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Home: Pacific Islands Travel: Koh Samui, Thailand Travel

Koh 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 sunsets, but the people, the food, the shops, the jungles, the temples, and the 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.


Koh Samui airport shuttle
Koh Samui airport shuttle


Speaking of romance, although I'd never seen them before, a very popular part of the Koh Samui night culture is the "lucky balloon," an illuminated 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 and here.





Dr. Fish Pedicure Treatment


One of the most remarkable experiences gained from traveling to Koh Samui was to try out the Dr. 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 dead 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 baht (~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.


Dr. Fish pedicure treatment
Dr. Fish pedicure treatment


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 buffet right next to the pool & beach, complete with a full spread of fresh Thai fruit, was especially impressive.


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 my first-ever 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 enjoy 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.



Pics of my Koh Samui, Thailand travel
(view all pics at a glance here)
 


Koh 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 definitely gotta check out my videos below to get a feel for it.

Video 1:  Chaweng Beach 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, non-stop)
            
Enjoy !



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). smiley A very delightful place for dinner is the restaurant at the Dara Samui Beach Resort & Spa Villa on Chaweng Beach which overlooks their pool, pool bar, and beach. There are several pics of this gorgeous hotel in my photo album above.

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.

In the meantime, you may wish to check out my special page on the latest Koh Samui, Thailand news if you get a chance.

Cheers,
Gary





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What Other Visitors Have Said

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What do you think? Koh Samui or Phuket? Not rated yet
Gary, help. I was all set to go to Koh Samui for four days of a longer trip through Asia. My travel buddy was first thinking Phuket but trusted me …

Is Koh Samui too rainy in late June & early July? Not rated yet
Hi Gary, we're researching for a Koh Samui honeymoon with my girlfriend for sometime. We planned everything but checking the weather, makes us grimm since …

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Gary J. Wolff


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