Exploring Thailand's Islands: Koh Samui
Well, hello stranger. It's been a while. It's been a whirlwind couple of months. I've jetted off to Asia to do some travelling, moved to Bristol, celebrated an anniversary and started a new job. I've neglected the blog. Yup. Pushed that poor sucker to the bottom of a verrry long to-do list. I've prioritised sleep and relaxing and sunbathing... had a digital detox. Taken a breather. It's been lush.
But now I'm back. YAAS BITCHES. And I'm kicking things off with a juicy, tropical instalment of Thailand beach life...
F*ck it, let's go to Thailand...
My boyfriend and I booked a fairly last minute holiday to Thailand recently. We signed up for a 9-day Island hopping tour with Contiki and got to explore Thailand's east islands: Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, before heading off to Bangkok for a few days.
Arriving: Long-haul flights and stinky streets
Arriving into Koh Samui's quaint, tropical airport after a hideously long flight - (13 hours of movie marathons later) - we got a minibus to our hotel near Chaweng beach (which cost 260 Baht for two), feeling sticky and minging but very excited. Before check in, we took a stroll down the Chaweng strip, which in the light of day looked like a true shit-hole. I won't lie it smelled a bit like sewers and was strewn with rubbish. But thankfully, in the evening it redeemed itself and really came alive with buzzing restaurants, cafes and bars.
Starting the tour at 6pm, we met our Contiki group and tour manager Lana, signed up to the day trips we fancied, and then headed out for dinner at Ark bar with the group, scoffing down some incredib(ly spicy) Thai green curry, sipping on cold beers and watching the fire jugglers on the beach. The Thai green curry was a love-hate thing throughout the trip. Oh-so tasty but you had to make an oh-so hasty trip to the loo when the chilli came back to bite you in the ass. (pun fully intended)...
Day 1: Jeep safaris, rocks shaped likes cocks and coconut ice-cream
The first day of the tour was amazing. We all hopped on a 4 x 4 jeep safari around the island, visiting a famous rock formation that looked like a penis and a vag... (you stay classy Thailand). It was named "Grandfather and Grandmother rocks" - (who knows why when it looked like genitalia - I didn't like to ask!) We ate some incredible coconut ice-cream, before heading onto other beautiful sites.
We visited a Thai temple to see an ancient mummified monk, Koh Samui's 'magic garden' filled with beautiful statues, a famous waterfall and tropical park and a rooftop restaurant overlooking stunning views of the island. It was then down to the beach for a cocktail and a dip in the sea before heading back to the hotel to freshen up and grab some dinner at The Islander.
Day 2: beach vibes, water sports and the night food market
Completely knackered from travelling and a busy first day, we had a lazy morning before heading to the beach to relax with a cold beer and a book. We chucked a ball around on the beach, in awe of how warm the sea was and how golden the sand was. In the evening, we headed out for shisha, cocktails and hit up the food market, where we sampled amazing fresh snapper fish, drank fresh coconuts and indulged in some banana Nutella pancakes. Mango sticky rice wasn't all that. I personally didn't get the hype...
Day 3: Checkout and catching the ferry to Koh Tao
We packed our bags, filled up on brekky and checked out of the Nora Chaweng hotel before heading to the ferry to make our way to the second island, Koh Tao.