6 REASONS WHY WE LOVE KO SAMUI, THAILAND
Welcome to the island of blue skies and endless beaches: Koh Samui
Back in Germany, when we had our two months break at home at the beginning of the year, we started planning our first 3-weeks-trip to the south of Thailand. We had never been in Thailand’s south before and we wanted to explore both, mainland and island. While figuring out our route we realized that Thailand has so many beautiful islands and we were unsure about which one to chose.
Blue sky and sunshine on Ko Samui
Finally, we made the following decision: We visit Phuket as a destination at the Andaman Sea and we visit Ko Samui as an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Hence, we would see both waters :-). I am sure it sounds a little weird to make plans that way but looking back it was a great decision… not necessarily with Phuket (Why? Have a look here.) but definitely with Ko Samui.
We stayed on Ko Samui for four days and had a wonderful time. Here are the 6 reasons why we loved Ko Samui and why we highly recommend this island to you for your next trip to Thailand. But first, lean back and enjoy our video with all of Ko Samui’s highlights! Here we go!
#1 Relaxing beaches
Golf ball BoB at Ban Harn Beach
Ko Samui sounded like a trite to us because besides the pictures of white beaches and palm trees we had crowds of people and mass tourism in our minds.
Guess what happened! Unconsciously we booked a hotel at Ko Samui’s biggest and most touristy beach, Chaweng. 🙂 It’s 7km long and located on the island’s east coast. Known for its restaurant, bar and club scene Chaweng Beach attracts many beach lovers and party people.
BoB, Lars and I prefer quiet beaches where we can relax, listen to the sound of the waves, and enjoy the beauty around us. Listening to monotone and constant beats the whole day long is not what we prefer for a perfect beach day. All the more we were surprised about the quiet atmosphere at Chaweng Beach. Our hotel was located at the northern end of the beach where it’s very relaxed. When you are a bit lucky you even find a shady spot under a tree. The shallow and crystal clear water is perfect for swimming or just relaxing, for young and old.
However, our absolute favorite beach on Ko Samui is Ban Harn Beach in front of Samui Orchid Resort. This heavenly beach is located south of the well-known Lamai Beach and absolutely relaxing. You might have to share this great beach section with a few guests of the nearby resorts. But usually they prefer the extensive hotel’s swimming pools for some reason.
Between November and March it night get busier at Ban Harn Beach as kite surfers also love this place. The bay is protected by an artificial mole and offers perfect conditions for kite surfers, especially for beginners. But it’s also perfect for having a relaxed swim.
And what‘s also nice… When approaching the beach and turning left to the south, a few big trees give enough shade for a perfect beach day.
You can easily reach Ban Harn Beach by motorcycle and car.
#2 Having dinner barefoot
What is one of the best things you can do at the sea? Yes, sipping cocktails and having a delicious dinner. For the first time in my life I sat at a dinner table barefoot. It was such a great feeling to dig my toes into the beach sand while enjoying my yummy Massaman Curry with shrimp. I definitely have to repeat that some day.
#3 Massages by the sea
A relaxing massage by the sea… amazing!
Who does not dream of lying on a colorful blanket on a wooden deck, feeling a light breeze on the skin and listening to the sound of the waves while two hands are loosening all tensions of your back? Too good to be true? No! On Ko Samui we spoilt ourselves with our first massage in Thailand and it should take place in a very relaxing atmosphere.
Along Chaweng Beach there are numerous women offering massages. I recommend to chose a place at the northern end of the beach as it’s much quieter here and therefore much better to fully enjoy the treatment. Price: 60-minute whole body massage costs 300 Baht, 60-minute whole body Thai massage costs 250 Baht per person
#4 Splendid Temples
The impressive 18-arm image of Guanyin
Not only on Thailand’s mainland can many splendid temples be found. In the north of Ko Samui is the temple Wat Plai Laem located that deeply impressed us. The latest Lonely Planet mentions this temple in only one single sentence although it would deserve a lot more attention.
Wat Plai Laem is one of the most colorful temples of the island and the highlight is a striking white 18-arm image of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, that is surrounded by a lake. The temple doesn’t look back on a long history as it is not as old as the other temples on Ko Samui but the art techniques used in its creation are centuries-old and based on ancient beliefs. For 10 Baht you can feed the fish of the lake and help the temple with this small donation.
#5 Easy to explore by motorcycle
Liane and Lars on the motorcycle
Koh Samui is Thailand’s third biggest island but still not too big to explore it by motorcycle. The most important towns and places are connected by a wide 50 km long ring road. It makes it very easy to get around the island.
Almost every shop and agency rents motorcycles. The prices are about the same everywhere ranging between 150 baht for a 100cc till 300 Baht per day (24 hours) for stronger engines. Lars and I shared one motorcycle and therefore took a 120cc one which was totally fine. Every motorcycle rental sells petrol in glass bottles for 40 Baht each as the motorcycles are always empty. Just take one bottle and drive to the next petrol station to fill it up for a few baht.
We had the feeling that the local car drivers and motorcyclists are experienced with tourists driving motorcycles (probably for the very first time ever). However, before starting your trip you should practice a bit on a calm side street. Especially when you have a second person on your motorcycle you should practice accelerating and breaking. Don’t forget to ask for a helmet. You don’t want to be a fool.
Have a good ride and enjoy such beautiful spots:
#6 Easy island hopping to Ko Tao and Ao Nang
Lillte golf ball BoB enjoying the view of Ao Nang
Do you love snorkeling? Well, we also. When you want to do some amazing snorkeling take a ferry and hop over to Ko Tao. You will love it! It is so much fun to explore the beautiful bays of the island. After snorkeling in different spots Ko Tao did not disappoint us. We saw many colorful fish, beautiful corals and even a shark!!
Different ferry companies offer daily transfers. Depending on the type of boat and the length of the stop on Ko Phangan the ride takes about 1.5 to 3 hours. www.ferrysamui.com.
It is also possible to take part in a snorkel day trip to Ao Nang but when you are into snorkeling then you need more time. Stay at least for two nights on Ko Tao and do a full day snorkeling tour. Soon we will publish a new blog post about our amazing snorkeling trip on Ko Tao. As soon as it’s online I will put a link here. So stay tuned!
There are many more reasons why we loved Ko Samui… the blue sky, the palm trees and the sunshine. And there are some more attractions that you can visit during your stay: Nam Tok Na Muang is with 30m the highest waterfall of the island as well as the bizarre rock formations Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai, known as Grandpa (Ta) and Grandma (Yai) that look like male and female genitalia. This was probably one of the weirdest tourist attractions we have seen so far. We should have skipped it. See pictures above.
How to get to Ko Samui
With the ferry to Ko Samui
There are actually different ways to get to Ko Samui. I will give you only a rough overview as it would be a topic for a new post 🙂
1. Direct flight from Bangkok International Airport to Ko Samui with Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways
So, how does beautiful Ko Samui sound to you? Do you think these 6 reasons convince you to make a trip to this island while in Thailand?
Or have you been to Ko Samui already? What did you like the most about it and would you love to get back like us? Leave a comment below!