We arrived on the island on a rainy June day. I sank into a deep sleep with the hope that when I woke up, the sun would shine again.
Lucky or not, I only know that when I opened my eyes, I felt like I was still dreaming: azure water, fine white sand dotted with palm trees swaying in the wind, all bathed in the sunbeams.
Koh Samui or Samui Island (‘koh’ in Thai means ‘island’) is located in the eastern part of Thailand and is an inspired choice for those who want a quieter destination where they can recharge their batteries. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of activities available for adrenaline junkies too.
You can always choose for an adventure on the water or on land, it’s up to you what you want to do.
Even if you’re the kind of tourist who just wants to relax on the beach, I’d advise you to also choose the option of exploring the island with an off-road vehicle and taking at least one boat ride.
I chose to mix days of peace and rest with the thrill of seeing the whole island, both ways.
We purchased day trips from the hotel and chose as our first getaway, a boat ride to Ang Thong National Park, which is an archipelago of 42 mountainous islands with tropical vegetation, fine white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, waterfalls and hidden lakes.
Here we went kayaking, took a tour of the park, at the end of which we saw a lovely view from above, then had lunch and lazed in the shade of the palm trees.
On another day, we drove in an organized group to Namuang Safari Park in the center of the island. Here, we witnessed an elephant show, visited a crocodile farm, monkeys and saw Namuang Waterfall 1 (18 meters) while hydrating from the biggest and most delicious coconut I’ve ever seen.
Koh Samui was for me the island where at every step I discovered something new, unheard of before. So I had the chance to pet a tiger for the first time, to see what a rubber tree and a mummified monk looked like. The monk is found in the southern area, in the Wat Khunaram temple (authenticated by the experts at Lonely Planet).
We certainly couldn’t miss the cultural centre of the island, the Big Buddha – What Pra Yai Temple, where you can see a 12-metre high Buddha statue and the famous Hin Ta and Hin Yai stones, which are located south of Lamai Beach, and resemble male and female genitalia.
Thai cuisine is extremely tasty, spicy, relies heavily on rice and seafood and can be eaten with confidence in markets, beaches and on the roadside. Prices are affordable for all budgets.
I recommend you try the fresh fruit, because it tastes totally different from what you find in the supermarket, and eat seafood of your choice from the aquarium, cooked on the spot.
Like most of the Asian islands I’ve been to, I most liked the locals, who make you feel very welcome, always smiling, willing to help you at every step.
Also, all the people who come here feel free, unburdened of any worries and pressures, relaxed and smiling. It’s the perfect place to disconnect from your daily routine and recharge your batteries.
I love the landscapes, the turquoise water, the delicious food and the freedom found during my time on the island.
Travel, live, love…in the exotic spirit of Thailand!