In a span of six days, I travelled across three Thai cities, namely Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. My itinerary was neatly put together by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Bangkok Airways. But of the three cities, I enjoyed my time at Koh Samui the most; for its pristine waters, tranquil beaches and bustling nightlife. So here’s a list of the Top 5 Things you should try out on Samui island, and why I’d recommend Koh Samui to be your next travel destination.
#1 Snorkelling / Kayaking on Koh Madsum Island
Forget about the overcrowded Bali beaches. Consider snorkelling in the Northeast of Koh Samui. A hidden gem with plentiful of tranquil beaches, Koh Madsum is the best place for a relaxing getaway where you do not have to compete for space to snorkel or pay an exorbitant price for water sports. We paid 1500 THB per pax for an island tour package, which included snorkelling and lunch at a nearby Koh Tan Restaurant. However, do note that the prices of water sports varies from operators and is not fixed. So do some research first before you book one!
How to get to Koh Madsum: It is only possible to get to Koh Madsum by boat. Most resorts provide their free shuttle boats but if you’re not staying at the resorts, I suggest that you sign up for an island tour package just like we did!
#2 Dine at Koh Tan Restaurant
Koh Tan island is located near Koh Madsum island and will be an ideal fit into your itinerary if you have a soft spot for breathtaking sceneries and nature. The restaurant is situated on a floating platform in the middle of pristine waters.
Most importantly, the quality and spread of food is not compromised for the scenery. We had a satisfying authentic Thai meal at Koh Tan Restaurant, with a spread of Sweet and Pour Prawns to Fried Seabass, Spicy Winglets and Seafood Tomyum Goong.
#3 Try the Coconut Ice-Cream at the famous Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks (Hin Ta & Hin Ya)
While it is true that Singapore sells a similar type of coconut ice-cream at Sentosa, Singapore’s version of coconut ice-cream is crazily overpriced and does not taste as authentic. Koh Samui is famous for their coconuts and there’s no better place to try a 50 THB coconut ice-cream than its country of origin. The portion is extremely generous (look at the three large scoops of ice-cream and coconut flesh) and it definitely serves as a comfort food under the sweltering heat.
Located close to white sand beaches, the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks also offer an instagram-worthy scenery. Legend has it that the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks resemble the shape of male and female genitalia respectively (see pictures below). I have also came across photographs of tourists suntanning along the white-sand beach, which is conveniently situated next to the Rocks, but do note that this beach is not suitable for water activities.
How to get there: The Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks are near Chaweng Beach and it takes a 15-20 car ride there.
This might come unexpected, but yes, there are cafes worth visiting on the island.
After soaking in the sun for half a day, you’d definitely find reprieve in an air-conditioned environment, and Lolamui cafe offered just what we needed: some sweet treats and the best Thai iced milk tea (perhaps I was just too thirsty but it tasted really great anyway).
The locals recommended Lolamui’s Dark Beer cake, which is infused with beer and dark chocolate. However, it was a tad too sweet for my liking and I couldn’t detect any tinge of beer in the cake. Fortunately, Lolamui cafe offers a wider selection of cakes which fared better – my friends wiped out their flourless chocolate cake and blueberry cheesecake even before I could photograph them.
Besides being famous for its water activities, Koh Samui also offers a bustling night life. On my last night, I went to check out the Chaweng Night Market. Just like most other active night markets, there was a wide selection of goods from clothings to bags and a lineup of street food.
Next to the night market lies the newly constructed Central Festival Samui Mall. Besides a whole range of international brands, you can expect to find some home brands such as Jaspal and AIIZ. I personally love shopping for home brands because of their updated and stylish designs that come with a cheaper price tag. Another reason why I preferred shopping at the mall instead of the night market is: air-conditioning (this can be a huge plus point when the weather is at a temperature of 38 degree celsius).
#6 Make your stay better with Amari Koh Samui Resort
The sixth item on this list is entirely optional – you can have a blast of time on Samui without booking accommodations at where Amari Koh Samui Resort. But for a person who pays heed to hotel facilities and services, I’d definitely recommend Amari. Besides the picturesque sunset that lies in the resort’s courtyard, Amari also offers a satisfying breakfast selection and the quaintest-looking dining area I have ever came across.
This post is contributed by a writer from our sister site, Asia361.com.