We travelled from Kanchanaburi to the island of Koh Samui (via car and plane) where we planned to spend the remaining half of our trip in Thailand doing nothing more than moving from our bed to a poolside or a beachside lounger.
There are a mind-boggling number of beach destinations in Thailand to choose from. After reading many reviews we decided on Koh Samui as it reportedly had nice beaches, not as busy as Phuket (the ‘h’ is silent) and it was easy to get to.
There are many areas on the island to choose from as your base. We ended up at Fisherman’s Village at Bophut Beach. It was a lovely area full of shops and restaurants; although the majority of them were clearly skinning the tourists with their outrageous prices. There is also a fantastic street market that happens every Friday night full of food stalls, drink stands, clothes and trinkets. If you are after a more local flavour though check out the temple fair if there happens to be one on when you’re there.
As far as Bophut Beach goes, it was acceptable but we found Choeng Mon Beach a lovelier beach with powdery sand and clear shallow water perfect for the kids. It definitely had a more laid back vibe too. If your goal is to do nothing other than lay on the beach with the occasional dip in the water and a massage after to ease those sore muscles, I would highly recommend staying at one of the hotels on Choeng Mon. It’s easy enough to get around the island by grabbing a ride on a songthaew (a shared taxi where seats are on benches in the bed of a pickup truck) or hiring a taxi.
It’s impossible to lie around and do nothing when you’re travelling with my dear husband so we did sign on for a day trip to Angthong Marine Park in between days of lazing around.
Looking back I think Koh Samui was a fine choice for our first trip to Thailand but now that we know what to expect and what appeals to us, we would choose one of the smaller islands further out. But then again, given the fact that travelling in Thailand is more expensive than Vietnam or Cambodia I think we would explore the quieter beaches of Vietnam and Cambodia before we would return to Thailand.