Tropical holiday; Koh Samui Highlights

We spent a few wonderful days on the tropical island of Koh Samui for a friend’s wedding, it was magical. Separated from the mainland of Thailand, Koh Samui offers some seclusion and escapes from the busyness that you would find on nearby Phuket. 

Where I stayed

A small resort along Bangrak bay called Saboey Resort and Villas.  It wasn’t overly fancy and didn’t need to be, our room was appointed in simple Thai furnishings; wood post bed, dark unrefined wood floors, a basic rain shower and French doors that opened onto a balcony overlooking the pool area. My favourite part of the day was twilight by the pool bar before venturing out into town for the evening.

Best meal

A pad thai encased in a thin omelette from Sandalwood Luxury Villas and coconut ice cream from the night markets in Bophut.

What I was drinking

Mojitos in plastic cups from the night market.

To Buy

Savy Indian merchants tailor make any style of clothing in a matter of days, and we found one tailor located in Fisherman’s Village called James Fashion.  His shop was a flawless gallery of materials from silk to cotton.  He stood in front of the shop beckoning those that walk by, and we couldn’t help but be lured in by his witty charisma, he had an answer for everything, also piles of designer label magazines. Versace suite, no problems!

Worth the money

A hands on cooking class at SITCA. I wrote about our experience here. We made Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai and Green Curry from scratch preparing the local herbs and vegetables, some ingredients were diced, sliced and cubed for us, and this ensured that we could finish the meals in a few hours. At the end of the class we all sat down to enjoy our Thai feast. Fit for a medieval king, there was plenty of food to go around between our group and we took four containers of food back to the hotel. The facilities were clean and we were supplied our own utensils and cooking station. We were even given a booklet of the recipes so that we could make them at home. The cost was around 2,250 baht per person.

Natural Surroundings

Koh Samui is a tropical island surrounded by hundreds of other islands and because of this, the beach and bays are generally calm to swim in. The water is very salty and warm. The landscape of the island differs from one end to the other. Flat white sanded beaches to rocky boulder bays. Koh Samui is generally mountainous and the views are just amazing!

Warrants a return

Rice Italian restaurant in Chaweng for the blue cheese gnocchi and the wood fired pizzas.

The coffee I drank

A long black espresso in the hotel’s breakfast dining room. Mornings on the island were bliss, the sun is low and it’s warm without the high humidity.

Must do

Sailing at Maenam Beach, the temples at Wat Plai Laem and sitting by the pool with a good book.

We walked

We walked through Fisherman’s Village street markets, browsing black market Naked eye shadow palettes and locally hand carved soaps. We passed young gun men shaking up alcoholic cocktails and young women selling fashion clothing. The spread of food stalls at the nightly market was impressive and rather exotic – beef ribs, satay chicken, crocodile, mango pancakes and even sushi.

Highlight

The freedom from being a tourist! Scootering around the island in pursuit of secluded beaches and peaceful forests. Stopping in at little food shacks and eating rice under the shade of coconut trees. Sounds like a travel advert, but this was definitely real and a memorable part our trip. One main road loops the island and it’s virtually impossible to get lost unless you wander off the ring road.

Unique to Koh Samui

At the airport, laying on the grass under a coconut tree waiting for our boarding call. The small open air airport on Koh Samui is a pleasant change. Hearing the jet roar of a plane as it land and takes off, is thrilling to experience.

Sticky Situation

When we arrived, I stupidly left my wallet and passport in the taxi. IN THE TAXI. I could have lost everything in that moment, however thanks to the hotel and the taxi counter staff at the airport I recovered it all in 15 minutes.

Dislike

There is, sadly, a dark side to Koh Samui that appears to be fueled by an irresponsible growing tourist trade. On our first visit we stayed in the mountain away from the town and didn’t see it as much as our second visit. The neglected birds at the Tiger Park. The starving dogs and cats at Bophut village. The exploited children that appear towards midnight at some clubs tricking foreigners out of money.  The increasing amount of forest bulldozed over for speedy tourist lodgings with ill regard to the environment. Seeing all of this did make me feel bad for being a traveller and hesitant to return to cities and countries where tourism fuels neglect and crime.

Bophut-Village
 
Thailnad
 Sunset-Thailand
Saboey-Restaurant
Pad-Thai
Wedding-Koh-Samui
wedding
flower-at-airport
Espresso-Thailand
Koh-Samui-beaches
Nightlife-koh-samui
Coconut-icecream
 Koh-Samui-Airport
Koh-Samui-Airport-1

Travel tips to Koh Samui Thailand

  • Pack light and loose clothing for the humid weather
  • Grab some brochures and maps from the airport on the way to the taxi area
  • Be careful of your surroundings at bars in the evenings
  • Pack light and loose clothing for the humid weather
  • Bring sunscreen
  • Grab some brochures and maps from the airport on the way to the taxi area
  • Most travel companies do not cover scooter hire unless the rider has an international license
  • Be wary of handing your passport over for scooter hire

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