace built in 1782. The Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha is very impressive in its architecture, craftsmanship and artistry. The golden chedi is also remarkable. Ate dinner in Chinatown for Chinese New Year. Had a good-bye seafood dinner beside the Chao Phraya River. It was sad to be leaving Brian and Siripan after spending so many fun days traveling together.
We took the Thai Railway Southern Line to Surat Thani. It took eight hours, but was pleasant enough. I hoped to get a good look at the countryside, but trees lining the rails obstructed the view. We checked into a hotel, bought ferry tickets for Ko Samui, and ate at a market along the river. In the morning, we took a bus and ferry to Ko Samui and arrived about noon. After lunch, we visited the tourism office, took a shared cab to north Chewan Beach and checked into the Matlang Resort. It is pleasant. A gentle breeze always blows, trees line the shore, it is warm, the water is green and blue. I can see coral just offshore. The snorkeling is good.
Lodging–Don Ban Hotel in Surat Thani is okay for one night in between train and ferry. Clean with A/C.
Matlang Resort is a real find. Cute bungalows in the middle of tropical gardens, beach front, restaurant. Good, quiet location.