Koh Samui   Accommodation

 

     Samui Guide

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel
 

Samui Scene

Pri The Kwan Jai Alternative
Newly arrived from Auckland Queensland, where he ran his own alternative health clinic, Englishman Tom Burgess is the latest recruit at Kwan Jai International Health and Wellness Spa. A fully qualified kinesiology practitioner Tom has gained over 17 years experience in the field since leaving the UK when he was 23 and is enjoying the challenge of further developing Kwan Jai's radical programmes.

"In my opinion, Kwan Jai is the most cutting edge health clinic operating anywhere in the world today," he says, "and is pushing the boundaries of alternative therapies." The spa's pioneering work in live blood analysis is just one example of what makes Kwan Jai different. "Everything is reflected in the blood," Tom says. "If you break your wrist when you're seven years old, it can still be detected in the blood twenty years later. Now we understan this, we can work towards a wide range of treatments for specific conditions." Kwan Jai International Health and Wellness Spa, Central Chaweng.
 

South Africa vs. Italy
No it's got nothing to do, with the recent rugby world cup, it's what's on offer at two of Chaweng's most popular restaurants both run by affable Italian Alberto. The long established Osteria Offers a wide range of traditional Italian fare, including eight different kinds of Brushetta, favourites such as Carpaccio, Penne al Arrabbiata, Gnocchi al Gorgonzolla and Scaloppina al Vino Bianco (beef in white wine sauce) and specials such as Osso Bucco and Rabbit Stew, Downstairs at the recently opened Pickles there's more of a bar atmosphere and it's open from lunchtime serving Osteria's full menu at a 40 percent discount between 12 - 5 pm. Speciality of the house though is the all you can eat South African barbeque which serves a huge range of local and imported meats and salads for a mere 380 Baht. If that's not tempting enough there's 101 different international beers on sale alongside the good value wine list. Also, if you're in town for Christmas, Alberto will be whipping up a three - course Italian lamb lunch for 1,500 baht (including a bottle of wine). The Osteria and Pickles, South Chaweng. Chaweng Map.

Strings under the stars
After three years performing at the world famous Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, classically trained guitarist Khun Fadin decided to leave the big city behind for a more relaxing life in the greener, quieter and fresher tropical environment of Samui. Citing Bach as his main inspiration, Fadin also loves to play the masterpiences written for Spanish guitar by Tarrega F. and Albeniz Lsaas, his own improvisatons of Jazz geniuses Charlie Byrd and Joe Paas and the occasional sing a long pop song Yesterday being his personal favourite. All in all, Fadin provides the perfect musical accompaniment to dinner at one of the islands finer restaurants. He can be found at Poppies Restaurant on Tuesday, Thursday & Friday evenings, Olivio on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Le Royal Merdian on Sundays. Showtime at 7.30 - 10.30 pm. See Restaurant Guide for addresses and telephone numbers.

Shaqk
Promising the finest in Californian Cuisine, The Shaqk 4 BBQ in Fisheman's Village offers another fine dining option on what is fast developing into Samui's own restaurant row. Originally conceived as a simple burger shack by owner Larry Snyder, the Shaqk rapidly developed into a full restaurant and bar, serving what he promises are the juiciest ribs this side of Sacramento, complemented by regularly changing dips, marinades, rubs and sauces. He'll also be slapping Aussie steaks and lamb chops on the barbie and promises that his homemade burgers will be the finest on the islands. There's only one way to find out if he's telling the truth... The Shaqk 4 BBQ, Fisherman's Village, Bophut, open for lunch and dinner everyday

Christmas Quiz from The Frog & Cecko

1. According to Dr. Seuss, who stole Christmas?

2. According to the song how mamy French Hens did my true love give to me?

3. In what Dickens tale does the character Bob Cratchett appear?

4. Where does Santa Claus live?

5. How many days of Christmas are there?

6. Who was in the Frog & Cecko Pub on April 14, 2003?

If you think these are too easy then get down to The Frog & Gecko on a Wednesday night this month and try your luck at their Original Samui Pub Quiz. Started over a year ago by owners Graeme and Raphaella, the quiz has been taxing teams with quistions on sport, science, history and general knowledge, ever since. The first round starts at 9pm, though it tends to get very busy, so get there early to be sure of a seat. If you're feeling peckish the F&G's Thai food and delicious authentic Indian curries are also highly recommended. The Frog&Gecko, Fisherman's Village, Bophut, Open 12pm - 2am daily.

 
 
Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Around the Island.
Whether you get around Samui by foot, elephant, motorcycle or car, you will find a wealth of natural beauty and

cosmopolitan luxury. The island is small enough to drive a car around in about an hour. But it is big enough to still discover new things and beautiful places even if you stay for weeks.

While the most visited areas have roads lined with shops and businesses, much of the island remains covered with coconut groves, rice paddies and forest. A sense of adventure and a bit of exploratory effort will be rewarded with everything from sophisticated shops and restaurants to serene hikes, jungle drives and spectacular tropical views.

Chaweng. Chaweng is the longest beach and biggest town on Samui. There are dozens of hotels and bungalows along its fine white sand beach. You can find anything from 5-star luxury to the few budget bungalows that remain from Samui's days as a backpacker's haven. Accommodation prices are higher than elsewhere on Samui but Chaweng remains party central and has the highest density and widest selection of clubs, bars and restaurants on the island.

Lamai. Lamai is Samui's second-largest beach and some say its most beautiful. The water is excellent for swimming at the bays southern end and is studding with elegant granite boulders. Nightlife in Lamai Town tends to be of the girly bar variety, although there are a few decent expat watering holes and a couple of decent clubs. There are also some high quality out of town eating, drinking and accommodation options.

Nathon. All government offices and banks are located in Nathon and it is the primary point of connection with the mainland and the other islands. Shopping here is less expensive than in Chaweng or Lamai, and there are lots of interesting knick-knacks for sale. Most shops are on the inland road, which is one-way heading south. However, the ocean road has a number of good restaurants for breakfast or lunch, and the teak shophouse lined middle road gives a decent glimpse into Samui's local world.

Maenam. Accommodation on Maenam's long sedate beach is mainly of the cheap bungalow variety, although there are now several four and five star resorts as well. The number of good restaurants and businesses along its main road is steadily increasing. There are numerous high-quality holiday and residential home developments and a growing community of long-term visitors.

Big Buddha Beach. Its proximity to the airport makes Big Buddha very convenient if you're flying in. The resorts here tend to be well-spaced and laid-back beachside affairs attracting long and short-term guests alike. Prices remain relatively low and they're a great place for a party, as Secret Garden proves with its weekly festival. There are a growing number of fine dining options too.

Bophut. Bophut is easily the most charming village on Samui and is made up of a single strip of old Chinese shophouses, many converted into restaurants, bars, shops and guesthouses. Altogether, a great spot for a romantic beachside dinner. Both the cuisine and the architecture lend a distinctly Mediterranean feel to the village. Popular with the French for the past eight years or so, Bophut is now attracting a growing number of British tourists and bar/restaurant owners.

Hua Thanon. At the 90-degree turn just south of Lamai is the Muslim fishing village of Hua Thanon. There are a few new restaurants on the main road, but the main attraction is the artistry of the local fishermen. Their intricately painted boats dock just offshore from the thriving market. The beach is not good for swimming, but a stroll along it affords a glimpse into the real life of one of Samui's main economic activities.

Lipa Noi. Just south of Nathon is one of the best places to catch the sunset. There are a couple of good bungalows on Lipa Noi and some excellent seafood restaurants. But the real wonder of Lipa Noi is the shallow water. You can wade out for 200m and the water is still no higher than your waist. The velvety feel of the ocean bottom here attracts local children as well as visitors in the late afternoons.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel
Restaurant Guide.

Key Code:

( $$$ ) = High end
( $$ ) = Moderate
( $ ) = Inexpensive

It is now impossible to list all the restaurants on the island, but here are some of our favourites. 

The ratings are simply to give you an indication of menu prices. Lower ratings do not imply lower quality. 

Bon appetit!

It is now impossible to list all the restaurants on the island, but here are some of our favourites. The ratings are simply to give you an indication of menu prices. Lower ratings do not imply lower quality. Bon appetit!

BANG PO
Health Oasis Resort/Tao Restaurant
$ Serves a wide selection of vegetarian, Thai and Italian food in a pleasant atmosphere. Also offers Thai massage, Thai cooking, meditation and yoga. Bang Po on Samui's north coast.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

BAN TALING NGAM
Baan Chantra
$$$ An exquisite restaurant serving royal Thai cuisine prepared to the high standards you would expect from one of the worlds top hotel chains. Has both inside and outside seating and the choice between traditional Thai cushions or Western-style tables. Also has nightly entertainment by classical Thai musicians and dancers. Le Royal M?ridien Baan Taling Ngam.

Lom Talay $$$ Enjoy lunch or dinner at one of Samui's grandest viewpoints. The vista from the restaurant at the Le Royal Meridien Baan Taling Ngam is breathtaking. Lom Talay looks out 180 degrees over Ang Thong Marine National park to the south west and the picture perfect palm trees of Taling Ngam to the north.

The view alone would make the trip worthwhile, but the international and Thai cuisine is equally outstanding. Le Royal M?ridien Baan Taling Ngam.
 

The Promenade $$$ Savoury seafood, including fresh sea bass, red snapper, deep-sea garoupa, lobster, crab and squid is served at one of Samui's most peaceful and exclusive beachside settings. The chef himself goes to the fishing village of Taling Ngam every day to buy the freshest supplies. This restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch and snacks including pizzas and salads. Le Royal M?ridien Baan Taling Ngam.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

BOPHUT
Angela's Harbourside cafe
$$ For all those who know and love the original in Maenam, the Harbourside serves Angela's outstanding array of freshly baked breads, cakes, pies and unique deli items with an added nautical twist. There are seafood items such as the smoked salmon and shrimp omelette on the breakfast menu and delicious "down East" style seafood specialities as well as a mean New England clam chowder, for lunch and dinner. Fisherman's Village, east of the ferry pier, 8:30am-10pm.

Billabong Surf Club $$ The Billabong represents all things Aussie on Samui. That means that the beer never stops flowing, the food comes in huge portions and a friendly welcome is extended to one and all. Food includes Doorstop Sandwiches, Chip Butty's, Chimichangas and Nachos available as bar snacks throughout the day and night and Traditional Aussie Pies, Bangers and Mash, Fish'n'Chips, BBQ Ribs, Lamb Chops, Down Under Aussie Burgers, 600g Steaks and authentic Indian Curries served up as main courses. Fisherman's Village, 10am - 2am.

The Shaqk 4 BBQ Fine Californian cuisine, including the juiciest ribs this side of Sacramento, complemented by regularly changing dips, marinades, rubs and sauces. Aussie steaks and lamb chops are slapped on the barbie every night and the homemade burgers are amongst the finest on the island. Fisherman's Village, Bophut, open for lunch and dinner everyday .

Villa Bianca $$$ Serving classic Italian cuisine with a seafood slant, Villa Bianca is nestled among the old converted Chinese shophouses overlooking the water in Bophut Fishermen's Village. Its stark white walls, classy objets d'art and well-spaced candlelit tables covered in crisp white linen give the restaurant an unmistakably Mediterranean feel. Fisherman's Village.

BIG BUDDHA
Shabash
$ A huge, sumptuous selection of Asian food prepared Singapore-style. Diverse dishes include Indian curries and homemade mango, lime and mixed vegetable chutneys; Indonesian beef rendang and gado-gado; Middle Eastern home-made hummus and falafel; and Singaporian laksa and nasi lemak. Vegetarian friendly. Big Buddha.

CHAWENG
Ali Baba
$$ Top quality range of Indian favourites, including classic vegetarian fare. Served in a cosy, friendly and centrally located restaurant between Chaweng Resort and Chaweng Cabana. Chaweng Beach Road.

Betelnut Restaurant $$$ A small, no-gimmicks restaurant with one of Samui's best reputations for seriously fine dining. Owner-chef Jeffrey Lord made his reputation at Poppies before going it alone, and the island's gourmets have remained faithful throughout. Expect a small but highly innovative menu fusing Western and Thai styles. Chaweng Boulevard, opposite Central in Southern Chaweng.

Samui Coral Resort - Da Papa $$ All your Italian favourites served up right on the beach. Italian owned and managed, Da Papa has been going strong for eight years now and is still as popular as ever. The cocktail bar is a great spot for a sundowner. Central Chaweng, 8am-11pm.

The Deli $$ Superior sandwiches made from an impressive range of fresh breads including rye, cornpepper, malt, milano and panini. Fillings range from salami, Paris ham and liver sausage to roast lamb and beef, meatloaf and a fine selection of cheeses. For those in a hurry, everything is available takeaway, alongside other treats duck, goose and pork rilletes, chicken liver parfait, boncafe coffee beans and homemade cookies. The Deli, Central Samui Beach Resort Shopping Arcade, South Chaweng.

The Dining Room $$ A recently opened offshoot of celebrated Thai cookery school SITCA, The Dining Room has quickly positioned itself as one of the finest Thai dining experiences on Samui. The restaurant serves cuisine from all around the Kingdom, but is particularly strong on its local seafood dishes such as Fish Soup with Tumeric, Red Snapper Fillet with Cashewnuts and Massaman Curry with King Prawns. Classics such as Deep Fried Fishcakes, Mixed Satay and Deep Fried Chicken with Lemon Grass are also taken to new height and there's a well considered wine list. South Chaweng, 7.00pm - 11.00pm.

La Dolce Vita Restaurant & Pizzeria $$ La Dolce Vita has an extensive Italian menu featuring everything from salad caprese, to pizza capriccioso and spaghetti pescatora. The homemade pasta dishes are highly recommended and diners can take their pick from a wide selection of pasta and combine it with your choice of any of the 17 different sauces. Also boasts a decent wine list well selected by the friendly Italian and Norwegian management. Central Chaweng, 12pm-11pm.

Drop In $$ Situated in a large open-air Thai house, the Drop In's menu encompasses Thai, Italian and international cuisine. Everything is very comprehensive - for example, there are seven different kinds of Thai curry, nine different steaks and fifteen different pizzas. The seafood dishes are among the best in Chaweng and include classics such as stir-fried broccoli with prawns and cashew nuts, lobster thermidor and charcoal grilled red snapper with olive oil and herbs. The wine list is also unusually wide-ranging. Central Chaweng, noon-11.30pm.

Gringo's Cantina - Tex Mex Restaurant $$ Samui's finest Mexican cantina serves a different special every night of the week and a comprehensive range of south of the border fare. Along with Nachos, Quesadillas and Tortillas wraps,the main menu carries Fajitas, Tacos, Burritos , Echiladas, Tostadas, Chimichangas and a Combo section for those who can't decide. There is also a north of the border food selection of Chile con Carne, Burgers, BBQ Ribs, Steaks, Pizzas and Deep Fried Chicken. The menu has a good selection of Vegetarian dishes and a kids menu is available. Gringos remains the best spot for Jugs of Frozen Margaritas and red or white wine Sangria. Located behind the Islander Restaurant 2pm - midnight.

 

Hagi Japanese Restaurant $$$ Adhering to the Japanese principle that a meal should always include "something from the mountain and something from the sea", Central executive chef Winfried Hancke has created a menu that dazzles the eye, the nose and the palate. Silk paintings adorn the walls, a soothing fountain features prominently and polished white pebbles lie elegantly dotted around. The attached lotus pond encourages further Zen-like relaxation. At Central Samui Beach Resort, 6.00pm-10.30pm.

The Islander $ Extremely comprehensive British-leaning menu. Start the day with their full monty breakfast then indulge in a selection of tortilla wraps, grilled baguettes and burgers for lunch. For dinner there's a range of nightly specials such as New Zealand roast lamb with mint sauce, beef and vegetable stew in red wine, roast chicken with sage stuffing and mixed grill. Basically, you can eat Sunday lunch fare every night if you like. If you don't, they have an excellent Thai selection, pizzas, curries and lasagne too. Central Chaweng near Soi Green Mango, from breakfast to late night.

Khaosan Restaurant and Bakery $ Friendly roadside restaurant that briskly serves everything from breakfast pancakes to succulent steaks at genuine backpacker prices. The Khaosan also has some of the best authentic Thai food in Chaweng and there's an attached bakery that sells fresh takeaway cakes and pastries. Shows movies throughout the day and at 7.30pm and 9.00pm nightly. Central Chaweng. 7.30am - midnight.

Olivio $$$ A beautifully sited and presented Italian al fresco restaurant, by the beach just north of Chaweng. Ren? Oskam and his team concentrate on modern Italian cuisine, with such delights as angel hair pasta with lobster, cream and zucchini, and braised lamb shanks with saffron risotto. There are also some classical Italian dishes for those with more conservative tastes. If you have room, the lemon & thyme mousse with honey sauce should on no account be missed. Baan Haad Ngam Resort, North Chaweng Beach.

The Osteria $$ Long established restaurant offering a wide range of traditional Italian fare, including eight different kinds of Brushetta, favourites such as Carpaccio, Penne al Arrabbiata, Gnocchi al Gorgonzolla and Scaloppina al Vino Bianco (beef in white wine sauce) and specials such as Osso Bucco and Rabbit Stew. The atmosphere is very friendly and easygoing. South Chaweng.

Palm Grove Restaurant $$$ Dishes like rock lobster tail salad served with avocado, hot and sour bell peppers with a yellow mango dressing and Fresh basil risotto with pan-fried sea bass accompanied by spiced tomato salsa and modena syrup brilliantly marry taste and texture in a host of imaginative and rewarding flavour combinations. The presentation is equally impressive: every dish is a work of art that looks almost too good to disturb on the plate. At Central Samui Beach Resort, South Chaweng, 6.30am-11pm. 

Poppies $$$ A Samui institution that has been open for over 10 years, Poppies creates the ideal balance for the island: delicious, imaginative cuisine coupled with a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant's location, beachside in Chaweng, is hard to beat for romantic ambience with its candlelit tables, elegantly attired, attentive staff and unobtrusive live music provided mostly by Khun Fadin, the restaurant's resident guitar player. Beach Road, south Chaweng.

Samui Seafood $$ This sprawling restaurant has beautiful nooks and crannies that give it an intimate feel. Traditional Thai music, a waterfall and lots of greenery provide an elegant backdrop to a meal of almost any cuisine you can imagine. The menu offers an impressive selection of Thai, Chinese, Italian, German and international cuisine as well as steaks and seafood. Just behind the Baskin Robbins' shop in Northern Chaweng.

Spice Island Restaurant & Treasure Island B.B.Q $$ Spice Island has one of the most comprehensive Thai menus to found anywhere on the island and has another 100 dishes on its menu encompassing all regional cuisines. If you've got a favourite Thai dish, you're more or less guaranteed to find it somewhere on the menu. The set menu's are highly recommended and offer as broad a tour around the Kingdom's myriad cuisines as you're likely to get in a single meal. At Central Samui Beach Resort, 6.00pm-10.30pm.

Tropical Murphy's $$ Murphy's has easily one of the best atmospheres in town. Maybe that's because everyone's welcome. The food is just like home with large hearty portions served from 9am to 1am. Start the day with an Irish fry-up and move on to a sandwich for lunch. Favourite dishes include the thick Irish stew and the half roast chicken with veg, and bangers & mash. With over 100 items on the menu you can't go wrong. There's also a large Thai selection as well as a kiddie's menu available. Located across the road from McDonalds in central Chaweng.

Via Vai $$ The Cappuccio brothers hale from Naples, the home of pizza, which may help explain why theirs rates among the best on Samui. Baked very, very briefly in the wood-fired oven, their pizzas are guaranteed to be uniformly thin, crisp and delicious. As well as all the usual favourites (Marguerita, Bianca, capriccioso and calzone) they also serve some great variations like the Greca (ham, olives, mozzarella and feta cheese) and the excellent vegetarian Via Vai (mozzarella, ricotta and spinach). Central Chaweng.

 

Yamato $ Relaxed and comfortable Japanese cafe serving delicious home cooking all personally prepared by owner/manager Koetsu Kagaya. The Sashimi and Sushi are ultra fresh and are made with a wide range of fish including Norwegian salmon, tuna, octopus, sea bream and mackerel. There are also rarer treats on offer including Okonomi yaki - a type of Japanese pizza and Nikujyaga (Japanese beef stew). To drink there's Asahi beer, an excellent range of sake, Soju (Korean Vodka) and Umesyu (sweet Japanese plum wine) a try. Central Chaweng.

Zico's $$$ A new and sleekly modern Brazilian restaurant, gleaming in the national colours of yellow and green, Zico's has introduced both ? la carte dining and a seafood buffet. Even so, its mainstay remains the churrasqueria gaucho-style barbecue, with passadors bearing large skewers of every variety of meat imaginable doing a constant round of the tables. A must for carnivores, you can go on eating until you drop. Beach Road, southern Chaweng (opposite Central).

CHOENG MON
The White House
$$ Beachside dining at one of the most sedate spots on the island. The White House's Ruean Sai Lom restaurant has a good variety of immaculately presented Thai and international dishes. The cuisine ranges from smoked salmon, seafood fondue, Caesar and Nicoise salads to stuffed bell pepper, goulash, chilli con carne, pizza and an excellent selection of fresh steamed or grilled fish dishes. Choeng Mon Beach.

LAEM SET
Laem Set Inn
$$$ Fine dining at the oldest and one the best-known boutique resorts on Samui. The set lunch and dinner menus change on a daily basis but always feature several Thai classics as well as imaginative Pacific Rim fare served in a traditional Thai sala pavilion. The sea view from the restaurant is fantastic. Ban Hua Thanon.

The Reef Cafe $$ The Reef Cafe sits a few metres from the sea at the fringe of Central Samui Village Resort. The waves lapping nearby, the soft lighting and the al fresco setting make it the perfect venue for a romantic liaison. The long menu covers most bases from Thai favourites such as Mussaman Nuea (Beef tenderloin in Mussaman Curry) and Pla Kluk Kamin (Fried and Marinated Fish with Tumeric and Garlic) to hearty western fare like Lamb Fillet Tips in Pommery Mustard Sauce, Bacon and Roasted Potato and Fish & Chips (served in a copy of the Bangkok Post, of course). Central Samui Village Resort.

LAMAI
Spa Samui Resorts
$$ Spa Samui Resorts serve some of the best and most imaginative vegetarian cuisine in the country at two locations in Lamai. Closely linked to the Spas' world famous fasting and rejuvenation programmes, its menu presents a mouth-watering array of healthy and delicious fare, including its signature salads, ultra-light soups and more substantial Thai and international fare. Spa Samui Beach. Spa Samui Village.

Talay Tai $$ Located at Lamai's hippest resort, Long Island, Talay Tai emphasizes healthy organic fare in their sandwich, pasta and salad section. Treats include plenty of wild rice, tofu, hummus, pita bread and the like. On a less healthy but damn tasty note, they also sell Big Joe's homemade British pies which are considered by many to be the best on the island. Long Island has also secured a supply of (very hard to find in Thailand) cranberry and grapefruit juice, meaning it's the perfect spot for a Seabreeze sundowner. At Long Island Resort, Lamai.

LIPA NOI
Big John's Seafood
$$ Big John's prides itself on serving some of the finest seafood dishes on Samui. Much of it is locally caught and bought market fresh daily. The menu offers an extremely comprehensive selection of almost every fish dish imaginable; a couple of outstanding ones are lobster massaman (succulent chunks of lobster cooked in a creamy Southern Thai curry sauce with peanuts) and steamed pomfret with plum sauce. It's also a great location for sunset dining. Take the ring road to the west of the island and turn off onto the paved road that leads to the ferry to Donsak, past Lipa Lodge.

MAENAM
Angela's Bakery and Cafe
$$ Amazing array of breads, cakes, pies, salads and sandwiches, all made fresh on the premises. If you're hankering after an English meat pie or a muffin, then you'll get it here. Or perhaps a bagel with cream cheese or cheddar or gruyere, pastrami or salami? Angela's got that too. Not to mention crepes, scones, smoked salmon, sauerkraut, meatloaf and pickles and chutneys. 8.30am-7.30pm.

Roma $$$ Making the most of its beachside setting, Roma combines the easygoing tropical charm of Samui with the casual elegance of the finest Italian dining. The modern menu includes superlative treats such as crema di zucca ai pistacchi e aceto ai lamponi (pumpkin cream soup with pistachios perfumed with raspberry vinegar), filetto di branzino ai funghi porcini (grilled fillet of sea bass topped with boletus mushrooms, white wine sauce and a selection of Italian herbs) and involtini alla Romana con polenta al profumo di tartufo (veal roulade with parma ham and basil served with truffles, parfumed polenta and vegetables) as well as more classic fare. Paradise Beach Resort, 6pm-11pm.

Sala Thai $$$ The finest Royal Thai cuisine. From the light and meaty goong kra buang (deep fried minced prawns in a spring roll wrapper) to the delicately spiced hor mok hoy shell (steamed scallops in red curry served in a banana bowl, everything is a feast for the senses. All the classics like gaeng keaw wahn gai (green curry with chicken) are present as well as more unusual fare like geang som malakor kab pla insee (rich orange curry of green papaya and king fish). There's also a well-considered vegetarian selection, an excellent wine list and unusual range of herb ice creams. Santiburi Dusit Resort.

NATHON
About Arts and Crafts
$ Excellent cafe in a handicraft shop, serving a delicious range of veggie breakfast options, homemade muffins, brown rice dishes and health shakes. Also does a decent cup of coffee. Oceanfront road, south of the pier, 9am-5pm.

Rimbang Seafood $ Long-established seafood restaurant just north of town near Ban Bang Makham, with spectacular sunset views over Ang Thong National Marine Park. Owner K Pisut prides himself on the restaurant's authentic Samui-style preparation. On Route 4169, near Ban Bang Makham.

Baht++what? Prices marked ++ (i.e. 800 baht++) indicate the price plus service charge (usually 10 percent) and plus 7 percent VAT.

 

Wats to see.
When visiting temples, please remember to dress politely (no beachwear or revealing costumes) and behave with the appropriate respect on temple grounds.

WAT PHRA YAI
This temple is the home of the 12 metre tall Big Buddha, Samui's most famous landmark. At the base of the structure, shops and restaurants cater to the needs of devotees and tourists alike. Route 4171 near the airport.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

WAT KIRI WONGKARAM
This temple is noted for the mummified body of the Buddhist monk Loung Por Ruam, which has been on display for the last 25 years. Follow Route 4170 south from Ban Saket, then turn right between the two giant elephant statues and look for the temple 1km farther along on the right.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

THE CORAL BUDDHA
Formerly one of Samui's main attractions, this small, dilapidated statue is now only visited by Buddhist devotees. The only direction sign is a tatty little roadside board, easy to miss when driving past. Route 4169 800m west of Hua Thanon on the right.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

THE LORD BUDDHA'S FOOTPRINT
There are actually four artistically engraved footprints here, superimposed one upon the other and housed in a modest shrine 150 steps up a steep hill. Go up the concrete slope on the left, 2km west of the turnoff for the Butterfly Garden on route 4170.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

WAT SUMRET
This old temple is the guardian of the ancient White Marble Buddha, believed by many, including the resident monks, to be many hundreds of years old. It also harbours within its grounds the Secret Hall of Buddha's, which will only be opened on request. 200m down the second concrete road on the left, west of Hua Thanon on Route 4169.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

THE LAEM SOR CHEDI
This ornately designed chedi (pagoda) sits on the rocks at the water's edge on the grounds of Wat Laem Sor. Off Route 4170 between Ban Tale and Ban Pang Ka. Follow the track with a sign that reads "Waikiki Bungalows" to the end.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

WAT KHUNARAM
The body of Samui's most famous mummified monk, Loung Pordaeng, is on display here in the same meditation position he died in over 20 years ago. Route 4169 between the Na Muang waterfalls and Hua Thanon.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

WAT SILA NGU
Said to contain a relic of the Lord Buddha, the golden chedi facing the temple entrance is a popular place of worship. Route 4169, 1km south of Hin Ta/Hin Yai on the beach side.

 

Things to Do & Places to Go
For assistance with booking any of the activities below, call Travel Solutions at 077 502 990 or drop into their beachside Chaweng office.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Adventure Sports
If you're after an adrenaline rush, you have a number of options. You can head to Samui Shooting Sport on the main road between Bophut and Chaweng where you can blast away at paper targets with a variety of lethal weapons. You can head to Samui Quads and Paintball in the interior behind Maenam, to ride around a professionally sculpted football pitch sized terrain or play a variety of tactical games with BB guns in the jungle.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

To get a birds eye view of the jungle, check out Canopy Tours, which allows you to travel between tree-houses in a harness attached to a high tensile cable. Drop into their office on the beach in Chaweng.

Mountain bike enthusiasts should check out Red Bicycle, which offers a range of half and full day off-road trips into Samui's mountainous interior and longer tours around Ranong on the mainland. All the trips include lunch and all equipment, which is kept in perfect condition. For those wanting to go it alone, the shop also has Merida, Cannondale and Italian made waterbikes for rent.

Bowling
The Living Bowl Centre
offers tropical 10-pin action and its own onsite restaurant in a fun, funky alley. It's in central Chaweng above McDonald's and open 10am-2am. Price: 100 baht per game per person.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Buffalo Show
Bringing back some of the traditional way of rural life to Samui, Living Thailand offers a pleasant diversion from the rigours of the beach. Situated among paddy fields and rolling hills in the south of the island, visitors can enjoy buffalo-cart rides, buffalo theatre and a Thai farming museum. The theatre show includes demonstrations of rice planting and paddy ploughing, and visitors are welcome to join in. Multi-lingual guides are on hand throughout.

Butterfly Garden
Butterflies are among the most easily observed and beautiful examples of the island's richly varied wildlife. You can see many vividly coloured species of tropical butterflies in this scenic netted hillside setting. Since butterflies only live for about two weeks, the garden raises its own and has a great display of caterpillars, cocoons and adults. Open 9am-6pm.

Dog Rescue
Unfortunately, stray and abandoned dogs in varying states of health can still be found everywhere on Samui. But the pooch's lot has improved dramatically over the past three years since the Dog Rescue Centre Samui (DRCS) was founded by a dedicated group of animal lovers.

DRCS provide essential medical care, food and a home for many canines and can advise on how to take a dog back to Europe with you (which is easier than you might think).

None of this comes cheap and the DRCS needs to raise 150,000 baht every month for dog food and medication.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Elephant Trekking
If you like to enjoy the scenery without the noise of an engine disturbing the peace, then why not go on an elephant trek? Elephants are no longer employed in Thailand for traditional logging work and so have plenty of free time to work with visitors - even on Samui, where they are not native. Despite their huge size, elephants are incredibly sure-footed, even on steep and narrow trails - and the world looks wonderful from their backs, three metres up. Standard trips last half an hour, although longer trips can be requested. For more information, call Living Thailand.

 

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel
Golf
The world class 18 hole SantiBuri Golf and Country Club has recently opened in Maenam. Alternatively, The Samui Extra Golf Club at the Fair House Beach Resort has three professional standard holes ideal for practice sessions. Open 6am- 6pm daily. The 18 hole Mini Golf International is Thailand's only mini golf course and can be found in the jungle above Choeng Mon. For family fun check out Treasure Island Mini-Golf, Crazy Golf & Putt - Putt is set up for kids and adults alike. A full 18 holes of fun and adventure playing up hills, over water, through the mouth of a tiger, the belly of a whale and the gapping jaws of a crocodile.
Either play for fun or test you putting skills. There is also the 19th Hole for beers and soft drinks. 11 am-Midnight everyday, 18 holes is 180 baht, 9 holes is 120 baht, 11am - 6pm kids under 10 yrs 18 holes is 120 baht and 9 holes 80 baht. Located behind the Islander Restaurant.

Heaven's Garden
This is an extraordinary sculpture garden created by an extraordinary man. Nim Thong-suk was a fourth generation Samui native. At the age of 77, he began creating figures based on Buddhist scriptures and was still working on the garden when he died a few years ago at the age of 91. The garden not only displays Khun Nim's wonderful sculptures, but offers a great view of the island's hills and forests. To get to Heaven's Garden, take the asphalt air force road in Ban Saket, turn right about 1km before the end of the road, then follow the dirt track for 400m. If you get lost, ask for Nam Tok Ta-nim.

Jungle Tours
Several areas of Samui are covered with dense tropical jungle which can be reached by jeep and/or a short hike. The beauty and natural diversity of these areas easily justifies tearing yourself away from the beach for a day. Most travel agents have information about the various tours available and will make a reservation for you. To get a birds eye view of the jungle, check out Canopy Tours, which allows you to travel between tree-houses in a harness attached to a high tensile cable. Drop into their office on the beach in Chaweng

Running

The Hash House Harriers are sometimes described as 'runners with a drinking problem', sometimes as 'drinkers with a running problem'. Either way, they gather every other Saturday to run. They meet at Tradewinds Cottages in Chaweng at 3.30pm and the Red Fox Bar in Lamai at 4pm, and from there head to an always different location for some running fun and seriously entertaining company.

Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo
See the amazing colour and beauty of Thailand's undersea world … without getting wet. Thousands of turtles, fishes, crabs and innumerable other species of aquatic life can be viewed in their natural habitat. There are also five tigers on the prowl in outdoor cages. Open from 9am-6pm at Samui Orchid Resort. Price: 350 baht per person.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel
Snake Farm
Even if you're not keen to venture into Samui's remaining forests, you can still get some of the thrill from the snake farm's daily shows. They feature ten different species of snakes as well as centipedes, scorpions and lizards. Snake handlers boast the longest King Cobra in Thailand, which is on display at the farm's King Cobra House. On occasion, the snake farm also performs a valuable service by capturing unwanted snakes from the yards of locals and giving them roles in the show. Show times are 11am and 2pm daily. Price: 250 baht per person. There is also a restaurant on the premises.

Tattoos
Looking for a permanent souvenir of your visit to Samui? French ex-pat Esther of Tattoo Mania offers a wide range of modern, tribal and traditional designs, each uniquely adapted for each customer. Interested parties are advised to give Esther two to three days to complete a design before going under the needle. She also recommends having the tattoo done on the final day of your holiday, so as not to miss out on any swimming or sunbathing. Tattoo Mania, Bophut Fisherman's Village.

Thai Boxing
Muay Thai is Thailand's national sport and taken very seriously indeed. An evening's entertainment can feature as many as 10 fights before getting to the main bout and can last up to three hours. Unless you're a devoted fight fan, it's probably best just to drop in for an hour or so. The pre-fight rituals and the traditional music throughout are as much a part of the event as the fights themselves. Widely considered to be the world's most dangerous martial art, Thai boxing is a superb showcase of speed, grace and discipline. There are two permanent stadiums on Samui. The first is in Chaweng, just off the road leading to the Reggae Pub. Boxing matches are held here every Monday and Friday at 9pm.

 

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel
 
Thai Cooking
One of the best things about Thailand, of course, is the food. If you want to have more than a passing knowledge of classic Thai dishes, then you can learn how to cook them yourself. A culinary institute and several hotels offer demonstrations and hands-on practical experience involving both Thai ingredients and cooking techniques. Introductory and intensive courses are both available and range from a few hours to a whole week.
 

Shopping
From market stalls piled high with fake watches and sportswear to upmarket antique shops, Samui has something to satisfy most shoppers. Bargain hard for market stall purchases - be friendly but unafraid to walk away if you don't like the price. Most enclosed shops have fixed prices.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Antiques & Furniture
Be careful if you're here to buy genuine antiques. There is a thriving industry that produces top-quality reproductions. These objects can be beautiful and are good buys in their own right… provided they are sold at copy prices. Well worth checking out for high quality furniture is the recently opened Java Teak.

Books
For a comprehensive selection of new books and all the latest mags, go to Bookazine, opposite McDonald's in central Chaweng. There are also numerous second-hand bookshops around the island. By far the best is Nathon Books on the same road as the pier.

Discs
The discs at market stalls are obviously pirated, but the quality of CDs can nevertheless be pretty good. DVD's are a bit more hit and miss - a bad soundtrack can frequently render them unwatchable, so ask for a demo if possible. Older films tend to be of higher quality. Games and software should also be treated with caution. Expect to pay from 100-200 baht per disc.

Jewellery
Most of the world's gemstones are sent to Bangkok for cutting and setting, and the prices in Thailand can be considerably lower than elsewhere. Local gold and gemstone jewellery can be a bargain. But beware of unscrupulous dealers who prey on ill-informed customers - every year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand fields over 1,000 complaints about jewellery scams. It's best therefore to stick to established shops such as Classic Gems. For top-quality silverware, check out Farn Shop next to the Big Buddha Wat.

Optical Services
Designer frames and contact lenses are excellent value on Samui. Professional eye examinations, contact lenses, Ray Bans, Oakleys and the latest ultra-thin Japanese lenses are available at Sawang Optical on Chaweng Beach Road.

Sportswear and Surfware
Adidas gear is made under licence in Thailand and is considerably cheaper than in the West. Similarly, Nike and Reebok also have factories here making clothes and trainers mainly for export, so products crop up in sports shops and occasionally on market stalls. If you want guaranteed authenticity then stick to sports shops, although the copies widely available on market stalls are often pretty good quality. Real surfwear is available at Hardcore Surf in central Chaweng (next door to McDonald's). All the usual suspects such as Quicksilver, Roxy, Surfer Girl, Rip Curl, Oakley and Fresh Jive are for sale.

Swimwear
Life's a Beach specialises in the finest Australian bikinis. Brand names include Seafolly, Wahine, Wet Wet Wet, and Bodypaint. Sizes vary from 6 through to 18 and many are reversible. Bags are by Condura, Australia. (Opposite Central Samui Beach Resort between Osteria restaurant and the Rock Pub. 11am - 11pm).

Tailoring
Samui offers a great deal of choice when it comes to bespoke clothing. Try to leave enough time for at least two fittings. It's always worth negotiating on price if you want several items, and don't be afraid to ask for alterations if dissatisfied.

Thai Silk
Thailand's famous silk remains a perennial take-home favourite. Samui's tailors and fabric shops can provide a wide variety of different colours, designs and quality. It's much cheaper than in the West, but don't be tempted by incredible bargains, especially at market stalls - even if the label does claim 100% silk.

Woodcarvings and Ceramics
Carvings and ceramics are widely available at market stalls in Samui. Much of it originates in the craft centres of Chiang Mai, and although the standard of workmanship is variable, it can be high quality. For coconut-wood carvings unique to Samui, check out the stalls at Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai (see Samui's Natural Wonders).

Shopping Feature
Samui Cera
Producing a fine range of high quality ceramics, Samui Cera counts many of the island's top hotels amongst its customers, including the Pansea Resort and the Amari Palm Reef Resort. Their range includes cups, mugs, plates and bowls and larger items such as sinks and vases.
Samui Cera has two outlets - Their headquarters in Maenam, which has imperfect pieces on sale from as little as 30 Baht, and the Just A Detail branch in Chaweng, which sells the top products from its range.

To see the potters in action, visitors are welcome at Samui Cera in Maenam. Anyone interested is also welcome to have a go at making their own pot.

All the pieces on sale are fired at 1250 degrees and are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. There's a wide variety of designs and colours on offer and all the pieces get their base tone from local coconut wood ash mixed with clay, which results in a rich earthy finish.

Samui Cera at Just A Detail, Central Chaweng, opposite the Chedi Spa, open 12pm -11pm. Maenam, near Java Teak, open 8am - 5pm (North Coast Map).

VAT REFUND

Visitors may claim a VAT refund at Bangkok International Airport on purchases totaling over 5,000 baht bought at stores displaying a “VAT Refund for Tourists” sign. Ask these stores for details.

 

Healthy Island Living
Samui is now a place where you can practice serious health regimes and enjoy the most self-indulgent spa treatments. Whether you are into power yoga or passive pampering, there is a wide -- and growing -- range of options to choose from.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Fitness Centres
With all the good food around, it's very easy to pile on weight during a holiday. But you don't have to leave your regular workout schedule behind. Several gyms on Samui can help you stay in tip-top shape. World Gym in Chaweng and Lamai Gym are the places for those who want to display a little muscle on the beach. Body-building equipment and fitness experts are usually available to get you started at both places. Alternatively, you can go upmarket to the Chaweng Regent Fitness Centre in Chaweng or the facilities available at many of the 4 and 5-star resorts.

Yoga
Yoga is an excellent way to improve flexibility in both body and mind. If you are experienced, try your practice on the beach. You can do your sun salutations early in the morning when the air is cooler and there are few people around. There are also good yoga classes for beginners and veteran yoga stretchers alike at The Spa in Lamai, and classes for children and families at the Health Oasis Resort. For private tuition call Jo Grant at Drop by her shop, Inner Guidance, in Bophut (past Angela's Harbourside Café on the right)

Massage
Thai masseurs and masseuses work most of the bigger beaches, so you can have a rub down on the sands. If you want to go further upmarket, a number of dedicated spas and spa facilities at 5-star hotels offer extensive menus of massages and facial treatments. You can also find foot reflexology at many massage centres.

Eating and Fasting
You can work at getting your digestion into shape by putting good things into your body and getting bad things out. Several spas and centres on Samui offer supervised cleansing and fasting programs. Nutritional consultations, health drinks, tonics, herbs and meditation often complement a fast, which could last from one day to several weeks. Do not fast without professional supervision if you are unfamiliar with the tropical climate.

Hospitals and Clinics
Several clinics and hospitals around the island offer inexpensive health care if you fall sick or have an accident. Samui International Hospitals has the best medical facilities for tourists, multi-lingual staff, a dental clinic and plastic surgery facilities. If you are serious about your bodywork, The Samui Clinic also does cosmetic surgery. An alternative for dentistry is Dr Supaporn's dental clinic.

SAMUI SPAS

Body Care at Poppies
Innovatively designed rooftop sala pavilion combines total privacy with a commanding sea view. Offers a full range of massage and beauty treatments. Also has a nearby training and development centre open to members of the public who want to learn the secrets of Thai massage. Central Chaweng, 10am-8pm.

Centara Spa
High-end luxury spa found within Central Samui Beach Resort. Nine private treatment rooms with individual aircon, lighting controls and relaxation music where you can enjoy scrubs, wraps, massages and facials. Centara specialises in treatments for men. Central Chaweng, 10am-8pm.

Eranda Herbal Spa
Eranda Herbal Spa makes the most of its hillside location and boasts stunning ocean views over the north coast. It currently offers a range of treatments including the signature Eranda Massage that combines the best of Thai and Occidental massage techniques to stimulate blood circulation and free blockages of negative energy. Just north of Chaweng Beach, 9am-9pm.

Health Oasis Resort
Offers 1 to 21-day fasting and cleansing programmes, training courses in traditional Thai massage, Reiki, vortex astrology, healing Tao, tarot, addictions, shiatsu, fitness, breatharianism, craniosacral, acupuncture, reflexology and meditation as well as a comprehensive range of massage and beauty treatments. Also has onsite bungalow accommodation. Maenam.

The Imperial Spa
Offers a comprehensive range of treatments, including massage, scrubs, wraps and facials given in five elegantly designed treatment suites and a walled outdoor sala pavilion. Each room boasts individual features such as a steam sauna, Jacuzzi, deep bath and multi-directional showers to further enhance your visit. At The Imperial Boathouse Resort, 10am-10pm.

Kwan-Jai International
Offers specialized healing therapy treatments, such as aromatherapy, colonic irrigation, live blood analysis, physiotherapy, electrical/magnetic therapy, hydrotherapy, ultrasound and ozone therapy in state-of-the-art premises. Also offers a range of massage and beauty treatments. Central Chaweng. 10am-8pm. Closed Sundays.

Laem Set Spa
Making the most of its secluded and remote location, Laem Set Spa specialises in a range of half-day treatment packages that combine herbal steam sessions with wraps, facials, body scrubs and massage. At the Laem Set Inn, 10am-6pm.

Spa Samui Resorts
Famed world-wide for its controlled cleansing and fasting programmes, The Spa resort on Lamai beach offers both half and full-week fasts that include specially-prepared drinks and nutrition tablets and support and advice throughout your stay. Also offers massage and facials and has onsite bungalow accommodation. The recently opened Spa Samui Village is situated high in the hills above Lamai.

 

Top to Toe Downtown Chaweng.
Top to Toe offers packages galore. The spa's guiding light, Natasha Srion, has had 15 years of experience in Singapore and London and concentrates mainly on the ascetic side of things. Massages are available too, of course. Opposite UFO on Chaweng Beach Rd.

Special Feature

Spa Samui Resorts
The Spa Samui Resorts are the original Spa Resort located on the perfect white sands of Lamai beach and the recently opened Spa Samui Village, which is situated high in the hills above Lamai and boasts spectacular sea views. Both resorts are open to day visitors and also offer a wide range of high quality on-site bungalow accommodation.

The Spa Resort was established in 1992 and is the oldest health spa on Samui.

Spa Samui Resorts are famous worldwide for their controlled cleansing and fasting programmes. The one-week course promises the ultimate in cleansing and rejuvenation of your entire system and provides specially prepared drinks and nutrition tablets as well as comprehensive advice throughout your stay.

Spa Samui Resorts offer seven different kinds of massage, including Thaiatsu, Aroma Oil, Healing Clay Facial Massage and Thai Herbal Facial Massage.

Their signature massage is an incredibly slow and deep two-hour Classic Thai Massage used to correct imbalances of energy. Variations on the Classic Thai Massage include, Wild Mint Oil Relaxing Massage, Prai Oil Skin Massage, Lemon Grass Skin Toner Massage, Nutmeg Relief Massage, Ylang Ylang Man's Massage and Tangerine Ladies Massage.

Spa Samui Resorts serve some of the finest vegetarian food in Thailand and delicious chicken and seafood dishes. They also now feature a Raw Food menu and Raw Food cooking classes.

 
Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Restaurant Reviews

Where is it?
On the side of a cliff - surprisingly enough - the eponymous restaurant boasts what is quite possibly one of the best views on the island, looking out over the sea between Lamai and Chaweng.

How's the atmosphere?
The owners have spent considerable time and money on The Cliff and it shows - refreshingly modern in design, the venue is split into separate restaurant and bar areas. The restaurants shaded terrace area is an especially pleasant spot to while away a sunny afternoon. The bar is fully air-con, low lit and has one of the best sound systems in town.

And the food?
The menu mixes Italian, North American and Portuguese cuisine to impressive effect. The selection ranges from light and tasty salads, straightforward, but succulent burgers and flame grilled steaks, to a wide selection of pasta classics including Penne all Gorgonzola, Spaghetti Bolognese, Penne all Arrabbiata, Napolitana and Pasta Sugo d Olive. Delicious as these are though, the main draw has to be the innovative Porteguese dishes, which are unavailable elsewhere on the island. So if you've never tried Gambas al Pil Pil (Portuguese Piri Piri Prawns), Ameijoas a' Bulhao Pato (Clams in white wine sauce) or Portuguese Piri Piri Chicken before, then this is the place to come.

And to drink?
As befits a decent bar, there's a fine cocktail selection. After dinner, or even after lunch since you are on holiday after all, the Cliff Hanger (their signature drink made with cuervo gold, blue Curacao, sprite, pineapple & a dash of lime) awaits. As do old favourites such as the Kamikaze, Sex On The Beach, Long Island Iced Tea, the Mojito and the Sea Breeze. During dinner, there's a short, but well balanced and reasonably priced, mostly New World selection of wines available.

Anything else?
If you have a taste for a decent cigar, then The Cliff has one of the most impressive selections in town. Monticristo, Romeo Y Julieta, H. Upmann, Partagas and Cohiba smokes are all on sale.

 

Cooking

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Ingredients

  • half cup glass noodles
  • quarter cup minced pork
  • quarter cup chopped fresh shrimp
  • half cup fresh bean curd (soft tofu) cut bite-size
  • half cup fresh oyster or straw mushrooms cut bite-size
  • half cup fresh (or dried soaked) jelly mushrooms cut bite-size
  • 2-3 dried black mushrooms
  • quarter cup chopped coriander leaves
  • quarter cup chopped celery (optional)
  • quarter cup chopped spring onion
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • half table spoon sugar
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. deep fried dried garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Preparation

1. Wash the black mushrooms in hot water, and soak them in room temperature water until soft (about 1 hour). Slice thinly.

2. Soak the glass noodles in room temperature water until soft (about 1 hour) and cut into bite-size pieces.

3. In a mixing bowl put the minced pork, fresh chopped shrimp, ground pepper, and deep fried garlic. Mix well, and compact the mixture into small balls (about 1 inch round)

4. In a pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the pork and shrimp balls and boil about 20 seconds.

5. Add the mushrooms and boil for about 1 minute more.

6. Add the glass noodles and tofu. Boil briefly

7. Add the fish sauce, sugar, deep-fried garlic, pepper, coriander leaves, celery and spring onion.

Boil briefly and serve hot.

Garnish with the deep fried garlic and the coriander leaves and pepper.

 

Established over five years ago, the Samui Institute of Culinary Arts is the island's premier independent Thai cookery school and offers a variety of half and one day courses as well as a Professional Training Program for people considering a career in the culinary arts or who currently work in or own a Thai restaurant. Soi Colibri, South Chaweng.

 

Real Estate
Recently designated by the Thai government for special development status, Samui is rapidly developing from a budget holiday destination to an upmarket resort island rivalling nearby Phuket.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

Older and more affluent visitors are arriving in increasing numbers. Many come from Europe and North America to enjoy the tropical holiday of a lifetime -- and with the island's improving air links, a growing number of visitors from nearby Asian countries have also come to see Samui as a perfect short-break option.

Many decide that when they return, they would rather trade the formality of a hotel for the serenity of their own luxurious holiday home. Others are so enamoured of Samui's tropical charms that they decide it would make an ideal place to retire and live permanently in the house of their dreams.

Whatever their motives, there's no doubt that real estate development is currently a boom industry on Samui. From roadside bungalows to beachfront holiday homes to palatial mountain retreats, it's all still available here.

If you are seriously considering buying on Samui, then we strongly advise you to seek a full and comprehensive consultation with brokers and developers before deciding which option is best for you.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

How is land measured? Land in Thailand is measured in 'rai', 'ngan' and 'wah' 1 rai = 4 ngan or 1600sq.m 1 ngan = 100 wah or 400sq.m 1 wah = 4sq.m

And that means? 1 acre = 2.5 rai approx. 1 hectare = 6.25 rai approx.

The metric system is normally used when referring to the construction of buildings. Land prices are nearly always expressed in baht per rai - or for smaller plots, baht per wah.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel

What will it cost me? Labour and local building materials costs are low, but imported materials cost more than many people expect, and prices of prime beach land (when available!) have soared. Proximity to the beach is the single biggest factor determining land cost. Beachfront land can cost up to fifty times a similar-sized plot in the centre of the island.

What property may foreign nationals own?

1) A unit in a registered condominium

2) A building (as distinct from its land)

3) A registered leasehold of up to 30 years for all types of titled land (and/or buildings)*

 

 

* Note that with appropriate extension and purchase options, a 30-year lease can be tantamount to freehold purchase. This is entirely legal, safe and by far the most practical way for foreigners to take possession of land on Koh Samui.

Koh Samui island Resort , Bungalows , Hotel
 

What property is forbidden to foreign nationals?

1) Freehold land

2) More than 39% of the equity in a Thai company that owns freehold land.

ROPERTY OF THE MONTH
Location: Bang Po

A beautifully appointed villa located in a private estate, has amazing views of the Gulf of Thailand and the remarkable feature is the view across the valley to a cascading waterfall tumbling down into the jungle.

The property comprises of 3 bedrooms, the master bedroom has its own marble en suite, while the other 2 bedrooms share a beautifully designed bathroom with his & hers showers.

Fully fitted western style kitchen. Large dining room, with beautiful wooden floors. A large living room leading on to terrace and large infinity swimming pool, landscaped garden which is shaded with tropical trees & plants. A large sala, (outside resting area).

Study room, maid's accommodation and utility area. This property has been well built to the highest western specifications, with good attention to detail and quality finishing.

This house has been designed to maximize the beautiful views from every room.

House size 350m2 Land size 1 rai (1600m2) Price 19,995.000 Land title Nor Sor Sam

 

Dusk Till Dawn
Samui's nightlife now has a world-wide reputation, and deservedly so. From chilled-out beach bars to dinner cabaret shows, rocking clubs, happening pubs and, of course, the legendary beach parties, there's pretty much something for everyone on the island. So get out there and have some fun. Just remember that all the bars and clubs now have to close at 2am - so try and make the most of your evenings. If you're still not ready for bed and want to carry on clubbing, all is not lost - just head for one of the beach parties.

Sports Pubs

Billabong Surf Club
High class Aussie watering hole situated beachside in Bophut. As might be expected the beer flows in vast quantities (including hard to find VB), but there's also a decent wine and cocktail list. The atmosphere is very family friendly and The Billabong also acts as the official clubhouse of the Samui Simians, the islands own rugby team. Anyone interested in a game can contact them there. Also serves food (see Restaurant Guide). Fisherman's Village, Bophut.

The Elephant & Castle
Long popular amongst the Brit expat community for its authentically recreated London pub ambience, The Elephant is a great spot for whiling away a sunny afternoon (which they almost always are here) with a pint or two. Evening time it tends to get much busier as people flock from miles around to tuck into Sausage and Mash, Homemade Steak and Kidney Pie, Fish' n' Chips, Baked Spuds and the like. The Sunday Roasts are superb and there's also a surprisingly large veggie section for non-carnivores. Big Buddha Beach, 9am - 2am daily (North Coast Map).

Frog and Gecko
Very friendly beachside bar in Bophut run by long-time Samui residents Graham and Raphaela. They're normally on hand to entertain customers throughout the evening - their weekly quiz night on Wednesdays has proved to be a huge draw. There's an excellent selection of western and Thai food, including some of the best Indian curries this side of the Taj Mahal. The Frog also has Bophut's biggest big screen for showing movies and sporting events and music to suit every taste. Bophut Fishermen's Village, noon-1am. Tel. 077 425 248.

The Islander
Good beer - 12 different types at the last count - and live sport are the name of the game at The Islander. All major sporting events are shown live; don't worry about clashes because there are enough TVs (and bars) to show two games at once. There's a genuine family atmosphere, so bring the kids along too. If you're more inclined to participate in sport than watch it, the full-size slate-bed pool table in the upstairs bar is a must. Central Chaweng, near Soi Green Mango. (Also serves food: see Restaurant Guide).

Molotov
One of the newest bars in Chaweng - serves all day breakfasts, snacks and Sunday lunches. An excellent range of beers, spirits and cocktails, including the explosive house special. Live football and other sporting events are screened regularly. Great music and a relaxed atmosphere. Free Internet access for patrons. Soi Colibri, Open 8am-2am.

The Pub
Owned and run by Steve from the Isle of Man, The Pub is result of his quest to build just the sort of bar he'd like to drink in. The Pub prides itself on offering a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where everyone's welcome. The music remains at a low level to encourage conversation and allow Steve to regale customers with anecdotes and gossip, although he quietens down occasionally if there's some good sport on one of the bar's several TVs. Bophut Fisherman's Village.

Shooters
Samui's first bona fide international standard pool hall, Shooters is located in a suitably cavernous warehouse opposite Central Samui Beach Resort and has all the bases covered - eight competition standard Brunswick tables, a soundproofed room to play in, a big screen TV for sports, a full Thai and International menu and a separate playstation and table football room for kids of all ages. Central Chaweng, Open 9am - 2am daily.

Tropical Murphy's
Good-value Irish pub with a great atmosphere and packed every night. If you're hungry, then this is the spot for blinding pub grub. Between 2pm and 5pm every day, you can pick up a pint of Carlsberg for only 50 baht. There's also draught Guinness and Kilkenny, of course. The bustling atmosphere gives the place a genuine pub feeling and the 10 (yes, 10) TVs give you every angle on all the sports that are happening as they happen. For sport fans, this bar is hard to beat. Also check out the bar upstairs with its darts, pool tables and Monday karaoke. Murphy's has live music through the week. Located across from McDonalds in Chaweng. Tel. 077 413 614

Live Entertainment

Christy's Cabaret
Christy's is the place to go if you've got a taste for show tunes, power ballads, big hair, sequins and ladies which aren't quite what they seem to be. With 25 performers putting on a one-hour show, Christy's brings a slice of Vegas to Samui every night. Central Chaweng, near The Islander. No admission charge, showtime 11pm.

Dream Girls
Dream Girls offers two floors of Go-Go action, with a glass ceiling in between and two VIP rooms for private shows. Admission is free, drinks are reasonably priced and couples are especially welcome. Soi Green Mango, Chaweng Beach Road, 8pm-2am except public holidays.

Secret Garden Festival
Still going strong after 13 years, the Sunday afternoon festival is always guaranteed to attract a sizeable crowd with its friendly atmosphere, inexpensive food and decent rock and blues bands. Things get started around 4pm and wrap up about 11pm. South of the turnoff to the airport on Big Buddha Beach, 100 metres from Big Buddha Pier. Call 077-245-255, or 06-282-7852 for details. Admission free.

Bars & Clubs

Full Circle Club
Full Circle has got one of the best atmospheres in town when it's busy, and it usually is. The front bar caters to the Western dance crowd with decent selections of acid jazz, D&B and house. The back room is the place to see locals strutting their stuff to a rocking live Thai band with a selection of (mostly) female lead singers until midnight when dance DJ's take over. Central Chaweng, near Soi Green Mango.

Super Sub Club
Super Sub is an air conditioned medium sized club that plays quite hard house and trance by Samui most famous djs DJ A and DJ Longy who both cut their teeth playing at the Full Moon party in Koh Phangan. The club has a full bar, cocktail list and range of beers. If the music gets too heavy you can go to the bar in the courtyard where sporting events can be viewed on their massive cinema like screen.Located in Lamai behind Fusion Bar and near 7-eleven

Mint Bar
Samui's latest addition to the nightlife scene is a breath of fresh air. The Bar (which is more of a club really) is on two floors and boasts the best sound system on the island by far. In the last three months a diverse selection of djs have graced the decks with the likes of B.T, Krafty Kuts, Freak Nasty, Miguel Migs and Lisa Shaw, Brandon Block, Kenny Hawkes, Aaron Ross and Samba La Casa all doing their thing. Mint Bars policy will be to bring as many good quality djs as they can and not charge an admission charge - so it's all good. The Bar has a good mix of cocktails and all the standard drinks all reasonably priced. The club also has air conditioning which is a big bonus during the hot season and an open air second floor which is ideal for people watching. Get down on it! Soi Green Mango.

Sounds
Relatively new bar/club located behind the Full Circle club featuring various local and international djs. Good sound system and range of cocktails.

Fusion Bar
Fusion has been going for a few years now and is one of the best places to hear House music in Lamai. The resident DJ Chris (Sasha) will get you moving with his funky vocal US garage! Other nights include drum n base. Lamai, Situated 50m from MacDonald's on the same side of road. 7pm - 2am.

Gecko
With Bali-Med style decor, this beach bar is frequented by trendy, house music lovers from all over the world. You can get down in the bamboo lounge or under the stars on the beach, just steps away. Hosts of the 2002 Ministry of Sound world tour, Gecko continues to innovate with its weekly Sunday afternoon beach parties, which start at 2pm and frequently host the cream of international DJs playing alongside resident Gary G. Next to Euphoria Hotel on Bophut Beach/opposite the Go-Kart track on Route 4169. Tel. 077 245 554.

Green Mango
So well established they've named the entire street after it, the cavernous Green Mango continues to attract the masses most nights. Expect radio-friendly catchy tunes and the odd classic and you won't be disappointed. After midnight, the dance floor's the busiest in town. Central Chaweng, Soi Green Mango (where else?)

Guapa
Guapa sells some of the most imaginative tapas this side of San Sebastian (with an Asian twist of course) and some of the finest liquor this side of New York. The bartender's shake and mix from one of the longest spirit selections available anywhere in Thailand - Guapa's signature Lychee Martini is especially highly recommended. Guapa's casual but classy atmosphere makes it the perfect watering hole for those seeking an altogether more sophisticated evening out than many of Chaweng's bars can offer. Guapa, South Chaweng, Soi Coliburi, Tel. 09 289 1309.

Sunset Bar
With spectacular sunsets over the calm waters and wicked views of Koh Phangan, Koh Som and the Big Buddha Temple, this bar takes a lot of beating. Open from 5pm-2am every evening, you can watch the amazing sunsets and listen to really cool chilled house music. The drinks are very reasonably priced and the friendly, easygoing, English speaking staff are always happy to help. Big Buddha beach about 100m from the Koh Phangan ferry pier towards Big Buddha temple.

Long Island Bar
Long Island Bar is set at the serene northern end of Lamai beach in the boutique Long Island Resort. The beachside bar is the perfect way to wind down and the bar has one of the best selections of cocktails and wines on the island. The drinks are complimented by great tunes and there is a Thai style sala (open plan chilling area) where you can get a massage or just hang out whilst sipping on a your favorite tipple. So good you'll want to stay there! Voted "Top 50 Bars In The World" by the Independent newspaper. Located behind Montana Saloon on the north end of Lamai, Tel (077)418-456

POD
With a cocktail list compiled by legendary drinks guru and Arena/GQ correspondent Dick Bradsell and staff uniforms designed by Richard James (British Menswear Designer Of The Year) no one can accuse POD of not making an effort. The sleek modern design and excellent tunes supplied by Gilles Peterson combined with killer drinks make POD an essential destination for anyone seeking a classier alternative to the antics of central Chaweng. I can personally recommend the mojitos, because I make them. The cocktail list is by far the largest and most interesting on the island with close to 80 nu school cocktails and shots. POD also has an eclectic menu taking in Chinese, Japanese, Tapas and Italian nibbles from the best restaurants around the area-don't miss it! Thursdays we will be spinnin' the latest hip hop, r'n'b, and other shmoove grooves. Best bar in Samui -Got air conditioning too so you be chillin' like a villain- Check it! POD is a trance free zone! Soi Colibri, South Chaweng, Oppisite Central Hotel- If you can't find it call us! Tel - 01 891 4042, Open 6pm to 2am.

Bar Solo
A reputation for mellow early evening parties with funky house from resident 'Simon Solo' and guest DJ's. Unbeatable prices for all its irresistible cocktails from 8 -12. Twice monthly special events, 'Playboy Mansion' - unmissable, and 'Evolution' - a huge outdoor party with top international Thai and western DJ's. Every Friday night 'Passion' party. Tucked away in its own tropical garden...miss it and your missing out. Soi The Club, behind Starbucks, central Chaweng.Open 6pm to 2am

Starfish & Coffee
Starfish & Coffee located in Fisherman's Village in Bo Put is better known for its food but now has one of the coolest bars on the island. The bar is next door to the restaurant and has a similar décor, which are heavy opulent deep red hues. Even the pool table has a sexy red baize. The bar has a good selection of cocktails, wines and all the usual stuff. The staff at Starfish are very friendly and will ensure that you have a good time and feel right at home. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the Bophut area. Fishermans Village, Bophut.

 

Getting There and Away

Planes 
There is only one domestic airline that flies into Koh Samui - Bangkok Airways. They also own and run the only airport. Check out the flight times over the page. If your next destination is Malaysia, then fly from Samui to K.L with Pelangi Air Thurs/Sun only. Bangkok Airways also fly most days to Singapore direct from Samui. When you're travelling from Samui to Bangkok and you want to save some money fly with Thai Airways from Suratthani - you will save about 900B but add four hours to your journey. Flights to Krabi are back on. When leaving Samui Airport, be prepared to pay the 400B Airport tax for domestic flights and 500B for international flights. Make sure you buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment and always reconfirm your flights at least 24 hours in advance. Travelers to Australia are now able to obtain electronic visas from Travel Solutions (see below). Most European citizens, Canadians and U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.

Trains 
When travelling from Bangkok to Samui, it is highly recommended you get a night sleeper train. These trains are more comfortable and ensure smoother bus and ferry connections. All trains run from Hualamphong Station. We advise that you buy a combination ticket which will include all your transport right through to Samui. Train tickets can vary greatly in price depending on the carriage class and whether the carriage is air-conditioned or fan. Expect to pay around 690B + for a ticket. The last sleeper now leaves at 19.15. Train fares have increased again and are higher at weekends. When you're travelling from Samui up to Bangkok the last ferries that connect to a bus to take you to Suratthani train station leave from Nathon at 13.30, 15.00 and 15.30. The prices differ for each as they are run by different companies. There are many trains leaving every evening going to Bangkok. We advise that you book the ticket early as the better the connection will be. Try to book the train at least 4 days in advance to ensure a seat and sooner during festival periods. From Suratthani you can catch trains to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Malaysia amongst others. For Singapore you must buy the last leg in Malaysia. Note services are often disrupted Oct-Dec.

 

Automobiles  
There are bus services to most destinations in Thailand. Bangkok to Samui buses leave from the Southern Bus Terminal. There are V.I.P, first and second-class buses available. These are all air-conditioned. For an easier and cheaper journey, buy a bus/boat combination ticket from Khao San Road. The price for a V.I.P bus from Samui to Bangkok is around 450B including the ferry from Nathon to Suratthani. The bus journey takes around 12 hours. As a rule buses are not to be relied upon especially if you have a connecting flight. Prices increase during peak seasons and public holidays. For VIP buses from Samui to Bangkok, the ferry leaves Samui at 13.30. To get to Suratthani town from Samui, it will take approximately 3 hours. You will usually have a 2 hour wait either at the pier or in Suratthani town for the bus up to Bangkok depending on the company you are travelling with. This bus will drop you off on the famous Khao San Road. There are daily early morning bus services to Phi-Phi, Khao Lak and Koh Lanta from Samui whilst Krabi, Phuket and Khao Sok have an additional afternoon service. The 8.00a.m. Seatran Express to Krabi is the fastest. Heading south buses also go to Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and even Singapore. Whether travelling from the Airport or from Nathon pier, the cheapest mode of public transport is a sorngthaew (the covered, red pick-up trucks). If you do get a private taxi (usually yellow), agree a price with the driver first! They do not run their meters and there are fixed prices for different destinations.

Extending Your Stay  
Foreigners are allowed to stay 30 days in the kingdom without a visa. If you have a tourist visa, these generally last for 60 days, with the opportunity to extend another 30 days. A visa extension now costs 1,900B. Overstaying your visa costs 200B per day, with a maximum fine of 20,000B payable on exit from Thailand. To extend your visa, or for other immigration questions, go to Samui's Immigration Office. From Nathon, go south on the ring road 1km to the traffic lights. Turn right and you will see the office on the right hand side. Office hours are Monday to Friday 8.30 -16.30.

Tip of the Month

  • Can’t sleep? Sleeping too much?
  • Get up and get out and earn your dinner!
  • Come back tired and sated from a fishing trip
  • With dinner in hand to boot!

*** Samui Map... ***

 
 
 


 

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