The Kwan Jai Alternative
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.
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.
Africa vs. Italy
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.
under the stars
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.
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
Quiz from The Frog & Cecko
According to Dr. Seuss, who stole Christmas?
According to the song how mamy French Hens did my true love
give to me?
In what Dickens tale does the character Bob Cratchett appear?
Where does Santa Claus live?
How many days of Christmas are there?
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.
Whether you get around Samui by foot, elephant,
motorcycle or car, you will find a wealth of natural
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
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 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 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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
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.
$$$ ) = High end
( $$ ) = Moderate
( $ ) = Inexpensive
is now impossible to list all the restaurants on the
island, but here are some of our favourites.
ratings are simply to give you an indication of menu
prices. Lower ratings do not imply lower quality.
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!
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.
Baan Chantra $$$ An exquisite restaurant serving
royal Thai cuisine prepared to the high standards you would
expect from one of the worlds top hotel chains. Has both
inside and outside seating and the choice between traditional
Thai cushions or Western-style tables. Also has nightly
entertainment by classical Thai musicians and dancers. Le
Royal M?ridien Baan Taling Ngam.
Talay $$$ 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.
Promenade $$$ Savoury seafood, including fresh sea bass,
red snapper, deep-sea garoupa, lobster, crab and squid is
served at one of Samui's most peaceful and exclusive beachside
settings. The chef himself goes to the fishing village of
Taling Ngam every day to buy the freshest supplies. This
restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch and snacks including
pizzas and salads. Le Royal M?ridien Baan Taling Ngam.
Angela's Harbourside cafe $$ 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.
Surf Club $$ The Billabong represents all things Aussie
on Samui. That means that the beer never stops flowing,
the food comes in huge portions and a friendly welcome is
extended to one and all. Food includes Doorstop Sandwiches,
Chip Butty's, Chimichangas and Nachos available as bar snacks
throughout the day and night and Traditional Aussie Pies,
Bangers and Mash, Fish'n'Chips, BBQ Ribs, Lamb Chops, Down
Under Aussie Burgers, 600g Steaks and authentic Indian Curries
served up as main courses. Fisherman's Village, 10am - 2am.
Shaqk 4 BBQ Fine Californian cuisine, including the
juiciest ribs this side of Sacramento, complemented by regularly
changing dips, marinades, rubs and sauces. Aussie steaks
and lamb chops are slapped on the barbie every night and
the homemade burgers are amongst the finest on the island.
Fisherman's Village, Bophut, open for lunch and dinner everyday
Bianca $$$ 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.
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.
Ali Baba $$ Top quality range of Indian favourites,
including classic vegetarian fare. Served in a cosy, friendly
and centrally located restaurant between Chaweng Resort
and Chaweng Cabana. Chaweng Beach Road.
Restaurant $$$ 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.
Coral Resort - Da Papa $$ All your Italian favourites
served up right on the beach. Italian owned and managed,
Da Papa has been going strong for eight years now and is
still as popular as ever. The cocktail bar is a great spot
for a sundowner. Central Chaweng, 8am-11pm.
Deli $$ 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,
Dining Room $$ A recently opened offshoot of celebrated
Thai cookery school SITCA, The Dining Room has quickly positioned
itself as one of the finest Thai dining experiences on Samui.
The restaurant serves cuisine from all around the Kingdom,
but is particularly strong on its local seafood dishes such
as Fish Soup with Tumeric, Red Snapper Fillet with Cashewnuts
and Massaman Curry with King Prawns. Classics such as Deep
Fried Fishcakes, Mixed Satay and Deep Fried Chicken with
Lemon Grass are also taken to new height and there's a well
considered wine list. South Chaweng, 7.00pm - 11.00pm.
Dolce Vita Restaurant & Pizzeria $$ 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.
In $$ Situated in a large open-air Thai house, the Drop
In's menu encompasses Thai, Italian and international cuisine.
Everything is very comprehensive - for example, there are
seven different kinds of Thai curry, nine different steaks
and fifteen different pizzas. The seafood dishes are among
the best in Chaweng and include classics such as stir-fried
broccoli with prawns and cashew nuts, lobster thermidor
and charcoal grilled red snapper with olive oil and herbs.
The wine list is also unusually wide-ranging. Central Chaweng,
Cantina - Tex Mex Restaurant $$ 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.
Japanese Restaurant $$$ Adhering to the Japanese principle
that a meal should always include "something from the mountain
and something from the sea", Central executive chef Winfried
Hancke has created a menu that dazzles the eye, the nose
and the palate. Silk paintings adorn the walls, a soothing
fountain features prominently and polished white pebbles
lie elegantly dotted around. The attached lotus pond encourages
further Zen-like relaxation. At Central Samui Beach Resort,
Islander $ Extremely comprehensive British-leaning menu.
Start the day with their full monty breakfast then indulge
in a selection of tortilla wraps, grilled baguettes and
burgers for lunch. For dinner there's a range of nightly
specials such as New Zealand roast lamb with mint sauce,
beef and vegetable stew in red wine, roast chicken with
sage stuffing and mixed grill. Basically, you can eat Sunday
lunch fare every night if you like. If you don't, they have
an excellent Thai selection, pizzas, curries and lasagne
too. Central Chaweng near Soi Green Mango, from breakfast
to late night.
Restaurant and Bakery $ Friendly roadside restaurant
that briskly serves everything from breakfast pancakes to
succulent steaks at genuine backpacker prices. The Khaosan
also has some of the best authentic Thai food in Chaweng
and there's an attached bakery that sells fresh takeaway
cakes and pastries. Shows movies throughout the day and
at 7.30pm and 9.00pm nightly. Central Chaweng. 7.30am -
$$$ 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.
Osteria $$ Long established restaurant offering a wide
range of traditional Italian fare, including eight different
kinds of Brushetta, favourites such as Carpaccio, Penne
al Arrabbiata, Gnocchi al Gorgonzolla and Scaloppina al
Vino Bianco (beef in white wine sauce) and specials such
as Osso Bucco and Rabbit Stew. The atmosphere is very friendly
and easygoing. South Chaweng.
Grove Restaurant $$$ 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.
$$$ A Samui institution that has been open for over
10 years, Poppies creates the ideal balance for the island:
delicious, imaginative cuisine coupled with a relaxed, welcoming
atmosphere. The restaurant's location, beachside in Chaweng,
is hard to beat for romantic ambience with its candlelit
tables, elegantly attired, attentive staff and unobtrusive
live music provided mostly by Khun Fadin, the restaurant's
resident guitar player. Beach Road, south Chaweng.
Seafood $$ 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.
Island Restaurant & Treasure Island B.B.Q $$ Spice
Island has one of the most comprehensive Thai menus to found
anywhere on the island and has another 100 dishes on its
menu encompassing all regional cuisines. If you've got a
favourite Thai dish, you're more or less guaranteed to find
it somewhere on the menu. The set menu's are highly recommended
and offer as broad a tour around the Kingdom's myriad cuisines
as you're likely to get in a single meal. At Central Samui
Beach Resort, 6.00pm-10.30pm.
Murphy's $$ 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.
Vai $$ The Cappuccio brothers hale from Naples, the
home of pizza, which may help explain why theirs rates among
the best on Samui. Baked very, very briefly in the wood-fired
oven, their pizzas are guaranteed to be uniformly thin,
crisp and delicious. As well as all the usual favourites
(Marguerita, Bianca, capriccioso and calzone) they also
serve some great variations like the Greca (ham, olives,
mozzarella and feta cheese) and the excellent vegetarian
Via Vai (mozzarella, ricotta and spinach). Central Chaweng.
$ Relaxed and comfortable Japanese cafe serving delicious
home cooking all personally prepared by owner/manager Koetsu
Kagaya. The Sashimi and Sushi are ultra fresh and are made
with a wide range of fish including Norwegian salmon, tuna,
octopus, sea bream and mackerel. There are also rarer treats
on offer including Okonomi yaki - a type of Japanese pizza
and Nikujyaga (Japanese beef stew). To drink there's Asahi
beer, an excellent range of sake, Soju (Korean Vodka) and
Umesyu (sweet Japanese plum wine) a try. Central Chaweng.
$$$ 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).
The White House $$ Beachside dining at one of
the most sedate spots on the island. The White House's Ruean
Sai Lom restaurant has a good variety of immaculately presented
Thai and international dishes. The cuisine ranges from smoked
salmon, seafood fondue, Caesar and Nicoise salads to stuffed
bell pepper, goulash, chilli con carne, pizza and an excellent
selection of fresh steamed or grilled fish dishes. Choeng
Laem Set Inn $$$ 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.
Reef Cafe $$ The Reef Cafe sits a few metres from the
sea at the fringe of Central Samui Village Resort. The waves
lapping nearby, the soft lighting and the al fresco setting
make it the perfect venue for a romantic liaison. The long
menu covers most bases from Thai favourites such as Mussaman
Nuea (Beef tenderloin in Mussaman Curry) and Pla Kluk Kamin
(Fried and Marinated Fish with Tumeric and Garlic) to hearty
western fare like Lamb Fillet Tips in Pommery Mustard Sauce,
Bacon and Roasted Potato and Fish & Chips (served in
a copy of the Bangkok Post, of course). Central Samui Village
Spa Samui Resorts $$ 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.
Tai $$ Located at Lamai's hippest resort, Long Island,
Talay Tai emphasizes healthy organic fare in their sandwich,
pasta and salad section. Treats include plenty of wild rice,
tofu, hummus, pita bread and the like. On a less healthy
but damn tasty note, they also sell Big Joe's homemade British
pies which are considered by many to be the best on the
island. Long Island has also secured a supply of (very hard
to find in Thailand) cranberry and grapefruit juice, meaning
it's the perfect spot for a Seabreeze sundowner. At Long
Island Resort, Lamai.
Big John's Seafood $$ 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.
Angela's Bakery and Cafe $$ Amazing array of
breads, cakes, pies, salads and sandwiches, all made fresh
on the premises. If you're hankering after an English meat
pie or a muffin, then you'll get it here. Or perhaps a bagel
with cream cheese or cheddar or gruyere, pastrami or salami?
Angela's got that too. Not to mention crepes, scones, smoked
salmon, sauerkraut, meatloaf and pickles and chutneys. 8.30am-7.30pm.
$$$ 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.
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.
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
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.
Prices marked ++ (i.e. 800 baht++) indicate the price plus
service charge (usually 10 percent) and plus 7 percent VAT.
visiting temples, please remember to dress politely (no
beachwear or revealing costumes) and behave with the appropriate
respect on temple grounds.
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.
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.
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.
LORD BUDDHA'S FOOTPRINT
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
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.
LAEM SOR CHEDI
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
of this comes cheap and the DRCS needs to raise 150,000
baht every month for dog food and medication.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Aquarium & Tiger Zoo
See the amazing colour and beauty of Thailand's undersea
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
provided they are sold at copy prices. Well
worth checking out for high quality furniture is the recently
opened Java Teak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Cera at Just A Detail, Central Chaweng, opposite the Chedi
Spa, open 12pm -11pm. Maenam, near Java Teak, open 8am -
5pm (North Coast Map).
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
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.
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 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)
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.
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.
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.
Care at Poppies
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.
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 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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spa Resort was established in 1992 and is the oldest health
spa on Samui.
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
Samui Resorts offer seven different kinds of massage, including
Thaiatsu, Aroma Oil, Healing Clay Facial Massage and Thai
Herbal Facial Massage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
cup glass noodles
cup minced pork
cup chopped fresh shrimp
cup fresh bean curd (soft tofu) cut bite-size
cup fresh oyster or straw mushrooms cut bite-size
cup fresh (or dried soaked) jelly mushrooms cut bite-size
dried black mushrooms
cup chopped coriander leaves
cup chopped celery (optional)
cup chopped spring onion
tsp. fish sauce
table spoon sugar
black pepper to taste
tsp. deep fried dried garlic
cups chicken stock
Wash the black mushrooms in hot water, and soak them in
room temperature water until soft (about 1 hour). Slice
Soak the glass noodles in room temperature water until
soft (about 1 hour) and cut into bite-size pieces.
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)
In a pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the pork
and shrimp balls and boil about 20 seconds.
Add the mushrooms and boil for about 1 minute more.
Add the glass noodles and tofu. Boil briefly
Add the fish sauce, sugar, deep-fried garlic, pepper,
coriander leaves, celery and spring onion.
briefly and serve hot.
with the deep fried garlic and the coriander leaves and
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
that means? 1 acre = 2.5 rai approx. 1 hectare = 6.25
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.
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
property may foreign nationals own?
A unit in a registered condominium
2) A building (as distinct from its land)
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.
property is forbidden to foreign nationals?
2) More than 39% of the equity in a Thai company that
owns freehold land.
OF THE MONTH
Location: Bang Po
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.
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.
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).
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.
house has been designed to maximize the beautiful views
from every room.
size 350m2 Land size 1 rai (1600m2) Price 19,995.000 Land
title Nor Sor Sam
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.
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.
Elephant & Castle
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
new bar/club located behind the Full Circle club featuring
various local and international djs. Good sound system and
range of cocktails.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
& 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.
There and Away
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.
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.
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.
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.
of the Month
sleep? Sleeping too much?
up and get out and earn your dinner!
back tired and sated from a fishing trip
dinner in hand to boot!