After traveling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai to Sukhothai, we were very excited to head south for some laid-back relaxing beach time. Our actual destination was Koh Tao, but since we were coming all the way from Sukhothai (at BLES, an amazing elephant sanctuary), the shortest (and also most expensive, unfortunately) way to get there was through a pit stop on the island of Koh Samui. Don’t feel too sorry for me, Koh Samui a beautiful island in Thailand.
Koh Samui is the largest of three islands in the Gulf of Thailand with the only airport in the region (outside of the mainland). The airport convenience factor alone makes this island a much bigger tourist destination than its smaller neighbors (Tao and Phangan). The quiet beach of Taling Ngam seemed like a good fit for a couple of days away from everything.
It was gorgeous, secluded and extremely quiet. We spent the majority of our 2 short days there by the beach, or at Island View Restaurant (which is also on the beach). It was the perfect laid-back spot on Koh Samui to relax with a tropical beverage (or three).
Or Thai beer… Why not both?
The sunset view was amazing (of course, with tropical libations)…
Did I mention the view was incredible? We loved the little islands off in the distance. One of my favorite memories from Thailand is the two of us, sitting in silence, watching the sunset in the distance on Koh Samui. Sigh.
Would we go back? It was gorgeous, but everywhere in Koh Samui is expensive (by our personal standards at least). There are a lot more affordable beautiful beaches in Thailand. It’s very built up, and didn’t seem to have a lot of culture left. We were glad that we stayed in Taling Ngam, although there wasn’t much to do within walking distance. Since we were a little short on time, we weren’t able to make it to Angthong National Marine Park (but check out this great post from This Beijing Life who did), which we were both a little disappointed about.
Getting there: The easiest choice is to fly pricey Bangkok Air. Other options are available, but seem to suit the long-term travelers a little better since they take a while, especially if you’re not coming from Bangkok. We made the decision that, in this case, time was more valuable than money.
Accommodations on Koh Samui:
There is a lot to choose from, so I’ve narrowed down a selected few to choose from. There’s always Airbnb, and with this link you’ll get a free $25 credit towards your next stay at any Airbnb property!
Stunning hotel overlooking the sea. If you’re looking for luxury, this is about as good as it gets, although it does come with a matching price tag.
Nice place with a great location in the quiet beach of Taling Ngam. The restaurant next door has great prices and decent food, with a stunning sunset view. I was particularly fond of the restaurant’s happy hour.
Small quaint and quiet, located in the Fisherman’s Village of Bophut. Great budget option, as long as you’re ok with not being directly on the beach. The great thing is, there are plenty of beach restaurants and clubs!
Looking for everything else we did in Thailand? Check out our Thailand Roundup!
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