Koh Samui

Setting: A beautiful island laden with quaint towns along the coast.

Visited - Jan 2017
I travelled to Koh Samui with my friends, after quite a long planning and excitement phase. The quaint and beautiful airport welcomes you. As you are being hauled away in the bus from the plane, you will feel like you are entering a resort and not the airport. The setting for both arrival and departure are simply beautiful and the airport could be a tourist spot by itself!     I went there with the expectation of a party destination, and it turned out to be a lot more. It’s a wonderful package of beach, spa, party, serenity and shopping. You can mix it all to your preferred proportions or just pick one. You will return a happy traveller. If you have been to Bangkok and surrounding, and think you have done Thailand, do think again.

Moving around: Taxis (car and scooter) were readily available. Scooters could also be rented-most offer a 24-hour rental with passport held for security. Most package tour operators also pickup and drop between airport, hotel and tourist destinations. Airport to Chaweng area takes approximately 10 mins.  

This has made my revisit list!
Two of the most popular ways to get to Koh Samui.
  •  Via Singapore (flight time under 2 hours)
  •  Via Bangkok (flight time 1 hour)
Alternately, arrivals via ferries available. Didn’t explore this much.
  • Angthong Marine National Park
  • Big Buddha Temple
  • Wat Plai Laem temple
  • Lad Koh viewpoint
  • Grandpa and Grandma Rocks (Hin Ta Hin Yai)
  • Mummified Monk
  • Namuang Waterfall


Beaches: Roughly 25Km at its widest point, this island is loaded with beaches. My personal pick is Chaweng for a party atmosphere. There are other beaches for quieter vacations. Scour the web to match your needs before you go. Snorkeling, Kayaking, Speed Boating, Parasailing etc....the usual water sports package available.

Spa: From the hotel you might be staying in to the streets you may be strolling, the beaches you may be longing in all have some spa offering.

Nightlife: When traveling with friends, the first thing you want is a party atmosphere, and there was plenty of it. The Chaweng street has a wonderful charm and all things party, beachside or inland. The nightlife was abundant. The street was alive well into the early hours of the following day. Very safe with police patrolling continuously.

Shopping: Be it touristy trinkets shopping or the luxury brand shopping, Koh Samui has something for everyone. There is plenty of shopping at each of the spots you step into for sightseeing. My personal favorite was at the Big Buddha temple. Chaweng area has numerous street side shopping. The small crossroads inland were plenty and equally good for non-branded shopping. Do bargain a fair price, as negotiation is expected and initial price quoted is twice or more than the actual value. The Koh Samui mall is the place to be for the brand conscious. Do not forget to get the tax reimbursed. Most stores help you with the process.  
Eat: Plenty of options from street food to fancy restaurants available. Beware of street food vendors, cheating does happen and sometimes magnified due to the language barriers. There are 3 Indian restaurants as well in Chaweng area.

   

Stay: Each beach area has a variety of accommodations. Explore the hotel sites to find your fit. I would pick Chaweng area hotels for easy access to nightlife, beachside parties and shopping.

Know before you go:

The location truly is a multi faceted experience-beaches on one side and jungles and hills on the other. There is something for everyone.

For group and party experiences, look to align your travel with Half-moon and Full-moon dates.

 

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