Monday, June 20, 2011

Koh Samui- Transportation

Transportation in Koh Samui is different from the rest of Thailand. Usually we take tok tok around, as it is cheapest type of transportation. In Koh Samui, there is no tok tok, only jeep and taxis or rent your own car.

Jeep- Is it more expensive than other parts of thailand, just a 4-5 minutes ride could cost B50 per person ,they might even ask you for B100.

Taxis- Taxis is even worst they charge more exorbitantly and the, taxis driver work together to fix the price.

We rented a car and it was quite reasonable, just that petrol price is expensive.

Beware of Taxi drivers!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Koh Samui Day 4- Airport

We requested for the airport transfer from the hotel. I thought that the airport must be a small airport we no shops and nothing to see at all. I was proven wrong, the airport- was so cool, it is an island airport, first time seeing such an airport. It has a touch of islander feel, but with modern shops. The two rows of shops, we ample of space for us to walk. they had Swensens too...

Could not resist Swensens, so went in to have an ice-cream. Love the airport so much. I think everyone starts to relax at the airport that they forget about their flight, therefore, I saw some rushing for their flight as they were late and attendant running around directing them to their Gate. We didn't want to make the same mistake, for this reason we went early to the Gate.

Are you drooling?

How surprise we were that there were tea, coffee and other drinks, muffins and snacks, we did not want to touch it at first, as we do not want to incur unnecessary expenses. but after asking we were told that all those are free for us to eat... everyone happily took a drink. The seats at the gates is not your ordinary airport waiting seats... in straight rows of five. No it was all in the island concept, with chairs made out of rattan with cushions, tables in between. Fascinating! felt like we were in first class. I would vote this one of the interesting and comfortable airport that I have been too.

Must go early to the airport and enjoy the islander airport.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Koh Samui- The Resort- Promtsuk Buri

Promtsuk Buri is just a small, family run resort therefore don't expect swimming pool as the beach is the resort natural swimming pool. The resort consist of individual Bungalows- Four different types: Garden Court, Mini Deluxe, Seaview and Beachfront.

During our stay we stayed in two types of Bungalow- Garden Court and Beachfront. Garden Court Bungalows- is nearer to the reception. While the Beachfront is nearer to the beach, but not located on the beach itself. But the concept and the bungalows are really beautifully design inside and outside. Making it look luxurious but without the luxury price. I have seen Bungalows like that costs so much, but the owners did a good job by not compromising on the quality of accommodation and yet making it affordable. The bathroom though is opened air, very close to nature. The restaurant is nicely design, having a cup of coffee and breakfast in the morning, since it is opened air, the breeze from the sea is so cooling. The scenery of the beach is beautiful with white sandy beaches, blue sea water and green mountains, making it a picture perfect view.

Breakfast is provided, but with limited options, no problem for me. The staff there are helpful and kind. You can use the internet at the reception.

Before jumping into booking this resort, there are some things that you will need to take note of:

Location: It is quite far to Lamai or Chaweng town, and transportation cost in Koh samui like taxi and jeep is expensive. Unless you rent a car or just want to stay in the resort and enjoy the scenery and beach if not you might have to rethink about this place, as the location isn't convenient located in town.

Mosquitoes: Be careful of Mosquitoes during rainy season.

Beach: There are some rocky parts while swimming in the sea, so be careful not to hurt your feet.

Other than that, all seems good to me.Normally I would like to stay in at least a 3 star hotel. I decided to stay in this resort because I like the concept, design, price and the beach. I would recommend it if you would like to just stay in the resort and relax by the beach but without burning a hole in your pocket. Good for honeymoon goers with a budget and not wanting all the extras- that other hotel offer. Would definitely stay here again.

Room: clean, nicely design
Location: Not in town. not near shops.
Facilites: Simple resort, no extra facilities
Service: Good-with personal touch

Picture of the Resort Beach

Picture of the Beach

Picture of the Resort Beach

Monday, May 30, 2011

Koh Samui Day 3-Driving around whole of Koh Samui

Morning View of the Resort Beach

Breakfast @ Resort

Day 3 after breakfast at the hotel, initially my plan was to go on another island hopping-Ko Tao & Koh Nangyuan, ever since yesterday boat trip, everyone wanted to rest from boat ride, instead we rented a car to travel around the whole of Koh Samui. There are so many beaches that i wanted to see how they look like.

Obtaining a map from the hotel, we started our journey from Lamai Hua Thanon- Bang Kao to Thong Krut to Taling Ngam to Nathon to Maenam to Bo Phut and Chaweng back to Lamai.

Taling Ngam- we could see the five island from the beach. Then we went to have a look at the Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort and Spa- very luxurious, honeymoon resort, secluded and far from town.

Taling Ngam

Taling Ngam- Can you spot  the 5 islands?

There are 5 islands but my picture only show 3...sad
BoPhut- Fisherman Village- Is a long stretch of shops, with restaurant facing the beach, ice-cream parlor-movenpick...Spend time shopping. We went up to Signature Samui Beach Resort- The view from the hotel was splendid, more expensive, higher class hotel, catering for honeymoon vacationers and weddings.

My favourite picture

Fisherman Village

The Restaurant near the beach- with good view of beach

Signature Samui View

Chaweng- Back to Chaweng, crowded with people, full of hotels. Went to Tesco-to check out their products. In tesco, look out for the travel size shampoo for Pantene, head and shoulders & facial wash... all around RM 2-3, quite cheap as it is manufactured in thailand. Drove to view point-nice view, you will be able to find it on the map.

Chaweng Viewpoint in the Evening

Back to the hotel.

Dinner: Sala Thai Restaurant.- Restaurant was full of people. Waiting time was quite long. The Mango Juice was not as good as the restaurant on the first day, it was more watery. Ordered Pad Thai, Tom Yam (Yum Yum!) Chicken, Steam Fish and Curry. Feels like we had a such big appetite. The food wasn't that great too maybe because they were rushing, lack of taste.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Koh Samui- Day 1

Arriving at the Koh Samui Airport- they arrange the tram to take us to the immigration. Considering Koh Samui is an island, the Airport had an island feel to it. After taking our baggage, you will see some booths for rental of cars. We thought that that was the place to wait for our pre-arranged transport to the hotel. Then we found after a few minutes that we had to walk further up, following the signs to the "Real" arrival hall. Therefore, just follow the sign.

We met our driver and travel about 20-30 minutes to our hotel in Lamai- Promtsuk Buri (for more information about the hotel, pls look at the hotel page)

After checking in to our hotel, we decided to take a rest, enjoy the hotel beach and to plan for the next day activity- Island hopping-Ang Thong National Marine Park. In the evening, we travel to Chaweng by taxi. (see transportation tip)

Chaweng beach road-near Chaweng Lake- is a long stretch of shops selling all sorts of things, food, thai products, leather shoes, haagendas, swensens, tailors, bars... It is crowded, as many of the tourist stay here or around this town.
Dinner: Thai food at a restaurant in chaweng-Beach Road. We asked around and they recommended this shop. (sorry I forgot to take down the name, it was I think opp ) The food was really delicious. The Mango Juice is a must try, it is really fresh juice from fresh mangoes. Then we ordered a plate of stir fry vegetables, fry fish, tom yam and pineapple fried rice. All was really splendid except for the fry fish.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Koh Samui- Day 2- Island Hopping

It was a rainy day, we decided to book the tour from the Hotel using Samui Island Tour to Angthong Marine Park. You can choose between with Kayaking or without. (Do compare the prices before booking.) A van fetch us and sent us the jetty. Then we took the tour boat, they served breakfast, with bread,coffee and tea. (Advise: Do not eat too much or you will regret later!) The tour guide mentioned to us that if any were to back out now, please go ahead ( we did not know why she said that, but we realize later)

Koh Samui Island Tour Boat
The sea was rough, we thought that it will be better after a while, not long after it started to get even worst, the sea was really choppy and many people started to throw out, including my family members. With many of feeling really uncomfortable and feel like vomiting, it seem like forever to get the National Park. By the time, we reached there, it was a sign of relief as the water was much calmer. However, because my family members, were feeling so uncomfortable, they didn't get to enjoy the scenery at all. (A word of advise: Even though our friend mentioned to us that the weather is quite good in December, it is better to check again, especially when travelling on the boat and with elderly ones, they might not be able to handle the journey. Please check the weather condition and the sea condition before deciding and if not sure you have a chance to back out.)

As for me, even though my stomach felt uncomfortable due to the boat ride, I really wanted to see the scenery. I went up and caught sight of the astonishing emerald green lagoon-"Talay Nai". Wow, magnificent!

From the Viewpoint

The Emerald Lagoon

Next, it was lunch on the boat and we were taken to the next island in Wua Ta Lap island. You can choose between staying near the beach and taking a swim or climbing up to the top view point which is about one hour. Since, my family members were not feeling well, we decided to stay near the beach. It was a little let down as this island isn't much of a sight or beauty, it was ruin by dirt, rubbish and glass.

Lunch Provided on Board

After an hour, we headed back to Koh Samui.

Dinner: Tarua Samui Seafood Restaurant. About 10 mins walking distance from our hotel, recommended by the hotel staff. We thought we are here on an island, must try seafood.
We ordered fish, prawns, vegetable and lobster. The outdoor table was so windy and cooling, very romantic. As for food, is not that good. Our lobster, did not have any taste in it. The bill- expensive.

Sneak out to Lamai Night Market- went shopping, like Chaweng it is a whole stretch of shops, just shorter than Chaweng. Banana pancakes was recommended on other website but I did not try as it looks similar to malaysia's banana roti canai. Must have a look. Might be able to find things that you like. I bought bags, hair bands with flowers, and broach.