Monday, 13 November 2017

Koh Samui… When You've Done The Whole Backpacking Thing

Readers, sorry it’s been quiet recently.  I’ve been full on wedding organising in my spare time, which has meant the blog taking a bit of a backseat over the last month or so.  Anyway, a travel post for you all tonight, going back to our Thailand travels in September.   I recently did a piece on Hidden Bangkok which you might want to read up on if you’re going to Thailand but tonight, I’m focussing on Koh Samui in collaboration with Destination2 – the online travel agent for cheap long haul holidays.

So tonight I’ve got 5 top tips for Koh Samui, if you’re more late 20s couple, than early 20s backpacker.  Koh Samui honestly has something for everyone. Yes there’s cocktail buckets, loud beach nightlife if you want it and night boats to Full Moon on the neighbouring island of Koh Phagnan.  But, if you’re like us, more into cocktails and chilled house music, then that’s on offer too and Koh Samui shouldn’t be overlooked.
lamai beach koh samui thailand
Lamai Beach, Koh Samui 

This time around we stayed up Lamai Beach way, where the vibe is a bit more laid back and the age, closer to 30 than 20... I've picked 5 of my Koh Samui highlights to share with you all. 

1. Dinner in a Tipi On The Beach and Chilled Out Beach Vibes

One of our favourite experiences in Koh Samui was having a beach dinner at Dara Serene Restaurant  There are tipis on the beach, seating 2 or 4 people, where you can dine under the stars and hear the waves crash before you.  There’s a great collection of cocktails on offer if you’re into that and a wide menu, with plenty of seafood and traditional Thai offerings.  It’s more expensive, but you’re paying for the setting. And a tipi, cos that’s awesome.

Finish up your night at Elephant Beach Club, just a short stroll along Chaweng Beach. It’s just before you get to the lively Ark complex (trust me you’ll know which one that is) and it’s all about pallet beds, big beach cushions, fire dancers and an extensive drinks menu, playing chilled house music in the background.  We spent a good few hours enjoying drinks and chilling out, people watching.
Dara Serene Koh Samui
Dara Serene, Koh Samui
Fire Dancers out in the sea

2. Lamai Night Market

We stayed over at Lamai for a few nights before our uber exciting stay (see below) and loved this slightly quieter town, attracting a bit of an older crowd. On a Sunday night, residents of Lamai and tourists from across the island come together in the streets of Lamai for what was the biggest (and possibly most crowded) street market I’ve ever been to.   It was amazing.  Freshly made dumplings, meat skewers, cocktails, fried waffle sticks… they had EVERYTHING you could possibly want.   We ate from a few different stalls and felt absolutely fine the next day.  Exercise caution – look for stands where locals eat and are queued out – chances are, they know something is good! 

You’ll also be able to pick up souvenirs, clothes and trinkets at the market, as well as food.

3. Stephanie’s Cook School

A little find on Viator and a birthday present from Mr WhatClaireDid, we had a great Saturday morning at cook school with the lovely French lady Stephanie and her team of Thai cookery assistants.  We met at the market, then went back to her house to cook in her open plan kitchen, with only another couple of people.  We made traditional Thai dishes that were super easy and we’ve since made two of the dishes back home.  We are now PROS at making banana fritters and caramel sauce.
cook school koh samui

4. The Ultimate Luxury Resort

Folks, if you go for a special occasion, this place is worth the splurge.  And if you go, don’t scrimp, go for a private villa.  This is possibly the most special place we’ve ever stayed… the Silavadee Resort.  We’re talking cliffside accommodation, private infinity pool, outdoor beds, a bath the size of a small swimming pool, luxury 4 poster beds and panoramic views across the ocean. 

The breakfast room has panoramic ocean view windows and they have literally EVERYTHING on offer.  Possibly one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.   A real highlight on the island.  Perfect for honeymoon.
Silavadee private pool koh samui
Silavadee Private Pool, Koh Samui 

5. Hiking Up The Hill

If like us, you have a moment of madness from time to time, you might just be up for hiking to the temple near the airport.  You’ll get great views on a clear day – including the planes taking off and landing! Wat Khao Hua Juk is the name of the temple and there's plenty to see inside and out. Most people drive up the steep road, until they see the stairs, but if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s about a half hour walk up from the big shopping mall in Chaweng. Google maps got us there and despite it being incredibly humid, 34c and being a sweaty mess on arrival, the view was amazing.   But we did have to buy towels at the supermarket when we got back down… it was that hot.
Wat Khao Hua Juk
Hiking Face!


  1. We were on that hill. With my wife we clamber on that mountain, almost like snails we get to the apex. The way back home was easy then the way up. After descending, we took a motorcycle rented by us, from by the way not bad service Tired, with painful legs we arrived to our hotel. But happy inside, that we spend our day at the beautiful hill of Thai. Wonderful country with specific traditions, but I think every one should visit this beautiful place.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. So glad you enjoyed the trip!