Koh Samui was the perfect place to go while winter raged back in Japan. We stayed on Lamai Beach in Koh Samui, which is one of the quieter beaches on the island - though arguably just as beautiful. We arrived on December 29th, and stayed until January 3rd. We enjoyed the beautiful weather, the quick access to the beach, wonderful food, and the company of tons of other travelers seeking to celebrate the new year in paradise. Each day consisted of a variation of this schedule:
1. Big breakfast with lots of fruit
2. Hitting the beach
3. Delicious lunch, usually with real watermelon juice
4. A massage, maybe a little shopping, or back to the beach
5. A nice dinner somewhere along the main road
6. A drink or two at a nice or unique little bar that we happened to stumble across
Koh Samui was also the place where we welcomed 2011. For New Year's Eve, we went to a different beach - Chawaeng Beach - and hopped from place to place. All the resorts and hotels had something going on at the beach. There were tons of fireworks randomly going off and Chinese lanterns being lit and released into the sky. It was beautiful! The fireworks and lanterns were being sold by beach peddlers, and were the real thing. The fireworks were the kind that are used for the fourth of July by cities for their shows - and they were being sold to anyone with the money to buy them off the peddlers. A bit dangerous to have those fireworks being set off by anyone anywhere, but it made the entire beach line one beautiful fireworks show.