So…. Onwards we went to the final destination of our Thai adventure, Koh Samui… I had planned to end our trip there purposefully. Koh Samui is one of the most manicured islands Thailand has to offer. It’s a luxury tourist’s wet dream! Cushy five star resorts, gorgeous golden sandy beaches, ample souvenir shopping opportunities and many day tour options to explore not just the island itself, but also neighbouring islands. Perfect to just relax, take in some of the luxury (which is still relatively moderately priced!), and take our leisurely time enjoying our comfy surroundings. 🙂
Getting there from Koh Lanta was relatively easy – we booked transport directly from one of the ample tour shops around the island – a mini van to Surat Thani port where we then caught a two hour ferry ride to Koh Samui. There ferry ride was comfortable, which was such a relief considering our prior nightmare trip from Tonsai to Koh Lanta! So we happily made it to Koh Samui smoothly, no wet, bumpy rides.
I splurged on the hotel – as a treat to my better half (for taking such good care of me when I was sick – see previous posts for more info about that little adventure), and decided to book a room at the Nora Buri Resort. Just look at the place!!! Divine!! After staying at some pretty modest places, this one was just heaven! The resort is set up on a hill, so it has a terraced layout… It has like three infinity pools, a spa, a bunch of restaurants and it has a private beach… Yes, a private beach! They actually take you, and your luggage (in our case a couple of worn out and damp back packs), to your room in a golf cart!!! I think we were the two scruffiest residents they had, but what the hell! We were happy and hungry and ready to get some pampering on! 😀 The food at the resort was delicious, with ample to choose from, and the breakfast (which was included in the reservation price) was deeeelicious!!
We spent our first afternoon just chillin’ in the resort…. We had a bath! SCORE!! And then got to exploring. Koh Samui is a fairly big island with a bunch of beaches you can spend hours at, the most popular being Chaweng Beach and Lamai (though others include Bophut beach which is great to catch a good diving tour, Choengmon Beach and Nathon, amongst many others). There are also some great attractions to visit. We made it a point to go pay our homage to the giant Big Buddha at the Wat Phra Yai and also visited Bophut regularly during our stay as we were basically residing within the local area.
There are lots of markets to visit and see, with a wide variety of dining and bar options at your disposal. You can also visit the island’s most famous temple, the Wat Khunaram Ko Samui, where you can find a mummified monk sitting upright in a glass casket, wearing a groovy pair of shades! If you like phallic shaped rocks, have a gander at the Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, distinctively shaped liked a vagina and a giant penis, respectively. :’) You can find these near Lamai beach; locals and tour guides will be very happy to point you in the right direction! There are monkey shows to see, and elephant rides to do – I am COMPLETELY AGAINST these activities… They are cruel and barbaric, especially the techniques used to train these poor creatures. So of course, I opted out of any tour suggesting elephant rides or monkey shows, or tiger petting – if you want to see elephants and monkeys, visit a sanctuary. The tiger temples are also a big NO-NO! Most have been shut down this year (YESSS!!!!), but a few shady places still have a couple of drugged up big cats available for petting and selfie posing with (I just think it’s disgusting and totally irresponsible, but that’s my take on the matter). Instead of doing the latter, you could always visit a national park instead, and enjoy the endemic wildlife in a responsible and positive manner, contributing to conservation of the natural habitat of these beautiful creatures. That is what I opted for, choosing to visit the amazingly beautiful Ang Thong Marine Park!
This park contains an archipelago of 42 islands and was established in 1980. All the islands are of different sizes and shapes. Most of them are covered with tropical forests and named after their distinguishing geography. For example, we passed by “Monkey Island”
during our visit, and got to see “Sleeping Cow Island” etc. All of the islands consist of limestone mountains about 10-400 meters above sea level and because the limestone structure changes fairly often due to erosion caused by changing weather conditions and rough seas, most of them are pretty awesome to look at! Large chunks of the movie, “The Beach” were filmed in this marine park – so that gives you can idea of how cool it really is. 🙂 We opted for a day tour around the park, with ample time for swimming, snorkelling and exploring of the islands. It was a fun day, we got do so a little bit of climbing, some trekking and a lot of swimming and snorkelling. Saw some cool little Nemos and Dorys too! As well as some other pretty and colourful fishes!
Whilst on Koh Samui, you could also easily take a day trip to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, Samui’s little sister islands (Tao being the littlest of the three). You could also opt to spend a little more time on each of the islands, time permitting. Koh Phangan is of course, the notorious Thai party island – which celebrates the famous “Full Moon” parties, as well as every other “Moon Party” there is, be it quarter moon, half moon, or no moon! If you are going to Koh Phangan, make some time to go to the Amsterdam Bar – it’s said to have the best sunset views in Thailand.
I think that about sums up our final destination visited in Thailand! Will be making one final Thailand Adventure post, just to conclude my Thai experience and give a little bit of advice about travelling through this amazing country so please keep on eye on the page if you’re interested in seeing more. You can do so by clicking the “Follow” tab on the blog, or by visiting and liking my Facebook page – A Maltese Wanderer.
Much love and happy vibes, until next time!