After a lovely week in Karon Beach, Phuket we travelled to Ko Samui. Another one of Thailand’s famous island tourist spots. In order to get across the country we had to take a minibus, coach, ferry and taxi – all taking about 11 hours door to door.
After a long journey we were quite hungry and so took some advice from the guest house owners and checked out a local restaurant just down the road. It was literally a 2 minute walk and we could dine on the beach! This did not feel like backpacking at all, but then again, most of our stay in Thailand hasn’t to be honest!
The reason I say that is because we find ourselves here in Thailand during their “off season” and so hotel prices are so cheap we are opting for them over hostels every time. That said, everywhere is on the coast and so has that “holiday” vibe, but the price of transport, food, drinks and entertainment is considerable compared to say India. As a consequence of this month spent in Thailand we have doubled our planned budget – something we hope to reign in during the stay in our next destination.
Like most places in Thailand there are lots of temples on the island, but also a big Buddha statue which we really wanted to visit. We walked there along the beach all around the local bay of Bang Rak Beach where we were staying which was lovely.
We got a good deal on a scooter from our guest house owners, and so rented one for a couple of days. Ko Samui is not a massive island, and so we thought 2 days would be enough to get around the whole island but actually we ended up having it for 3.
The first places we went to on our scooter were a couple of viewpoints dotted along the eastern and southern sides of the islands coastline. This was our first stop, called Lad Koh Viewpoint, and it blessed us some amazingly beautiful views……
Our second stop of the day was a place called Hin Ta & Hin Yai (Grandpa & Grandma Rocks). That sounds cute right? It was certainly a lovely spot and we climbed all over the rocks and took lots of pictures of the stunning coastline.
It was only when we were leaving we saw this sign……
The less said about that questionable folklore the better I think!
That evening we went to a local bar and met a couple of nice British guys. One was retired Army and Police from London and now makes his living as a writer, and the other introduced himself as originally from Ireland with Glaswegian parents, but grew up in Holland, now living in Thailand and often travels to Japan for work. Simple!
On our next non scooter day we decided to have a chilled day. Outside of our guest house we had noticed a sandbank appear at low tide and so we thought it’d be nice to take a walk out to it. In order to not get burnt I thought it’d be wise to keep it short, but even 30 minutes was enough to catch the sun……
In the late afternoon we decided to walk to Chawang Beach. We’d heard it was the liveliest area of the island and so we expected to stay out late and get a taxi back, hence the walk there. It was a route we’d done the previous day on the scooter and it looked easy at only 3 miles. What a mistake that was! Firstly, it was still hot even at nearly 5pm, and secondly the road was incredibly busy with no pavement. We were cursing our stupidity the whole way there! When we arrived at this oasis/shopping centre life was good again.
There was a night market to have a wander around when we finally got there which was an opportunity to de-stress. We had some happy hour food and drinks at a lovely Thai BBQ restaurant before heading out onto the main street to find a decent bar to spend the evening. We found somewhere with a band playing and so settled down for the night. We also met a lovely Australian couple who it turns out are fellow backpackers, albeit with suitcases!
After a very nice evening we headed back to our guest house, by taxi this time thankfully!
To be continued…