Koh Samui is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand and a 7 hour flight from Delhi with a 2 hour stop over at Bangkok. Make no mistake. Koh Samui is not all sleaze like the impressions we Indians carry in our minds with regard to Thailand. It’s a damn cool place!
This beautiful island has wonderful people, beautiful locales and exotic mini islands. All summed up with great Thai food! It has a population of around 65,000 people and visitors are mainly tourists from Europe, Australia and South Africa.
The tourist hub on the island is the Chaweng beach road which has all the hustle and bustle happening 7 days a week. The Chaweng beach has more than 60 resorts along its pristine contour. Having selected Buri Rasa Village Resort for my stay, I was more than happy for what I had chosen.
The Buri Rasa Village resort: This resort has a Thai theme. The Buri Rasa is adorned with a lot of bamboo works and has a superb beach to itself. A salt water pool near the beach with a well-stocked bar makes for a complete vacation in itself!
Thai tradition for its guests is unparalleled. This was evident from the staff at the Buri Rasa who took so good care of us. Having stayed at over a 100+ hotels in my life, this was undoubtedly the best hospitality and warmth I have ever witnessed! The names of most of the staff here are like A, Bee, Dul, Jook, Arm, Noy, Mor and so on…cute names with cute personalities!
Thai street food is so easily found all over the island, and it is just so clean and hygienic. But the best part of the taste. Their best foods are the soups which mostly consist of celery, boiled pork, sprouts and fish sauce. They call it the Thainese or Yon Tan soup. A big huge bowl of this broth is sold for just around 70 baht (Rs. 140).
This island has a 70 km ring road on the periphery of the island and the best way to see the place is to hire scooters which are found everywhere on rent. So, I rented a 300cc scooter for 450 baht (only Rs. 900 a day), and set-off out into the island. The infrastructure was really good and that surprised me!
The Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks: These rather strange rocks have formed naturally and are a big tourist attraction. There is a legend behind the formations but I am not getting into history. “Hin Ta” means grandfather while “Hin Yai” means grandmother. So what are these rocks all about? Well, they have formed and shaped themselves over the centuries into perfectly resembling male and female genitals! Here have a look….
The 12 meter tall golden Big Buddha statue at Wat Phra Yai temple is another local landmark. It has huge gongs surrounding the statue and can be gonged with sticks as you move around this huge status of the Buddha.
While you so see a lot of modernity in the main tourist areas like Chaweng and Lumai, I had a curiosity to visit a traditional market which are generally frequented by locals for their daily purchases and grocery. So with a little luck on my side, I did stumble upon a market which had a weekly market going on. I was not particularly interested in the clothes section and so headed straight to the food section. Local foods always fascinate me. I stumbled upon meat and fish and more meat and crab and squid and octopus but not a single vegetarian would have liked what I had seen. Here is what are considered local favourites…..
Angthong National Park: I visited this national park, which is actually an island 27 km away from the Samui Island. It took 2 hours, while travelling at 9.2 knots, to cover this distance to Angthong. Angthong is just out of the world. This beautiful island is where, Brooke Shields shot her first movie, the famous “Blue Lagoon”!
It was also here, that I had the opportunity to do the first kayaking in my life. My first experience on a kayak wasn’t bad at all, and probably I had it in it!
Nightlife at Samui: It’s a crazy scene here! I hopped into a nightclub here on the last evening, only to be greeted by friendly Thai bargirls who were too happy to oblige me as a guest! They were very friendly and I did not get a glimpse of any commercialism in them! They seemed like such sweet natured cute Thai girls, who I flirted with, a lot! Yes, I paid for their drinks as well!