Koh Samui JBR
Just back from my Asia Trip – Bangkok, Koh Samui and Phuket. Absolutely amazing. Have fallen in love with it all! Here’s my JBR on Koh Samui where I stayed with my 15 year old daughter and my friend and her 13 year old son. We had a mix of relaxing and busy days. We probably could have fitted a load more in but we the hotel was so lovely and chilled we took advantage of relaxing a lot. We didn’t do a boat trip as I had already booked Phuket Sail Tours for our next leg which was the absolute highlight of our two week trip. We also planned elephant trek in Phuket as they looked a good bit better than the ones in Koh Samui. I’ll post my Phuket and Bangkok JBRs in the right forums during the week.
HOTEL: NORA BURI RESORT AND SPA, north of Chaweng – We loved it and would definitely recommend and would definitely go back there. Just a lovely relaxing atmosphere in hotel grounds. Lots of Aussies. The staff are lovely and can’t do enough for you. The place is very peaceful. Two pools, one at the beach with poolbar and one at the reception area which is like two infinity pools on two different levels. Food onsite is grand you can get a nice meal for around five or six pounds upwards. It’s about 5 mins into Chaweng by taxi. We paid 200 Bts but we probably could have got it cheaper if we haggled but sure it was cheap enough anyway. It is hilly but they have little buggies going up and down, day and night and you never have to wait very long. They had music playing most nights but truthfully not many people where there to listen to it when we were there. We had a room near the reception on ground floor with nice balcony (couldn’t see the sea, maybe on hindsight ask for a room on upper floor if they have it)/ Nice toiletries. There was a shutter on the spacious bathroom which opened up into the bedroom. Not too much hot water from shower but hot enough. Breakfasts amazing. Had everything you could want. Gorgeous flora and fauna around the well kept gardens, frogs jumping about..security guy helping you cross the road, Moonlight pool swim. Plenty of water given by hotel for fridge and for brushing teeth. Nice balcony. No mosquitoes in sight and I sat out for hours on balcony skyping late at night. Was wearing plenty of Deet though. Internet connection was good – and free. Worked at pools and on beach too. Had big tv but we didn’t turn it on once.
Arrived about 5ish in the hotel. Flight took about hour from Bangkok. Koh Samui airport very small and cute. We wanted an easy night and opted for a swim at the hotel pool overlooking a small private beach. Of course had to have a cocktail from the pool bar. View fantastic and it was so warm. We then had lovely dinner at the restaurant at the beachfront. Kids ran onto beach and found crab and fish. The hotel prices were pretty reasonable. Live music playing – though I’m not sure they were actually singing themselves but who cares. . Nice relaxing start. Nothing too taxing.
Spent most of the day on Chaweng Beach with lovely blue sea which didn’t get deep for ages. The kids did Aqualand on the beach. Big inflatables in the sea like the tv show TOTAL WIPEOUT. It was about 200Bt for hour. The teenage kids loved it and were exhausted on return. The beach itself was great. We found a shady spot and chilled out there with a Singa. Approached every five mins by someone selling jewellery, lilos, sunglasses, ice lollies even a baby monkey (we said no but it was really cute!). But there was no problem and we found it all a bit exciting. We just said no thank you and that was fine. No hastle. Lots of window shopping in Chaweng. Loads of shops selling the usual tourist tat but great experience walking around. We got lovely banana coconut chocolate crepe from a stand for 50 batt and later coconut icecream. We also walked up the beach and found a Tourist Trip stand and got tickets for Canopy Adventure zip wiring for the next day for 1500 Bts. The girl was really helpful and nice. There were a lot of bars which looked great but we were away with the kids! But great atmosphere chilling out. On the way back to the hotel from the beach, we found TOPS supermarket and went in and stocked up on snacks and water to avoid using minibar (which wasn’t too expensive anyway but we just prefer to avoid.). We loved just walking around the Supermarket seeing all the different wares on offer and the prices! Cheap Cheap! More swimming in pool on return and we’d eaten so many snacks we skipped dinner. Saw spectatcular lightening storm as we swam in pool. No rain just lightening. Thai people were lovely. There was a free cocktail night in the hotel for an hour or two with snacks and cocktails. Great! The hotel had some gala dinner with Thai dancing but we didn’t go to that.
Canopy Adventures zipwiring was a great fun day out... Got picked up at the hotel in a class truck which we all sat on the back off in the open air. The journey was great and it was good seeing other hotels as we picked others up on the way. Lovely breeze and passed lovely beaches and scenery. We walked up a hill to the start of the zip wiring. Saw big butterflies and lizards etc along the way. All exhausted in the heat by the time we got there but there was water available in a small treehouse like shop. All grand. The zipwiring was fantastic fun. They start you off on a little practice wire. They mind your bags Very safe and there was a kid about 6 there doing it in our group. We had a great group. A group of Americans from Colerado and a Russian honeymooning couple. They guys doing the zipwiring were really good fun. It was all very safe and they took plenty of pics for people and videos on cameras. There were six wires I think. Long enough! Def would recommend Canopy Adventures. When we finished there was lovely fruit and water waiting for us. Kids loved it and we did too. Another chilled night at the pool. Wedding going on in hotel with fireworks on beach and Chinese lanterns. Had dinner in the Thai restaurant in the hotel which was lovely.
Hired local driver for the day who picked us up at hotel at 11pm and left us to Fisherman’s Village at 5pm. This was a great idea and would def suggest hiring a driver. I had a few ideas of where we wanted to go already and the driver added in some more. We left Chaweng for Lamai Beach where we spent an hour swimming and got leg massage. Watch out for the” nice ladies” offering to do your feet. We were definitely shafted. We agreed they would do a footscrub for 400bt – which was far too much but we were still finding our way around the prices and I didn’t mind paying a bit more. After the footscrub (which was really good by the way) they spent a few mins cutting nails and 5 mins rubbing our legs and had the check to ask for 1200Bts EACH!!!!! Saying it was £400Bts for each treatment. That’s about nearly £50!! I don’t think so... Anyway I ended up giving them almost 1500 bts between them. Absolutely ridiculous I know. I only got rid of them because i said I had no more money and showed them my empty purse.. They had the cheek to ask me to borrow from my 15 yr old daughter! And then borrow from my friend. Not good! Anyway you live and learn. Just be VERY CLEAR with what you want them to do and if you feel anything different happening Don’t assume it’s a freebie. Def found the traders on Lamai beach a bit more pushy than Chaweng. After the beach we went to The Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks... all a bit stupid but nice view and a few nice market stalls. Good atmosphere. Then we went to the Mummified Monk. Fine for quick stop and plenty of pic opportunities. Then we went to Nummung Waterfall which was great. We just did the small first one and skipped the bigger one due to time. It’s nothing spectatular but very pretty and you can see elephant trekking on up the river. You can swim in the Waterfall pool.. Very relaxing. Then the kids spotted the elephants (the first time they’d seen them on the trip) and they fed elephants at the Waterfall site. This was super exciting for them and they are teenagers! I think it was 50bt for some bananas. Then we went to the Big Budda where we banged some bells as we walked around. The red steps are roasting hot. Walk up on the white ones and avoid the bird dropping if you can! Then we went to nearby Temple Wat..Lam. It had lots of Budda. The Smiling Budda was getting work done. Lots of pic opportunites but we were kind of Templed out (as we’d done a good bit of that in Bangkok. Still were weren’t staying there long and it was great to see the workmanship on the other Budda Temples in Koh Samui. Glad I saw them. Oh and the kids feed some fish in the Lake for about 50Bt or maybe less. Then we got dropped off at Fisherman’s Village... We loved it!! Great atmosphere. Lots of stalls.. We just walked to the bottom when we found Coco Tams and sat on beanbags watching the sun go down with a gin cocktail served in a jug with umbrellas and cherrys. Music was going. The waiters were putting lots of little brown bags in a line where when darkness fell they’d light candles. Chinese lanterns were being set off. It was really beautiful. People under parachutes were being pulled by speedboats . It was great. Do not miss this chill out experience.
This was a great day out. You could probably fit more in but we deliberately did it at a very relaxing pace and stopped off shopping and at the beach for a while and took our time. Another wedding in hotel. Just added to atmosphere.
Relaxed around hotel pool. Went into Chaweng. Went to Ninja Crepes. This place looks like a complete dive but actually is fine. It was packed to the brim with tourists so that showed how popular it is. The food is absolutely fine. Went to Ladyboy Show. We were looking for Starz Caberet but got a bit lost and ended up at Moulin Rouge show just in the street or two before Starz.... It was fine... All very cheesy and 80s but that’s what I expected!. Worth a see. A tad boring for me to be honest but glad I did it. An hour out of my life. Did tunes from Abba, Lady Marmalade, I Did it My Way, YMCA. We arrived late to the first show and the” waitress” came up and told us to feel free to stay for the next show as we’d missed a lot. Drinks were expensive in comparison to drinks prices in general, about £4-5 each but there is no charge to the show. You can get photos with the ladyboys. We gave 100bts. Had drinks in hotel reception where music was playing. We were the only ones there and the musician played whatever we asked for and joined us for a drink in his break and the kids learned a bit more about Koh Samui through his stories. A few punters came later.
All in all we loved Koh Samui. Weather was fantastic and the people lovely. Would love to go back someday and do a boat trip.