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hially Ko Samui - A travel report by Alice
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Ko Samui,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Surat Thani
3068 readers

hially's travel reports

Samui Island, Thailand

  11 votes

Ko Samui travelogue picture
Ko Samui is an island in the Gulf of Thailand about an hour and a half by air to the south of Bangkok. The island is full of lovely green foliage due its abundance of coconut palms and other trees. It is by no means a remote island as there is an airport and a full-blown tourist strip along Chaweng beach (and other areas on the island). Sadly, there is a plethora of big chains that have set up camp here (McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Kentucky Fried Chicken, 7-11, to name a few) but the majority of these types of establishments can be avoided by just getting out of the tourist drag on Chaweng. I recommend renting a scooter or Jeep to see the other areas of the island. It's well-worth it! I got to see much of the quieter parts of the island this way courtesy of a spunky, red, Jeep Suzuki which was very reasonable to rent. This is a wonderful way to explore Samui's beauty.

Favourite spots:
Ko Samui travelogue picture
Coral Bay Resort (perfect retreat kind of place to stay - no TV's or phones!)

Ya Noi Bay (quiet beach at Coral Bay Resort)

Swimming/playing in waves at Chaweng Beach (better for that type of activity)

Ban Sabai Spa in Bophut (great place to treat yourself to an oil massage, pedicure, manicure)

THAI FOOT MASSAGE!!!! I admit it, I indulged heavily in Thai foot massage during my stay in Thailand...from Bangkok to Samui, my feet were being rubbed to heavenly heights!



What's really great:
Ko Samui travelogue picture
For me, the quieter beaches away from the touristy areas are worth a visit. If you don't want to have to deal with beach vendors (who are frequent irritants on Chaweng and Lamai), then hop in your jeep and find a lovely beach somewhere off the road somewhere. I took in some lovely views at a beach that lay quietly off of the main road on my whirl around the island in the Jeep Suzuki. I wanted a retreat away from the sleaze and commercialism of the touristy part of the island and I found Coral Bay Resort the perfect place for my visit to Ko Samui. It's close enough to the tourist drag if you feel you need to go there for whatever reason, but it sits quietly away from the madness of Chaweng at lovely Ya Noi Bay. Coral Bay is a wonderful place to relax and unwind. Beautiful gardens and butterflies and a great eco-friendly, earthy concept. The sleepy town of Bophut also scored high on my list of what's special about Ko Samui. There's something quaint and European about it. A delight!

Sights:
Ko Samui travelogue picture
Go see the elephants near the waterfalls in the south end of Samui island. I got to watch them eat palm fronds at sunset which was really wonderful. There isn't a gate or fence around them as you drive alongside the road that leads to the waterfall which is probably a poor safety judgement. The caretakers allow you to go up, touch, and photograph them if you wish. A bit scary but fun!

Accommodations:
Ko Samui travelogue picture
Coral Bay Resort surpassed my expectations in terms of it's pretty gardens and quietude. The rooms are earthy and clean, walls of stone, thatched roof, spacious balcony/deck, huge bed, high ceiling bathroom with skylight and stone tile and walls in the open-style shower. Very cool for those who like the earthy look/feel but the standards of moderate hotels. There's a ceiling fan, air-conditioning and hot water in the bungalows as well as a mini-bar and a safe. The assistant manager is a young and friendly Swiss guy named Alexis who made a great impression on the first day by emphasising his flexibility about the times the outdoor pool was open...he basically said with a smile: it's your vacation, do what you like. More importantly, the other guests at the hotel were my type of crowd....quiet and relaxed. No parties here, no nonsense. Just a great little vacation in a beautiful, tropical setting.

Hangouts:
Ko Samui travelogue picture
I had a really yummy burger in Tropical Murphy's Pub along the Chaweng strip. The pub is a comfy place to hang out in while you wait for one of those afternoon tropical rain showers to subside. The thai vegetable soup was pretty good too. Oh, I have a little gripe that doesn't really fit under this heading but I simply MUST let everyone know that I got charged 400 Baht to leave Samui airport (domestic flight) and then another 500 Baht at Bangkok airport for my flight back to Hong Kong...is it just me or does that seem outrageous????


Restaurants:
Ko Samui travelogue picture
Via Vai serves the BEST thin crust pizza I have ever tasted. The tomato/mozzarella/basil salad was excellent. As an expatriate who lives in Asia, I know how hard it is to find a restaurant that delivers quality dishes that involve cheese! Via Vai impressed me. The owners, from Napoli, seem to take pride in their work which was also a treat to see.

Tex Mex Gringo Cantina was the other non-Thai food favourite of mine. I've had lousy Mexican food all over the world but this place was great. Turns out the owner is from my hometown in North America and learned how to cook tex mex from the staff at my favourite Mexican restaurant in Vancouver! Funny coincidence.

As for Thai cuisine, I had better culinary experiences in Bangkok than I did on Samui. Only place worth mentioning was a thai seafood salad I had in Lamai and another one in Bophut's Starfish and Coffee restaurant. I had a fair bit of yummy fruit and fruit shakes. I love the papaya shakes. MMMMM!
l

Published on Monday February 10th, 2003


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Fri, Dec 03 2004 - 09:09 PM rating by magsalex

Ah it brings back memories!

Fri, Jul 23 2004 - 03:44 PM rating by realslimshady

Thanks for the awesome report.

Fri, Aug 08 2003 - 11:18 PM rating by downundergal

Take me there!!!!!
Cheers, Kerrie

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