Apologies for being MIA for the best part of 2 months – getting sorted for our holiday took over our lives with the added stresses of balancing work and pretending to have some form of social life.
If you follow my Instagram you will know that I went to Thailand at the end of June and I thought I’d share a little about what Harry and I got up to!
Harry and I have always talked about going to Thailand and it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember.
We booked through a local travel agent and flew from Heathrow to Singapore and then transferred onto a tiny little plane to Koh Samui. Transferring at Singapore was … interesting. The lady at the transfer desk didn’t know what was going on and sent us from one side of the airport then back to the other. To add to the fun when asked if our luggage would be forwarded directly to Koh Samui she just said ‘I don’t know’.. fab. BUT ANYWAY, after a good 15 hours of travelling, we made it to Koh Samui – luggage included.
We were picked up by a private car that took us to our home for the next 12 days, Pavilion Samui Villas & Resort on Lamai Beach. Pavilions is undoubtedly the most beautiful hotel that Harry and I have ever stayed at, I wish we got more pictures but take a look at their website! I would highly recommend staying with them if you’re holidaying at Lamai. Our room was a Plunge Pool Suite which – you’ve guessed it – had a private plunge pool with jacuzzi features (feel like a Kardashian just writing that sentence). Our booking included breakfast which was amazing and had quite literally everything you could ask for.
Bang Po Beach
Bang Po beach in the North of the Koh Samui is a must see, it’s absolutely empty and has the most amazing views of fisherman’s boats against the shadow of islands out to sea and calm warm waters. We stopped for lunch at Som’s restaurant which led directly to the beach and the food and staff were lovely. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to see. If you are looking for complete tranquillity, this is the place for you.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
The highlight of our trip was a kayaking/snorkelling tour of Ang Thong national marine park which is probably the most STUNNING place on Earth. We woke up at the crack of dawn and caught the boat out to the marine park, a good 45 minute slog out to sea. In the middle of the ocean you just see these huge rock formations poking out of the water making up 40 islands and in the middle of them is very shallow coral, where we snorkelled. After that we spent the afternoon kayaking around caves and lagoons before heading on land to see the famous Emerald Lake (behind me in the last picture). The reason I look so sweaty and grim is that we had just clambered up the steepest cement steps that just went on. And on. And on. In 35 degree heat.
When booking this quad biking trip I envisaged dusty rural lanes, calm waterfalls and throwing my head back in the wind. In reality, I clung onto the back of a fat Thai bloke and hurtled down the side of a mountain in the rainforest, as he laughed maniacally and put his foot down. I won’t lie, it was terrifying (especially the number of people that came flying off their bike during a two hour trip) but SO MUCH FUN.
I knew I wanted to see a natural waterfall whilst in Thailand and Namuang 1 did not disappoint. There are two Namuang waterfalls (1 and 2), 1 being the more popular and touristy (but you can see why) which is easily accessible by taxi and 2 which I hear is harder to find and includes a 20 minute hike in the jungle. The bottom of the waterfall has a natural pool where tourists swim and pose and it was really one of those moments where you can’t believe you’re really there. The only downside was that at the entry to the waterfall a very depressed mother and baby elephant were kept in a small pen with their feet chained individually. These elephants are used for the elephants treks where many tourists and locals alike have reported cruelty and neglect. It’s such a haunting sight and really takes away from the beauty of the waterfall to know horrors like that are just down the road. If you are planning to go to an elephant show/trek/sanctuary I urge you to investigate the company before handing over your money. With the resources available online there really is no excuse.
The ‘Big Buddha’ temple on Ko Phan is inarguably the most popular temple in the area, known for it’s gigantic 12 metre golden Buddha image, this is the Buddhist Big Ben of Koh Samui. Women must have covered shoulders and legs to enter and pretty kimono style robes are available to borrow free of charge so that you may enter the temple. You can also get a blessing from a Buddhist monk whilst visiting.
The Jungle Club
The Jungle Club in Bo Phut is a great place to have lunch and admire the best view on Koh Samui. It’s such a cute, cool little place with all the lanterns, beanbags and hammocks and is right up in the side of the jungle (as the name suggests). We went during the day and it was soo lovely but I can imagine it’s amazing at night with the fairy lights and lanterns lit.
Full Moon Party
We happened to be there while the Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party was scheduled and decided to give it a go even if it was just to be able to say we went. The weather that night was HORRENDOUS with the worst thunder, lightning and torrential rain I’ve ever seen. Our mode of transport to the party was a 30 minute ride on a packed speedboat… probably not the best mode of transport during a raging storm. Regardless of the near death experience, when we got to Koh Phangan the atmosphere was incredible but kinda reminded me of a giant beach based Magaluf and I can see why people avoid it. Getting home was a fiasco and with thousands of people trying to get on the next speedboat home things turned nasty pretty quickly with fights breaking out and men literally trying to throw themselves onto moving speedboats.
I don’t know why we didn’t get any pictures of our food! As you can imagine the food was incredible and very reasonable. One night we had a two course meal with drinks for the equivalent of £9.00. For both of us. I KNOW.
My top 3 food favourites were:
- Penang Curry – this is similar to satay but it’s soo rich and delicious.
- Pad Thai – this is available literally everywhere in Thailand, it’s a stir fried noodle dish with egg and lots of veg.
- Red/Green Thai Curry – probably the most famous food export of Thailand it really is worth having the real deal while you’re there.
Cocktails are generally 70 baht which is around £1.60 each and pack a punch, and a bottle of water in 7/11 is 7 baht which is just 16p!
For vegetarians, asking to substitute meat in dishes for Tofu or extra veg is so easy and everyone we met was happy to accommodate. The same goes for the use of Oyster sauce – ask to swap this for Soy.
There are so many other fab things to do on Koh Samui (Lamai Sunday market, ‘Ladyboy’ Cabaret, Ark Bar, etc.) but these were some of our highlights!
Thanks for reading,