Bangkok and Koh Samui
A hidden oasis just off a dirt track leading to Cheong Mong Beach. Sala Samui is everything you think Thailand is going to be; The smiling faces, the incredible food and the zen type spas dotted around like lily pads in a pond. But this time it’s a white washed, colonial style beauty with a freshness not often seen in a country that’s hotter than the sun. You could always do what I did and book to stay in a less expensive place first, before hot footing it to luxury at the Sala Resort in Koh Samui for 2-3 nights. Here, you get the best of both worlds without the extortionate price-tag, as well as experiencing a bit of the back packing nature of Thailand. Well, kind of. The great thing about the Far East is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to find a beautiful place to stay. Some savvier options include: Punnpreeda Hip Resort on Cheong Mong from £36 a room www.punpreeda.com , Centara Villas Resort in Bohput www.centarahotelsresorts.com and The Sanctury in Koh Phangan from £37 www.thesanctuarythailand.com. I would recommend staying in Bohput or Cheong Mong and staying away from the overly crowded and condensed Chaweng Beach, unless of course, this is what you’re after. Hire a scooter in Bohput though and zip through the towns in 10 minutes to reach the Chaweng hub. In Bangkok, I think you only really need 2-3 nights max. It’s a wild, hair raising city but people that I spoke to on my trip claimed that their weeks visit was far too long. The crowds and the heat can be exhausting. However if you stay somewhere calming and serene, you could stay a little longer. The Sukothai hotel is a £140 a night dream www.sukhothai.com or, save your pennies for the island spas and stay at www.ibrikresort.com for £64 a night. It’s right on the river. Make sure that you check out and book into (it’s a rule) Bed Supper Club www.bedsupperclub/bangkok. You enter the space-age style pod off a dusty, unassuming road , dining on pure white beds, with an exceptional 3 course surprise dinner and a different wine for each course at approx £35 a head. You need to take your passport with you to get in and there’s a club next door for after dinner that make amazzzzing whiskey sours. Take a tuk tuk taxi and mooch around the food markets but be prepared to be acosted by the seedier side of Bangkok. I say just go with the flow and experience all this crazy city has to offer! The Big Details: Travel between Bangkok and Koh Samui used to be cheaper, with a return flight approx £70. Now it’s £138. Which is a shame but the cheapest flights are normally the first and the last of the day (they have approx 20 flights a day). Alternatively, you can get a bus to Surat Thani and then a night boat to Koh Samui. You can also get a day train and a night train which are affordable, savvy ways to travel. You get the scenery AND save but of course it takes much longer. Opt for first or second class as you get either air con or a fan. Whichever way you travel, DO NOT go on the private buses from Khao San Road as theft is a serious problem. The thieves get in with your luggage and pilfer through the suitcases. Instead go to the Southern Terminal and get a bus from there. Trips between the Islands. Don’t book via your hotel Instead go into Chaweng where the competition is tough and you can get a better deal. It’s normally about £20 each for a day trip but this will include some kind of beverage and snorkles too. If there’s a few of you booking, you might even be able to haggle this price.