Thai Tales – The Island Dream
Landing back Easter Sunday for a lovely family meal provided time for reflection on all the blessings I am grateful to be enjoying. What a perfect welcome home after a long flight from the Far East. I had been dreaming of being on Koh Samui for some years now & the reality did not disappoint.
Koh Samui is Thailand’s 3rd largest Island (after Phuket & Koh Chang) and about 1 hour flight away from mainland Capital Bangkok. The airport is small, efficient and quite lovely unlike any other I’ve been before. The climate is tropical with the hottest times of year April to May, but you will find a warm temperature here all year round.
It’s one of those places that has it all, whether your looking for remote beaches, a mountain retreat, night-life and lazy days or a busy coastal town to keep all ages entertained. Check out my highlights below from my week of activity and adventure and let me know how it compares to the islands you’ve visited?
I spent 2 days on 2 different jam packed tours, one filled with adrenaline, fast paced stops and times I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back from the dicey mountain roads but boy was it worth it. The other, the Eco Nature Tour, was at a slower pace but still we got through a full itinerary in half a day. My highlights were elephant trekking, a Thai boxing show, trying out tapping rubbing from a tree, swimming at a waterfall and visiting Big Buddha high up in the hills. Route 360 brings you to the peak of the island with outstanding views and a restaurant on top to relax in and I won’t forget trying my hand at Thai cooking.
There are so many packages to try if you want to see the island or try an activity such as diving, kayaking, zip lining or spending time with wild cats which I just adored & I was even brave enough to lay next to a leopard!
2.Songkran – New Year Celebration
I planned to be there during Thailand’s summer holiday period which is also when they celebrate their new year with the once gentle throwing of water to cleanse the last year’s negativity has now morphed into the biggest water fight on the planet. Imagine no rules, water tanks set up outside shops and restaurants plus buckets and water guns to hand, with 32-degree heat and people who know how to have fun. Simply Amazing!
For all ages, it’s great to get involved with and if you get a chance to visit get a waterproof case for your phone, be prepared to get drenched and just remember its light-hearted fun and being targeted is definitely not personal. We were also fortunate to be invited by our hotel to take part in the parade for 5 miles around town before teaming up on the road side and having battles with passers-by in trucks, on mopeds and on foot. After 6 hours, I needed a break so headed for the beach for a while then rested in the safety of my room.
We jumped on the local high roof, open back bus (Song Taew) all painted red and can be flagged down anywhere in Chaweng area. Our first stop was to a local buffet where you cook your own food. Now that was an experience to say the least. Rows of seafood, vegetables, noodles, rice, herbs & spices and a sizzling cooking device surrounded by boiling water. Navigating through with no instructions, no experience and only chopsticks in hand I admit I did take a few sneak peeks to the other diners to see what they were cooking & how!!! We then headed for Ice Bar, Samui in the heart of Chaweng Town past the beautiful lake area where you’ll find people jogging in the morning & bar hopping at night. Bar Ice is a great experience with a coloured ice room, where you can dress up in wigs, onesies or capes and enjoy techni-coloured cocktails, shots and fresh shakes in a unique setting. Then when things get too chilly and you’ve exhausted yourself taking selfies head to the beautiful garden area or chill out in the main bar chatting to Freddy and the other guys who will keep you entertained for hours.
We also spent one evening in Zico’s Brazilian Grill and Bar for an all-inclusive meat, rice and salad feast accompanied by the resident DJ and she sure kept the vibe up playing hours of international tunes.
On the Friday night, I particularly recommend Fisherman’s Village Night Market. It’s big with a few walking streets, very busy but very hot. Beware on a humid night you’ll need a fan and plenty of stops for fresh juice or a snack at one of the many food and dessert stands. For me this was shopping heaven, bargaining our way through shops & market stalls selling everything from key-rings and hand carved fruit bowls, to handbags and hot pants! This place demonstrates why you could travel light and then pick up what you need as you go along if spending time on Samui or moving across the region. They are all fairly priced, you can negotiate deals that suit you and pick up groceries, clothing, soaps, bags and more. Woven into the market streets are also a few bars, restaurants and air conditioned spas if you need a quick retreat.
Staying on Chaweng Beach Road was a perfect location for my family as it had shops, salons, massage parlours, currency exchange booth’s, laundry services and restaurant’s galore plus lots of smiling friendly faces from around the world. The beaches are clean, the water warm and sparkling in the uninterrupted sunshine and everything affordable even if on a tight budget. I hope one day you’ll get to visit too.
Thanks for stopping by, feel free to share and let me know in the comments below how Samui lives up to the Island’s you’ve visited and longed to return to?Follow me on social media: