This is one of my favourites things to do wherever I am - visiting a school. Of course first you have to find one and then get permission from a principal or head teacher. WatKlang is situated on the lower route 4170 close to Thong Krut in the south of the island. After getting permission and fixing a visit time, we dashed off to a local 7/11 supermarket to buy loads of coloured crayons, pens and notepads, to be given to the teachers.
We spent a good hour in the classes and outside where we got a brilliant welcome from the mainly primary school kids and loads of "thank-yous", very polite and orderly. A pure pleasure.
This is a small island off the south coast, where far away from the crowds at Lamai or Chaweng you can bask in the sun, do a bit of snorkeling and have a picnic. There are a few places in Thong Krut where you can hire a boat directly with the fishing people. I managed to negotiate down to around 1500 bahts for 8 adults and 3 kids for a 5 hour trip, water included but no food, you have to take your own. That or at one point on the island, where of course all the boats with tourists end up, there is a small resto where you can grab a meal, or as we did just buy some beer off them and you can use the jetty.
We hired our boat twice from the same place. Half-way along the village on the right coming from Hua Thanon just past the Pearl outlet and opposite the brand new toilets, there is a sign for boats to rent and is also a resto for locals. It looks like a shack but the people were very nice, the life jackets were clean and the boat safe.
Thong Krut is another village that retains it's authenticity, although it sees a certain amount of tourists as it is the jumping off spot for Ko Taen. It's not much of a beach spot due to the rubbish left floating from the many fishing vessels, although I did see a couple of beach shacks to rent. Couple of restaurants of no well-reknown but the sunsets are worth waiting for. There is also a pearl outlet that runs tours out to the islands to see the oyster beds and the farming.
Down on the south-west corner of Samui sits on route 4170 from Hua Thanon to Nathon.
One of the few authentic places left on Ko Samui unfortunately, but surprisingly it stays "off the beaten path". In eight weeks we visited 3 times and could count the visitors, other than us, on one hand, and 3 of those were on scooters !!! Each time we visited we were welcomed into this mainly Muslim community with no problems of taking photos at all. I can remember just one very shy girl that refused to have her picture taken. But everyone else was open and friendly even inviting me into the house to take pics of the kids.
An entry into the village is through an opening right on the 90° degree turn on Route 4169, 7 kms south of Lamai. Over the small bridge is the market and straight on is the main Muslim village, the mosque and the small beach where the fishing vessels are. This is one of the last major fleets on the island. Even then, some of the fishermen have turned to the tourist trade for an income using their monkeys for a coconut tree climbing and nut harvesting exhibition. There is an an exhibition every morning at around 10h30. Before the hordes of tourists arrived in the 70's cultivating coconuts was the main income of the island. Just behind the old school building you can see the fish being gutted and smoked on open fires, using coconut shells as fuel.
On the south coast of the island lies this small pagoda set against the backdrop of the sea and Ko Taen island. Renovated about 4 years ago with mustard coloured glazed tiles to give a "golden" impression from afar. A 4X4 is not necessary to reach it, tarmac all the way off of Route 4170. Laem Sor road is marked and you just have to follow it to the end. Not that much to see but a nice little corner. You can leave by a sandy track that follows the beach for about 1 km when you then reach Coconut Villa beach. A beach bar is here and pretty cheap. After just follow the road left after the bar and you'll hit Route 4170.
I have two places I just love and always visit a lot of times when Im in Koh Samui. The first place is Samui Bayview Villa and resort. But not as a hotell, but I guess its lovely to stay here to if you can afford it. But if you dont want to stay, just go here and eat a dinner, take a coffe or a icecream and enjoy the stunning view. Dont forget to have a look at their swimmingpool.
Samui Bayview is located between Chaweng and Lamai, a bit closer to Lamai. I promise that youll love it.
I happened across this little bay about 4 years ago.
It is such a beautiful little spot to stop for a beer that I've been back each year since for a quiet one or two whilst sitting next to the beach in the resort restaurant.
I think I might stay in one of those bungalo's on the hill for a night on my next trip. (see photo's)
The only problem is, that there is a lot of new development going on on the way to this place and the road in is a little hard to find.
Although if you follow the signs to the "Tong Sai Bay resort" on the road between Choeng Mon and Bohput you should find it
This would be an ideal place to stay for couples. (see websites)
A fun way to check out beaches and islands near by is by sea canoe.There is no surf so it's easy to paddle around.Nora Beach Resort had a few canoes laying on the beach for guest .You can also rent canoes at most places.
We paddled from Nora to the little beach at Baan Had Ngam for a swim ,the water was cold and refreshing.Also there is a little island called Koh Matlang (uninhabited) that is not far away .
We came across this simple local road-side eatery on our way to the snake farm near the south west tip of the island. The food is absolutely delicious - mom's home cooking quality as the name says it- and the owner offers great smiles to go with it.
It is on the 4170 road and about 700 meter before you hit Ban Thong Krut where you take the boat to the cultured pearl area.
Real Ko Samui.
There are so many places to explore i just couldn't name them all but i found the most interesting areas were in the south. Also inland but these can be impossible in the rainy season or unless you have a powerful vehicle.............the roads soon turn into tracks...........make sure you take a map and even then it still can be hard work.
Bang Khao is basically a small fishing village about 10km south along the coast from Lamai.
It is not on any of the main roads so unless you are on a moter-bike or you hire a car you will probably not see it.
You can have a fantstic seafood lunch here (see my restaurant page) at the seafood restaurant and afterwards walk along the beach, and even have a swim to cool off.
The view from the Ban Bang-Kao seafood restaurant looking out to sea at smaller islands to the south is very beautiful.
After we had lunch there was hardly a soul around on the beach apart from a couple of local children playing and a couple of fishermen away in the distance.
It is such a peaceful, beautiful beach compared to Chaweng or Lamai.
The beaches here are lined with coconut trees which are both beautiful and dangerous.
People are known to be badly hurt by falling coconuts as my friend Ooi is pointing out to me as I took her photo. (behind)
The feature photo was just one of many beautiful coconut lined roads that I rode my moterbike along on my way to Ban Bang-Kao for my seafood lunch.
The monkey in the photo underneath is a coconut gathering monkey that is having an afternoon break.
It was such a great ride to get to Bang-Kao restuarant,and only about an an hour from Chaweng riding very slowly and stopping off a couple of times
Worth the day trip for sure.
This little town in Koh Samui's south western corner is a busy little fishing village with boats available to take you from here to Koh Taen, Koh Matsum and Koh Laap as well as various types of fishing expeditions.
There are many great seafood restaurants here along the beach which have some exceptional views of the smaller southern islands and beaches.
The restaurant that I stopped at for lunch at was called the Kung Kaew restaurant and the food and scenery was superb.
A great minigolf place is called "Treasure Island Golf" where you could find 18 holes adventure mini golf and a really cool staff. The girls (staff) wanted to get picture of me in the middle of them. Great! There's also a pool table. The Place is open 11 am - 12 pm. It's near Chaweng Beach Road.
I always thought being in Thailand necessitates one to have a traditional Thai massage. And this time, we chose a package to get our money's worth.
Well, the massage, as usual, was quite fantastic but the facial (i do have problems with blackheads) leaves something to be desired.
On the whole, the experience was pleasant due to being in an environment of Ayuthayan-like chedis and ruins but i would galdly trade that for a better facial!
This charming village
on the northern side of Ko Samui
has renovated old Chinese shop houses to
convert them into restaurants, bars,
shops and guesthouses.
It’s a great spot to stay and idle away
the afternoons at one of its coffee shops,
to buy a fresh baguette at a French bakery shop,
attend the yoga classes & New Age seminars
offered at the Yoga Café,
or even have a romantic dinner.
There are also some agencies that offer
boat rides that depart to the near by islands of
Koh Pha-Ngan and Koh Tao.
The beach itself,
doesn’t have much of a seashore
and the water may be too shallow
for swimming during the dry season,
but the tranquility in this town popular
amongst the French,
has plenty of Zen.
Definitely worth the visit
or the stay.
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