Samui... a paradise island, it is just like the name of the film that used Samui as their filming location. The film was back in years ago. The main cast, Sombat Metanee and Aranya Namwong were so young. This film actually makes me feel that I need to witness the beauty of Samui with my own eyes one day.
Well, I have been to Samui once already. I spent like a week on the island and I have visited 80% of the main tourist attractions. Therefore, I don't really have a plan to go back there one of these days. Guess what! I am fortunate enough to get a chance to go back. I have been invited by my friend to go and visit a newly opened hotel called "Ozo Chaweng Samui". This hotel has been opened for less than 2 years. Hence, I am going there with my girlfriend and this would be her first time there as well. However, we are going there exact same time when the Tropical Storm Vamco starts to effect Thailand. Our dream of seeing the white sand beach and crystal clear water has been destroyed. But I am pretty sure that we are going to have a good time in Samui even it is on a cloudy grey day.
Nowadays, there are numbers of flights to go to Samui both direct and budget ones through nearby airports such as Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat. From these nearby airport, it is easy to get the transfer to the ferry terminal to Koh Samui. In addition, you can take a bus directly from Bangkok to Koh Samui which is cheaper and convenient. There are many buses going from Bangkok to Koh Samui daily both from Mo Chit Bus Terminal and Bangkok Sai Tai Taling Chan Southern Bus Terminal. On the other hand, bus operated by Sombat Tour from Bangkok Sai Tai Taling Chan Southern Bus Terminal is available every other day. When I traveled to Koh Samui last time, there were 2 ferry terminals on Koh Samui. The Transport Company Limited used Raja Ferry arrival at Lipa Noi Pier and Sombat Tour used Seatran Ferry arrival at Nathon Pier. However, both companies use Seatran Ferry nowadays. The first ferry from Donsak Ferry Terminal to Koh Samui is at 6 AM and last until 7 PM. And from Samui back to Donsak Ferry Terminal is from 5 AM to 6 PM. The total traveling time per trip is about one and a half hour.
You can get a ferry ticket from Donsak Ferry Terminal or the bus terminal. It is 120 THB per person if you buy the ticket from the ferry terminal but 130 THB from the bus terminal.
If you have a car, you need to pay 400 THB extra to board the car to the ferry. This price is included one driver.
My trip to Koh Samui get started from Bangkok. We take the bus at 7.35 PM from Mo Chit Bus Terminal. We arrive at Donsak Ferry Terminal around 6.30 AM and it has been an 11-hour trip from Bangkok. We are now waiting at passenger lounge for the ferry at 7 AM. We are very lucky to get such a new ferry to travel this time.
It is pretty cloudy today as I have mentioned earlier. This must be from Tropical Storm Vamco. Anyway, let's see if it is going to rain later or not!
After one hour and a half ride on the ferry, we have arrived at Nathon Pier in Koh Samui. The first thing we see would be the motorbike rental services coming to offer their rental packages. The standard price would be 250 THB per day. If you rent for a few days, you might bargain to get a discount. I have agree to give 1,000 THB for the deposit in case of any accidents that damage the motorbike. On the other hand, little scratches don't count.
If you plan to rent a motorbike, I highly recommend you to rent it from here around Nathon Pier because it is not easy to find one somewhere else. Furthermore, please keep in mind that you might be refused to use their services because some of them limit their services to only foreigners.
Anyway, I have got one now. Let's go to Chaweng! The map of the whole Samui island is in my head. From here to Chaweng should be about 25 kilometers which will take me around 40 minutes to get there. The ride will pass Bangkham Beach, Bang Po Beach, Mae Nam Beach, Airport Road and Bophut Intersection.
We have finally arrive at our hotel for this trip, Ozo Chaweng. Ozo Chaweng has such a great location. It is located at the forefront of Chaweng Beach and right by Liabhad Road. It is in a middle of central shopping district as well as night life center of the island. To get to Central Festival Samui - A Lifestyle Shopping Complex is not even 1 kilometer. You can get there by feet in minutes.
The Lobby is very airy and big. There are numbers of seating available throughout the area including the Internet Corner.
Even though the standard check-in time is at 2 PM, we are lucky enough to get into the room early. We need to wait for a bit only to let the housekeeping tidy up the room since the previous guests have left early. Once the room's door is opened, my girlfriend looks totally impressed. The room is only 25 square meters but it has been designed and decorated so well. It is so warm and romantic. The room also comes with a small balcony where you can go out and get some fresh air as well as dry your clothes.
What I like the most would be the bed and the quality duck feather pillows. It is completely comfortable. I have been to many hotels and resorts and this bed is one of the best, I am telling you. Once you lie down on it, you will never want to get yourself out.
The hotel provides you toiletries same as in Amari Hotel Chain, Breeze Spa products. We totally love them because they all smell the lemongrass and it is so good. The slippers and bathrobe are available upon request since the hotel concept is "Fast Check-in and Simple Stay". Therefore, they are not prepared in the room.
The empty mini-bar is also available for you to fill it up with your own preferred food and drinks. You can buy them from outside and store them here or you can get them from EAT2GO counter at the Lobby. This EAT2GO counter is a unique concept of Ozo Chaweng where you can grab your favorite snacks or drinks and go.
After taking a shower, we feel very refreshing and it is time to take a look around the hotel. The hotel is very beautiful in modern style. It comes with swimming pool, restaurant, lush greenery garden, and beautiful beach. This is perfect for a total relaxation. Apart from the cloudy grey day because of the Tropical Storm Vamco, everything is perfect. It seems like my girlfriend enjoy it here very much and I am very happy to know that.
We have decided to stay away from all coastline and offshore activities since it is cloudy and it might rain anytime. We are going to visit well-respected places in Samui instead. Our first stop is at Kao Hua Jook. Kao Hua Jook is not far from Chaweng Beach. There are beautiful golden pagoda, Buddha's footprint, and the stunning panoramic view up there.
We have well-arrived at Kao Hua Jook but what! where is the pagoda? Oh no! It seems like they are working on a huge restoration and renovation project. The new pagoda will be building up too. I am sorry that I don't know where have they put the old pagoda because it is not easy to communicate with these all Burmese workers. Hence, we only walk around and enjoy the view. In addition, Samui International Airport can be seen clearly up here as well.
Then we have left to Wat Phra Yai. Wat Phra Yai Ko Fan is one of most famous landmarks on the island. This gigantic Buddha image named Phra Phuttha Santi Tipanat has attracted many tourists to come and visit for years. You can also enjoy taking photos with the statue of the character in the literature of Phra Aphai Mani by the parking space of the temple.
Not far from Wat Phra Yai, there is Wat Plai Laem or Wat Laem Suwannaram. This temple is a house of 18-arm image of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion and the ordination hall built in the middle of the pond. Moreover, there is an image of Phra Sri Ariya Metrai surrounded by the statues of Phra Phrom, Phra Narai, Phra Siva, Phra Indra, and Phra Pikanet.
Oh! It is almost 4 PM now. Let's drive in Lamai Beach direction! Our destination is Lad Koh viewpoint. Lad Koh viewpoint is very easy to get to. It is right by the main road in the mountain between Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach. Therefore, people always stop by, enjoy the stunning view, taking photos, and complete the love lock.
Even though the ocean is not that beautiful and the sky is grey, I am still very happy to be here especially with my special one.
Today we end our trip with the dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Lamai Beach as requested by my girlfriend. After the dinner, we have come back to the hotel and can't help but pass out because the bed is too comfortable like I have told you before. Actually, we have planned to take a walk around Liabhad Road though hahaha.
The new day has come. We have some difficulties taking ourselves out of this comfy bed again.
Anyway, we need to go for the breakfast. Breakfast is served at EAT restaurant from 6.30 AM to 11 AM. This is how the indoor of the restaurant looks like.
They also have an outdoor area by the swimming pool for you to choose.
The breakfast buffet line is pretty varied. There are both Thai and Western cuisines such as boiled rice, bread, salad, cereals, fresh fruits, and so on. I would say it has up to its own standard. There is even my favorite seaweed salad. I have a few plates of them.
In addition, the hotel also has 7 different signature drinks on different days of the week. The coffee machine provided is also very high-tech. You can get the coffee the way you want. For me, I prefer just a normal black coffee. This is good enough.
After the breakfast, we have planned to go to take a walk by the beach. Unfortunately, it is raining. Therefore, we have come back to our room and lie on our bed instead.
The rain stops almost noon time and since the seaside is not that pretty today because of the weather. We have changed our plan to go to the waterfall. There are many waterfalls in Samui and one of the most famous would be Na Muang Waterfall. There are Na Muang Waterfall 1 and Na Muang Waterfall 2. Actually, this two waterfalls are the same fall but have been taken care separately. It is about 20 kilometers from Chaweng Beach and there are numbers of tourist spots along the way. If you are ready, let's go!
We have driven pass Lad Koh viewpoint, Lamai Beach entrance, and we are now at Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks (Hin Ta & Hin Yai). I think this is a-must place to visit in Samui. No matter how bad the weather is, you must come here and say hi to Ta Kreng (Grandpa Kreng) and Yai Riem (Grandma Riem). If you want to know more about Ta Kreng and Yai Riem, go and find out more from the local folklore.
There is also a viewpoint here called Lamai Beach Viewpoint with a 10-THB entrance fee. Up here you can see the whole long Lamai Beach.
The well-known local product and a famous souvenir from Hin Ta & Hin Yai is "Kalamare", the sticky candy is here. Kalamare is a quality product as one of the OTOPs (One Tambon One Product) of Samui. There are numbers of vendors selling this sticky candy and I don't have a specific vendor to recommend to you. You can just try and select the one you like. We also have bought some of them back home for our friends.
Not far from Hin Ta & Hin Yai, there is Wat Sila Ngoo or Wat Racha Tammaram. It is an old temple by the sea. The temple is attractive with its unusual red-color ordination hall. The color was not painted on but was mixed completely with the concrete. It is not only the ordination hall itself that is stunning but also its detailed stucco-work. The stucco-work is not completed yet since it needs quite a lot of time to finish each piece of them. And this kind of work, you can't just hurry up and finish. Apart from the ordination hall, there is a golden pagoda called Phra That Sila Ngoo as well.
We still haven't reach the waterfall as our today's main destination yet. So let's go there but first let's eat hahaha! We are hungry, therefore; we have decided to have a short lunch break first. We are having Papaya Salad and Roast Chicken. Anyway, it is not like we are never going to get to the falls. We will get there soon enough for sure.
Yes, and we are here, we are at Na Muang Waterfall 1. It is only 200 meters from the parking space to the waterfall. The fall comes down through the red-brown color cliff. It is very unique and beautiful. Even though the waterfall is not that much in term of the water that comes down, there are still numbers of tourists coming and swimming in from time to time.
There is also an Elephant Camp in the area. The main tourists are foreigners as you can see.
Na Muang Waterfall 2 is not far from Na Muang Waterfall 1. It is about 1 kilometer. You just need to go further in and it is quite a walk since it is up in the mountain. This Na Muang Waterfall 2 is in the hand of Na Muang Safari Park. All personal vehicles are not allowed because there is a shuttle operated by them available at 100 THB per person. I would recommend to take a walk because the shuttle will drop you off at the drop off point and you need to walk up to the fall anyway.
And this is Na Muang Waterfall 2. It might not be that amazing but this is absolutely something to see.
Actually, I want to jump into the water for a bit but I guess I should go back to the hotel now. I have a dinner reservation there at 6 PM and it seems to be raining soon. So we are just going to go back. Oh no! We are not fast enough. It starts to rain when we are around Lamai Beach area. But It is good, no? since I want to get wet earlier.
We have a dinner reservation at Stacked Restaurant. The restaurant is located in the front part of the hotel. The atmosphere totally blows our mind, it is so nice. The restaurant is also known as one of the best places to dine in Chaweng area. Stacked Restaurant is rated 4.5 star on Tripadvisor from almost 500 reviewers. My girlfriend is totally happy to be here.
Please keep in mind that the food for tonight are for 4 people, 2 staff from the hotel, my girlfriend, and I because I don't want you to think that we two can finish all of these.
We start with the cocktails. Well, to be honest I have never seen a cocktail this fancy before. The most outstanding one would be the Bacon-Stacked Bloody Mary. This Bacon-Stacked Bloody Mary is a mixed of vodka and tomatoes plus fresh black pepper, galanga, moringa, and chilies topped with bacon. It tastes very unique like vegetable juice in a form of cocktail.
The one with the root of parsley is called Fizz It Up. This one is very refreshing and tastes a bit bitter with a smell of parsley. It is a mixed of gin, lime juice, and soda water.
The one in the middle is Baby Stacked. It is a mixed of mango juice and orange juice with some fruit meat onside.
The last one in red color is Nicely Stacked. It is a mixed of watermelon juice, lime juice, gin, and cinnamon. This one tasted sour and astringent. I think it is good for ladies.
Two h'orderves are served soon after. The first one is this Chili Cheese. The fries are dressed with Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salsa sauce mixed with spicy stew beef. It is very delicious maybe because I like Cheddar cheese personally already. The combination of everything is just perfect. Then the second h'orderve is Grilled Caesar Salad. The salad is nicely fresh.
The dinner continues with the main course. Stacked is a burger and one of the signature dishes of the restaurant. You have got to try. Aristocrat is another menu that won't disappoint you. They use such a good quality of wagyu. On the other hand, Country Fried Lamp served with cream potatoes and salad with whisky dressing is just perfectly tasty. The meat is tender and not smelly.
The most impressive menu on this entire meal is this Grilled Duck Breast, 2x Duck. I can only tell you that this menu is the very best. The meat is super tender. Honestly, I have never had any better Grilled Duck Breast than this one before. The duck's skin is perfectly crispy ans tasty. I would rate 11 out of 10 if possible. I totally love it. No wonder why this menu is one of the bestselling menus.
The dinner ends with the Ice Cream PB&J and it is so good.
The last day on the island has approached. We don't feel like getting out of our bed at all. Today we have planned to go and visit different beaches but the whole plan has to be cancelled because it has been showering and stop and repeat for a while since the breakfast time. However, it is good to spend time in the hotel relaxing. This has also make it clear how good Ozo Chaweng is as a place for a complete relaxation.
This is how the beach in front of the hotel looks like. Even if the weather is not that good, there are still some beautiful corners. You can just lie down on the daybed and relax. Moreover, it is pretty private since there is always a security guard looking after you all day and night. So no external guests can sneak in and use hotel's facilities.
We have to check out now which is noon. We can't do anything either because it is raining. We have spent sometimes at the Lobby before going to Central Festival Samui while the rain starts to stop. After spending time here for a while, we are back to the hotel chilling on the beach. Once the time clocks 3.30 PM, The time to say goodbye to Ozo Chaweng has finally come but we don't really want to go.
Our bus will depart from Koh Samui Bus Terminal to Bangkok at 4.31 PM. The bus will take the ferry at Nathon Pier at 5 PM. So we will just go and wait to take the same ferry at Nathon Pier before getting on the bus before the bus approach Donsak Ferry Terminal back on the mainland. Travelling to and from Samui by bus is totally easy and convenient.
Goodbye Samui and say hello to the tail of Tropical Storm Vamco. This is just the tail of the storm, no question why Chonburi and Rayong are flooded.
Last but not least, I am pretty sure that I will be back here with my girlfriend once again. She still has not seen the true beauty of this paradise island like I have because of the Tropical Storm Vamco . There are many beaches and places that I haven't had a chance to show her because of the weather. And I have to admit that I totally want to come back and stay at Ozo Chaweng again. We had such a wonderful stay here this time.
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นายสองสามก้าว / A Life, A Traveller
Monday, October 12, 2015 9:51 AM