We arrived home from Thailand a week ago today and I think I’m just about over the jet lag now…although I have been out three times this week 🙈
It was our first time in Thailand and we only had a week so we really wanted to try fit in as much as possible. We flew from Abu Dhabi to Bangkok, with a short stopover in Bahrain, and then flew straight from Bangkok to Koh Samui. We’d wanted to spend a night or two in Bangkok but unfortunately didn’t have time.
We spent three nights in Koh Samui, two nights in Koh Phangan and two nights in Koh Tao. We knew that it was the rainy season when we booked it but had heard from loads of people that it doesn’t rain that much, even during the rainy season…it did! It rained a LOT! Generally mornings and afternoons were sunny and it would rain in the evening. There were three big thunderstorms during our week there which were quite cool to see, but it meant having to stay indoors, which wasn’t exactly what we’d hoped for. Most of the time though, it would rain for an hour or two and then it dried up really quickly.
Despite the weather, we tried to make the most of our time on the islands. There is an airport in Koh Samui, so it was very easy to get there from Bangkok, just a one hour flight and we’d booked it well in advance.
We stayed in the Anantara Lawana (link below) and it was incredible! The pool ad beach were amazing and the restaurants in the resort were fantastic. We were just sorry that we didn’t stay there longer.
We hired a scooter from the hotel, although it’s also very easy to hire from any of the rental shops on the island, and we drove to Namuang waterfalls 1 and 2. There drive was really enjoyable and there are so many beautiful beaches to explore.
The waterfalls were just stunning! There was a little bit of trekking to get there but totally worth it. We wore flip flops but if I were going again I’d wear more sensible footwear. On our way back from the waterfalls, we got completely lost and ended up seeing far more of the island than we’d expected. It was actually really nice seeing areas that were’t overrun with tourists and the locals were very kind. After getting directions from a few friendly locals, we eventually found our way back to the hotel.
One of the highlights of Koh Samui was visiting Fisherman’s village in Bophut. The street is lined with restaurants and shops full of Thai souvenirs and the beach is beautiful. We ate in a restaurant called the Happy Elephant and it was amazing! We enjoyed dinner on the beach as the sun went down. I’d definitely recommend the restaurant to anyone visiting Koh Samui. Then, after dark, fire performers arrived and amazed everyone with their act whilst stood on tables in the sea!
We happened to be going to Koh Phangan the night before a full moon party so the ferry was packed and we hadn’t booked our tickets in advance so had to wait 2 hours for the next available boat. We were only really interested in relaxing in Koh Phangan and didn’t bother with the full moon party. Instead, we stayed in the north of the island on Salad Beach. Our accommodation was perfect (link below) and our room looked out onto the pool and the ocean.
I can’t begin to explain how much I loved it there. Salad beach so peaceful and relaxing. Unfortunately, Danny got sick while we were there so we didn’t end up leaving Salad Beach but those two days were pure bliss (for me anyway!) The water there is crystal clear and at night the sound of the crickets in the surrounding jungle made it all the more exotic.
Next stop was Koh Tao where we spent two nights in Sai Daeng resort. The resort is beautiful with stunning views of the islands and you can snorkel and kayak there for free. We booked a deluxe sea view room and it did not disappoint!
There are loads of steps throughout the resort though so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with small children or anyone with mobility problems but the views are truly stunning!
Danny still wasn’t feeling well in Koh Tao so we didn’t explore much of the island. We did go to a beautiful viewpoint that was just a short walk from the resort and we did some snorkelling which was great.
We had hoped to visit Koh Nang Yuan whilst in Koh Tao but between Danny’s sickness and the unpredictable weather we didn’t manage it. It’s a small island off the coast of Koh Tao and it’s meant to be incredible. If I go back, I’ll definitely go there.
And that was our week in Thailand. On the whole, we really enjoyed our trip, but I think we tried to fit too much into one week. Travelling from one island to another is quite time consuming and queuing for the ferries in the heat can be stressful. We also didn’t like having to be so careful with everything that we ate, and even though we were, Danny still got sick! If we were to go back to Thailand, we’d probably spend less time going from island to island and more time exploring each individual island. The Thai people are lovely and very friendly and welcoming. The beaches on the islands are stunning and the vibe is very chilled. It was a great experience.
Some tips for Thailand:
- Bring comfortable footwear; I had a few pairs of heels packed and only wore heels one night, they were unnecessary.
- Pack loads of insect repellant; I react really badly to bites so I made sure to cover myself at all times and I didn’t get bitten once!
- Make sure to book ferries in advance. We learned our lesson after the first ferry trip and booked the rest of our tickets through https://www.ferrysamui.com
- If travelling by ferry, be aware that don’t alway arrive/depart on time so if you’re catching a flight, make sure to leave yourself plenty of time.
- Carry hand sanitiser with you.
- Be very careful about what you eat. Food poisoning is really common in Thailand. It’s best to stick to Thai food (which is delicious) rather than seek out western cuisine.
- Before booking accommodation, make sure to read lots of reviews. We were happy with everywhere we stayed but found that some places didn’t quite match their online rating.
- Avoid any activities that involve animals as often they’re not well treated. I would run a mile from the Tiger Emporium, elephant trekking and basically any activity that involves animals being removed from their natural habitat or made perform for entertainment. There are so many fun activities to do in Thailand that don’t involve animal cruelty so please stick to those.
I hope you enjoyed this little post on Thailand and, as I mentioned earlier, we only had one week there so there is sooo much that we have yet to see and do. We’ll just have to book another trip 😁