Samui, Thailand Travel
Koh Samui, Thailand is without question the #1 most beautiful, most
charming, and most
romantic Pacific island travel location I've ever visited so far.
And the charm eminates from virtually
everything.....not only the stunningly beautiful beaches and
but the people, the food, the shops, the jungles, the temples,
very friendly, heartfelt Thai culture in general.
For years and years, I'd been hearing about Koh Samui,
Thailand from my Tokyo friends, so I've long wanted to go. I
finally got my chance in late August 2009. Actually this was my 2nd
chance to travel to Thailand, having visited Phuket, Bangkok, &
Chiang Mai in April 1996.
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My love affair with Koh Samui began immediately after landing at Koh
Samui airport. You're picked up by one of those cute little open-air
shuttle trams that are common in the parking areas at amusement parks.
Speaking of romance, although I'd never seen them before, a very
part of the Koh Samui night culture is the "lucky balloon," an
little hot-air balloon that can be purchased from beach vendors and
which float up into the night sky.
At any given moment, it is not uncommon to see at least one or two
lucky balloons up in the
sky somewhere. They're supposed to bring good luck and are popular
among couples, and although they
look pretty up in the night sky, I couldn't help but wonder
about the environmental impacts,
not to mention the possible fire danger. Two of the best pics of the
lucky balloons I found at Flickr are here
Dr. Fish Pedicure Treatment
One of the most remarkable experiences gained from traveling to Koh
Samui was to try out the
Fish pedicure treatment. In case you haven't heard of it yet, this is
where little Garra Rufa fish about the size of guppies nibble on your
skin, creating baby-smooth beautiful skin.
It was quite ticklish, and
felt almost like electrical current running thru your feet. This shop
is located in the Fisherman's Village on Bo Phut Beach and it cost 300
(~US$9) for 30 minutes. Don't miss my video
of this incredible
experience in the video playlist shown below. And here are some reviews
by other travelers of the Dr. Fish spa in the Chaweng Beach area.
Koh Samui, Thailand Pics
Apparently the most happening spot on this very tiny island (about 15km
x 15km) is Chaweng Beach, probably in large part because it's only
about 15 minutes from Koh Samui airport.
There are SO many Koh Samui hotels and resorts to choose from and I
stayed 4 nights in a place called the Island Resort & Spa,
which is right on Chaweng Beach. Their outdoor breakfast
right next to the pool & beach, complete with a full spread of fresh Thai fruit, was especially
There are both good tours and bad tours in Koh Samui, but I feel very
fortunate to have received great advice on a full-day tour recommended
by a nice lady at the front desk of my hotel. It was called the Namuang Jungle Trip and included
ride on an elephant, a visit to the amazing Samui Aquarium (LOTS of
sharks, plus a bird show, tiger show, & otter show), Namuang Waterfalls #1 &
#2, Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks
(Hin Yai / Hin Ta), Wat Khunaram
(famous temple of the Mummified Monk), and even lunch & soft
drinks. All of this for only 1400 baht (~US$47). Wow.
I have so much else to tell you, but for now please
my pics & videos below of these fabulous places. I have a
feeling you're gonna
immediately fall in love with
Koh Samui the same as I did.
Samui, Thailand Videos
There were a number of firsts for me on this trip. Besides Dr. Fish, I
caught my first glimpse of a countdown traffic signal. As a former
traffic signal design engineer, I found this especially
fascinating. Both red lights and green lights count down until the
signal changes, as you can see in Video 3 below.
I'd also never seen SO many bars and restaurants set up RIGHT on the
sandy beach, RIGHT next to the water (watch out for
tsunamis!). And the amazing display
of colorful lights at nighttime reminded me of Christmas. You
gotta check out my videos below to get a feel for it.
bars & restaurants
Video 2: Dr. Fish pedicure treatment
Video 3: Countdown traffic signal
Video 4: Samui Aquarium
Video 5: Namuang Waterfall #1
Video 6: Riding on a songthaew (a kind of pickup truck taxi)
(all 6 videos are in a playlist and will play continuously,
Videos of my
Koh Samui, Thailand travel
(view entire playlist in a new window here)
Koh Samui, Thailand Google Map
One reference source I'd like to recommend is a book I bought 2 copies
of recently for my daugher & myself entitled 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Page 503 has
a nice write-up about Koh Samui and some of the changes it's undergone
over the past 30 years.
And by all means, be sure to put Koh Samui on your Bucket List, a wonderful
movie by the way about seeing all your favorite worldwide spots before
you kick the bucket.
Oh, just one more thing (as Columbo would say). A very
delightful place for dinner is the restaurant at the Dara Samui Beach
Resort & Spa Villa on Chaweng Beach which overlooks their
pool bar, and beach. There are several pics of this gorgeous hotel in
my photo album
I hope you'll please check back again soon as I
update this Koh Samui, Thailand Travel page in the future with more
details on some of the other exciting things I
had the pleasure of doing in this exotic Pacific island paradise.
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