In memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui

Suggested Itineraries

72 Hours: Day 1

Angthong National Marine Park Tour

Angthong National Marine Park Tour

Forty-two jagged islands poke through azure seas featuring limestone massifs, tropical rain forests, deserted coves with white sand beaches, caves, waterfalls, mangrove forests, hidden lagoons and plenty of wildlife. Sea erosion has carved the limestone islands into fascination shapes with underground caves and natural stone bridges leading out to the water. Once a haven for pirates during bad weather it is now the Ang Thong National Marine Park.

Covering over 100 square kilometres of land and sea, it was also the inspiration for the Alex Garland's bestseller, The Beach (the movie was filmed elsewhere though). The area is also home to a rich variety of wildlife such as dolphins, sea otters, long-tailed macaques, leopard cats, wild pig, brahminy kites, kingfishers and more. Koh Paluay, the only island inhabited, is home to sea gypsies who still maintain their traditional lifestyle. While it is not possible to visit each island, day tours make stops at different locations for a combination of hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and beach time.

Angthong National Marine Park Tour
Angthong National Marine Park Tour

Highlights include the Koh Mae's (Mother Island) stunning beach and inland saltwater lagoon; a strenuous hike to the top of a hill offers a panoramic view of its sparkling green waters hence its name, Emerald Lake. Koh Sam Sao, or Tripod Island, has an extensive coral reef and a dramatic stone bridge as well as a number of hiking trails. Koh Wua Thalap, where the park headquarters are located, offers pristine white beaches and an underground cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites.

Bar Solo

This watering hole has definitely raised the bar for nightlife in Chaweng. With its sexy décor, great music, six plasma screens showing major sporting events and a pool table, they have cracked the formula to good times. The resident DJs spin everything from lounge and downtempo to funky house and drum & bass. International acts like Hed Kandi, LTJ Bukem and Krafty Kuts also make periodic appearances.

Bar Solo

72 Hours: Day 2

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Take a piece of Thailand back with you with a lesson in making some of the Thai cuisine you have enjoyed so far. Their twice daily three-hour class starts with the preparation of one of the Thai curry pastes, followed by a lesson on how to prepare three dishes. There is a different paste and Thai curry dish taught on each day. The dishes change every day and the class is followed by a meal of what you just cooked.

K&S Rum Distillery

Tucked away in Ban Thale this is one of Samui’s secrets. And the only motivation to make the trip to this part of the island is the rum: super smooth with evocative aromas of lime, orange, pineapple, and coconut, though au naturel is also an option. Over 10 tonnes of sugarcane are processed in a season to distil around 5,000 litres of rum, using an alembic still imported from Armangnac. Visitors can get a tour of the processing plant and sample the products before making a purchase. A great way to share holiday memories with those back home.

Magic Alambic Rum Distillery
The Spirit House

The Spirit House

Make the night a special one my stepping back in time through the white arched entrance set in the red brick rampart at The Spirit House. Within it resembles a Thai village of yore with most of the buildings being transported from the ancient capital of Ayuthaya, just outside Bangkok. There are open-air salas, a temple, rice paddies, spice gardens, canals and ponds. The facilities also include a cooking school and beautiful spa which features a rock pool with cascading waterfall.

Staff in period costumes serve traditional Thai dishes that include appetisers, 'wild rainbow lilies'; wild betel leaf, filled with fresh sea prawns, shredded coconut, crushed peanuts, spices and a tangy sauce; succulent sea prawns dipped in a light coconut batter, and the house specialty, massaman curry with chargrilled tender fillet steak accompanied by potatoes and peanuts. Finish off with ladyfinger bananas drizzled with rum syrup and coconut ice cream.

The Spirit House
Reggae Pub

Reggae Pub

Another of the island's long-standing institutions to end your night at. The massive sound system and the resident band outputs Top 40 chartbusters, hip hop and reggae, and now and then international DJs add their own spin to the mix.

72 Hours: Day 3

Royal Samui Golf & Country Club

Hugging the mountainside between Chaweng and Lamai, this tight and challenging nine-hole course offers breathtaking panoramas of the beaches and surrounding islands. It was founded in 2006 by aficionados of the game to give enthusiasts an affordable and fun experience on the course. Fairly short at par 33, 2,200 yards, tee off, is uphill, from behind a huge boulder to the first green; the second is a steep downhill narrow with a slight dogleg and OB right, but with spectacular views.

Royal Samui Golf & Country Club
Royal Samui Golf & Country Club

Each hole will test even the experienced golfer with the severe drops and sudden elevations. The course is fairly well maintained but the road up to it can be a bit rough during the monsoon. There are no pro shops or caddies and a golf cart is a must. A small restaurant serves a basic menu and beverages. Golfers don't come here for the facilities but more for the challenge.

Nikki Beach

If golf is not your thing, then hang out in this place's amoeba-shaped infinity-edge swimming pool. During the day bronzed bodies lie supine on the signature cream-coloured sun loungers and daybeds as the sun umbrellas and swaying palm trees play light and shadow games with the sun. This is Nikki Beach. Billed as the ultimate beach club, available in different flavours in eight countries, and a favourite with the international jet set pack, it is reputed for bringing dining, music, fashion and entertainment together at one venue. Expect fire shows, international DJs, flamenco dancers and a variety of themed event.

Nikki Beach
Barracuda

Barracuda

Located in Maenam, this small eatery offers an intimate candlelit vibe with small details that reflect the art of traditional Thai fishing. The food here is Mediterranean fused with subtle Asian touches at prices that won't burn a hole in your pocket. And Chef Ferdinand Dienst is a warm and attentive host, greeting guests and guiding them through his small menu that changes every three months. Cleverly inventive, the dishes are beautifully plated with the top recommendations being homemade tortellini of lobster and salmon in a delicate tom yam velouté;

the jasmine-tea-crusted tuna steak bedded on roasted pineapple and Thai asparagus in tongue-tingling wasabi sauce. Nor should one leave without sampling the calamari with roasted watermelon and butter-lemon-sauce, or the perfectly seared duck breast on bok choy with a port of dried cherry sauce and minted-pea purée. Finish off a meal with the delightful chocolate mousse tempered with chilli and mango.

Barracuda