Thursday, 30 January 2014
Tackling Thailand - Koh Samui
All right, after my Bangkok and Pattaya trips in exotic Thailand, now it is time for Koh Samui - the beautific resort island mentioned in "Meet the Fockers" movie, and also visited by none other than Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Upon reaching, it was check-in time. I stayed at The Saraan - a luxurious beachfront villa with private pool and deck chairs facing the seas directly - tranquil and nestled at the tip of the pristine Chaweng Beach. Service was really not bad, and the views were breathtaking.
One could tan and swim in the clear blue waters and soft, white sands of Chaweng Beach. I tried to jet-ski here as well - the waters were relatively calm so there wasnt much bumps, just the delicious salty breezes against my face.
FOOD AND DRINKS
There are plenty of food and drinks to be found around the island, worry not. At The Saraan itself, there is already the Wild Ginger restaurant, a fine dining concept offering gorgeous sea views and attentive service. If not, one could head to Chaweng Central where there are rows of restaurants offering Spanish cuisine, Thai cuisine, fresh seafood etc to suit each individual's preference. I tried everything from fresh, sumptuous meals to Cashew Nut Chicken to the Suckling Pig and traditional Thai Tomyam soup and Pineapple Fried Rice. Also, I dined at the Peak Eye View restaurant up the hills where I was offered magnificent views while enjoying authentic Thai cuisine.
For drinks, I visited the Bar Ice - a very welcome respite in this tropical island, complete with ice sculptures and bungalow tables. One could drink anywhere from the alfresco bungalow tables to the indoors bar stools to the ice bar itself - the latter is freezingly cold, but they offer coats so no worries. The ice sculptures were simply exquisite.
There is also the infamous Full Moon party at Cha Cha Moon I heard that it was very wild, but it appeared to be pretty normal for me - a lovely beachside bar concept with poolside or seaside seatings. They play house music and one could sip drinks and enjoy the caress of the breezes at the same time, as well as people watch. Perhaps I left the place too early, because as I was walking out at 11.30pm there were more people starting to pour in.
SPA AND MASSAGE
Yes, if you are up for a traditional, hardcore Thai massage, or soothing Swedish Thai massage, there are spa parlours strewn all over the island. Since there was one at my resort, I made full use of it and had myself a very invigorating and refreshing Swedish-Thai massage.
I signed up for a half-day Jungle tour by jeep, and there were tourists from other resorts together so I made some new friends too. The tour began with a visit to the Temple of Wat Khunaram - where one could see the preserved body of the sacrad Mummified Monk. Sunglasses were placed over his emptied-out sockets for fear that tourists would be frightened.
Next, we were brought to the famous Namuang Waterfalls which boosts of a tall, gorgeous falls and a giant slide. It was a very serene and enchanting little respite and the falls soothed us after a hot day of travelling around.
Our next destination was the Magic Buddha Gardens - another serenade, enchanting nature enclaves with age-old statues and the tranqulizing waterfalls. We took many pictures and did some climbing around to see all the Buddha sculptures so exquisite and lively.
Finally, the tour ended with a visit to this place where there were elephant trekking, and performances by baby elephants, monkeys and crocodiles. The first one was most entertaining- and I got to feed bananas to the baby elephants, whereas the last item was the most exciting because it was risky. We feared for the crocodile trainers' safety when they stuck their hands or heads into the awful jaws.
For shopping of souveinirs, beachwear, spas or restaurants, head down the Chaweng Central where there are rows of shops for one to browse and enjoy. It is a bustling area filled with diners, shoppers and party-goers. Sometimes there are bazaars as well, so it would be fun to drop by to shop like the locals do.
Overall, Koh Samui is a gorgeous haven for vacationers seeking a private, relaxing respite away from stress and the hectic city pace.