Koh Samui & Vana Belle
“It would be a great destination since it’s just slightly more than 3 hours by plane.”
“Yeah, why not? A relaxing week is much needed.”
“Okay, let’s do this!”
It was a few months ago that we visited Koh Samui. It looks so near to my hometown on the map but I have never ever been there. It was my first ever visit to Koh Samui – Thailand’s third largest island located 35km off the Surat Thani coast and 700km south of Bangkok. Though there is no written evidence, it’s believed that it was first settled by Malaysian fishermen, Chinese merchants and sea gypsies 1500 years ago.
The main beaches in Koh Samui are Chaweng and Lamai. Cheongmon, Maenam, Bophut, Bang Po and Lipa Noi are quieter, but not less attractive. We did quite a bit of research and decided to base in Chaweng. Chaweng is the largest and most popular of Samui’s beaches. It’s about 7km long and is divided into four sections: North Chaweng, Central Chaweng, South Chaweng and Chaweng Noi.
We chose Vana Belle Koh Samui that nestled in a secluded cove on the pristine white sands of Chaweng Noi beach. At Vana Belle, there are 80 spacious pool suites and pool villas with expansive outdoor spaces, either with stunning views out the beach or of the lush rainforest backdrop.
We were welcomed with a traditional ritual where Jasmine scented water was poured into our hands; then accompanied to the reception area that overlooks the sea. Within minutes, we were taken to our pool suites that is so spacious, sleek and modern.
“I’m not gonna do anything today but to be as lazy as possible. I figured, the best way to waste my time is to stay on the pristine white sandy beach overlooking the clear emerald green water.”
07:00. Why did I wake up so early? I’m on holiday and I should make the most to sleep more. Frustrated but the thought of being on holiday in one of the nicest places on earth cooled me down. After much time spent on my phone, we decided to get our lazy bums out of the bed and made our way to the restaurants for breakfast. Buffet breakfast was piled high with great varieties – from Thai dishes to Danish pastries. Selections could also be made from the a la carte menu, which was another plus! Being a foodie, I was spoiled for choices and felt like I was in heaven!
It takes about 15 minutes walk along the beach from Chaweng Noi beach to South Chaweng beach; and about 40 minutes to the Central of Chaweng. Taxi is pretty expensive in Koh Samui, so the alternative is to hop on Songthaew – a passenger vehicle adapted from a pick-up truck and used as a shared taxi.
Next day. 19:00. Dinner time. Walking along the main road from the hotel’s exit and looking for food. A small restaurant named Nong Thai Food was spotted from far. It’s a friendly and clean family run restaurant. They had pretty good selection of Thai dishes and some Western food too. Dinner for 2 was cheap and cheerful – a soup, a stir-fry, 2 steamed rice, 2 drinks and a dessert came to about THB440 (less than GBP9). Time to call it a night!
A brand new day. Rise and shine. Breakfast was a real joy. I tried American pancakes (fluffy and light!) with maple syrup (thumbs up!). I just don’t have bad comment on the buffet breakfast. It was perfect and made me feel like breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! Our routine was real simple – after breakfast, we went back to pack our beach bag and headed to the white sandy beach where we spent our whole afternoon – all days! This part of Chaweng beach is really tranquil and secluded, which I really like. The whole afternoon was basically spent soaking in the warm water, reading a book, and sleeping. What a simple life!
On a Friday night, Fisherman Village is the market to hang out. It is located in Bo Phut, quite a distance from Chaweng Noi. We hopped on a Songthaew and paid THB200 for two of us. There were lots of stalls lined up on both sides of the road – food stalls, souvinier shops, restaurants…etc. A small ice cream cart by the road side served the best homemade coconut ice cream ever! This is something that no one should miss!
Darn! It was our last day in Koh Samui. Why was it always the case that time flew by faster than ever?! I could remember it was a superb weather – blue sky and no clouds. Our morning routine continued. I started my day with yogurt with fresh honey and a smoothie. It didn’t end there…Lunch time came quickly. We couldn’t resist but went back to the Thai restaurant that we went a few days ago. This time round, I fell in love with the Pad Thai they served, it couldn’t be more authentic!
Our trip, though short, it was probably the best holiday in Thailand. I truly understand why a lot of people fall in love with this amazing country!