30 Jan Thailand 1 – Koh Samui
Thailand is a country that I always wanted to go back to… There has been 10 years since I first visited and only now I managed to return.
My first visit was to Phuket and Bangkok… so this time, I wanted to go somewhere different… especially because I was travelling with my husband and kids.
Our first stop was Koh Samui. We chose the island because we needed some beach time… We needed the triple S…. Sun, sand and salty water…
As we live in Europe… escaping the cold is always a good idea… Not that we dont like the winter… but some sun and vitamin D helps enduring it.
The hotel of our choice was the Royal Muang Villas Resort, for the following reasons:
- 10 min from the airport
- Beach front
- Private Villas
- Private Swimming pool
- Family driven
- Local establishment – Here a brief explanation… when we travel, we tend to book hotels of local chains or family private owned. Avoiding big brands or big multinational chains is our way to support local businesses… Not always work and in this trip we have twice stayed in big branded names (as and when I write about them, I will mention it).
The experience at the resort was perfect… Even better that I had anticipated. Located in Choeng Mo Bay… the hotel was surrounded by local businesses and restaurants without being in the busy and noisy heart of the island, which is Chaweng beach… (only 10 min away).
We stayed four nights at the resort, of which 2 full days we indulged in the local beach and swimming pools… including the private one we had in our Villa… my kids could not make up their mind on where to go and where to stay…
But we did not only stay at the resort… as in the end we also wanted to visit the island and learn about the surrondings… so, one day we decided to take a boat trip to Koh Tao, with a stop in the Nangyuan Island.
I had planned nothing in advance, which is quite unusual of me… once there we decided to see what we would feel like doing… after not much research, a trip to Koh Tao sounded perfect.
There are several tour operators to choose from… we booked at the hotel concierge, the one they recommended.
Safety for me is a pre-requisite, so I was quite relieved to verify that all passengers at the speed boat had to dress the life jacket and that moving was not allowed while the boat was in mouvement.
The Island is spectacular and the water crystal clear… as my children had never done snorkeling before, we took the time swimming around the bays, looking at the corals and enjoying ourselves… Thailand is a popular destination and places can be quite crowded, but this tour was really impressive in terms of organisation so that the places to where we were taken did not feel too touristy.
The other day, we decided to explore the Island by car. The aim was to drive to the Nikki Beach, beach club, which was situated on the opposite side of the Island.
The journey started with a pit stop on the Big Buddha. Quite high and imponent, the Big Buddha can be seen miles away in distance. My kids, especially my daughter, was fascinated by the bouddhiste temple and the meaning of it. I took the time to explain to her that Thailand is mainly a bouddhiste country and also polythéiste.
After the visit to the Big Buddha, we drove to the Nikki Beach. Situated at Lipa Bai, the beach club is, as you would expect, an adult place. It is not that Children are not welcome and they even have a kids club to entertain the kids… but it clearly a place to have a drink and fun… Loud music, young and beautiful people hang around the swimming pool area overlooking the amazing blue water of the sea.
Food is at Nikki beach is superbe… with the best of the local Thai cuisine but also with a very large availabilty of western food and sushi.
Despite of the fact that I had my kids, and I made sure that they did not disturb the guests lying around my sunbed, we had a great time… my only small issue with the place was that while we were there, there was a team installing sound and light equipment over the swimming pool. It was the 30th of December and I understand that the club needed to prepare for new year’s eve… however for security reasons, and I voiced my concern to the management of the club, I think they should have evacuated the pool while they were installing the cables. Management re-assured me that nothing was actually plugged.. nevertheless, with all due respect, accidents happen unintentionally and this is the reason it is called accident… and therefore the club should have not taken the risk.
I felt uncomfortable and not much later I left the club… maybe an overreaction on my part.
Koh Samui is a very beautiful and welcoming place… also it is a very child friendly. Every restaurant we went, kids were welcome and something special was brought up to the them.
We ate in several places, from rustique to sophisticated. A good place to visit is Prego, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Chaweng beach. Also, if your are there, dont miss to have a Thai massage… there are hundreds of massages places, from sophisticated to simple… we chose one on our hotel doorstep… my kids had their first feet massage and I will never forget my little 4 year old boy joy…
Then, it was time to pack to our next destination…. Chiang Mai…
See you in the next post