Initially we had decided to pass on Samui, as November is the height of the rainy season for the eastern Thai islands (which generally have opposite wet and dry seasons from their western counterparts). Ultimately, after consulting the weather forecast which was prognosticating a 50-50 shot of a wet week, we decided to roll the dice. We ended up spending a week in Samui, and the weather gods smiled upon us for the majority of our time there.
On the way there, we saw this ad for a restaurant in Samui which resulted in fits of laughter. We interpreted it as a sign that we made the right decision to visit Koh Samui.
Bo Phut and Bophut Resort
Koh Samui is an island roughly in the shape of a square, which takes about an hour to circumnavigate via car. The most touristy areas are concentrated along the east coast, although beaches can be found along the entire perimeter. Bo Phut is a town on the eastern portion Samui's northern coast. It's not as populous as the more well-known tourist areas of Chaweng and Lamai, but still has plenty to keep busy including a beautiful beach and Fisherman's Village - a collection of bars and restaurants along the oceanfront.
We ended up staying at Bophut Resort, which was right on Bo Phut beach. We really liked this place, and thought it had the best service of just about any place we've ever stayed. They upgraded our room to a top floor room with a hot tub on the balcony and the free breakfast was phenomenal! Here are some photos.
On our second night in Samui, we took a stroll down the beach to find a place to eat in Fisherman's Village. While passing though one of the beachfront restaurants, we heard a couple calling out to us. Turns out it was a couple of Australians - Adrian and Emma - who we had met a few weeks earlier in Cambodia! Amazingly, they were staying at the hotel right next door to us. They are also traveling the world for eight months, so we had a lot to talk about! We ended up having dinner together and closing down one of the local bars.
On our third day we rented a car to check out the rest of the island. Our plan was to see a few other areas we had considered staying in and potentially spend the rest of our week in a different area. Ultimately, we decided that Bo Phut was the perfect spot for us. Chaweng and Lamai had beautiful beaches, but were very crowded and party-central. Most other areas of the coastline were too remote for us. Bo Phut presented a perfect mix of the two. We decided to book the remainder of the week at the Bo Phut Resort. Here are some pics from a couple of the more remote areas and Chaweng, where we stopped for a spot of lunch and a dip.
Samui boasts two waterfalls, cleverly named Waterfall 1 and Waterfall 2. We stopped off at one of them on our drive around the island (I think it was Waterfall 2). You have to park a little ways from the falls, and then you have three options of how to reach them - by foot, by off-road truck, or by elephant. We ended up hoofing it, which was a good choice because I think taking the elephant would have eaten up the rest of the day, judging by the pace they were making up the hill. I did get to feed one of the pachyderms a bunch of bananas, however.
We spent the first part of our week in Samui checking out the island and the beach. We had a few other things planned for the rest of our time there, such as another dive or two at the famous Koh Tao, but old man weather had other ideas and threw a monkey wrench in the works with the promised November rain. In the end, we didn't totally mind, as we got to catch up on email, blog posts and plan our next few moves.