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Travel Log: Koh Samui, Thailand

Hello and happy Monday!  Today I want to share with you another installment of our recent Southeast Asia trip.  You can view my first two posts on our first stop, Bangkok, here and here.  The second stop of our journey was Koh Samui.  Samui is the third largest island in Thailand, originally home to a fishing community and developed in the last few decades.  We debated visiting Phuket or Samui, and ultimately chose Samui because we felt it would be a little quieter with a good mix of beaches and nightlife.  Please read on for photos and details of our four days on Samui.

One of the highlights of our time on Samui was an elephant ride in Namuang Safari Park.  Now I know that this is a controversial topic for a lot of people, because elephants are not native to Samui and were brought in specifically for tourists.  However, the elephants appeared to be healthy and none exhibited signs of distress.  Our elephant's name was Gina, she was a total sweetheart and we greatly enjoyed our time with her.

 

During our ride, we got to trade places sitting behind Gina's ears and experience riding where a mahout sits.  It was pretty incredible to ride along to her massive strides - like a horse but so much bigger!

After our ride, I fed Gina a couple of bunches of bananas as a treat.  I hope I made her day!  Elephants are amazing creatures, and on my next trip to Thailand I hope to be able to go up north to Chiang Mai to visit the elephant sanctuary.

We were not originally planning to visit the Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandfather and Grandmother) rocks on Samui, but our trip to Namuang Safari Park included a stop on the way.  There are vendor stalls set up on the way in/out, where you can buy snacks and souvenirs.

The "Grandma" rock was underwater, so it wasn't visible, but "Grandpa" rock was in full view and everyone got a kick out of it.

We purchased these sweet coconut caramels called galamae on our way out, and I am kicking myself for not buying more.  These coconut caramels are native to Samui, and the bag we bought had four flavors: banana (yellow), black rice (black), pandan (green), and I think the last one was original caramel flavor.

We chose a resort called Code on the northwest side of Samui, in an area called Maenam, because it was less touristy than the popular Chaweng Beach.  We were very happy with our resort - it was modern, quiet, and had a lovely view of the water.  There was an hotel shuttle that took guests down to the beach on a regular schedule as well.

Not a bad view from the beach bar!  January is a great time to visit Samui because temperatures average about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity is moderate, and it's reliably sunny.  The actual temps during our visit were more like mid 80's, which felt perfect.

Another view of Bang Por Beach in Maenam.  It definitely wasn't the biggest beach, but the view was lovely and the bar was only ten steps away from the lounge chairs.

Not bad for a Monday morning, am I right?  I got used to this morning routine fast and four days went by way too fast.

In addition to Bang Por beach, we also visited Bophut and its lovely larger beach.

Bophut has one main street with bars, restaurants, and shops.  The shops were all typical tourist stores and they had a mini mall on one end.  Nothing too spectacular, but worth a walk through.

Beach dining with delicious food and a gorgeous view!  Of the dishes we had, the mussels with lemongrass and green curry broth were my favorite.

The best place to watch the sun go down was one of the beach bars.  I don't recall any names, but this hookah bar had bean bags on the beach as well as a couple of cabanas for an inviting atmosphere.

Our last evening on Samui, we treated ourselves to dinner at a restaurant called The Farmer in Maenam.  I featured this outfit a few weeks ago here if you missed it and would like to see the details!

The Farmer is a unique restaurant - it doesn't sit on the beach but instead sits in a rice paddy.  The rice paddy is lit up at night, creating a beautiful scene.

My favorite dish of the night was this phad thai.  The noodles were wrapped inside of an egg "nest," which could be broken apart and mixed in along with the peanuts, lime, and sprouts.  So good!

Mussaman Farmer Style Curry - one of the restaurant's delicious signature dishes.


Rice is not only complimentary at The Farmer, but you get a selection of colors and flavors!  You can choose from blue (butterfly flower), green (pandan leaf), red (rosella flower), white (plain), and yellow (turmeric).

Crispy Fried Duck, another specialty of The Farmer and also fantastic.  You can't go wrong with tender roast duck with perfect crispy skin!

After a wonderful meal, we packed up and prepared to fly to our next destination: Siem Reap!  Please stay tuned for my view on Cambodia and the temples of Angkor.  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great week!

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