When: early September 2015
Where: Thailand – Koh Samui
In 1 word: Sawadika
In 1 hour flight from Bangkok to arrive on the open air airport of Koh Samui.
Around Koh Samui
Choosing a half day trip as a first thing to do is always a good idea when traveling to a new place to orientate and have a first holistic view.
Hin Ta & Hin Yai Rocks
First stop at Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks in Koh Samui (grandpa -Ta and grandma – Yail), which look like male and female genitalia. No entree fee and available all day. There is a legend that comes with these rocks and you can read it here. The view and the atmosphere from this place are spectacular
Some they say that meeting a monk is a good luck and I can tell it was, as he gave me one of the most beautiful pictures:
Near the traditional Muslim fishing village Hua Thanon, there is an area with coconut trees where they use monkeys to collect them in order to sell them or to create coconut oil. Coconuts and fishing are the major working activities for locals in Koh Samui. Monkeys are great workers as they are fast and effective. And they get paid in coconuts..
The monk Luong Pordaeng died in 1973 in a seated meditative position, and ever since his body has been on display in an upright glass case at the temple. Remarkably, even more than 30 years on the monk’s body shows little sign of decay. Buddhist accept the end of life as a natural order and a step closer to nirvana. The temple is used by locals to pray and offer merit.
Spirit tree in Na-Muang
Here in Na-Muang waterfall, you can see the tree dressed in ribbons as it is a Spirit tree. In Thailand they believe spirits leave inside some trees & they mark them with colorful fabric stripes & they leave offerings (drinks & flowers) in the roots to keep spirits happy.
Big Budha temple, locally known as Wat Phra Yai, is a 12 metre golden statue created in 1972. The pose of the statue is a symbol of steadfastness, purity and enlightenment. Buddhist visit it to make offerings & pray. Women should have their shoulders covered in every Buddhist temple but there is always a small market near in order to buy a scarf if you forgot to bring your own.
Day trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park
Definitely one of the must do in Koh Samui. Snorkeling, white sand beaches, hiking, sea kayaking, eating in a pure local small restaurant in front of the sea, will be one of the most beautiful experience you’ll have there. Ang Thong gained widespread attention when it appeared in the novel ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland, as the destination where backpackers in search of a secret island utopia set up camp. Ang Thong consists of 42 islands while only one is inhabited with by a community that largely maintains its traditional fishing lifestyle.
Here, an indian face rock, looks like dropped from the sky & standing in the surface of the sea.
And of course the beautiful Thai long tail boats (Ruea Hang Yao, in Thai language). The ribbons and flowers that usually decorate them are for good luck & to bless their journeys.
Vana Belle is located in Chaweng Noi Beach & every piece of it is beautifully & well designed with much of free space around. Stuff was more than helpful and always there for you, definitely couldn’t ask for something more. The pool is beautiful and the beach is just one step beyond!
Around Koh Samui Thailand
You will definitely have Thai massage as you can find them everywhere in town and on the beach which is totally recommended. You will taste thai food of course (eat sense, near the beach) & there are also many restaurants with international cuisine (check Barracuda restaurant.)
There is a small market place in Bophut’s fisherman’s village in Koh samui, where once a week, Friday night, they have a small feast where you can have a cocktail and walk around and take some souvenirs, with many choices around with street food, restaurants & beach bars.
Everywhere we went people are extremely smily and polite. Though, you need to have your ears open and clear to be able to follow their english accent. Koh samui was without roads until the early 1970s and now it’s economy is mostly based on tourism and also on exports of coconuts.
Don’t forget to set a lantern up in the air before you leave! The name for these in Thai is khom loi, or khom fai, while we know them as sky or paper lanterns. The act is symbolic as you let go of the difficulties and to have good luck!