First impression of Koh Samui, not so good. Fortunately, as you’ll see, it got better after a little trial and error.
Drove several miles through areas that make Honolulu seem rural…It was so congested with buildings, bars and cheap tourist shops that you couldn’t see through to the beaches. Young tourists and aging Caucasian derelicts from all over the world were running amok, boozing it up and smoking in the heat of the day. Yup, major turn off.
A dozen or so miles beyond the airport, things improved, beaches became visible and I let out a sigh of relief. (Perhaps too soon.) I happily paid ahead and checked into what appeared to be a lovely resort on the beach. While the hotel was well appointed, as picturesque as the beach was, I found out too late that the beach was not “functional”. Too short and rocky for walking or running and too coral filled and prone to low tides for swimming. I wanted out, but there was no refund coming so I made the best of my stay there. I took one of their free kayaks for a tour around to Lamai Beach, a more desirable area.
TIP: Learn from my mistake. Never pay ahead until you have thoroughly checked the place out.
TIP: Given the tides and the coral situation it can be difficult to find a swim-able beach in the islands. If that’s important to you, do your research.
Ok, don’t mean to whine, it wasn’t terrible, just disappointing. I did enjoy their great view and a lovely breakfast.
Rented a scooter to scout the island for a better spot for the next two nights.
Discovered the Na Muang waterfall along with the rest of the crowd whom I somehow managed to edit out of the picture.
TIP: Go early and on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
Apologies on the video quality – I’ll get better…
Found a great spot, the White House Beach Resort and Spa. It was one of my favorites during my 30 day journey around Thailand. Staff was gracious; room was spacious. Tropical setting with an old world vibe, the resort is a peaceful paradise in a great location. At night, you can enjoy mellow live music down the beach and you have your pick of romantic beach-side dining. There’s a nice village feel with a handful of restaurants and excellent, inexpensive massage ($9 an hour) right across the street. And it’s a great spot for your activity hub, as there are many tours and excursions you can join. (See my Tale of Two Snorkels post.)
TIP: Book excursions direct from the tour places along the street – the hotel adds a significant surcharge.
Friendly felines and pooches make you feel at home. Gym is limited, small and not air conditioned. The most hilarious thing to me is that they have a sauna that costs $12 an hour. Who the heck takes sauna’s in this kind of tropical heat? All you have to do is go into the gym and sweat it out for free-lol! Pool is on the small side, but I spent all my time in the the dazzling turquoise waters. Breakfast buffet is quite good too and the view can’t be beat. The beach is lovely and the resort is enchanting! I’d come back any day. Today would be good. : )
Next stop, take a walk on the wilder side with me to Koh Phanang, home to the infamous full moon party and the Cocohut Beach Resort.