Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island, has come a great distance. From palm-covered haven of tropical peace, it has grown into a classy vacation vacation spot.
The island’s palm-lined shorelines and close by fruit and coconut plantations of the coastal lowlands steadily ascend to a central, granite-based huge, with the very best level at 653m. The slopes are largely coated in rainforest, that includes waterfalls and supply difficult trekking.
Samui’s seashores are rightly well-known for their white sand, clear water and picturesque seems, many that includes large granite boulders. Most of the island’s standard seashores – Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, Maenam – are on the north and east coasts.
The centre of island actions is Chaweng Beach, a 6km-long strand that gives an array of eating places and bars, and a energetic nightlife scene. To the south of Chaweng is enticing Lamai, quieter and extra relaxed, whereas Bophut, in direction of the highest of the island, is the departure level for excursions and ferries to neighbouring islands.
Bophut’s seaside is just not the most effective on the island, however its village has managed to retain its other-worldly appeal with a ‘high street’ that includes wood shophouses, vibrant boutiques, quaint eating places and bars, and even a few fine-dining institutions. East-coast seashores are protected all 12 months round and the west coast has shallow-water seashores.
Samui is blessed with many standalone fine-dining venues in addition to a number of glorious five-star resort eating places.
Long-standing favourites embody red-themed Red Snapper on Chaweng’s primary avenue that options stay music each night time, Mediterranean-influenced The Cliff on the ring street above Lamai, and Dr. Frogs in Bophut.
The spectacular Tree Tops Sky Dining and Bar positioned within the Anantara Lawana Resort contains ‘treetop’ tables with a luxe jungle really feel, wonderful ocean views, romantic candle lights, hanging lanterns and even a ‘salt guru’ to supply bespoke service.
Also in Bophut, H Bistro in Hansar Resort has glorious delicacies served al-fresco or in air-conditioned luxurious in a stunning beachside location.
To the north of the island, Six Senses hosts the fabulous Dining on the Rocks, a five-star ‘slow-cooking’ delicacies extravaganza for foodies. Fabulous 270-degree views of the ocean and close by islands are cause sufficient for a go to.
However, Chaweng is the undisputed epicentre of nightlife in Samui. If you wish to dine and celebration on the seaside, simply go for a leisurely stroll and also you’ll simply discover the place the motion is that night, as seaside bars placed on impromptu, enjoyable events.
Inland, Soi Green Mango hosts bars and golf equipment for all tastes equivalent to Solo Club, Sweet Soul Café, Mint Bar, Ark Bar and Sound Pub; there’s even a ladyboy present. There are extra bars within the ‘naughty’ class by Chaweng’s lake and so they finally result in the massive Reggae Bar, a two-storey behemoth of basic rock music and reggae.
Up within the hills to the north of Chaweng you possibly can dance to state-of- the-art grooves in fashion at Q Bar, overlooking the city and sea.
Just a few kilometres additional down the coast, laid-back Lamai caters to expats in addition to long-term guests. It’s typically extra of a household vacation spot, however Lamai Central Plaza – a warren of bars and watering holes – can get fairly energetic. Bophut Beach warrants particular point out for its tasteful ‘boho chic’, pleasant bars and its pleasant ‘back-in-time’ character.
The Santiburi Samui Country Club, additionally labelled ‘The Beast of Samui’ by its hapless victims, is positioned on the northeast coast of Samui in Maenam. The solely 18-hole course on Samui has small fairways winding uphill and down, however that is offset by sizeable greens and the spectacular views over the island, the Gulf of Thailand and close by Koh Phangan.
The nine-hole Royal Samui Golf and Country Club can also be fairly hilly, however whilst you’re catching your breath, you possibly can take pleasure in views over Lamai Beach.
An absolute should is to sail to Ang Thong (Golden Bowl) National Park, an archipelago of some 42 islands solely a few hours by boat from Samui. Koh Ang Thong, essentially the most beautiful, is an impressive limestone island with a collapsed centre, stuffed with an emerald-green lake that would double because the setting of a sci-fi film.
On your individual yacht, you possibly can evade the usual routes of the vacationer speedboats, follow your individual time schedule and uncover a number of the park’s abandoned, quiet islands, the place you may even have the ability to stroll on the seaside alone and picture your individual personal island. And should you’re wanting for high-end spa and therapeutic massage remedies, you’re in the proper place. Samui excels on this space.
A protracted-time favorite is Tamarind Springs at Thong Takian, which opened in 1998. Set in a stunningly verdant jungle setting, the spa’s shady gardens are dotted with large granite boulders. A steam room has been included into the facet of one of many greatest rocks. Wholesome steam therapies and Eastern and Western massages are standard.
Six Senses Spa gives top-of-the-range services and facilities in addition to 270-degree views of the Gulf and Koh Phangan. Yoga, Reiki, hypnotherapy, tai chi and Pilates are additionally accessible.
The idyllic Rainforest Spa at Banyan Tree close to Lamai Beach delivers distinctive water-treatments at differing temperatures and depth, notably efficient for stress-free from a protracted flight or busy life-style.
There’s additionally Samui’s lush inside to find. Hire your individual car and go to the waterfalls and treks within the cool early morning or late afternoon. Around Thong Krut and Bang Kao, you’ll come throughout pleasant seaside eating places and easy Thai meals stalls which may not seem like a lot however supply deliciously genuine ‘unplugged’ Thai meals.
As effectively as a wealthy array of land points of interest, the encircling waters gives a large array of interesting locations. For starters, sail across the coast to discover the quite a few fairly coves and bays. The south coast is especially wealthy in quiet, abandoned seashores – you’ll have them to yourselves most days.
Whether you’re wanting for quiet or motion, water or land, high-end or rustic, Samui has all of it.
(Note: The authentic article appeared in Yacht Style journal Issue 45)
For extra info, contact Camper & Nicholsons Asia
Thailand: Lies Sol [[email protected]]
Hong Kong: Sytske Kimman [[email protected]]