Koh Samui – Positive Highlights Part 1
By Kim Waddoup
We sailed towards Koh Samui with excitement alighting the ferry on the west of the island at the Lipa Noi Pier. A coin was flipped and it was decided that we tour the island in an anti-clockwise direction. Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island (after Phuket). Our destination for the first night was Lamai Beach. It is the quintessential Thai beach, crescent shaped, clear blue water and lined with restaurants and palm trees.
Inclement weather greeted us the next morning and we took shelter in the charming Dara Kitchen where we savoured the unique Deep Fried Samui Buns which we can highly recommend! Duly fortified we headed for the island’s only shopping mall, Central Samui as we needed to get out of the rain. There is a good selection of shops and restaurants here but I had recollections of artisan hand-craft shops with rather different goods in them. Sadly these have been replaced by mundane kiosks selling the same souvenirs as Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok. It was, however, good to keep out of the rain!
As the sun re-appeared we continued north to our destination, the intriguing Escape Beach Resort at the end of Maenam Beach. Getting to the resort was a mountain adventure as with a drive down a very steep slope to a sharp left turn! However, the resort was worth it, quite charming and good value at only THB.942.
Our destination for the evening was the Fisherman’s Village, a slightly quirky place. You enter by a failed development but once you hit the street there are restaurants after restaurants lining the beach. Most appear to be upmarket and not the ‘tables in the sand style’. Whilst we perused a few menus we chose the flexibility and price of the Night Market.With the largest choice of food outside Bangkok, there is literally something for everyone from Austrian to Isan and everything in-between. Most dishes were priced at THB.100 and the helpings were generous the drinks were also reasonably priced. Great atmosphere, superb flavours and excellent value.
The next morning we drove out to Big Buddha island, quite charming when it is not too busy. The Big Buddha itself is quite sublime and offers wide views over the bay and inland. Beneath the Buddha are some interesting, artisanal shops, if you look closely!
Continuing our circuit heading west, we followed the road enjoying some very photogenic views until we reached Nathon Beach where we stopped to see their latest catch.
That night we chose to stay at the Am Samui Resort Taling Ngam (THB.1,577 for an upgraded room) directly on the beach under the shadow of the tastefully constructed Intercontinental Hotel. We found the resort quite charming with chalets surrounded by tall coconut trees and a lovely garden. The beach was also quite lovely but it was just a shame that the staff did not see the need to clean it for their guests.
The West of the island was really growing on us! Quiet, green and predominantly Thai with majestic coconut trees everywhere,a coffee shop called Café Botanikka caught our eye. With the coordinates installed we followed our navigation. Little did we know that the coffee shop was actually inside the ultra chic Conrad Resort. The valets parked our car for us and we were able to enjoy the incredible view from the resort entrance. The Café was a little disappointing but we enjoyed our surroundings.
For Part 2 of Kim’s Positive Highlights of Koh Samui see next month’s Discover Pattaya magazine or you can visit his website https://Meanderingtales.com