On Friday 16th February we got on a 6am bus to take us across the country to Koh Samui, the first of three southeastern Thai islands that we would be visiting. Krabi (Ao Nang) had been very relaxing but unfortunately ended with Niall being up all night ill and so our journey was a bit of a rocky one with Niall feeling well below one hundred per cent. The journey started by us getting a mini bus that took us to a bus station in the middle of nowhere. We then waited around 10 minutes before getting on to a big bus that was actually quite spacious where the majority of people ended up sleeping as we were travelling east. Niall slept the majority of the way and I slept for a couple of hours so was able to enjoy the scenery of palm tree jungles and rice terraces for part of the journey. The roads were well maintained so the ride was a smooth one and without incident.
The bus station in the middle of nowhere
Once we reached the pier at Surat Thani (which was at around 10am) we then got onto our ferry to Koh Samui. We actually went from a smaller pier in Don Sak which is just south of Surat Thani and, by the looks of my maps, closer to the islands meaning hopefully a shorter boat journey. From here, ferries were also going to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao so everyone got given a sticker depending on where their final destination was. The whole thing was run like a well oiled machine and it all just came to how good a price you could get – that’s the only difference you’d have seen. We got ours for 450 baht but saw other prices for the same thing going up to 650 baht – I wouldn’t have been happy finding out I’d paid a couple of hundred baht more to be on the same bus and boat as everyone else!
Once we arrived in Koh Samui we had to get to our hostel. We arrived into Nathon Pier which was on the west of the island and we had to get to the east of the island. Our hostel was called Hello Backpacker Samui Hostel and was near to Chaweng Yai Beach. Samui is a very big island, way bigger than we had originally thought and so we had to look for a bus or mini van to get us to our hostel. The bus cost 100 baht each (£2.30) and took around an hour by the time it had dropped everyone off and got to our hostel. Our hostel was cheap and in a good location and the staff were friendly. Niall still wasn’t feeling great so he spent the day in the air-conned room in bed and I went to the beach.
Chaweng Beach is a really nice stretch of white sand with clear blue waters. I found a spot next to quite a fancy resort and settled there for the next few hours in the sun. The beach was very peaceful and there wasn’t a tonne of people around so I was able to relax. Saying about it being peaceful, Samui had what a lot of the previous islands hadn’t: an airport. It wasn’t long before a plane flew by overhead which definitely disturbed the peace I had been having. It wasn’t too much of an issue though and thankfully the planes weren’t too frequent.
I stayed until the resort I had been in front of set up what was a 600 baht (£13.60) buffet tea that was almost on top of where I was sunbathing and it was nearly 5pm anyway. I then walked the length of the beach to see what else it had to offer considering we had another day on the island. The beach was lined with resort’s and was equally pretty the further I walked down the beach. Coming away has given me a whole new appreciate for sunbathing and lazing in the sun on pretty beaches and even though we still had so many more beaches and sunbathing days ahead of us I was going to miss not being able to endlessly spent my days doing it.
Niall still wasn’t feeling great so I went out to find food on my own – a new experience for this trip. I was recommended a street next to the hostel to get cheap food so I headed up there and passed a number of Chinese restaurants in the Koh Samui Chinatown. These weren’t in my price range but after heading up a bit further I was able to find food for 50/60 baht. It was strange sitting at a table on my own and I realised that this was one of the first times in my life that I’ve ever sat in a restaurant and eaten food on my own! I guess when there is wifi being on your own isn’t so bad and at 24 it was probably about time that I experienced eating on my own in a restaurant! I chose a staple in our Thai diet – Pad Thai and it was average so if Niall was going to miss a meal for not feeling well he picked the right one!
Niall felt a lot better the next day and so was able to join me on the beach for a few hours to relax. He took it easy and left before I did so as not to exhaust himself in the heat but it was still good to have him back with me. It was another beautiful day and the beach was still quiet and relaxing as the day before so we enjoyed being out on the beach.
We went to a different restaurant that evening (I didn’t have to eat alone again) and I enjoyed the food more than I had the day before. We still took the day easy whilst Niall built up his strength again but I don’t think the days were incredibly different to how we would have spent them if Niall hadn’t fallen ill. Perhaps we would have hired a bike as Koh Samui is very big and has a lot of beaches and a national park with waterfalls in it but then we hadn’t decided if we were going to do that so maybe we wouldn’t have.
I like Koh Samui and, with all of the resorts, I think it would be a great place to come to spend a week or two if you were doing just a few of the Thai islands on holiday and, who knows, maybe in the future that’s what we’ll do too.
Next stop: Koh Phangan
Sending love x