This is the fifth installment in my series about Thailand. You can find the previous ones by clicking on the below links:
After having traveled madly across central Thailand with planes, trains, and automobiles, we thought we deserved some rest on a tropical beach, feeling the gentle breeze under swaying palm trees.
As this was the beginning of September, choosing a suitable location for going to the beach means taking into account the vagaries of winds and weather patterns. It turns out that, at this time of the year, with the Monsoon coming from the South-West, most of the rains fall on the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula, whereas the western side, facing the Gulf of Thailand, is more protected.
For this reason, we had set our sights on a trio of islands that lie a short distance from that coast: Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. With six days at our disposal and because we don’t like to stay too long in a single place, we decided to spend three of them on Koh Samui and three on Koh Tao.
In retrospect, we should have probably skipped Koh Samui. It’s over-developed, crassly commercial, and the beaches are just OK. I still got a couple nice drone shots of Koh Samui: it looks better from the air.
The only good reason to stay in Koh Samui is because it’s the closest port to the Ang Thong National Marine Park, an archipelago of karst islands that is truly beautiful. I would advise staying in Koh Samui only for the time necessary to do a day trip to Ang Thong and skip the rest.
There are monkeys on the beaches in Ang Thong!
Koh Tao is much smaller and much less developed than Koh Samui. The beaches are great, the opportunities for snorkeling and diving numerous, and life takes on an altogether more laid-back attitude. We stayed at a villa overlooking the sea that was just super-comfortable and with an amazing view.
Koh Tao also regaled us with an amazing sunset on the beach that lasted for at least one hour, with incredible pink and orange hues in the sky.
In order to board our flight back home, we had to return once again to Bangkok and spend one more night there. We decided to pay a visit to the very lively and interesting Pak Khlong Talat flower market and, of course, feast once more on street food in Chinatown. The flavors, colors, and smells of Thailand will stay with us for a long time, until we’re back again in this fabulous land.