Our film diary continued….
Its another early start to catch the boat to Koh Tao today so we were very happy to be sent on our way with breakfast boxes from the friendly team at Mai Samui. We arrive at Baan Rak pier, there is a hype of activity as the boatmen prepare for a busy day ahead taking groups out to Koh Phangnan & Koh Tao. While we wait we enjoy freshly brewed coffee but already the crew can’t resist the crystal clear waters and are off paddling by the shore! The speedboat takes just 1.5 hours from Koh Samui and the views are amazing. We pass Ang Thong National Marine Park to our left, a scattering of limestone rock formations, Koh Phangnan and count the number of flying fish that race us along the way. The pier at Koh Tao is also busy, full of colourful fishing boats. Its got us all already thinking about what delicious seafood we will have for dinner later. We jump into the back of a pick up truck and 10 minutes later arrive for check-in at Charm Churee Villas.
It is at Charm Churee Villas we will film diving and sunsets. Our villas are relatively basic with a Thai charm about them. It feels homely here.
Margo, the resident dive master takes fantastic care of us during our stay and has arranged a refresher class for Michael and an underwater cameraman to capture his dive adventures. 2 hours later & Michael is back on dry land after a very colourful dive. We make a quick trip into town to film some local life. Koh Tao is so cute, it has just a simple ring road connecting the beaches around the coastline. As with everywhere in Thailand there are plenty of local food stalls, markets, spas, shops that we pass along the way. The island is very lush & has a laid back vibe to it. We make a stop for a quick lunch, Pad Thai, at New Heaven restaurant which has the most amazing view ever! Overlooking Freedom Beach, we all gazed down at the turquoise waters below.
Back at Charm Churee Villas we were treated to a 1hr Thai massage. After a week of 15 hour days this was exactly what the doctor ordered! We rounded off our day on Koh Tao with dinner on the beach, literally, with the waves lapping upto our feet. With no TVs as a distraction we all took advantage of an early night…. Zzzzzz
Our 24 hours on Koh Tao has flown by but we all fell in love with this idyllic little island. The ferry back takes around 2 hours with a stop at Koh Phagnan. We run to a sunny spot on the upper deck to get in some tan time. From Samui pier we head to Chaweng beach and the Akyra Resort. A modern hotel with Japanese influence its the ideal place for couples and honeymooners. The resort is located on the far north end of Chaweng so this part of the beach is much quieter. There are lots of local bars and restaurants nearby, perfect for a cheap eat or sundowner cocktail. By chance, I bump into my friend Tim who is having lunch with his sister who is here on holiday!
From here we drive half way around the island to Samuis newest hotel, Conrad Samui Resort & Spa. This hotel has a lot to live up to, anticipation is high (it took 4 years to build) and boy did it not disappoint! This is luxury at its best. Built into the cliff face the resort is staggered across the rocks and natural surroundings. The lobby affords a view that leaves you speechless. The crew time their shoot perfectly and finish at the infinity pool to capture one of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve all ever seen. The sky is filled with hues of orange, pinks and purples. The silloute of 5 Islands and palm trees on the beach front added to the dramatic scene.
We concluded our day with a lovely meal at Zest restaurant in the resort before tearing ourselves away.
Our last day of filming! This morning we are shooting Mai Samui Resort and kayaking from their beach. Just one of the many activities they offer for guests. You can also indulge in spa, try your hand at a cookery class or simply sit at the swim-up bar and work your way through the cocktail menu. We all knew what we would like to be doing, but, with a job to do we worked on with a wrap party tonight to look forward to!
It feels hotter today so after a morning out on the beach and around the resort we took cover in their air-conditioned Thai restaurant to cool down.
This afternoon we went out and about to explore Samui island. We filmed the Big Buddha at the north of the island, some hidden beaches in the south and longtail boats whizzing past at sea, lively Chaweng beach, a streetfood scene (everyone has to try banana and chocolate pancakes from a local vendor at least once, delicious!) and finally Thai massage at a local beach hut.
The sun is setting on our final day and the director shouts those three magic words “its a wrap!” We can’t believe we’ve done it! I buy a lantern from a local beach vendor for us all to light and send up together, it seems like a fitting end to our trip.
Back at Mai Samui we pop open a bottle of champagne to toast to a safe, fun and successful filming shoot before heading out for dinner and drinks to let our hair down. Tomorrow we fly home. I hate farewells but for now my only thought is what to order at the bar. Cheers!
The final edits from the film trip will be ready early April 2012 and will launch at our Facebook page ‘Thailand Fan Club’.