“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau
The underwater world is an amazing one that fascinates and excites. Ishita Sharma of Dil Dosti Etc. And “Dance India Dance” fame recently took to the deep blue during a vacation with her husband, Mohit Chadda. They travelled to Thailand’s second-largest island, Koh Samui. This is what happened on their island adventure.
Our vacations are never planned. In fact, Mohit and I never even book our hotels in advance. We usually set out to experience new places and settle on accommodation along the way. Even when we like a particular place, we only stay a night before finding a new location to explore, but this time was different. We went to Koh Samui with my best friend Sneha and her husband Amit. Unlike us, they prefer to have everything planned, so Amit booked an eight-day stay at Prana Beach Villa.
You have to experience this place to comprehend its tranquillity. The comfort was incomparable. I’m a late riser (not a morning person), so by the time I got ready to head out of the hotel, it was already afternoon. We booked tours to different islands, like Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Most of the day would be spent snorkelling, and though I know how to swim, I was apprehensive about the safety factor. Day one was tough – I had to convince myself to jump, but once I took the plunge, I enjoyed it. It’s a different world down there, and we spent hours in the water. Colourful corals and various marine life merited our undivided attention. We simply didn’t want to come back to land!
One time, we went snorkelling by canoe instead of the usual speedboat. We kept trying to jump into the water, but the canoe almost capsized a few times. When we finally managed to get in, our guide mentioned something about the current, but we were too excited. Eager to explore, we dove in; after a while, we realised the boat was quite far away, thanks to the strong current! We then swam the distance and returned to the safety of our hotel. This was almost a ritual every alternate day, and the days in between were spent relaxing in the hotel. After snorkelling, we’d go to the market, enjoying the rest of the night at one of the local pubs. We spent most nights on the eastern coast, usually at a pub called The Duke at Chaweng Beach. The street would transform into a party venue after sunset – live music, dance shows, bars, and a lovely European vibe. Mohit, Amit and Sneha love snooker, so we’d make sure to grab a pool table early on.
I’m a bit of a spoilsport and don’t enjoy losing, but the three of them were patient with me!
We wanted to add some more adventure to our trip, so we went zip-lining. It was a lot of fun, but we were very cautious, having heard that the local mafia take your passports and demand money in return. Amit and Sneha binged on street food, especially the sausages (which I found really disgusting). I lived on pancakes, particularly enjoying the banana and Nutella variety! I quite enjoy experimenting with food, so I tried the rice and noodles with a variety of local curries. I love spicy food, and at Sunset Point, I was treated to the spiciest prawns I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t mind going back to Koh Samui just for that! But when it comes to buying for me, I can be a miser.
We stayed in Bangkok for a day, shopping. I hadn’t shopped much in Koh Samui, so I really splurged in the capital. We went to Chatuchak Market, which I was stunned to find out had more than 50,000 stalls! This mammoth bazaar seemed to have everything on earth, with 15,000 stalls devoted to food alone. Confectionery items, rats, accessories, apparel – it truly had everything! When it comes to shopping for Mohit, I’m particular about the brands I buy and will not compromise.
I loved bargaining with the vendors, and walking off in search of a better deal. Mohit got tired of this, and with just an hour left, he went back and picked up all the things I liked!
I had a ‘moment’ when I bumped into a fan, who was selling bags in Koh Samui. Initially, she didn’t recognise me, but Sneha did her best to let the woman know who I was. When she finally figured it out, she started screaming with joy, and called her family and friends to get pictures with me. She even offered us discounts on everything we liked at her store!
Unfortunately, my work doesn’t allow me to take as many vacations as I’d like. This was my first international holiday with Mohit, and I’ll remember and cherish it forever. ..... The Creative Access