Friday, 30 December 2011

Koh Samui trip – 30 Dec 11

We reached Terminal 2 at 6.30am as our flight departs at 8am. This is my first time taking a flight at Terminal 2 as those budget airlines depart from either Terminal 1 or Budget Terminal. Actually I have forgotten that Silkair serves in flight meals, if I remembered it, I would not reach Terminal 2 so early for breakfast. As usual, we had our breakfast at MacDonald.

There is Angry birds promotion going on at the airport and Angry birds can be spotted at Terminal 2 departure hall.
Oops, hubby's head got bitten by angry bird
Does this resemble the Temple of Heaven?
Ubiquitous angry birds

I read before that there is free movies screening at Changi airport but it's only available at Terminal 2 & 3. I thought that the Xperience zone is the free movie screening area but realise that it's not when I'm blogging. There are free TV programs, free Internet surfing kiosks, gaming stations, custom built-in speaker seats, e-Postcards kiosks at the Xperience zone. It sounds fun right? I didnt know there are many facilities here hence I didnt use them when I was there. =(
Xperience zone

Boarding the SIlkair plane was a breeze. I requested for pillows and blankets as these are usually available on full fledged flight. =p There is no safety demonstration by the air stewardess  as this was pre-recorded in the video. For budget airlines, the air stewardess would demonstrate wearing of life vest on board as they can't possibly record it in video.

I thought that there would individual screen for each seat but this isn't the case for Silkair planes. I guess only SIA planes have individual screen. There are 4 short features screened and the ones I remembered are Mr Bean and American's Funniest Home Videos.
Silkair cabin

In flight meal was served shortly after the plane took off. There is a choice of 2 meals and I choose the western meal. I was still full after having MacDonald breakfast and I didnt finish the food. Well, the food is mediocre which is quite disappointing.
In flight meal

After 2hr, we landed at Koh Samui International Airport. Instead of those normal airport bus, we were transported by open-air trolley bus to the airport terminal. This really give the visitors the impression of landing at a resort!
 Trolley bus
Arrival hall

There are only 2 counters open to serve about 200+ passengers. Luckily we were one of those who get off the plane earlier hence we only queued for about 15min.
Long queue at the custom

Baggage carousel

After collecting our luggage, we have to walk for quite a distance before we reached the pick up area. There is someone waiting for us from Pandora Lifestyle Hotel as there is complimentary airport transfer for a minimum stay of 3 days.
Long walkway to the pick up area
Airport transfer pricelist
Representative from the hotels and resorts waiting for their guests
Our airport transfer

We reached the hotel within 10min as it is not far from the airport. We are able to check in even though the official check in time is 1pm.

There are funky lamps and those colour lighting in the room. It was fun at first but after awhile, I disliked those colour lighting cos the ever changing colour is just so irritating. We booked the largest room which is really quite spacious. There is a large LCD TV in the room which can be use for either surfing the net or watching movies. There are hundreds of movies available and it's complimentary.
Pandora Lifestyle Hotel
Chaweng road
Entrance & Lobby area
Convenience shop beside the hotel

I have arranged the rented jeep to be sent to the hotel. We paid the full amount upfront and collected the key. There was no map given to us and I rely on some of the brochures which I took from the airport just now. The maps on these brochures ain't detailed and we requested one from the hotel's reception when we return in the afternoon.
Kampong side of Koh Samui

The first attraction which we visit was Wat Plai Leam. The temple is located at the north eastern side which is route 4171 from Chaweng Beach to Big Buddha. There are no prominent sign indicating the entrance to the temple and we nearly missed it. I only realised that it's Wat Plai Leam when I saw the Laughing Buddha & Goddess of Mercy. The good thing about the attractions in Koh Samui is that most are free admission. 
Wat Plai Leam
Our rented Suzuki Vitara

We continued the journey to Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai) at Bang Rak. There is a 15m tall Buddha statue located above a flight of stairs. We have to remove our shoes at the bottom of the stairs and it's scorching hot when climbing up the stairs. Wooden sticks are available for knocking on the bells and is on a donation basis.
Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

There is donation of roof tiles at THB50 or THB 100. We donated one and wrote our wishes on the tile.
Donation of roof

As it's still early, we explored Fisherman village which is a 10min drive from Big Buddha.
Fisherman village

We had lunch at Catcandoo Bar. It famous for it's pork ribs but I preferred Cafe's Cartel's pork ribs. (Address: Moo 4, 4171 Road, Bo Phut, Direction: Opposite the Bang Rak Seatran pier,  Opening hours: 10am – late) We ordered a full rack which cost THB360 ~ S$15.
Catcantoo Bar and Restaurant

After our lunch, we drove back to the hotel to take a nap. After our nap, we walked to a massage parlour which is 5min walk from Pandora Lifestyle Hotel. My Friends massage parlour was recommended by the receptionist from Pandora Lifestyle Hotel. There are 5 branches at Chaweng beach:
- Opposite The Akyra Chura Samui resort
- Opposite Silver Sand resort
- Public entrance to Chaweng beach
- Opposite Centara Samui resort
- Opposite First residence

We chose 2hr Thai massage which cost THB400 ~ S$16. The massage is good and cheap!
My Friend's massage parlour

We decided to visit Wat Khao Hua Juk which is on the route to Fisherman's Village. This temple is not displayed on every map hence it is not easy to find it. I try to give as much details here from my memory. From Pandora Lifestyle hotel, drive towards Lamai direction and turn right after seeing the bank in the photo below. Drive straight and will pass by Chaweng Lake. Look out for the arch marking Kao Hua Juk Road, a more prominent sign will be the Q Bar signage. Drive up the slope for about 150m and there will be stairs on your right which leads to Wat Khao Hua Juk.
Turn left into the lane which leads to Wat Khao Hua Juk
On the way to Wat Khao Hua Juk
Wat Khao Hua Juk

From the top of Wat Khao Hua Juk, we have a paranomic view of Koh Samui airport and Chaweng lake.
 View from Wat Khao Hua Juk

Our last destination is Fisherman village where there is a weekly walking street on every Fridays. It is also known as Bophut walking street. From my research, walking street is held at different parts of the island on different days but Bophut walking street is the most popular.
Maenam’s weekly walking street on Thursday
- Bophut's weekly walking street on Fridays
Nathon's weekly walking street on Saturday
- Lamai's weekly walking street on Sunday
Bophut walking street

There is a variety of stalls ranging from food stalls to souvenir stalls. The food sold at these stalls are not expensive. We settled our dinner at these stalls for S$10.
Food stall

There are a few stall selling cocktails and the stall below only sell Mojito. We compared a few and this stall is cheaper and there are people queuing up. 
This stall only sell Mojito cocktail
It tastes good!
The name of this ice cream shop is cool
Souvenirs stalls
Coconut ice cream

We spent about 1.5hr at Bophut walking street before we left for the day. We dropped by Big C supermarket to buy a 5l mineral water on the way back to the hotel.
Big C supermarket

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