The flight from Phuket to Koh Samui took about an hour, most of which was spent on the ground in Phuket airport. Koh Samui airport is owned by Bangkok Airways so they’re the only airline which flies to and from there. The airport itself is really impressive, mainly because it doesn’t have any walls; it has won awards for being environmentally friendly, and it does feel like its part of the surrounding vegetation. You walk straight of the plane into the tiny terminal where the bags are already being loaded. We were the only flight landing so all the staff were working on our baggage. There is no security or customs because all the flights are internal.
Because we enjoyed the Bandara hotel in Phuket so much, we decided to book into their hotel in Koh Samui. This hotel was much bigger; with two pools, a large beach bar and lots of water sports available to guests. We went sailing in the hobbie cat, jet skiing and kanoing around the bay.
Bo Phut Temples
We arranged for a private tour of the island for four hours; when the tour guide arrived in his minibus it soon transpired that he was less of a tour guide and more of a driver, as his English wasn’t great. Nevertheless he took us to the major temples and the ‘Big Buddha’ (literally a giant Buddha on top of a hill created in the 1970s), as well as a view point where you could see across the island and a waterfall hidden in the rainforest. There were a lot of animal related tours available; riding elephants, seeing tigers, monkeys etc. We didn’t go on any of these as I believe the animals are not kept in conditions which meet animal rights standards, whenever we did see an elephant in particular, they looked quite agited. Koh Samui is an island; imagine how they got the animals over there in the first place, not a nice thought.
The nightlife on the island is focused around Chaweng. Along with a western looking mall with deserted shops selling clothes at western prices, there is a Hard Rock Cafe and two main clubs; Green Mango and Ark Bar. Ark Bar had an impressive fire display on every night with about 20 men fire dancing on the beach. Green Mango is more of a traditional club, thought it’s outside it isn’t in the beach and was unbelievable humid.
We also visited a ‘Lady Boy’ show which was essentially a Vegas style show where the ‘ladies’ mimics to different classics; everything from “I am what I am” to “We are family”.
Chaweng nightlife: 4 stars
Bandara Hotel Koh Sumui: 5 stars
Koh Samui temples: 4 stars
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