Once a year, it's been a tradition of mine to travel solo, the first time I did it when I went to Seoul by myself. If you haven't read my Seoul Korea blog click HERE. I'm supposed to travel solo this year to Dubai - Abu Dhabi - Oman, however, it's not possible due to the current COVID-19 situation, so I decided to travel and experience one of Thailand's best island, Koh Samui.
***Note: The cost for 4 days and 3 nights in Koh Samui 6,846.5 THB does not include the transportation because I used Grab car in my entire stay in Koh Samui. If you know how to drive a motorbike you may get cheaper cost for transportation. However, I included the Grab car price in my full breakdown cost below for your reference.
HOW TO GET THERE
When I checked online the flight from Bangkok directly to Koh Samui Island it's honestly so expensive, like 5,000 THB++ roundtrip. I wouldn't pay for that much, so I did my research and find my way on how to get to Koh Samui for only 3,689.15 THB and go back to Pattaya, Thailand where I currently live. I flew from Bangkok to Surat Thani, take a 3 hours bus from Surat Thani airport to Don Sak port, then Seatran ferry to Koh Samui. To know more details about my journey click HERE.
WHERE TO STAY
Koh Samui is truly a beautiful island, and it so captivating to stay in a villa with your own private pool and have a floating breakfast on your own premises. However, Villas or rooms with a private pool in Koh Samui are expensive, I need to be practical so I decided to stay in a Female Dormitory room. I did my research on what's the best Dormitory room, affordable and with great facilities. Then I suddenly remember a Youtuber Jasmine Lipska who went to Koh Samui a year ago stayed in Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach. I heard a lot of great things about Lub D chain hotels, they have hotels in Thailand, the Philippines, and Cambodia as far as I know. I visited their website and I was mesmerized by how beautiful their facilities are, from dormitory rooms to swimming pools and take note the hotel is by the beach, 5 steps it's already the beach, perfect location. I booked for 3 nights for only 896.40 THB. They also have private rooms if you prefer. In my own bed, I was lucky enough to be at the bottom of the double-deck bed, in my first night I get the room by myself. In my assigned bed, I have my own socket, mini hanging cabinet with a mirror, lights, and curtain for my own privacy. The mattress is not that bad, it's so comfortable and the pillow is so soft, I slept comfortably. the Dormitory room is clean, I was happy that the housekeeping staff changed my bedsheets and towels every day, so every time I went back to my bed from my adventure day, my bed is so clean, new, and fresh. Inside the dormitory room, everyone has an assigned locker cabinet to place your things and bags, however, you need to buy the padlock from the receptionist. I did not ask anymore since I just have to place my bags and clothes in the locker nothing too valuable to break my heart in case something terrible will happen. The staff of Lub D is so hospitable, friendly, and very helpful, especially the lady staff in the pool bar, I forgot to ask her name but she is so kind and friendly. I felt so welcome in Lub D.
From what I've read online, most of them say Koh Samui is expensive, however, during my stay Koh Samui is not that bad in terms of money and expenses. My accommodation, food, entrance fee to attractions are reasonable except for the transportation. I don't know how to drive a motorcycle bike, so the only option I had was a Grab car. You can rent a motorbike on the island or you can use their public transportation the "songtew", there is also a motorbike taxi. However, the most convenient for me to get is a Grab car, Grab car in Koh Samui is very expensive, well I understand since the places I planned to visit are a bit far, and I notice that the attractions on the Island are far from each other, the island is big well it makes sense.
Note: all the price list of my activities will be in the breakdown below, so keep reading till the end **wink*
I arrived at Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach around 4:00 PM, all I want during this time is to relax and enjoy the swimming pool and the beach, enjoy the sunset and have dinner. Since I have a welcome drink from the hotel which I can get it from the pool bar, I just ordered Fish and Chips for my dinner.
The big day for me, and the day where I can explore the island. I woke up at 7:00 AM prepared myself and took a grab to this amazing beach in Crystal Bay Beach Resort.
Before I arrived in Koh Samui I already contacted the Crystal Bay Beach Resort however they said that their restaurant is currently close and I can still experience having breakfast with them just contact directly Crystal Bay Beach club restaurant and no need for a reservation. From Lub D hotel to Crystal Bay Beach Resort is 20 minutes drive, I arrived at the hotel, however, I'm not sure if I really pinpoint in the Grab app the correct destination, but anyways I arrived at Crystal Bay Beach Resort. It's so quiet and looks abandoned, no one is there so I just invite myself in. I'm not there for the hotel, I'm there for the beach, the hotel is located where the perfect side of Lamai beach is located, the way to get there is to get to Crystal Bay Beach Resort. I did try to find the Crystal Bay Beach club restaurant but I can't find it so I decided to choose another restaurant along the beach. I found the Beach Bar Restaurant and ordered coffee and bread toast with jam.
Let me share with you my experience with Lamai beach in Crystal Bay Beach Resort, it is beyond perfect. It's my first time to see a beach where the water is so clear I can even see clearly the sand underneath and small fishes swimming. The huge rock formation at the end part of the beach is so amazing, Lamai beach in Crystal Bay Beach Resort is my favorite beach by far in my entire life, I sounded exaggerated but It's what I felt, LOL! And the best part? There are only less than 5 people including me who are there enjoying the beach.
After enjoying my breakfast and swimming by the beach, I booked another Grab car to Lamai Viewpoint. There's a lot of restaurant viewpoint in Koh Samui but I preferred the Lamai Viewpoint because it's only 10 minutes away from Crystal Bay Beach Resort. I was so surprised that their Receptionist and manager is a Filipina, I never thought there are also my fellow Filipinos who worked in Koh Samui. I am very happy and Ms. Mel is so kind, friendly, and hospitable. The restaurant is really up the hill, so the only way to get there is by cable car and you need to pay for the round trip of the cable car. Lamai viewpoint is huge, before we arrived at the pick-up point of the cable car we had a little hike up the hill, I was not ready for it but it feels like you are inside the jungle. So quiet and sirene and the only thing you can hear are birds, so peaceful. When I rode the cable car up to the restaurant I saw the whole view of Koh Samui, I was astounded at how beautiful the island is. Surprisingly, I was the only customer at the restaurant, I honestly love it I get to own the place for a few hours and take a lot of pictures and videos. I ordered fresh coconut, bottled water, and Tom yum soup and rice. Lamai Viewpoint also offers activities where you can have fun like Zipline, I did not do the zipline anymore as I prefer to just relax and enjoy the view.
Failed Overlap Stone
After a relaxing lunch at Lamai's viewpoint, I decided to walk to the Overlap stone. Overlap Stone is a beautiful viewpoint but there is this huge stone that makes the place more interesting and so perfect for Instagram photos, I will insert a picture below from another Influencer so you can get what I meant. The walk from Lamai viewpoint to Overlap stone is 37 minutes, I am very sure to myself that I can walk for 37 minutes because I used to walk from my old apartment to my workplace for 30 minutes so 37 minutes is not a big deal. However, I was not ready for the challenges that I'm about to face, the road up to Overlap stone is really uphill though the road is cemented I don't have any training to walk for at least 30 minutes uphill, the saddest part of this walking journey attempting to reach the Overlap stone is that 1 minute left and I'll get there but I gave up, I'm so tired, exhausted and I can't breathe anymore, the place is so quite if something happened to me no one will know. So, I decided to go back down the hill. I know it's frustrating that I only have a minute to reach but then I gave up, I regret it the next day that I didn't push myself enough. Anyways, the event was already done so I just have to move on. If you plan to visit Overlap stone, I don't recommend walking, try to get a motorbike taxi or if you know how to drive a motorbike then get one.
After an exhausting hike up the hill to reach the Overlap stone, the bottom of the downhill path from Overlap stone is the Wat Ratchathammaram. I'm not impressed anymore with temples, since I've been living in Thailand for more than 5 years and I saw a lot of temples already. But, Wat Ratchathammaram is different from any other temples that I've been to. It's unique and looks so mysterious. According to my research Wat Ratchathammaram "The walls and the roof of this ‘terracotta’ temple are embellished with bas-reliefs and thoroughly executed sculptures. But wait until you go inside! There is Rahu, eating up the sun, above the entrance, sneaking up on you. On the left – sea demons are sticking out their heads from stormy waves and huge fish is swallowing someone. On the right – the warriors of the God of apes Hanuman are fighting. And on a carved wooden shutter, there is a man-warrior is leaving for the jungle on a huge wild bore." --> https://kosamui.space/buddhism/wat-ratchathammaram.html. The vibe of Wat Ratchathammaram is a little bit scary for me during that time I visit because it's so quiet and there is a noisy crow. It reminds me of a horror movie, anyways, the temple interests me because of its unique terracotta color and the details carved every inch of the walls and the ceiling, it feels like it tells a story.
After taking a lot of pictures with Wat Ratchathammaram, I booked another Grab car going to Tango Luxe Beach Villa. It's expensive because it' too far, it's 40 minutes' drive but the resort is definitely worth the visit, they have the best sunset spot in Koh Samui. Unfortunately, during my visit it's gloomy and about to rain so sunset was not happening. However, I did still enjoy my relaxation after all the exhaustion from walking. Before I went to Koh Samui I already contacted Tango Luxe Beach Villa if It's okay to use their swimming pool even if I'm not staying, they said it's okay and I just have to pay 500 THB for the swimming pool and they will give me a towel. I didn't argue anymore because I've been working at different hotels before and there's always a policy for non-in-house guests to use the swimming pool you have to pay extra. When I arrived at Tango Luxe Beach Villa, I was so surprised how welcoming the receptionist and the staff is, when I asked how much would I pay, they said there's no need to pay anymore I just have to order foods and drinks from their resto-bar Sea La vie. I ordered Pineapple juice, Pork with rice (I forgot the name of the dish), and Tango mocktail. There are only limited choices on their menu and it's written in Thai, however, the staff was kind enough to translate each dish. I appreciate that the music they played in the pool is in English so I can relate, the air is so refreshing, and I saw an airplane up in the sky and so close to me, it reminds me of the Princess Juliana International Airport. The swimming pool is so refreshing especially the view is the ocean with coconut trees. My afternoon relaxation after all a productive day is all worth it.
My second and last full day in Koh Samui is dedicated to visiting the other side of Koh Samui.
First things first, I'm really excited to try my very first Acai bowl in Koh Samui. I've been eager to try it before I went to Koh Samui but I just calm myself and decided to try it in Koh Samui. I booked a Grab car to The Lost Paradise. When I arrived, It seems like the cafe is just new in town or correct me If I'm mistaken, because there are not many people and the vibe for me is "New". There are not so many decors in the cafe as I was expecting, only the famous wall with the name of the cafe and the Bali theme. I ordered Acai Bowl and Hot Mocha, I'm not sure if it was just that day or it's really every day, there's a lot of flies. But after a few minutes, they're gone maybe because the electric fan was so close and in front of me. Anyways, the Acai bowl tastes good, however, since it's my first I can't compare it to others if it tastes really good. Well not bad for the first time.
Wat Plai Laem
After my morning breakfast at The Lost Paradise, I walked for 10 minutes to Wat Plai Laem, it's just so close to the cafe. As I've mentioned earlier I'm not amazed anymore to see temples, but Wat Plai Laem is unique as well. It's an interesting Temple because the design incorporates elements of Chinese and Thai traditions. I was astonished to recognize few statues like "Guanyin with eighteen arms". According to my research "Each arm represents the deep meaning of enlightenment such as the unflagging zeal to save sentient beings and perfect knowledge of them as past, future, and present." --> https://mandalas.life/2018/cundi-bodhisattva-and-her-eighteen-arms/. I'm not quite sure but I think I saw also the statue of a Hindu God, Ganesha. As far as I remember with the story of Ganesha, he was carved out by the Goddess Parvati his mother, and Lord Shiva his father didn't know about it. When Goddess Parvati is bathing, Lord Shiva wants to enter but Ganesha denied and because of it Lord Shiva was so angry that he beheaded Ganesha. Lord Brahma looked for an elephant head to replace the head of Ganesha. I hope I was right with this. Visiting Wat Plai Laem is free.
After exploring the interesting statues in Wat Plai Laem, I booked a Grab car to Treehouse Silent Beach, travel time is 17 minutes. The reason why I want to go to Treehouse Silent Beach for my lunch is that there is a bent coconut tree nearby the area which is so cool for pictures, you know the famous bent coconut tree Instagram photo, it's there. Treehouse Silent Beach is in Mae Nam Beach, the Grab driver was also surprised by this restaurant because it's his first time to learn about this "NEW" in town. Treehouse Silent Beach is a typical Asian tropical restaurant by the beach. After a sumptuous lunch, I walked 2 minutes by the beach going to the bent coconut trees. It's just beside the restaurant and a few minute's walk. There is no one out there, again I own the place and I'm so happy. I can take a lot of pictures with the bent coconut tress and just relax, luckily I brought my own mat so I can lay down under the shade of a coconut tree.
After a very nice day, I decided to go back to my hotel to enjoy more Chaweng Beach. Then around 4:00 PM, I decided to walk around the area and see their park in front of the Central Festival Samui. My hotel is just 6 minutes walk to Central Festival Samui while walking in the town, it feels like an abandoned set in a movie, most of the shops are close, and only a few people who are walking, or sometimes it's just me. When I arrived at the park in front of Central Festival Samui it was so refreshing, spacious, wide, green, and huge. Few people jog and few are there just to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. I take a moment to sit in a vacant chair facing the lake and think that life is unpredictable. You will never know what will happen in the next day, so never waste your time to enjoy the present. After having a moment in that chair I decided to have my dinner at Central Festival Samui.
This is my last day in Koh Samui and my flight from Surat Thani back to Bangkok is 8:30 PM. However, my Seatran transfer booking from Nathon Pier (Koh Samui port) to Surat Thani airport is at 1:00 PM. So I decided to have my breakfast first at the hotel ordering a coffee and pancakes, after a satisfying breakfast I check-out. Before I check-out I am supposed to get a Grab car to Nathon Pier, however, the fair is around 600 THB++ it's quite expensive, so I decided to ask the receptionist if they have transfer service from the hotel to the port, luckily the staff helps me out to book a shared minivan transfer from the hotel to Nathon pier for only 100 THB. The shared minivan picks me up in the hotel at 10:30 AM and we arrived at the port around noon. My ticket ferry is scheduled for 1:00 PM, however, the staff still let me in and go with the 12:30 PM ferry. When I arrived at Don Sak port, no one is there to instruct me what's next so I just follow my instinct, follow the passengers, and saw this staff lady with a sticker on her T-shirt "Seatran ferry " I handed to her my reservation and she directs me into the minivan going to Airport. I've waited at the airport for a few hours since my flight is 8:30 PM.
And that's it loves my journey in Koh Samui for 4 days and 3 nights. You can check out the complete breakdown cost below.