Samui Wining & Dining
Greener Grass

Is it worth venturing to the far reaches of the island during your stay on Samui ?

 

4It’s tempting to stay in and around the Chaweng area for the duration of your stay, simply frequenting the bars and restaurants that you’ve got easy access too – there are enough of them. Technically speaking you’ve got everything you need in Chaweng, all types of cuisine, small bars, big nightclubs and not one, but two ladyboy cabaret shows. Not only are there all the necessary entertainment options available, but also endless pharmacies, boutiques and market stalls. Oh, and also a beach. So the question lingers, what else could you possibly need?

    The thing is though – everybody else has got the same idea. They all want to stay in the thick of it. You can go for dinner in one place, saunter on down until you reach a bar that takes your fancy, and then if you’re up for it, head to one of the many nightclubs after – all on foot.

    But the only problem with that is if you do that every night of your holiday, it can become a bit samey. A bit of geographical diversity could be just the thing to spice up your vacation. Also, during the busy periods, Chaweng’s main st rip can get absolutely packed, at times even a little hectic. And that’s when the less centrally located venues become a great asset to the island.

      While Chaweng does have an awful lot to offer, what it doesn’t have is a view of the sunset. As Chaweng Beach faces east, it isn’t exactly in prime position for watching the sun dip behind the horizon in the west. And watching the sunset on a tropical island is often pretty high up on the average person’s holiday agenda. So if you want to experience that, you really do have to get out of the main strip.

       There are a few ways to transport yourself around while on the island. Many people rent motorbikes because they’re cheap, easy to use and parking is hassle free. But the risk of having an accident puts some people off. And for those people, renting a car is a good alternative. Although more expensive, travelling by car is infinitely safer, especially on an island like Samui where, let’s face it, you do get the odd drunk driver bombing around at night.

       Other people prefer just to hop in a taxi or on a songthaew – the open-air vehicles that travel back and forth to main destinations on the island like Lamai, Chaweng and Nathon. Getting on a songthaew is easy, all you need to do is wave one down, agree on a price and then you can just jump on and then off again when you reach your destination. It’s worth noting though that they don’t go to specific destinations, just shuttle between the main tourist areas, so if you’re going somewhere out of the way then perhaps best to get a cab.

       Let’s say you’ve decided on your means of transportation, now where do you go? Well as the sun sets in the west, heading that way means you’re pretty much guaranteed a sunset. But sometimes you don’t have to go that far. From the north of the island, just past Fisherman’s Village, you can see the sunset too. Places like W Retreat are in a great location because they’re not too far from Chaweng – and the W Retreat’s WOOBAR is a phenomenally impressive space with sweeping views.

      Sometimes it’s nice to find places that are really out of the way though. Conrad Koh Samui is one such locale. An exceedingly upmarket hotel that’s part of the Hilton Group, Conrad Koh Samui is in Taling-Ngam on the far south of the island – about half an hour from Chaweng. Here you not only get the sunset, but also a real feeling of privacy and escape.

      Just up the road from Conrad Koh Samui is InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort. A new addition to the island’s luxury resort portfolio, this grand property does not disappoint. The resort’s swanky watering hole, Air Bar, is perched right on the cliff side, looking over the Gulf of Thailand and the outlying islands of Ang Thong National Marine Park. From this bar you get totally uninterrupted, panoramic views of the sunset.

      Another well-known hotel that gives you a healthy dose of the sunset is Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui. As far as entrance salas go the one here has got to be up with some of the best in the world. The view from here is nothing short of breathtaking.

      These destinations may require a bit of travel to get to and a little more time than just popping down to your favourite hangout in Chaweng, but if you make the effort your journey will undoubtedly be rewarded with a fantastic experience and some sunset pictures to boot.

 

Christina Wylie


 


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