When I used to live in Colombia we rarely visited Cartagena the Indias, but lately I have been working in this little gem of a hotel in a fisherman’s town nearby, reason why I find myself often in this part of the world.
Cartagena per se, is actually as magical as you think it is. The new part is a poor man’s version of a modern city (poor being arguable, unless you thing a US$3.000.000 penthouse is a bargain), but the old and more popular areas of town are just incredible. Being in Cartagena reminds me of some of the places I love the most in the world, like India or Asia…….but in the Caribbean………and in Spanish.
Manzanillo del mar, where Kohsamui is located, is an ancient fisherman’s town located 20 minutes outside the old city. It is so small, it does not even have a main square or the best infrastructure. I think only 900 people or so live in there.
Why do I love it so much? well, people are incredibly simple yet totally happy. Someone may say that they are poor or that such lifestyle is not acceptable, but up to a point I may have to disagree with that statement. The people in this town want to fish, spend time with their families and enjoy life as it comes. No high frustations or unhappiness from unfulfilled personal expectations.
After flying from a city like NYC, Bogota or even Cartagena, spending time in Manzanillo del mar is one of my favorite things to do. The sound of the ocean, the tropical light, the food and people’s smiles and sense of humor, makes this an unforgettable experience.
Like in most parts of the world, progress is coming fast around Manzanillo. Designer golf clubs, multi-million dollar dwellings, gated condos and shopping malls are dotting the landscape rapidly.
If you feel that you deserve to spend some time in a town that is raw, primitive and quite real, where the sound of the ocean and music from the tropics is your soundtrack and you want to enjoy incredible food and maybe some drinks under the stars at night right on the ocean, you must find yourself at Kohsamui.