Relaxing on the Beach in Ko Samui

bophut beach ko samui
Sunset on Bophut Beach

Our first stop in Thailand was an island in the gulf called Ko Samui. We stayed at the Smile House for the first two days on Bophut Beach at the north end of the island, which was a nice place, set back a bit from the beach, then we moved a bit farther out in Bophut to the Cactus Bungalows where we had a bungalow just steps from the sand.

bophut beach
Bophut Beach, Ko Samui

We spent the July 25 to 29 sitting on the beach, reading, napping and not going very far from our hotel. It was only on our last day on the island that we actually got out to do something — we went to Ang Thong Marine Park.

We took the Action Islanders Adventure speed boat tour, and somehow got on the slow boat. Well, the boat itself went quickly, but we had to make a stop at a neighboring island before heading off to the marine park, which was quite a bit detour. The ride between the islands was quite choppy and Evan was NOT happy — he’s not exactly a huge fan of boats or water. About 5 minutes into the ride, he turned to me and said, “I regret coming out here.” He decided to stick it out, though, even though our driver said that the trip to the marine park would be as bumpy if not more so than our first leg, and he took some Dramamine, which helped a bit.

When we got to our first stop — a cove to go snorkeling in — we relaxed on the boat for a while before going in. When we decided to put on our masks and head in, we both ended up having a good time. I was a bit scared at first, since I don’t like fish very much, but I steered clear of the biggest schools and the areas where people were throwing bread in the water, and some quite a few types of fish as well as lots of coral.

ang thong marine park
The Lagoon

Our next stop was an island with a saltwater lagoon in its middle — the island that inspired The Beach. We hiked up to a viewpoint, then hiked down to the lagoon, though you can’t go in. The hike was short, but it was on some super steep and treacherous staircases.

We then boated a short ways over to a picnic area for lunch where there were wooden swings between the beachside palms and beautiful views of other islands.


Kayaking — does the pose look familiar?

The best stop, though, was our last — kayaking. Evan and I shared a kayak, and our guide took us around a small island, going into some seaside caves on the way. It was beautiful and peaceful, except for when the guide started splashing everyone. We also stopped at a very small and quiet white sand beach to do a bit of swimming — definitely an island paradise.

Thankfully, the trip back couldn’t have been more different from the trip out — it was essentially flat, totally smooth cruising to Ko Phra Ngan. Evan said it it were always like that, boating could possibly be considered pleasant. The shorter inter-island trip was a bit bumpy, but it was pretty quick, and a one-eyed van driver took us back to our hotel. Thank goodness the sea got calmer and our activities were fun because aside from the trip over Evan did end up having fun.

Exhausted when we got back, we had a little snack, then while Evan napped, I read and napped on the beach, then had a Thai massage in a hut on the beach. It felt like I’d imagine a visit to a chiropractor would — lots of stretching and pressure — and I felt very relaxed when it was done.

Next stop: Chiang Mai.

See our photos from Ko Samui and our first days in Chiang Mai in Evan’s Facebook album.

2 Responses to “Relaxing on the Beach in Ko Samui”

  1. HINA says:

    HI!
    YOU ARE JUST THE PEOPLE I WAS LOOKING FOR.
    I WENT TO KO SAMUI IN 2007. IT WAS SUPERB.
    I AM PLANNING TO VISIT ISTANBUL IN JULY 2009.
    CAN YOU GUIDE ME ABOUT A FEW THINGS.
    1. IS IT REALLY UNCOMFORTABLLY HOT IN ISTANBUL IN JULY?
    2. WAS IT HOTTER AND MORE HUMID THAN THAILAND? WHICH WAS MORE COMFORTABLE BANGKOK OR ISTANBUL?
    3. DID YOU EAT STREET FOOD LIKE DONORS, WRAPS ETC IN ISTANBUL?
    4. COMPARED TO THAILAND WAS ISTANBUL VERY EXPANSIVE?

    CAN I ASK MORE QUESTIONS IN FUTURE?
    THANKS

  2. Francine says:

    Hi, I’d be happy to give some advice on Istanbul. Here are the answers to your questions:

    1. It’s hot in July, but for the most part it was fine. We had a rainy day or two, and some days were cool enough that we didn’t use our air conditioning at all.
    2. I think Istanbul was a bit more comfortable than Bangkok, though I don’t remember there being a huge difference — we wore the same clothes in both and did just fine.
    3. No street food for me, especially since I’m a vegetarian, so I can’t give any advice there.
    4. I’m assuming you mean expensive, and yes, Istanbul was much more expensive than Thailand. It’s more comparable to European cities in price with small hotel rooms starting at about $90 (whereas in Thailand you could get something comparable for $25-$35) and meals at $10 to $15. Drinks are also quite expensive. There are at least many tourist attractions, especially the mosques and markets, that you can go to for free, and everything in the souvenir shops and bazaar stands can be bargained down in price.

    I’d be happy to answer any other questions you may have. Ask away!
    -Francine

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