Thursday, 29 December 2011

Koh Samui trip – Prologue

I never expect that I could be on par with the number of record trips last year. I did not plan additional trips after I started to plan my wedding at the beginning of this year. Those trips that I went this year prior to this are all plan last year except the trip to Bali for pre-wedding photoshoot. Hence this trip is a bonus. =)  As the destination which I wanted to go for honeymoon is very cold during this period, I decided to defer it till July next year. I ask YQ if we can go for a mini honeymoon first and surprisingly, he agreed. We decided to head to a beach destination for our mini honeymoon. After some discussion, we settled on Koh Samui.

We decided to travel during the New Year period since it would be too tiring to travel immediately after our wedding. All along, I knew that Bangkok airway fly direct from Singapore to Koh Samui. I search for the flight and found that a return airtix cost > $700 after taxes which is way too expensive. I decided to search for alternatives and thought of transiting at Subang airport or Bangkok Suvarnabhumi since there are flights from these 2 airports. Maybe lady luck shines on me and I discovered that Silkair is commencing direct flight to Koh Samui 3 times a week from 27 Sep onwards. The return ticket only cost S$300 after taxes. We decided to travel from 31 Dec 11 - 4 Jan 12. The only thing which I dislike about this flight is the return timing at 9.45am (GMT+7).

Koh Samui เกาะสมุย is also known as "Coconut Island" due to infinite number of coconut trees here. Koh Samui is the 3rd largest island in Thailand after Phuket and Ko Chang. It has a land area of 228.7km2 and is one third of Singapore. Flights to Koh Samui are not cheap as it used to be monopolised by Bangkok Airways. This is due to the fact that Koh Samui airport is built and own by Bangkok Airways. There are more airlines flying to Koh Samui now but is still limited. There are many beaches in Koh Samui and the most popular are Chaweng and Lamai beach. The best period to visit is Jan - Mar and the monsoon period is Oct - Dec.
Location of Koh Samui (source: http://paulgoodchild.net)

I seldom spurge on accommodation as it's not worth booking an expensive hotel room when I'm not staying in the hotel room for most of the time. Even though I wish to spurge this time, the rates during the super peak period double or triple the normal rates. =( After researching and reading the reviews in tripadvisor, I decided to stay at Pandora Lifestyle Hotel in Chaweng. It's a very colourful and funky hotel and is ranked #2 in Chaweng.  I wanted to booked the top bungalow junior suite but it was reserved. Hence I settled on the bungalow junior suite which cost THB2,890 a night (normal rate is THB3,400). The rate includes breakfast, free WIFI in the room and two way airport transfer.


While researching on the activities to do in Koh Samui, I discovered that Koh Samui is quite an interesting island even though there is no snorkelling or diving on the island itself. Some of the interesting sights in Koh Samui are: Mummified monks temples, Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, Rum distillery, Forest canopy adventures, Buffalo fighting, Cabaret show, putting wish paper lantern (Khom Loy).


I mentioned earlier that there are no snorkelling or diving activities on the island itself. Normally tourist either visit Ang Thong National Marine Park or Koh Nang Yuan for day trip island hopping. I was pondering which to go as I only intend to spend one day for island hopping. In the end, I choose Koh Nang Yuan as people commented that it's better than Ang Thong Marine Park. I decided to book with Tours Koh Samui after reading positive reviews from forummers.


I intend to rent a jeep for 4 days to navigate around the island as some of the roads in the central of Koh Samui are quite hilly. Even though renting a bike is cheap, I decided not to rent after the bike accident in Ayutthaya. After researching in tripadvisor, I decided to rent from CH Tours. We booked a Suzuki Vitara which cost THB1,200/ day ~ S$50 from the website (discount given for renting more than 1 day).


Itinerary for the trip:
Day 1: Arrive at 8.45am (GMT +7) & Wat Plai Leam, Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai), Bophut walking street
Day 2: Overlap stone, Hin Ta and Hin Yai, Wat Khunaram, Magic Alambic Rum Distillery, Nathon beach
Day 3: Buddha footprints, Wat Kiri Wongkaram, Wat Laem Sor, Pagoda Khao Chedi & Laem Sor Pagoda
Day 4: Treetop Tour Cable, Wat Khao Hua Juk
Day 5: Koh Nang Yuan Island hopping
Day 6: Depart from Koh Samui at 9.45am (GMT +7)


Budget for the trip is S$950:
- S$300 for accommodation
- S$120 for rental of jeep & petrol
- S$80 for island hopping
- S$50 for canopy adventure
- S$200 for meals
- S$150 for massage
- S$100 for shopping

1 comment:

DarKScoRpioN said...

To me, Bangkok is always one of the best places to consider for a holiday. Friendly folks, nice food, shopping sprees, entertaining night life, etc. Read more about Bangkok here.