Koh Samui Thailand Holiday – Dec 2011

Whilst I was in SE Asia, I decided to celebrate the Christmas festive break on a sunny Thai beach – so was recommended to give Koh Samui a go.  It’s generally known for it’s full moon parties, but I wasn’t really up for loads of parties, but just to relax and reflect over the past 6 months of my Singapore work assignment – and what the future holds for me.

The past couple of weeks have been an amazing adventure for me outside of work, and this also gave me time to think through how I would need to deal with this when I return to the UK. 

I decided to book up about a few weeks ago, and booked my flight on Bangkok Airways – which surprisingly flies between Singapore and Koh Samui directly (brilliant), and then looked up at various comparison sights on accommodation options.  I knew I could stay at cheap and cheerful hostel type of places, but I also wanted to stay somewhere more comfortable – so went for a resort type of place at Lamai Beach.

I found Samui Tonngad Resort on the comparison websites, and it seemed pretty nice.  The facilities and location seemed to meet my needs – and it wasn’t too expensive.  In fact, I managed to negotiated a 6 nights + 1 night free discount for my booking – haha!  Anyway, I duly booked it up and looked forward to the break. The American breakfast was very tasty, but I made a request for a Thai Breakfast on the second day, and continued to have this for the rest of the trip – as it was actually very tasty – Chicken or Pork in a soup with Rice – with herbs flavouring.

The resort was actually between the infamous Chaweng and Lamai beaches (closer to Lamai Town / Beach) and was a very tranquil with an almost private beach – which was perfect for my needs.  The only drawback was that the resort was extending the Villa buildings, and this meant that there was a lot of construction on part of the resort area – which was slightly off-putting, but I didn’t let it get to me.  The thing that really was a bit annoying was the weather – it was sunny on the first day, overcast on the second and third days, raining on the next two and sunny on the last day – always the way!  Haha!

But I enjoyed the resort and the beach / pool side areas – and the food at the resort – in most cases, there wasn’t a lot of people around, so almost felt like it was a private pool or beach just for me – haha!

A couple of days I had to walk towards Lamai Town to change some money, and by the nearest Bangkok Bank there was a Irish Pub called Mulligans Pub, which I went to a couple of times. It was quite nice. I went there for an evening meal, and then returned for Christmas Lunch – very festive I know – but the closest I could get to a Christmas Turkey with all of the Trimmings – and for 690BHT (about £14 / S$28) – so not too bad at all :)

I also found another restaurant – called Flower Paradise Restaurant, which was priced very reasonably, located a couple of hundred metres from the resort. It was a nice place, run by a Swiss gentlemen and his wife. The setting was very enjoyable, a fair number of what appeared to be locals were here, and the food was very good – and not expensive at all.

On the second day, I decided to go for a Tour around the Island – these was called an ‘Amazing Sightseeing and Safari Tour’ – at 1,850BHT. However, as I purchased it from my resort, they actually gave me a 150BHT discount, so I only paid 1,700BHT (around £35 / S$70). Not bad at all methinks!

We visited the Big Buddha at the north of the island…

We then back southwards to the Grandfather (Hin Ta) and Grandmother (Hin Yai) natural rock formation.

We then went to Namuang Safari Park where we would spend the next few hours enjoying an Elephant Trek and see various animal shows. I am not that keen on some of the animal shows, as feel this is a very artificial setting, but I guess it is still ‘enjoyable’ to see the various animals: Monkey, Crocodiles, Snakes, Birds etc.

The elephant show:

The crocodile show:

The snake show:

The Tiger and Tiger Cub Photo:

The Elephant Trek:

We left the Safari Tour and went back to the Jeep, which drove us to the Namuang Waterfall 2 - where you can swim 80 metres high-up (the highest waterfall in Koh Samui Island). Very enjoyable and refreshing indeed.

We then continued our trek …

Where we then arrived at the Buddha Magic Garden (aka Secret Garden) – a bit of a story telling scene – but very enjoyable set-up.

The jeep then took us to the Mummified Monk (Wat Kunaram) shrine – very weird and interesting to see in any case.

We then returned back to the resort – we did pass a Tesco Lotus store – made me feel at home seeing a very familiar UK brand :) I walk around during the afternoon and noted a few interesting sights and images which I took photos of…

I think it was a great little break from Singapore, and a great way to chill and relax before my long flight back to the UK.  Hopefully the tan won’t make my UK friends jealous or envious in anyway!! :)

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