An aerial view of Koh Samui, Thailand. Credit / lkunl
An aerial view of Koh Samui, Thailand. Credit / lkunl

Rest And Revitalise On Koh Samui In Thailand

Head to the turquoise sea-hemmed tropical island of Koh Samui for that much-needed break

Satiated is the best way to describe our ten-day holiday on the idyllic island of Koh Samui, Thailand. By the end of an exhausting 2022, our multi-generational family, sorely in need of rest and revitalisation, eagerly headed to the tropical island destination. Koh Samui offers the best of both worlds in a country where one can choose to revel in the city life in Bangkok or Phuket or take a break isolated in Phi Phi. You can choose a restful vacation toasting in the sun whilst indulging in occasional dips in the serene and clear sea. Or, you can drive around Koh Samui while sipping a refreshing drink and gorging on the breath-taking views, comprising waterfalls and tranquil Buddhist temples, which radiate calm and soothe the excited tourist.

Ang Thong National Marine Park 

Like most tourists here, we did shift from the beach-to-hotel pool routine to going island hopping. Even though we were quite reluctant to be on the move, we chose one from the umpteen tour choices available and decided on the Ang Thong National Marine Park in the Gulf of Thailand. These tours are not inexpensive, but as long as it is what you want to do on your holiday, put away thoughts of money conversions, as we did, and enjoy Koh Samui.

The speedboat ride to the marine park was a new experience as we joined several other tourists for the journey. Our first activity at the park was snorkelling for an encounter with the vividly coloured fish. My eight-year-old, who snorkelled for the first time, now has stories to tell for years to come. The marine park is spread over 42 small islands, and depending on your tour, the experience can vary. Ours had snorkelling followed by a stop at the Wua Ta Lap Island, where we could go kayaking, hike up one of the mountains, or simply vegetate on the beach. We chose to do it all and started with the beach and the sea, where we soaked up the salty air and the breath-taking views, in addition to competing to see which one of us could balance the best in a kayak.

Our next stop was for lunch at an unnamed island for simple but delicious Thai food, from where we proceeded to climb about 400 steps on the Ko Mae Ko Island for a view of the saltwater lagoon at its centre. It is surreal and seems straight out of a painting. The views, hiking, snorkelling, and kayaking - all done in the space of six hours fulfilled us towards all adventure activities for the rest of our holiday

Eat, Shop, Rest, And Repeat

Koh Samui is a multi-cultural melting pot where we met interesting people from across the world, such as the Italian who has set up a curios and jewellery shop here and travels to India regularly. He even gave tips on the best things to do in Varanasi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh The island is choc-a-bloc with restaurants, from budget to fine dining, which offer cuisines from around the world. The most stimulating culinary experience is that of Thai food. The flavour of its spices remains on your senses long after the meal has ended. And, the seafood, as is expected, is as fresh as it can be.  

For shopping, you can visit the night markets, pick up a cocktail from a cart, and walk along as you buy to your heart&rsquos content. There are amazing local weaves and trinkets up for sale. However, our favourite, by far, was the Farmers&rsquo Market, which is essentially a walkway spread across lanes peppered with restaurants, boutiques, and the night market, which comes alive a few times a week. It is a lively place, with tourists patiently bargaining.

The most comforting part of a holiday in Koh Samui is that you have the choice of pacing your day without preplanning and completely dependent on how you feel when you wake. Add to that the amazing grace, kindness, and warmth of the locals, which we experienced in abundance, and together they make the Koh Samui holiday the complete package.

The Information

Best time to visit&nbspDecember to March

Getting There 

By air&nbspBangkok is well-connected to the rest of the world.

Permits/visa You can get a visa on arrival, though we recommend getting it done before you take the trip to avoid the rush at the airport.

Currency&nbspThe conversion rate changes from place to place, and some kiosks allow you to change the currency at nominal charges.  

Culture&nbspWarm, welcoming, and helpful. The language barrier can always be overcome with smile-accompanied hand signs and a smattering of English.

For more information, check the website

Outlook Traveller