Hi guys! How are you doing?
In this article I am going to talk about a very particular experience which wis my 3-month stay in Koh Samui. I lived there from August to October 2016. Have you heard about this place? Have you been there? If you’re a party animal you’ve probably heard about the full moon party which take place on Koh Phangan, an island nearby… 😉
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is the second biggest island of Thailand. It is known for its paradisiacal beaches and its luxurious jungle, which makes her very appealing for a large range of tourists; from backpackers, yogis, families to honeymooners. If you are looking for a wellness retreat, a luxury beach resort or a villa; Koh Samui has got plenty to offer and it is still expanding. It is known to be chic and prices are quite higher than other places in Thailand. The island has known a huge metamorphose those past decades and I am pretty sure that if I go back in some years, I will notice an enormous evolution as well. The nature is truly amazing and what could I say about the thaï people… surely ones of the kindest people on this earth! Go theeeere, but make sure to take some notes of this post before 😉
What to do/ Where to go
- Rent a motorcycle and explore the island by your own (stay careful on the road!); that’s the best way to enjoy the island to its fullest;
- Enjoy its beautiful beaches such as Mae Nam (So peaceful, far from the tourist crowd, you can see some local families playing in the water… I was going there almost every day and lived right behind it!), Choeng Mon (small and quiet), Lamai (and the two famous rocks Hin Ta and Hin Yai), Lipa Noi, Taling Ngam and more (I would advice to avoid Chaweng’s beach which is too crowed with tourists)
- Visit its neighboring islands such as Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Nang Yuan;
- Go snorkeling on Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao: one of my most beautiful experiences in my life!;
- Visit the sacred and religious sites such as Big Buddha, Wat Plai Laem, Chinese Temple and Happy Buddha;
- Go to the night markets; Bophut Market on Monday and Friday nights, Mae Nam on Thursday, Lamai on Sunday… It is a great way to buy souvenirs while enjoying some street Thai food and music!;
- Go for shopping in Nathon instead of Chaweng – Chaweng’s traders buy in Nathon, you will see a huge difference in prices;
- Experience the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan;
- Enjoy a thaï massage on the beach;
- Enjoy Thaï food! So cheap, so tasty – give it a try!; there are so many restaurants, you can’t miss it. If you happen to be in Mae Nam, make sure to go to My Place Bar, the staff is adorable and the food is amazing – excellent value for money as well;
- Go in the mountains, enjoy the jungle and the waterfalls;
I was Digital Communications Responsible for Pure Luxury Villa Rental, a society specialized in luxury villas rental with a portfolio of Koh Samui, Phuket and Bali most exclusive properties. My former manager, Stephanie, is French – feel free to contact her for your next holidays (and tell her you know me ;)). I lived in a “bungalow” at Daddy Resort in Mae Nam; I had my own house with two big terraces and a saltwater swimming pool that you can enjoy at anytime (thank you tropics!). I literally loved my place and the neighborhood; Mae Nam is far for the hustle and bustle you can have in Chaweng and I used to love greeting my neighbors every morning and and evening with a “Sawadee Ka! Sabai dee mai?” (the few thaï words I was able to say ahah) and seeing a huge smile on their face every time.
I used to start my days with a run on the beach between 6 and 7am. I am far from being a runner, I really don’t enjoy it and usually get bored so quickly, but having the beach almost for myself and watching the sunrise… it is just priceless – and it kept me motivated. After that, I used to go to work, or in other words, at my manager’s house with her little 1 year-old son :).
Some days I did not have to go to my manager’s house and could simply work from home. In that case I used to love going to Greenlight Cafe in Bophut, starting the day with a wonderful class of yoga and then working aside their pool and enjoying the amazing food they offer. Another place I love, owned by an amazing American-thaï couple, is Prava, located in Mae Nam, I even brought my manager and her family there for my last evening in Koh Samui – both of those places used to be my cantine ahah.
I tried to organized my week-ends in a way so I could go to places I did not know and I also managed to travel outside the island (I went to Bangkok and Singapore). There are many tours offered on the island and many activities that keep you entertained. Sometimes I just enjoyed to chill-out, grab some food with people I met there, or even to go to some salsa classes.
- Make sure to try the spicy green papaya salad (my fav!), chicken with cashew nuts (2nd fav ahah), green chicken curry, pad thai, the spicy shrimp soup, the mango sticky rice and more 🙂 Finding thaï food could not be easier; you have restaurants everywhere! In Mae Nam I particularly loved My Place Bar as mentioned earlier. The prices in Fisherman Village and Chaweng are higher than the rest of the island; the more you go far from the crowd, the less you will pay for the dish.
- Prava: owned by an american-thai couple, the food is a mix between the food they experienced during their travels; you have thai food but also mediteranean and mexican influences. The staff is adorable and the food is simply amazing, actually everything on the menu is delicious and the value for money is unbeatable. Do not miss out on their amazing quesadillas!
- Vikasa: Just wow… The found is to die-for and the view… unbeatable on Chaweng Noi. If I would have lived closer, I certainly would have spent a lot of time chilling in their amazing spot. Mention special to their pink salmon burger!
- GreenLight Cafe: I loved loved loved this place! I used to go to their yoga classes and could sit the whole day there working and enjoying their lovely spot. The food is healthy yet super delicious, and the chef, Chit, is absolutely so kind. Make sure to try their desserts such as the snicker bars and the raw coconut cheesecake 🙂
Learn some thai!
Last but not least… Try to speak thaï with the local people. It is not the easiest language on earth but I swear the locals would be very happy if you greet them in thai. Here are some little basics:
- Sawatdi Khrap/Kha: Hello (if you’re man you add “Khrap”/girl “Kha”)
- Sabai di Mai?: Are you doing well?
- Sabai di Khrap/Kha: I’m doing well
- Chai Khrap/Kha: Yes
- Mai Khrap/Kha: No (Mai always means the negation in a sentence)
- Khopkhun khrap/kha: Merci
- Mai pai lai: “no worries, no problem”; reflects how everything works in Thailand ahah 🙂
Now you’re ready to go to Koh Samui! I hope you enjoyed this article – Thank you so much for reading. If you happen to go experience some of the points I mentioned, please let me know 🙂 If you haven’t been to Thailand yet, I hope this article makes you want to go there; please feel free to give your feedback, I would be very happy to hear from you!
Love love love Xx