Koh Samui style
After such a hectic start to our travelling adventure, we felt that this was our chance to relax, reflect… and do some washing! Koh Samui seemed to the perfect place to do this, with clear blue waters lapping at silver sand beaches whilst being protected from the sun from sky-high palm trees.
We based ourselves a little inland near Maenam Beach at Sazana Villa resort, which had the views of being in a tropical oasis, with the comfort and amenities to feel spoilt – and the pool was fantastic for developing Sophie’s swimming skills. This was a fascinating 30 minutes walk to the sea, lined with laundry services, tiny stalls selling fresh fruit, meat on a stick or a selection of drinks, smiling friendly faces and the occasional water buffalo!
Finding Maenam Beach
After the sweltering walk we located the beach – a stunning vista of tropical delight – and immediately did the British thing… went for a paddle! We strolled along the beach looking at the various beach massage options, cool shacks and cafe selling tempting cocktails and ever type of food you could think to eat. I’m looking forward to when we are based down here at The Treehouse on Silent Beach in a few days.
Driving in Koh Samui
We rented a car for 3 days to see more of the island – which can be driven around in approximately 3 hours. Dave was trepidatious about getting on roads where motorbikes drive alongside you on both sides – possibly with at least 1 child sitting in front or behind, or with goods to sell attached! Traffic lights are completely optional, and you let people know that they can pull out but using your hazard lights. We were also told that if you had an accident that it would be your fault, because as a visitor, if you weren’t here the accident wouldn’t have happened!! But the traffic was fine as everyone drives at a slower pace and is very courteous it waiting for you and letting you out. We would definitely recommend seeing different areas of the island this way.
Wat Plai Leam and Big Buddha
Our 1st excursion led us to Wat Plai Leam, which was a spectacular collection of shrines and temples. They certainly love their gods here and celebrate their faith in a big way. Molly and Sophie bee loved the dragons and different deities, along with the giant carp swimming around us. There were plenty of offerings to the gods, I think this is one way that there are so few accidents on the roads! Driving on a few miles we arrived at the BIG BUDDHA! An impressive statue, glinting in the sun, but we loved the many little stalls in the open market around the base, with the ladies acquiring more elephant print clothing! Cooling ice-creams and a banana loaded pancake for Sarah rounded off a cultural morning. Plenty of ideas gained for big RE displays at school.
Fishermans Village Night Market
On Friday night at Fishermans Village there is a walking night market – which is incredibly popular – hence the 45 minute queue for a 10 minute car journey (get there early!) But the atmosphere, sights, sounds, smells and tastes were well worth it. We arrived around 6.30pm to get the ‘meat on a stick’ that Sarah had been wanting to try since Bangkok. The versions here did seem a bit fresher and less fly covered and for 40 bhat (£1) a tasty little snack. Dancing through the streets to the live music, we were looking for food for the girls -then there it was… giant chicken nuggets and chips, with vegetable tempura for mum and dad! Nourishment for everyone. Amazing carved soaps in intricate flowers, shiny jewellery and more elephant print clothing fascinated the girls as we sauntered through the vast market.
More food beckoned though…freshly made Pad Thai for Sarah, garlic bread for Sophie, choc pancake with sprinkles for Molly and mango sticky rice for me. All fresh, all affordable, all delicious. A definite recommendation for someone staying around Maenam.
Last day with the car went investigated different beaches, all looking amazing, but decided on Silver Beach on the East coast, around a 30 minute drive away. We parked easily and walked through the hotel onto the beach – it was stunning! Scorching hot – even by English heatwave standards! – so we headed for the popular palm shaded beach areas to set up. Then straight into the crystal blue seas, which after the ‘tepid’ seas of North Wales were like stepping in a jacuzzi! Shallow, clear, teaming with colourful fish, this was ideal for the children, and we enjoyed using the Go-Pro in the water. Slight drawback, jellyfish eggs (also known as sea lice) left a strange stinging sensation when you swam into them, so less time in the water than we expected.
We also visited Ang Thong National Marine Park and Na Muang waterfall which will share with you in separate blogs.