The beginning

300 baht (£6.70) later we arrived at Koh Samui at noon from Koh Phangan. First impressions of the island, it seemed more touristy with many travel agencies on streets, promotors in the roads and many many hotels. We were staying at a place called Queen’s Boutique – who we can’t fault one bit (maybe due to getting a free upgrade..) But nevertheless, it was lovely with such a brilliant location.

We packed our bags and ventured out to the nearby beach (the theme continues) called Chaweng Beach, which is actually the main beach here in Ko Samui where it all goes down, well it’s meant to, if it weren’t for us being in October 2017 – off season, but we would still give it a good go!

Filled with many tourists and sea activities, we set up camp shortly followed by running into the sea. After a few minutes of mucking about we both started to fill a bit uncomfortable – it felt like we were being stung which was weird considering there were no jellyfish. After coming back out and researching, it appeared that this side of Koh Samui island is an inhabitant to sea lice, not everyone gets affected but it did for me and Luke, so be careful if you get in! Apparently at peak season sea lice isn’t as much of an issue but we’ll see!

Swiftly exiting from this, we headed over to see the big Buddha on the North East of the island. It was free to view and once up the many steps, you can see a majestic view of the island in the distance. The white Buddha sat on the throne of the island for a symbol of the Buddhist religion. After a few pictures, we got back onto our bike and ventured up to see a view point. The view point was located on the side of a main road with beautiful views of the beach below and the greenery in the background. After our long day of travelling we decided to grab some food situated nearby our hotel and then call it a night ready for tomorrow’s antics.

Beach stops and tourist attractions

Nice and early, we headed of to breakfast, again nearby our hotel before heading off on another long day we had planned. Our first stop was Lamai beach, a gorgeous beach to say the least, with coconut trees outlining the bay, typical golden sands and beautiful clear water. We stayed for a bit to relax and then carried on with our itinerary.

The rock formations weren’t that important for us to see but we had researched that loads of people were talking them and it was on our way to our next stop so we thought we might as well stop to see what the fuss is all about. These were known as ‘Grandpa’ and ‘Grandma’ rocks, or more commonly, ‘Penis’ and ‘Vagina’ rocks, as you can imagine, rocks shaped like these. I wouldn’t call this a ‘must see’ but, as a detour it was okay.

Following on from this, we went to see the waterfalls – Nemang 1 & Nemang 2. Nemang 1 waterfall was super cold, but was nice to see a waterfall that wasn’t a direct drop. The water trickles down the side of a steep cliff side into the reservoir and was a good stop off to cool down.

They offer elephant riding here so naturally avoid that and maybe don’t spend any money here as it more than likely gets contributed to the people running the elephant camp.

Nemang 2, as it is creatively named is located a little further south from here. To get to it you have two options; a) to hike up a near vertical hill which would probably take you close to 30 minutes or longer, as you probably concentrate more on the fact of trying not to fall down the cliff edge.

Or b) get a Jeep ride up for 100baht each (£1.20). This is what we opted for, thinking it would be a smooth easy ride – boy was we wrong! We sat on the rooftop and strapped in being told to grip onto our bag tight and to take our hats off – nice, confident sign! Life-threatening was the word we would use to describe this experience as a 4×4 climbs vertical rocky hills. At the top (alive!) we walked to the waterfall. The walk itself was challenging, stepping and balancing onto un-safe wooden beams. The waterfall was nice itself though and you had the option to swim in it too.

After a while here, we started the dreaded decent back down which was no better than the ascent. At the bottom, we made our way past the poor elephants once again and the tigers, which by the way, get drugged often so tourists can get pictures with them (please don’t support this!)

The secret garden is normally a place that many tourists forget about or don’t have time to see, but we believe it was worth it. The drive up hill through the mountain, although a little scary and difficult, was fun with beautiful scenery all around and the occasional landscape poking to be seen through the trees. 40baht each (90p) was nothing in comparison. The secret garden was a wonderful sight, built by a man over the course of his entire life. It beheld many wonderful statues of animals and spirits, including himself whilst the waterfall runs calmly between. We got to enjoy this magical garden all to ourselves as no other tourists was nearby which was lovely.

From here, we made our final stop for the day, well we tried, we wanted to see the Hin Lat Waterfall but we couldn’t find it. Running out of internet/signal, getting stressed and cold at the top of a mountain and our breaks failing on us on our motorbike was a clear sign to quit whilst we were ahead and change our plans.

After a pit stop at a local garage we filled up our break fluid, which we are still not 100% convinced that that was purely the problem, but that’s someone else’s problem now! We headed to Som Restaurant, a recommendation from a friend. This place was beautiful, why there was only us 2 in the restaurant, I will never know. The setting was so peaceful and idyllic – table on the beach, calm waves crawling to the shore and the most delicious food we’d had for a while, all for such a low price! We rode home afterwards ready for our long day the next day.

Boat trip

So getting picked up at 7o’clock wasn’t the easiest for us baring in mind that we were so getting so used to lie in’s. But, we were excited for our boat trip to Ang Thong National Park! It was 1,100baht for the trip plus 300baht entry to the park itself. For £32, it wasn’t bad at all for all the stops we done including lunch – the only thing I will say, is if you get seasick this probably isn’t for you as it’s a long time to get there and the speed is quite slow whilst choppy. Croissants, tea, coffee and bananas were supplied too, free of charge for a bit to eat before exploring which was a pleasant surprise.

Our first dock was a beach with a limestone lagoon. You could kayak here for an extra 300baht each (£7) but we decided against this as we knew we were going to Krabi island next, which was recommended for kayaking so we thought we’d save ourselves for that. This beach was beautiful lined with cliffs that you could swim underneath. The lagoon, was a hike up to see but completely worth it. Untouched beauty, was appealing to the eye.

After a quick swim, we had lunch on the boat consisting of curry – to Luke’s disgust, rice, vegetables, fruit and spring rolls whilst we made our way to the last stop. The next stop was Mu Ko island, part of the National Park. We ventured up the main view point, which I can tell you is much easier than it looks! There’s 5 platforms which goes up each time by 100metres – sounds easy, right? The steps up were difficult, steep and un-safe, so safe to say we made it to 300metres before deciding to return back and swim to de-sweat! But, I hear the view from the top is amazing, so if your reading this and you made it up there, well done you! Back down and many monkeys later, we headed to do our first bit of snorkelling on this trip.

I found it a little difficult to overcome the fear of snorkelling, but after a while I came to terms with the fact that I could only do it once and went for it! It turned out to be quite fun despite not actually seeing anything. But, playing around swimming and taking shots on the GoPro still seemed worth it.

We got dropped off home and cleaned up to head off out for some dinner after our long day already. Located near our hotel was a food market, nothing like Koh Phangan, but still full of choice (mainly seafood) and deserts. We didn’t want to call it a night from there so we tried to search for the sesh.

The sesh was dead here, maybe because it was off season, maybe because of the King, but we tried! We had a couple of beers in the Sydney bar which was quite nice, they had flags of most countries dotted around their bar as a sign of welcoming everyone and we got served free garlic bread. Weird? But we weren’t complaining. After 2 here, we went in search of the #1 bar in Ko Samui. It weren’t a massive improvement to the nightlife scene we’ve witnessed but it had music. We got on a deckchair and chilled by the beach with a cocktail in hand until we gave up and walked along the coast on the way back home.

Our last day wasn’t fully busy so we took it quite easy starting with a full English with pancakes for breakfast at a nearby restaurant. Back to the ped, we stopped off at Nathon Pier to see where we will be getting the boat from the next day. This was shortly followed by going to Lipa Noi beach on the west side of the island. This beach weren’t great as a lot of rubbish was washed up along the beach but again, this could be a result of not being in the right season. We down a couple more stops before heading back to the hotel like going to driving through a jungle to find a viewpoint that wasn’t actually there and looking at a pagoda which I couldn’t really see as I wasn’t wearing modest dress, so maybe not the most amazing day for us.

Next up, Krabi.

Tips:

  • Chaweng beach area is the place to stay, the island is pretty large so stick here for accommodation if you can afford it.
  • Bike rental is probably the most awkward here, we didn’t find any that were properly legitimate so we rented from our hotel – maybe do this also if you can.
  • If you’re on a budget, avoid flying here, it’s super expensive, catch the Lomprayah from Bangkok instead.

About The Author

Wanderlust Lab is a collaboration between Abbie and Luke for the sharing of travelling knowledge to help backpackers and travellers all across the globe. Live Wanderlust.

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