After a whirlwind tour of Bangkok, we went down to Koh Samui for 6 days of holiday beach time. Samui is in the gulf of Thailand, opposite the Thai Peninsula from other beach destinations like Phuket and Phi Phi. It is the second largest island in Thailand and has endless beach resorts, bars, restaurants, and adventure options. With a little something for everyone, Samui is a great destination if you have 5-7 days in the Thai islands.
After months in Chiang Mai, this was actually our first time going to the beach, so Sarah and I were just as excited as our travel partners Austin and Johanna. We took a super early flight from BKK and arrived in Samui’s open air Airport before 8am. The next week was full of beach time, motobikes, relaxing days, and fun nightlife. We ended up having a great time and below are just a few of the highlights:
On our first day we decided to rent moto-bikes and do a tour of the island. Austin and Jo were troopers and quickly got the hang of driving on the crazy Thai roads. A beautiful road circles the whole island, which without stops, can take about 2 hours to drive around. Along the way there are beautiful vistas and picture opportunities. Our main destination though was a series of waterfalls just inland that ended up being spectacular. We parked the bikes and walked up a steep hill to get to the falls. We then spent about an hour climbing around the falling water and surrounding pools. Really great way to cool off in the middle of the day.
Thai Massages are known around the world and they don’t get any better than beachside on Samui. We got 2 massages while we were there and they are a great way to relax or get the blood flowing after a night out. They can be pretty rough though and Sarah always jokes that she never knew she was so flexible until she got a Thai Massage. You can expect to be pushed, twisted and basically beat up for an hour (especially when you have a ‘larger’ masseuse like Austin had) Afterwards though you feel loose and great.
Sarah and I are quite familiar with the prevalence and quality of Thai fruit Smoothies so we were happy to introduce Austin and Johanna to them when we were on Samui. There was a little restaurant across from our resort that made fresh fruit smoothies out of any combination of tropical fruits you can think of. Quickly Johanna and Sarah were addicted. For the next 4 days I think they each had 6-7 of these smoothies whether it was after a day in the sun or mixed with some Thai vodka before we went out at night. Austin and I even had to play errand boys on a couple of occasions running across the street to get an elaborate Banana, Mango, Strawberry, Coconut Smoothie.
Prego– Samui’s Best Italian Restaurant
After spending 4 months in northern Italy in 2008, I have a deep love for Italian Risotto. I just don’t think it gets better than spicy Italian sausage, creamy Parmesan sauce, and saffron spice. When done right, it is probably my favorite meal. Lucky for us there was a highly reviewed Italian restaurant right across the street from our resort and it didn’t take much for the group to be convinced to head there for dinner on our first night, and it did not disappoint. Naturally I ordered the risotto and it was made to perfection with huge portions. The rest of group got various pastas including a squid black linguini. The wine flowed and before we knew it, two hours had flown by and we were stuffed. It was a great meal to kick off our time there and I highly recommend it.
Muay Thai Fights
Austin is a big UFC fan so he was pretty excited when we heard there were Muay Thai fights on Samui. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and some of the up and coming fighters fight in the main beach locations. We were able to get great spots close to ring side and spent the night watching some of the brutal fights.
“Just a 3 Hour Tour”
The Angthong National Marine park is located very close to Samui so there are many day trips available to explore the dramatic islands and beaches. The one we went on included snorkeling, hiking to a hidden lagoon, lunch at a fisherman’s village, and kayaking. The scenery was beautiful and the snorkeling a lot of fun. We did have pretty rough seas on the way to the park which made for a bit of a trying trip but, overall it was a great day.
Lady Boy Show
Let me start by saying, this was on Sarah’s list, not mine. Although ‘interesting’ I don’t think I need to go to another Lady Boy show. Thailand has a long history of transgender acceptance and the story behind the prevalence of Lady Boys goes far deeper culturally than most people know. Located on a second level above the main strip in Cheweng Beach, the show lasted about an hour and included all sorts of dancing and lip-syncing performances. Some of the women were keen on getting Austin and I up on stage but there was no way that was happening. However, there is no way to deny that many of the performers were gorgeous people so it made for an interesting experience.