Island Paradise of Koh Samui, Thailand

koh-samui-1

In the spirit of traveling to far off places for inspiration (see my previous post on this topic), I thought I would share with you one of my favorite far off destinations – Koh Samui. Maybe for some of you Thailand might not seem that exotic or that “far”, but for those of us sitting on the east coast of the United States, it’s one of the most exciting and culturally different places we could experience.

Artist Paul Gauguin went to Tahiti, Paul Cezanne traveled France, and Henri Matisse went to Algeria. I, however, was not searching for a beacon of light to illuminate my next great artistic passion… I was simply en route back to the States from Australia and decided to take a pit stop along the way. Thailand is, conveniently, on the way. Plus it had always been on my “must-see” list, so really I had no excuse not to stop.

I’ll spare you the geography lesson on the island (you can refer to Wikipedia for more info if you’d like) and instead give you my impression of this tiny island oasis. In one word, stunning. The landscape that is… the main town isn’t high luxury, but let’s be honest, that’s not why you go to Thailand. The beautiful beaches, the friendly locals, and the amazingly tasty food are the reasons you go to Thailand. Leave the 5 star accommodations and gourmet buffets in the Maldives please, I want some local flavor!! That’s not really fair (I’ve never been to the Maldives) and I’m sure there are plenty of high class resort areas here, but we weren’t going for a white linen tablecloth experience. We, meaning my sister and I, stayed at the very comfortable and not at all shabby Imperial Boat House Beach Resort on Choeng Mon Beach, on the north-eastern bit of the island.

But enough of the logistics, I bet you want to see some pictures! Take a look below for a glimpse of this tropical paradise.

koh-samui-2

koh-samui-3

koh-samui-4

koh-samui-5

We arrived to Koh Samui in the mid-afternoon from Bangkok (that’s a whole other story…) and immediately set out to the beach. It was so peaceful compared to the bustling chaos of the country’s capital, and a welcome change of pace. I’m not going to lie, the quality of the food (and the prices!) definitely made an impression on us as well. Who wouldn’t enjoy a little indulgence in such a gorgeous setting?

koh-samui-6

koh-samui-7

The sunsets aren’t too bad either…

koh-samui-8

koh-samui-9

koh-samui-10

koh-samui-11

koh-samui-12

I can’t provide too many insider tips as far as names of specific places to go or avoid in Koh Samui since I didn’t think to write anything down at the time (was too busy “living in the moment” I guess), but I can tell you one thing.  Always agree on the price for a taxi before you get in, and negotiate. Oh, and wear a lot of sunscreen. Even my lovely Thai massage girl said ‘ouch’ when she saw my back side….