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In this insightful gem, journalist and life coach Wanda Hennig writes wisely, hilariously and sometimes poignantly about sex and food; living for three-and-a-half years at the San Francisco Zen Center; moving solo from one continent to another; meditation; creative mindfulness strategies and more. Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon (Say Yes Press). Edition Two (Mouth Orgasm edition) published August 2017 (ISBN 9780996820523 paperback; ISBN 9780996820523 eBook).

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Home » Culinary Travel, Featured, Food Culture, Thailand travel, Travel Writing, World Travel

Thailand travel 26: Jungle Club, Secret Garden and Koh Samui friends

Submitted by on September 6, 2016 – 6:15 am
Jungle Club Koh Samui.

We share the starter with betel nut leaves at the Jungle Club.

Where do I want to go? I don’t have a clue.

“I don’t know my options,” I tell Rich and Barb.

The Jungle Club, north of Chaweng. Sound OK for lunch?” they ask. “It’s got a great view. Good food.”

“Sounds good to me,” I say. Feeling lucky. Old friends I haven’t seen for yonks. Visiting them on the island they chose to come live on a dozen years ago. Somewhere I’ve never been before and were it not for them, would never have thought to visit.

What could be better?

We drink blended (with ice) mango, fresh unadulterated coconut juice and beer.

We wrap Thai flavors in betel nut leaves (Miang kham); munch on spicy green papaya salad; each choose a different main: mine with fried egg noodles; Richard’s with rice and omlette; Barb’s a wonton soup.

Jungle Club wonton soup.

Wonton soup with a view at the Jungle Club.

Lunch with a view, a loo built into rocks, an infinity pool — and good friends.

We wrap Thai flavors in betel nut leaves

Share a starter — the miang kham: little bits of lime, chili, ginger, peanut, dried shrimp, dried coconut and a sweetish chutney sauce in the middle. Topped with sweet and salty sauce — shrimp paste, grated coconut, dried fruit, fresh galangal, dried shrimps, fresh ginger, shallots, palm sugar, cane sugar and salt.

“Where do you want to go for a drink this evening?”

Aren’t friends great — how they feel they must spoil one with choice and activities?

Again, I don’t have a clue. “I’ll leave it to you,” I say.

The Secret Garden at Bangrak is the suggestion. Tables in the sand. Fire artists on the beach for the party at the restaurant next door. Warm ocean for paddling. Rich and Barb’s boat at anchor with light reflecting off it about 50m off-shore. A Tiger beer then a Leo beer. Sixties music in the background.

Jungle Club, Koh Samui lunch

Friends united at the Jungle Club, Koh Samui.

“You’re living a fantasy movie-set lifestyle,” I comment. My mind travels to where they could be living. In a village in England.

OK. English villages can be charming.

But this is exotic and there’s no fog and we’re outdoors and the beer is cold.

Sure, there’s real life and a vet in the morning for two of the dogs and normal day to day pool cleaning and food prep and stuff.

But “we’ve had good adventurous lives, haven’t we?” I say to my friends. Who concur.

© Wanda Hennig 2016, story and photos.

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