TRAVEL: DISCOVERING THAILAND – KOH SAMUI

Chaweng beach (above 3)
Chaweng
Market in Chaweng
Lucky Mother Bungalows (Chaweng beach)
Fishing at Top Cats in Samui 

Everyday for the next two weeks I’m going to be publishing a travel-related post on my blog, as many of you know me & Rob have just returned from a three week trip to Thailand where we split our time between Koh Samui and Phuket. This was our second visit to the country and it gets a huge thumbs up from us – an absolute must when it comes to travelling. I remember back to when we went for the first time (for 6 weeks) it was so daunting, it was our first time travelling and you really just have no clue of what to expect. We booked our return flights to Bangkok and our first nights stay but then we had no idea how the next 6 weeks would unfold as we hadn’t booked anything we just had a rough idea of where we wanted to visit.

We absolutely loved travelling like that as it was so exciting discovering new places and just seeing where we would end up, this time around however we were much more planned. We booked all of our accomadation and internal flights before we left so we knew exactly what our plan was, our first week was spent in Koh Samui where Rob worked in two different tattoo shops – this was the initial reason for us visiting again as he had some guest spots secured but then we thought we may as well make a holiday of it.

As I mentioned previously the next two weeks of my blog will be dedicated to travelling & discovering Thailand as I thought it would be great to share my tips and advice with you. I’ll be writing about where we stayed, what we ate and what I wore so you can get a really good feel of our trip and the places we visited. I’m also going to be doing some posts on what I packed, what to expect when travelling and some general on tips for first-time travelers which I hope you will all find helpful! So, to kick of my series of posts I’m talking about Koh Samui…

We spent 9 days in total on Koh Samui, we spent 8 days at the Lucky Mother bungalows on Chaweng beach and our last day was spent fishing in a place called ‘Top Cats’ (Rob’s idea not mine, obviously! – Although I did get roped in to getting in the lake for a picture… ewwww!). During our last trip to Thailand we stayed at Lucky Mothers bungalows and decided to re-book during this trip, it cost around £17 a night for a double room including air con. I won’t beat around the bush but the bungalows are bare minimum (a little more basic than we last remembered to say the least) but you get what you pay for, and at £17 a night you can’t really complain. We had a comfy bed, a big wardrobe and hot running water – anything other than that is a luxury, however when you’re travelling it’s all you need.

The bungalows look beautiful from the outside and the location is great as they are located on the beach, they also have a really great beach bar (pictured above) where we chilled most nights drinking beer for roughly £1.50 and letting the waves roll in over our feet… bliss! We stayed in Chaweng beach, which if you’ve been before you will know how chaotic it is, it’s full of tattoo shops, massage parlours and market stalls (not to mention the Starbucks, McDonalds and Boots which is so surreal!). I can’t help but love it all the same though, there’s something for everyone there as you can eat really cheap on the beach and sip beers, there’s clubs and bars for the party-goers and up-market restaurants and hotels for those looking for a luxury getaway.

Getting around the island we just grabbed a taxi if we needed to go somewhere but a lot of tourists rent motorbikes as it only cost around £5 for the day, we decided not too as it’s quite notorious out there that if you damage the bike you will be charged a hefty fine (pretty much anything they feel like charging you but up to around £500) and if you have an accident most insurances won’t cover it. We took a taxi to Lamai beach and it only cost around £8 each way so it’s not ground breakingly expensive but also much safer.

Our meals out varied each night as sometimes we wanted to eat on a budget so we stuck to cheap Thai cafe style restaurants (more often than not this will be the best meals you eat!) and other times we’d eat in a nicer restaurant, a couple of times we caved and ate western food but it does tend to be 2/3 times more expensive than Thai food, also Thai food is actually the best food I’ve ever eaten so we tried to eat authentic whilst out there. There’s loads of restaurants that do BBQ’s and it will be cooked in front of you so we opted for the meat & fish option one night which was amazing! It cost around £20 for both of us which included steak, chicken, calamari, king prawns, ribs and it also came with as much salad and potatoes as you want so it was well worth the value.

Whilst in Chaweng we spent two night partying (which the night ended in McDonalds and not getting out of bed until 1pm the next day – their drinks are so strong it’s crazy!) one night we met some friends from back home and opted to spend the night in an Irish bar where the cocktails flowed a little too easily (around £2 each) but it was a great night all the same. The second night out one of the guys from Rob’s shop took us on a bar/club/pub crawl which was slightly messy but such a fun experience being shown around by a local that knows all the best spots to go to. Also, ladyboy shows are a big thing in Chaweng beach so me & Rob gave it a go one night as we thought it would be a right laugh (and laugh we did! – Although one of them did an amazing Beyonce impression so take note girls aha!) – it was free entry but you had to buy a drink each when in there and the beers were £5 each which is ridiculously expensive but it was fun all the same.

We did a day trip to Lamai which is about 20 minutes from Chaweng by car, we spent the chilling on the beach there (the waves were amazing if you’re a lover of the sea) then we grabbed some dinner and had a wander around the night market which ran from 5pm-10pm. It’s great for picking up cheap souvenirs and jewellery etc but we didn’t actually buy anything in the end it was just nice to have a walk around.

One day we decided to book a boat trip to Angthong national park which is made up of 42 small islands, it cost us around £27 each and that included pick up, our lunch and drinks as well as snorkeling, kayaking and a view overlooking the islands. On our last visit to Thailand we went snorkelling in Koh Tao and it was the best thing I’ve ever done so it was a little hard to follow that but it was fun all the same. I’ve never done kayaking before and I doubt I’ll ever do it again as I was so useless I’m pretty sure I just kept making us go around in circles and in the end I gave up as it was easier for Rob to do it alone (haha typical girl!). The walk to the view point was crazy as it was so steep, I’m also terrified of heights so it wasn’t all that fun for me but the view from the top overlooking the islands and a lagoon was so worth it (I put some snaps on my Instagram if you want to see: @Frockmeimfamous).

My view of Koh Samui: a must-see if you’re visiting the island, although if you don’t want it to be too busy then try not to visit around the time of the full moon party as it will be packed. If you’re not a fan of busy places then I’d recommend you don’t stay in Chaweng beach but it’s definitely worth a visit as the beaches are so beautiful – grab a Singha beer and chill on the beach to soak up the views. We really enjoyed Lamai beach and would recommend visiting the markets, it’s also a lot quieter to stay and has some lovely hotels. We never actually visited the fishermans village but had some friends staying there so if you’re looking for a more recluse spot to stay then I’d say head there.

Tips: if you are going to take out a motorbike then always wear a helmet (sounds so stupid I know but you’ll be so surprised at how many people don’t wear them!), if you’re going to take a taxi then also barter down the price, start by going with half of what they say then meet in the middle – the same goes for when buying souvenirs always haggle on the price as they want your custom more than you want theirs. Make sure you try lots of different Thai dishes as the food is so incredible, it’s also so cheap me & Rob would always order a dish each then get something neither of us had tried so we can experience it and if you don’t like it it’s not a big deal as you’ve only lost £2/£3!

I really hope this post has helped if you are thinking of visiting Koh Samui, if you’re thinking of going and would love to ask anything then please feel free to tweet me and I’ll try to answer as best I can! You can tweet me at @Frockmeimfamous – also keep an eye out for the rest of my posts for further snaps and tips from our adventure, enjoy! 🙂

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4 Comments

  1. peachpowxo 3rd April 2014 / 8:31 am

    A lovely post! I'm actually thinking of going on my first real travel adventure with my boyfriend and Thailand is one of the top places we want to visit. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures for inspiration. I apologise if I start sending you many many tweets for advice!

    Tamsyn-Elizabeth
    http://www.peachpowxo.blogspot.co.uk

  2. Vicky 3rd April 2014 / 7:31 pm

    It looks beautiful! Would love to go to Koh Samui! xx

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