My thoughts on Koh Samui

By Notes From Megan - Sunday, May 21, 2017

Relaxed. That is how I can only describe myself right now in the mid day heat lounging by the hotel pool in Koh Samui. Super relaxed.

The sea gently rolling onto the beach in front of me, the bar to my right ready and eager to serve up a alcoholic treat, the pool behind me serene and quiet, and the hundreds of insects chirping and squealing away in the jungle themed foliage surrounding me. John Mayer has been played on repeat since we walked into the hotel, a soothing and familiar soundtrack that I am more than happy to listen too, lucky really as they don't seem to play any other variations of music.





This place is great. It is the perfect getaway location if you want a piece of luxury whilst having the freedom to explore the local and tourist parts of the island. It's just like the postcards - the beaches roll on for miles and are lined with coconut trees and entrances to beach front restaurants. It's almost like going back in time when walking through the streets, families are selling food from the roadside, stray animals are sniffing out leftovers, kids are entertaining themselves with sand and sticks, and the smells here can be so unpleasant and also so tempting depending on what you are walking past. Food being cooked at the roadside often smells so tempting, but walking past the local food market was a warm smell of fish mixed with garlic and slightly warmed up vegetables and it was stuck up my nose for too long.


On arriving at our hotel, Punpreeda Hip Resort, my first impressions took over. It's not your fresh white royal European looking hotel you may find in other countries, it's a moderately decorated but clean and friendly family run hotel. Don't let your first impressions deceive you if you ever decide to stay here, which I strongly recommend. Like most restaurants and hotels that are entered from the street but back onto the beach front you will realise that the picturesque and 'wow' scenes are often seen at the back of the hotel. This is something I have had to change my opinion on whilst being here, we have had to venture through empty driveways from the street before discovering amazing fairy light decorated restaurants with the best food and friendly staff. Another thing I have had to get used to is I go by the General rule that if somewhere (usually works with restaurants and bars) isn't busy then it is probably worth avoiding, however we have visited this island before peak time and most of the restaurants/bars and hotels we have encountered have mostly been occupied by just us, do not let this put you off. We have since discovered a lot of tourists stay at Chaweng Beach as it appeals to those who are in search of more busier streets and happening nightlife, however here at Bophut beach it seems to be quieter and this will explain the lack of tourists and locals in the restaurants/bars you will visit. We have the best of both worlds, it only takes standing on the street and waving down a 'tut tut' for a mere 200/300 baat (around £5-£6) and you can travel to Chaweng beach to get stuck into the business of the local markets and shopping mall and bars offering happy hour cocktails and beers.  




What you will notice whilst you are here is that if you choose to walk anywhere, and I mean anywhere, (even a 2 minute walk to 7eleven) you will get beeped at all the time! This is the taxi drivers way of seeing if you need a lift. Like I mentioned in the paragraph above we chose to get around by means of 'tut tuts' - open backed trucks with seats...be confident in bartering them down to a reasonable price at the beginning of your ride. They will often overprice you, but a quick negotiation and we would usually get them to settle on 200 baat for the two of us which I'm sure is still fairly overpriced. You will also get beeped at a lot by the official looking red and yellow meter taxis, although from prior research we chose not to use these as although they may be good i have read a lot of reviews about them saying the metre is broken and then they proceed to overcharge you at the end of your journey which is then hard to get out of when a prior price has not been agreed. They are everywhere though and it may be a good last minute choice if you are out of town or out of the area that 'tut tuts' tend to drive around.


As we are here for nearly two weeks we have plenty of time for relaxation and exploration. Massage shops are more common to see than restaurants which means that when walking around the ladies sit outside their shops and will shout 'massage?' to you as you walk by? Just a quick shake of the head or a kind 'no' is all they need to know that you are not interested. They do not pester you here, if you are not interested then neither are they. It's the same situation with restaurants, feel free to wander into restaurant and look at their menus, they are by far the least pushy people and will often let you quietly look at their menu and don't chase you down if you choose not to eat at their restaurant.


Whilst here we have trecked up to The Jungle Club (highly recommend), visited the Big Buddha, walked to Hin Ya And Hin Ta (the rudely shaped rocks), sweated our skin off at Chaweng and Lamai beach, eaten more Pad Thais and spring rolls between us than I count count on my now spring roll shaped fingers, woken up early to watch the sunrise, kayaked in the ocean, watched the sunset, had Thai massages, watched a cabaret show, eaten amazing food from the local markets and consumed enough cocktails to warrant a year detox.


What I have really loved about Koh Samui is not only the perfect weather we had, the authentic Thai food that I so love and the picturesque photo opportunities. It's the people who live on this island who make the holiday complete, everyone is so happy and grateful, they smile with their eyes so you know they mean it. Every person we have encountered has been so positive and excited to be here. That's what I love. That's what made this holiday perfect. I will treasure the memories made whilst here in Koh Samui. 


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