After our hectic time in Bangkok, we flew to Surat Thani and caught a ferry to Koh Samui for a drastic change of scenery. Thailand’s second largest island is notoriously beautiful. Long stretches of beach with white sands, palm trees and turquoise water are as far as the eye can see.
We stayed in the Bo Put area, purely due to finding a hotel there that was right for our budget. I think anywhere on the island is idyllic, but beach access is definitely a plus. Our hotel was the ‘Prana Resort Nandana’ and had an infinity pool overlooking Bophut beach. Bophut is not the most beautiful beach on the island but it’s full of activity; I spent several hours in the pool watching the activity of Bangrak Pier fishing boats and yachts as well as the planes coming in and out of the nearby airport.
I must just add a word of warning for anyone who might find themselves in Thailand when it is cloudy or the off-season – believe me when I say you will still get sunburnt. I applied very minimal amounts of sun lotion to myself on our first cloudy day in Samui and spent the rest of the week very sore, red, and covered in towels! Only myself to blame there.
Due to my sunburn, we took a tuk tuk to the Big Buddha on our second day, or ‘Wat Phra Yai’ as it’s known locally, rather than stroll along Bophut Beach in the sun to get there. There are a few stalls selling clothing and souvenirs, as well as food stalls and a small restaurant, just before the entrance to the temple. We had a quick look around these before heading up the colourful stairs to the 12 metre high golden Buddha.
Once you’re at the top, there are some quite nice views of the surrounding sea and beach and obviously a great vantage point of the huge Buddha. There isn’t really much else to see or do, but Big Buddha is definitely worth visiting whilst you’re on the island. As with any Buddhist temple or sacred site, visitors are advised to dress politely so be sure to cover your shoulders and wear trousers or long shorts.
Once my sunburn had become a bit less lobster-like, we had a beach day at the beautiful Maenam Beach. You can hire a sun-bed lounger for the day from one of the hotels or vendors on the beachfront for as little as $2; this allowed us some added security for our belongings when venturing into the sea.
Although I recommend visiting Koh Samui regardless, I would recommend it even more so if you are planning to visit Thailand in the off-season (monsoon season, roughly May-October). The island experiences different climates and rain-patterns to places like Phuket and Krabi due to being in the Gulf of Thailand rather than the Andaman Sea, so it offers better weather year-round.
Having just come from the hectic city-life of Bangkok, Samui offered a lovely change of pace. We were sad to leave and would have liked to see more of the island, but we were also excited to take off from the island’s lovely little airport to get to Rayavadee Resort, Krabi!
Feel free to ask me any questions about Koh Samui or Thailand if you have an upcoming trip planned – I’m more than happy to help! You can also check out my post other posts on Thailand.
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