Discover & Explore Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is Thailand’s island princess. Crowned with coconut trees and bathed in aquamarine waters, her pristine beauty is enchanting. Lush green mountains embrace her peaceful face. She wears a tiara of sapphire sky, crested with lofty clouds. The sun smiles on her sweetly, warming her satin sand. Koh Samui has a kind disposition and charming grace.
Thailand consists of over 1,400 islands, with Koh Samui being a favorite among travelers. Koh Samui promises that your stay will be one of delight, relaxation, and fun. Here we take you on a tour of Thailand’s island bride.
Koh Samui’s first inhabitants were fishermen from southern China. It is thought that her name derives from "mui," one of the native trees, and a modification of the Chinese word "Saboey," meaning "safe haven."
KOH SAMUI’S BEACHES
Koh Samui’s most favored beaches are: Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, and Maenam. Chaweng Beach is on the east coast. She sports exotic trees, and boasts a warm climate, averaging 25°C (77°F). During the day, she invites visitors to explore her turquoise waters. At sunset, she gets a second wind, for a lively nightlife. Chaweng is one of the island’s best locations in terms of water sports.
Thailand is considered one of the safest diving destinations in the world. Diving schools accommodate both the rookie and experienced diver. Accredited dive courses are provided at very reasonable prices. Following is one of the best dive shops in the area.
Discovery Dive Centre
Discovery Dive Centre is known for having the most respected and experienced full-time dive staff in Koh Samui. The shop is certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the largest scuba certifying agency in the world. Instruction is provided at all levels. Speed boats render quick transport to all dive sites. Photography rental is an option, using Canon underwater cameras with wrist computers. The shop is currently offering a special package through 12/15/14. Use their services for 2 days, and the 3rd day of diving is free. Instruction is given in multiple languages.
For further information, call +66 77 310 764. To view the shop’s invitational video with beautiful island footage, go to: www.discoverydivers.com
KAYAKING & SNORKELING
Blue Stars Kayaking
Blue Stars Kayaking is a tour operator providing trips for sightseeing, kayaking, and snorkeling to Angthong Marine Park. Tours begin with pick-up service from the resort at 7:15am, with transportation to Nathon pier. From there, Blue Stars’ tour boat travels to the Marine Park, a trip of 1½ hours. En route, you’ll enjoy a light breakfast, along with breathtaking scenery. The tour boat is fully-equipped, with a sundeck, shower, and toilet.
Upon arrival at the Marine Park, a tour guide explains the day’s agenda of kayaking, sightseeing, and snorkeling. Instruction in maneuvering the kayak precedes sailing. Then the tour operator leads you along the coastline. Next is a sightseeing tour of Emerald Lake, a hidden saltwater lagoon. Back on the Blue Star boat, you’ll have a tasty lunch buffet of Thai food.
The next phase of the kayak trip is through intriguing tunnels and caves. Along the way, you may catch a glimpse of monkeys, dolphins, and whales. The last phase of the tour is snorkeling, exploring the underwater world of Marine Park.
Tours are currently not offered in November, but will resume in December. For further information on Blue Stars Tours, go to: www.bluestars.info
Tenderly tucked into a grove of tropical trees is Tamarind Springs Spa. This forested oasis offers a delightful experience in pampering. Begin with a soothing session in an herbal steam cave. Bathe in the refreshing water of the rock plunge pool. Let your cares dissolve with a professional massage. Melodic birdsong sweetens the air, and sends your spirit soaring. Complimentary refreshments further invigorate. When you leave, you’ll feel like a new person!
Operating hours are from 10am-8pm. The Spa is located at 205/7 Thong Takian, Tambon Maret. Telephone: +66 77 424 436
WAT PLAI LAEM
A statue of a spectacular white goddess presides over Wat Plai Laem, a Buddhist temple complex in Koh Samui. She is Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. Seated in the lotus position atop one of the temple buildings, she has 18 arms, two of which are poised in prayer. Chinese legend reveres her as the Divine Mother. She serves human beings in a similar manner as Mary, the mother of Christ. With her many arms, she reaches out to help people all over the world. She is the patroness of sailors, farmers, and travelers. She is a guardian of women and children. She is believed to help childless women conceive. People praise her for answered prayer and miracles.
The statue of Guanyin is situated between two ornate temples, featuring colourful, elaborate murals. Devotees come daily to Wat Plai Laem to pay homage to Guanyin and Buddha. He is also represented, as a large, laughing statue. The temple compound is surrounded by a lake, filled with colourful fish. Visitors who make a donation to the temple receive a bag of food to feed them.
KO SAMUI BUTTERFLY GARDEN
This spectacular park is home to hundreds of colourful butterflies, flowers, and tropical plants. The Bee House provides an up-close view of busy bee activity. The garden also features a gushing waterfall. A hillside observatory is a perfect vantage point for viewing the coastline. Observation platforms are also strategically placed throughout the garden. A glass-bottomed boat tour is available for exploring the local coral. Operating hours are 8:30am-5:30pm. Koh Samui Butterfly Garden is located on Highway 4170.
CANOPY ADVENTURES & SECRET FALLS
If you love the thrill of adventure, this venue is for you. Secured within a harness, you’ll tour the Koh Samui coast and tropical forest. Traveling over the treetops, you’ll have breathtaking views of waterfalls, rock formations, and pastureland. A stop along the way is provided for enjoying the Secret Falls and natural swimming pool. The cable ride consists of four phases, starting with a gentle glide and increasing in speed by degrees.
The tour begins with pick-up service from our resort for transport to the base camp. Then there’s a ride through the jungle in a safari jeep. Upon entrance to Canopy Adventures, you’re provided with a snack of fruit, freshly-picked from the rainforest. Next, wearing a helmet, gloves, and safety harness, you receive your “flight training.” No experience is needed. If you decide to opt out after beginning, the staff will safely take you back to base camp. For details on this exciting attraction, go to: www.canopyadventuresthailand.com
SAMUI INSTITUTE OF THAI CULINARY ARTS
For a unique culinary experience, you can take a cooking class at the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts. The school has been reviewed and highly rated by Frommer’s Guide to Thailand, Trip Advisor, and BBC World TV. Classes are held in a modern, air-conditioned facility. Everyone has their own personal burner at the stove. All cooking materials are provided, along with a booklet for taking notes. For ingredients that aren’t available back home, suitable substitutes are given. Classes are small, providing individualized attention. After the meal has been prepared, everyone enjoys it together at an elegant dining table. Participants can invite a friend to the meal at no charge.
The 3-hour class is given twice daily, at 11am and 4pm. The menu includes preparation of a Thai curry paste and 3 additional dishes. Recipes are adapted for those with allergies and dietary restrictions.
Thai Fruit and Vegetable Carving Course
Two courses are given in fruit and vegetable carving:
1-day course – on the Thai art of vegetable carving for garnishes.
3-day course – on carving flower patterns and garnishes. Each class is 3 hours, given on 3 consecutive days.
SITCA is located at 46/6 Moo 3 Chaweng Beach. Telephone: +66 77 413 172.
Koh Sumai has everything one could ask for in a tropical getaway. Whether you’re looking for adventure, romance, relaxation, or fun, the island princess is the ideal paradise.