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britman Ko Samui - A travel report by Brit
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Ko Samui,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Surat Thani
10163 readers

britman's travel reports

Koh Samui-This Thai Island is Heaven on Earth!

  32 votes
Page: 1 2

Koh Samui full of idyllic beaches
Koh Samui full of idyllic beaches
Koh Samui is a small, relatively unspoilt, tropical island paradise off the east coast of Thailand, in the Gulf of Siam, its tallest buildings rise no higher than the tallest palm tree. The interior of Samui is hilly and covered with tropical jungle having spectacular views and waterfalls that sweep down to perfect white sand beaches and an azure blue sea.

***** The east coast area of Thailand was completely untouched by the tsunami that hit the west coast of Thailand on the 26th December 2004.*****

Favourite spots:
Sunset behind Ang Thong National Marine Park - May 2004
Sunset behind Ang Thong National Marine Park - May 2004
The best advice is to hire a car or motor bike or even take a taxi (after hard negotiating) even better, jump on a songthaew (local pick up bus) and travel around the island. Whilst Chaweng and Lamai are becoming relatively spoilt by tourism the smaller coastal villages are still untouched – look at Thong Krut on the south coast and Maenam in the North. Don’t miss Nathon the islands unspoilt capital (a good place to get a ferry to either the mainland Surat Thani or the islands of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan). Nathon is nowhere near as touristy as Chaweng and has great food, a lively market and every evening lots of local food stalls on the ferry car park harbour front where you can eat well alongside the locals for a few baht.

What's really great:
Ko Samui travelogue picture
The local beers are Singha, Chang and Leo – all are excellent Lager style beers and can be bought everywhere from Supermarkets, roadside stalls through to restaurants and almost every bar including the English/Irish and Australian pubs that exist. If you like Pubs then worth a visit is Bophut with an excellent beachfront English Bar and an Aussie Bar. "Steve's Inn" is the English bar sometimes just called "The Pub” he does a great Sunday roast! Tropical Murphy’s in mid Chaweng, Main Street (almost opposite to McDonalds) does great cheap food. The Irish stew is commendable and the Breakfast is a real Irish style Ulster Fry. For nightlife try Green Mango and the Reggae Pub both are busy night-time venues in Chaweng.

Sunset from Ban Tai on Samui's north coast.
Sunset from Ban Tai on Samui's north coast.
(1) Round Island Trip
(2) Bophut - The Old Fishermans Village
(3) Big Buddah,
(4) Northern Coast (Spectacular sunsets here)
(5) Thong Krut, (south coast) - (Shown in photo above)
(6)Watch the tourists on Chaweng Main Strip at night -even better join them during the day on Chaweng Beach

The north coast of Samui witnesses some of the finest sunrises and sunsets in the world.

Ban Loma 4 bedroom 3 bathroom fully air conditioned accomodation
Ban Loma 4 bedroom 3 bathroom fully air conditioned accomodation
Santiburi Dusit Resort at Maenam, the newly opened Pansea Hotel on the spectacular northern coast between Maenam and Ban Tai and for real solitude Royal Meridian at Ban Taling Ngam overlooking the Ang Thon Marine Park.

Book your own luxury house- try - picture opposite.

If you must stay in Chaweng (be warned it is touristy and noisy) try Poppies, Regent Hotel, Amari Reef.

Budget travellers try the Montien House Hotel.

Backpackers may like The Jungle Club rooms from THB 350 (£5) per night.

General accommodation and information:- (book rooms on line) (for Samui's best villas)

A great monthly magazine for travellers, at a cost of 100 baht is "Farang", it has all the up to date news, happenings, accommodations, diving, clubbing, etc., - not just for Samui but the whole of Thailand and neighbouring S.E. Asia countries.

Ban Loma's inviting pool
Ban Loma's inviting pool
Green Mango & Reggae 'Pub' in Chaweng.

At the Bangkok Airways terminal or inflight pick up the free magazine "The Samui Guide" - it lists all the clubs, pubs and restaurants + a good map - all for free.

Brand new and recently opened a 18 hole Golf Club at Ban Tai - operated by the Dusit Santiburi Hotel.

Bang Por Beach from Ban Loma
Bang Por Beach from Ban Loma
The "strip" at Chaweng Beach is full of bars - the best pub is Tropical Murphy's, Chaweng. A brand new pub/bar "CoCo" on CoCo corner North Chaweng opened at the end of May 2004 - it promises to be "the" place with great international live bands, good beers on draft.

A good night out is at the Fisherman's Village at Bophut
several pubs worthy of mention here:-
Steve's Inn - The Pub. (Excellent English Sunday Roast Lunches)
Crows Nest (next door to Steve's Bar is also great English Bar)
Frog & Gecko (Decent Pub,again English - Weekly Quiz nights)
Billabong Surf Club - (Really good Aussie Bar - live bands)

The Elephant & Castle - Ban Bang Rak near to Big Buddha Beach is worth a visit if you are in that area.

Ban Loma from the sea
Ban Loma from the sea
Eating in Thailand is a fraction of the western costs.
For top dining that doesn't bruise your wallet try:-
The Mangrove, by the airport at Ban Rak - menu is short but excellent from this young talented French Chef.** (my first choice)
Prego, Chaweng - Chef Marco's great food.
Poppies, Chaweng, (special occasions)

Bophut: (Fishermans Village).
Many beach-front restaurants here, three great places to eat:-
Alla Baia - (non pretentious, reasonably priced Italian)
The Shack - (BBQ's before your eyes!)
Happy Elephant, (wide cheap menu + bbq fresh fish)

Best Breakfast's on the Island:-
Angela's - on the ring road between Bophut and Maenam.
Best Breakfast in Chaweng:
Tropical Murphy's - Ulster Fry

Best value on the Island:-
Tesco-Lotus Food Hall (Ban Chaweng) - 'Nits Restaurant' - Chicken Fried Rice with a plate of Asparagus,shrimp & vegetable stir fry all for around 70 baht - (£1.00) (Outstanding food - the best value on the island)


Other recommendations:
Ang Thong National Marine Park from Ban Loma
Ang Thong National Marine Park from Ban Loma
Getting there:-

Book online flights from Bangkok, Phuket or Singapore

Best Tip if you want to go to Samui (or need Thai/Samui information) consult the website below.

Answer any Thai immigration and Visa questions - and get up to the minute Thai news:-

Listen to the latest news and music live on Radio Bangkok on the net -

Published on Wednesday April 21th, 2004

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Sun, May 22 2011 - 01:03 PM rating by trekkerman

Good report Britman. Takes me back there all over again.
Spot on info except that sadly now us Brits only get around 47 baht (2011)to the pound as oppose to the 70 baht of 2004.

Thu, Jan 27 2005 - 07:34 PM rating by picasso

Dear Brit,i just have a little chance to get back to your wonderful reports onece again,and i really had enjoyd this superb travel information.And images are outstanding as well.*****+

Best wishes,Boris

Mon, Jan 10 2005 - 10:55 PM rating by ardelia

Hi there..after reading the report, all I wanna do is go for another trip again,even though I have just got back from a 3 week holiday. :)

I would love to visit this Ko Samui island one fine day. But how is the island now wfter the Tsunami? Was it badly hit? Please keep me informed.Thanks

Thu, Oct 21 2004 - 01:11 AM rating by gloriajames

wonderful report!! nice villa too! another 5*

Wed, Oct 20 2004 - 04:09 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii brit,
excellent report and nice picutres .
well really thailand is nice place.

Mon, Aug 23 2004 - 03:15 PM rating by nedkelly

Words fail I wont bother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sun, Aug 01 2004 - 10:35 PM rating by undedd

Hi Britman,
I enjoyed your report on Giverny very much; it's somewhat of a pilgrimage site for my wife and I when we visit France -- her being an artist -- and your account brought back many fond memories.

I also enjoyed this one about Koh Samui. I've visisted Thailand seven times now and plan to return again soon. Its people, food and natural environment stand like a beacon for travellers. Fortunately, like the Indonesians, they seem to have adopted a clever tourist model of creating enclaves (such as Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui) to protect the rest of the country from unchecked tourism. And it works!

Next time you're in the area take my advice, go south -- to the deep south. There you will find the true meaning of unspoilt. Start in Trang and explore from there to the Malaysian border. You may never want to come home!

Ciao for now ...

Tue, Jun 01 2004 - 06:15 PM rating by mystie21


Fri, May 21 2004 - 07:39 PM rating by whereisliz

Your breathtaking photos make the place look too good to be true! But in this case, I suspect seeing is believing... Thanks for sharing a slice of paradise with us!

Mon, May 10 2004 - 12:41 AM rating by melissa

Amazing, you have been everywhere! Well this is one place that is close to me and will be seeing before I leave Asia. I am so happy that there is some places left that are untouched, or at least pure in some way still. The sunset photo takes my breath away, that is one sight I would never forget, and the flower is BEAUTIFUL>!!

Sat, May 01 2004 - 04:30 AM rating by islandhopper

I want to visit Samui after reading this!

Fri, Apr 30 2004 - 05:00 PM rating by nashie

awesome! I'm planning 2 be ther in Nov...

Mon, Apr 26 2004 - 09:08 AM rating by travelaust

Great report - I love this island

Fri, Apr 23 2004 - 07:36 AM rating by inkolor

What a beautiful place! very nice pictures. Congratulations. Ingrid

Wed, Apr 21 2004 - 04:18 AM rating by travelalain

Good report, it seems that you liked the place. I shall try to remember the names of the local beers.

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