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Al's epic odyssey "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu

Koh Samui

THAILAND | Monday, 31 August 2009 | Views [595]

 I hadn’t booked ahead for accommodation on Koh Samui, relying on the advice of my ‘Rough Guide to South East Asia’. I randomly picked the ‘Your Place Resort’ as it was cheap and cheerful and on the beach at Chaweng. Chaweng is the main hub of activity on the island and not really the place that you would choose to get away from things, but that didn’t bother me too much, as a solo traveler having stuff to do isn’t a bad thing.

The bungalows were pretty much what they said on the tin: basic - but adequate. I’m sure there was probably better for cheaper elsewhere but I certainly had no complaints. I was in a fan cooled room a stones throw from the sea for 600 Baht a night (almost 10 pounds). No TV or hot water, but neither were actually required. I even found a working WiFi link in my bungalow, I’m not sure where it was from but it was handy.

The beach in Chaweng is long and lined with hundreds of resorts of varying standards of opulence, Having walked the length of it I think the restaurant and pub at our cheapy resort was probably one of the nicest.

I booked a four hour island tour which took us in a rickety mini-bus around some of the sights which included:

  • ‘a viewpoint’ back towards the beaches.
  • the ‘Glandfather’ and ‘Glandmother’ (our tour guides words) rocks which show a remarkable resemblance to the male and female anatomical differences
  • a monkey show where a trained monkey demonstrated his skills at picking coconuts.
  • the ‘mummified monk’, a 79 year dead mummified monk on display in a glass box, seated and dressed in orange robes and sunglasses to hide the empty eye sockets.
  • a rather pricey elephant trek half way up to a waterfall that none of us walked to due to the combination of  incline, heat, humidity and laziness.
  • Another Buddist Temple and a couple of rather spectacular Budda’s.

After a day of doing very little I booked myself on a day excursion to the Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park situated to the north west of Koh Samui. It consists of 42 quite stunning islands. We had an opportunity to explore an inland lagoon connected to the sea by an underground tunnel too narrow for humans to get through. It was amazing to see quite large sea fish in what appeared to be an inland lake. I went snorkeling on a shallow coral reef, but the visibility wasn’t good. I met up with a German couple who I’d also been on the Koh Samui tour with. They were kind enough to act as photographers for me as I’d dropped and destroyed my camera the previous evening.

I’d thought about heading to the Khao Sok National Park on the mainland but getting there seemed to be a bit of a mission so I took the easy option and booked myself a flight to Phuket instead.

Koh Samui Airport is fantastic. It looks quite new and seems to have virtually no walls. From check it you walk down a tree lined concourse to the departures area, the concourse is lined with retail outlets. The departures lounge has a roof but again no walls. There are complimentary snacks and drinks for all, and you get taken to the plane in an old fashioned trolley car. I wish I’d got there earlier.

Tags: koh samui


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