Ko Samui, Thailand

After Ko Tao we were wondering if we would find the quiet beach front location we were looking for. But after some research on our new destination we were hopeful that we could base ourselves in a good location.

Things were definately looking up too as the catamaran journey to Ko Samui went swimmingly. No waves and seemingly no technicolour yawning. We both got some sleep in fact!

We docked on a stunning beach and immediately found ourselves a small coach to take us to our guesthouse on Chaweng Beach for 1 night, before we moved on to somewhere quieter. To nobody’s suprise the coach became overloaded with people and bags. We were the second to last drop off and after eventually tracking down the guesthouse we had booked it seemed to be derelict and most definately closed for business. However Claire had spoken to them on the telephone the day before!?

This is never going to be a problem in the tourist driven areas though and within 10 minutes we had found a room somewhere else. As expected Chaweng was massively touristy and way too lively for us. It’s easy to know when you hit the tourist trail…Brits everywhere.

At this point something strange happened. Bored of reading beach reviews, both of us threw caution to the wind and we hired a moped. The thought of riding one was a bit scary as on Ko Tao we saw lot’s of backpackers and holiday makers with bandages and crutches. But it seemed the best way of finding a good beach.

It took some persuasion for the 2 women in the shop to rent it out, as it was promised to someone else that evening and we had to have it back in time.  I then asked for a demostration telling them that I had never ridden a motorbike. They both looked deeply concerned so I appeased them by explaining that I cycle a lot (I didn’t mention the accidents). After I had demonstrated my fantastic sense of balance up a side road we were good to go. Then off we went with the parting words of the shop owner ringing in our ears…”don’t crash. We don’t have any insurance.” This wasn’t strictly true though as they had my passport!

Our destination was a beach on the north of the island which had been recommended to us as being quiet and picturesque. Finding it was fairly easy despite the fact our map had no road names. Luckily it had every supermarket clearly marked and that coupled with the fact that Maenam beach is about 2 miles long made it quite easy. We parked on a service road right on the beach and strolled the sand looking for a suitable place to stay. The first couple were clearly upmarket but just as we were about to give up and try a different part of the beach we spotted Shangrilah Bungalows.

We asked if they had any beach huts free. Incredibly they did. A small hut with cold water and a fan. None of this was a problem though as the hut was about 25 metres from a stunning stretch of quiet beach. We booked in for the next 2 nights and headed back to Chaweng.

(our Beach Hut)

To celebrate we spent a pleasant evening eating cheap delicious Thai food whilst watching ghekos hunt and devour mosquitos on the wall behind us.

By 12:20 the next day we had arrived at Shangrilah. The sun was shining and by 12.30 we had both hurled ourselves into the sea.

It soon became apparent that our quiet beach front location was a popular German holiday location. Not that this was a problem as we aren’t offended by tight swimming trunks or g string bikinis. The 2 or 3 local restaurants were clearly set up for Germans and Austrians (Schnizel anybody?) but we managed to find an excellent Thai restaurant that was superb.

Sadly though the weather on Day 2 was overcast and by lunchtime a massive thunderstorm arrived and it barely stopped raining for the remainder of the day. The forecast didn’t look good so we decided we would make our way over to Ko Lanta on the west coast of Thailand the next day in search of the sun.

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