Imagine a reality in which you wake up to undisturbed 180-degree view of the ocean and few islets, where you devour variety of breakfast options while overlooking lush foliage and pristine ocean waters from the hill top, where afternoons are lazy and evenings are glittering gold as the sun sets, where dinners are simple family affair of three and sleep is deep & sound. This is my favorite memory, our family trip to Koh Chang Island in Thailand in January 2022.
This holiday trip was a first for us since the pandemic hit, since we had a baby and longest in terms of car ride and the duration of our stay. In the 3 weeks that we were there, my favorite day surely has to be my husband’s birthday. Being an ardent believer of birthday bashes, this birthday of his was refreshing as we were surrounded by no balloons, extended family or big celebrations, instead there was jubilation in simplicity and intimacy that we shared as a small family.
The day started with my toddler and me taking in panoramic views of the beautiful ocean, the light blue sky, great big trees while I wrapped him up in embraces and kisses. Then I breastfed him while stretching my legs on a balcony chair. It is always so satisfying to watch him satisfy his need of comfort and hunger.
Upon re-entering the room, we found Papa awake, so we hugged him and sang ‘Happy Birthday’. Our son was too small to do anything entertaining last year, compared to this moment, in which he was smiling and clapping with his little hands, which made this birthday even more special. After a quick shower, we all headed to the breakfast hall. All three of us love to eat, picking food items from the buffet spread and then getting ourselves second & third helpings brings us immense joy. This along with being seated next to an unobstructed million-dollar view of the sun, the sand and the sea. While we were enjoying all this, the staff surprised us with a chocolate cake. We found later that it had been requested by my husband’s brother so we made a quick video to say thank you.
My husband and me love water sports, so after breakfast, we headed down to the beach, to do some Kayaking. Thankfully the Sun wasn’t too strong and the water wasn’t so choppy. My husband sat behind me with a paddle and I sat holding on to our little toddler who looked beyond adorable in his yellow hat, white & blue swim shirt and trunk, wearing an oversized purple life-vest. We paddled to the nearest islet while feasting our eyes on nature’s beauty: greenery that surrounded us, clear water with small fish & corals, expansive light blue sky, sounds of the waves mixed with birds singing. It was as if we were witnessing an orchestra being conducted by mother nature herself. It truly relaxed our minds and our spirits.
The soft waves and the cool breeze under sweet sunshine lulled our toddler to sleep, so we spent the afternoon by the beachside, lounging on beach chairs while our son rested atop my husband’s chest. I took this moment to go try StandUp Paddle board. It’s like a surf board with a paddle. After calming my nerves and finding my balance, I was able to stand on the board and it truly was exhilarating. It felt like having mastered a certain magic trick. And when I looked over to the shore, I saw my husband showing me a thumbs up. I enjoyed this experience thoroughly, it made me feel ‘I can!’.
Once our son was awake, we played with him by the beach, with his sand toys, shoveling some white sand on to his dumper truck, playing peek-a-boo, exploring the area, picking up big red leaves. An hour before the sunset, we started walking to the sea, felt lukewarm water turning cool on our legs, as we walked deeper, with our son sitting in his gigantic floatie and being pulled by us. We felt elated while walking over soft wavy sandy floor, feeling each wave of water caressing our bodies, enjoying eye-soothing views and calming sounds of the nature. In this moment, the twinkle in my husband’s eyes, his relaxed shoulders and that smile playing on his lips made me realize that birthdays can be celebrated this way too.
After the beach, our son led us to the infinity pool that’s built by the beach side. We watched the sun set behind the islets while playing with him in the pool. While the sun was setting, it colored the entire sea golden. The water shone like liquid gold, the sky painted itself in hues of yellow, orange and pink, and I couldn’t stop looking and admiring this larger-than-life canvas while collecting fallen flowers with my son in the pool. In my usual life, the sun sets behind a tall building and I am usually running an errand before dinner is served.
We took a shower and changed into slightly dressy clothing for my husband’s birthday dinner at the resort’s restaurant, situated right next to the beach. It felt great to dress up, put on ear rings, some makeup and walk out the door after spritzing some light perfume. Three of us dressed in shades of green for the occasion and were eagerly waiting for our warm Italian meal consisting of mushroom soup, pizza and pasta to be served. My husband was surprised with another cake this time, it was from our son and me. The smile on his face melted my heart.
This indeed was a perfect day, the one I wish for on regular days, the one I dream of after a tiring a day and the one that has become my favorite memory.
PS: The resort we stayed at, truly the best that Koh Chang offers, is Sea View resort Koh Chang. Highly recommended and I am not sponsored by them.