29 Nov Ko Samui, Quintessential Thailand
At 274 square kilometers Ko Samui is Thailand’s third largest island and one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourism destinations. Found perfectly set in the tranquil Gulf of Thailand, and only an hour’s flight from Bangkok, most visitors to the island are content spending their days lazing on the beach, soaking up the sun and cooling off in the turquoise warm waters.
One of Ko Samui’s most appealing features is the loop road that makes a 50 km circuit around the island, giving easy access to the excellent beaches in the north, east and west. It runs through sleepy fisherman villages, through coconut tree plantations and past impressive waterfalls, allowing ample opportunities to stop and take aswim, get something to drink or even indulge in a traditional Thai foot massage as you go.
Whilst there allow enough time to immerse yourself into an authentic tour of the island with a visit to the 12m tall golden Big Buddha and the beautiful Wat Plai Laem temple with the 18-arm image of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. The Secret Buddha Garden is well worth a visit, as is the Hinta Hinyai or Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks for the views from their elevated position.
Enjoy coffee at a side street cafe and time walking around the local markets. For excellent shopping, the Bophut Fisherman’s Village is the spot with its excellent restaurants, upmarket boutiques and colourful night market. You’ll even catch a glimpse of local street art if you’re looking. One of the best spots for sundowners is the Jungle Club, set high on a hill overlooking the bay.
A day trip to the Angthong National Marine Park for some sailing between the 42 uninhabited islands makes for a perfect day out and will leave you sun kissed and appreciative of the warm waters and rich sea life of this tropical paradise. Ko Samui is a postcard perfect quintessential Thailand destination and should be on everybody’s travel wish list. Just ensure you allow yourself enough time to truly enjoy it.