Ko Samui is an island about 1.5 hours off the east coast of Thailand. A great place to unwind and have relaxing holiday by the beach. It has a tropical climate and we visited in September, which meant a bit of rain in the afternoon. This island has many nice beaches to explore, there are plenty activities available including; jet ski hire, go carting, parasailing, golf and Muay Thai gyms to train at, and stadiums to watch this traditional martial art.
Where to stay
Chaweng Beach is the busy part of the island with plenty to see and do. There are a range of options lining the beach to suit any budget including resorts, and other hotels that are less fancy with clean rooms and the much needed air conditioning. Whilst on this part of the island we stayed at both types of accommodation. The B2@Beach Samui was only AUD$40, which was a great option as Kurt was on his own for a couple of days. With beach frontage, a clean bed, aircon and a bar with cheap cocktails. This no frills option was low budget and the perfect for lazing by the beach sipping on a cocktail and reading a book. The hotel had a small pool and spa, however with Ko Samui being a beach destination, I recommend swimming in the ocean instead of a pool.
We came to Ko Samui specifically for a wedding, and thus later relocated to the western side of the island in Taling Gnam, a quieter part of the island, where the wedding was held. We stayed at The Sunset Beach Resort for AUD $220 a night. Sunset Beach Resort is a lovely option if you want to stay in a quieter part of Ko Samui. It is a 5 star resort, complete with buffet breakfast, a pool with a bar, you can also order food by the pool. The resort has beach front access, which has a nice outlook, but not the best swimming option as the bottom is reef which is not the best to walk on. However, the pool is amazing and many deck chairs to relax by the pool. Stick to canoeing if you want to be in the ocean. You can also wander next door to the Intercontinental for a beverage and to enjoy the pool which has a stunning beach view and pool bar.
The sunset has a spa on site, you can borrow bikes and there is a muay thai facility. nearby. We ate in the restaurant too and the food was excellent. There is a well fitted out gym, though you do you workout getting to it, but worth it for the view. It was our anniversary and they decorated our room with flower petals and a provided a fruit bowl. The rooms are large, ours had a jacuzzi and there are also villas too. The staff were lovely and eager to assist.
For a bit more extravagance, the Intercontinental is situated higher on the cliff top here at a hefty price, but it is an amazing as a honeymoon location. The hotel is beautiful and the view is incredible. We visited here for a wedding which was superb.
If in Chaweng there are plenty of options to get around: you can walk grab a taxi, a tuk tuk or scooter. If staying in Chaweng, walking is your best bet, you can take the scenic route and stroll along the waters edge or take the main road to take in the boutiques, street food and the action of the bars and restaurants, we loved checking out the live seafood on display.
Our pick of cafes for good food and coffee include Spearhead and Cream Cafe.
This place is a modern cafe with awesome coffee, smoothies, ice cream and both Thai and Western Dishes. The pick of the dishes being the southern Thai rice salad. Beautifully presented blue and brown rice with served with an assortment of ingredients that are added to taste. The added ingredients which are sprinkled into the bowl and mixed together to create a tasty textured dish. The granola with fresh fruit and yoghurt, is a good option if looking for a western style breakfast. The food was beautifully presented and super tasty. Staff were delightful.
Another place to get your coffee fix is the cute little cafe that has just opened in Ko Samui. A trendy and stylish place, selling good filter coffee, cold drip, cold brew and your regular lattes of course. A range of food available and on this occasion we shared the Tokyo Rose, a fluffy blueberry pancake topped with fruits and cream.
For Thai cusine Galangal is a good option if you are after restaurant food. If you are more adventurous there are plenty of street vendors and a street food market behind the Cental Festival mall Chaweng.
What to do
Taling Gnam Muay Thai
We went here for a group class whilst in the area. They replied to emails quickly and when we arrived were so welcoming and helpful. Warm up, one on one technical training and pad work. Super hard and relentless. We loved it, some
fun sparring at the end. For one hour it was about $10. The trainers were awesome and I highly recommend this place. Small group at 7:30am meant it was practically 1-1 class.