Koh Samui November visit

kaptainrob

Administrator
Jo snagged return tickets CNX - USM for the two of us @ 3,300 THB ... yes, for 2 return flights on Bangkok airways! And excellent 1 hour 45 minute flights they were with a tasty hot lunch served by attentive staff.

We'd booked 4 nights at Le Murraya hotel in the middle of Chaweng at ~2k per night with breakfasts well in advance but if we'd waited we could have done better by shopping around just a week before. Our hotel was down to ~1,300 p/n whilst posh resorts like Centara Grand had deals at half price, 5k p/n in their case.



Le Murraya proved very comfortable with massive suites, it was clean, quiet and had good amenities though the breakfast was poor. We were the only guests for at least 2 days. Best of all, the Filipina front office staff were fantastic, exceptionally courteous, helpful with good advice and easy on the eye too.





The beach was just 5 mins walk away and at the T-junction (bottom of one way system) there's a set of restaurants and bars in a triangular layout. One can enjoy normal bar service at either Lipsmackers or Masters Brew shop and order food from the open air kitchen. See pic above - great food at regular Thai prices. Ideal for lunch or light meals before the main event ...

The main event for our visit was to find quality seafood and truly great restaurants, not easy with so many choices and recommendations, so we consulted Samui's seafood connoisseur ... Bacwaan aka Nelson.

A 100 bt pp songteaw ride to Lamai and we met Nelson at Bamboo Hut restaurant on the beach. It was a magnificent day and despite being low season both Bamboo and adjacent Bikini Bar were doing a reasonable trade. Jo and Nels picked out king prawns and a seabass for the BBQ and we later had tamarind stir fry prawns also, a tad overcooked but very tasty sauce. A plate of greens, rice and drinks came to less than 1900 thb for the 3 of us. A top spot, thanks Nelson.







That night we made the mistake of dining at Mamma Roma's - Jo's seafood pasta dish was virtually inedible and their signature pizza tasteless! A tourist clip-joint on Chaweng's walking street strip.

Jo and I ate at Poppies Resort [Chaweng] the following night and the food was a little disappointing - Thai seafood kantoke dishes @ 1900 THB for 2, were over-seasoned with sugar and salt. I still gave them top marks on TripAdvisor because the menu is HUGE and I'm sure our experience was a minor aberration which will be remedied - as promised. The Italian Pinot Grigio we had was delicious. @ 1450 THB it was exactly double that of Wine Connections retail price which was ok, for a restaurant.









Poppies is unique, absolute WOW factor as you enter the site via a superbly laid out rain forest - cabins spread out for privacy amid waterfalls and tall shady trees. You have to experience it first hand as photos cannot do justice! Passing a beaut pool we wound our way toward the beach, which is overlooked from both restaurant and bar, and enjoyed happy hour drinks as the sun went down behind Samui. It was another beaut day and evening with glassy seas ... so much for the rain forecasts, we didn't see much except overnight or early morning. Accomodation in high season runs to about 10k p/n, low season 7.5k and we could have stayed last week for 5k p/n.

Note: If you visit Poppies, ask to see their 'secret passage'.



For our last evening out I did some research online and a recce on foot. Centara Grand is also on the beach, about 300m up from Poppies and closer to Chaweng centre. It's a huge property of landscaped gardens and pools with a large beach frontage. Coast beach club bistro and bar, known as simply 'Coast', mainly a daytime venue in low season has an extensive menu for brunch, lunch, tapas and dinner. They also hold a BBQ night there with a fabulous array of NZ and Australia meats to choose from.





We had happy hour beers (4) and glass of sparkling wine (1) while the sun went down and then headed into the air-con bar area. We ordered Tasmanian salmon with artichoke ratatouille, a caesar salad and a 'krapow gai' pizza. 4 more glasses of wine accompanied our meal, all up for 2,400 THB incl tax etc. And it was FANTASTIC food. :) I complimented executive chef Santos on his menu and food ... then read about his training which had included El Bulli, Paris restaurants and Phuket/Bangkok resort stints. No wonder it was good tucker and wine ... some of the best house wines ever tasted. I could see Paulie enjoying himself at Centara Grand. Rooms @10,000 THB a night, down to 5,000 right now.



As with any island destination, beach or ocean activities are what most people seek and Koh Samui has it all. The sand is so soft, like powder almost, perhaps from a higher coral, lower mineral content? Fabulous.

As for Chaweng's tourist strip with Indian tailors, crappy bars, clip joint restaurants ... dirty and derelict about sums it up. If I were after night life I'd be looking for Nelson's advice and heading down to Lamai.
 

retdent

New member
Good pics and report. Can't beat local knowledge on where to eat. Drink prices very good. Two stubbies here at Semaphore, (S.Au) set me back $17 today. Looking forward to 55bt Leos next week.
 

kaptainrob

Administrator
retdent;346465 said:
Good pics and report. Can't beat local knowledge on where to eat. Drink prices very good. Two stubbies here at Semaphore, (S.Au) set me back $17 today. Looking forward to 55bt Leos next week.
You can enjoy my beers for free :)

Found a good red at Wine Connections to rival Jip Jip, a tad cheaper too.

Tree lopping starts Monday.
 

bacwaan

Well-known member
Good to see you an Jo again KR...glad you had a good holiday down here in Samui...had a little bit of rain..it is our wet season after all...but all in all the wether was pretty good considering

Yes..plenty of good deals on flights/accommodation to be had here atm...great time to visit if you are prepared to take a punt on the weather...the last 3-4 days have been magnificent...crowds are way down atm too so almost everywhere is welcoming as well 555
 

kaptainrob

Administrator
OZZYGUY;346474 said:
Nice report and photos Rob.

When dose the build thread start?
Shhh .... lol

Trees to come down first. Still talking to architect/builder so it may be while. No hurry and unless we can get to roof on before next wet season I'll put it off until the end of.
 

kaptainrob

Administrator
bacwaan;346476 said:
Good to see you an Jo again KR...glad you had a good holiday down here in Samui...had a little bit of rain..it is our wet season after all...but all in all the wether was pretty good considering

Yes..plenty of good deals on flights/accommodation to be had here atm...great time to visit if you are prepared to take a punt on the weather...the last 3-4 days have been magnificent...crowds are way down atm too so almost everywhere is welcoming as well 555
I thought the weather was fabulous, and I'd hate to be there during high season anyway. It seemed like we were rattling around alone all week, usually just us or one other table in any place we ate, other than Bamboo ... very, very quiet!

I reckon Samui taxi's must do ok as I seldom saw anything less than a near new Fortuner and the drivers we had were very courteous, a cut above Phuket.
 

MarcTwoSix

Well-known member
We ditched Vietnam in January because the kids now can't go...

So even though I don't like going back to the same place too much
I just get so relaxed staying over by Lamai

So Ao and I in Lamai Jan1-6
 

Ian Forbes

New member
Jo snagged return tickets CNX - USM for the two of us @ 3,300 THB ... yes, for 2 return flights on Bangkok airways! And excellent 1 hour 45 minute flights they were with a tasty hot lunch served by attentive staff.
Wow, great price KaptainRob. It's often just that much for one. Nice place you are staying.
 

retdent

New member
kaptainrob;346473 said:
Tree lopping starts Monday.
I'll be home by then. Might come around and supervise. May be even have a play on the end of the saw. Pity they only alow 12" blades.
 

kaptainrob

Administrator
retdent;346771 said:
I'll be home by then. Might come around and supervise. May be even have a play on the end of the saw. Pity they only alow 12" blades.
Where are you Dave, Monday was yesterday in the northern hemisphere. 55

30,000 bought a lot of men especially today for the big event when we felled the casuarinas. Big crane truck never arrived, it was always coming in an hour, so i persuaded our main tree feller (fella?) to scale the 2 biggies and begin lopping the lower limbs. This kept the cast of thousands, below, busy cutting up and removing rubbish instead of sitting around. Not that they were on hourly rate, but still....

Eventually our main contractor realised the crane wasn't coming so he called up a mate who arrived with a real chainsaw, ~ 24 inch(?) This guy knew his stuff and after a survey of angles he cut out the perfect wedge. Then they attached a long heavy tow line to his pick-up (laden with cut logs) to ensure the 32m tree did not fall on the neighbours house ... or fence or trees ... Moment of truth arrived with a deep back cut and down she (oak) came, bang on target. You'd have been proud of the gang. The 20m one was a piece of cake after that and they felled it with a 12" Stil as the big saw had broken it's chain.

Day 3 tomoz and it's all clean-up with hi-ab truck coming to collect the 2 main trunks which will likely be sold to a sawmill. Balance of sawn wood gets sold @ 200bt a pick up load for charcoal. Rubbish is carted off to the tip and costs 1k bt to dump per pick up load. But you know how they can stack a load!
 

Ian Forbes

New member
Those bring back memories of falling big timber in BC, kaptainrob. But, the trees with big limbs going off at strange angles are always a puzzle.

I've got a big Gary oak tree in my back yard that needs a big limb trimmed off. There is no way I can get a crane in to do the job, and I can't just cut the limb off at the base without smashing my new porch. It's going to take hand trimming with a long pole cutter because there is nowhere to rest a tall ladder safely.
 

MarcTwoSix

Well-known member
kaptainrob;346775 said:
. Rubbish is carted off to the tip and costs 1k bt to dump per pick up load. But you know how they can stack a load!
Funny story about the dump

Apparently, I didn't know that Vancouver's dumping fees are incredibly cheap.
So whenever I needed to dump anything I just went to East Vancouver and dumped shit in an alley 555
I did it out of spite, mostly............all the druggies come into downtown and steal and dump shit...........so fcuk it, I am doing the same

I haven't done that in quite some time and they really have cleaned up East Vancouver
I just redid my whole living/dining room and the stuff I couldn't give away I needed to throw away
Went to East Vancouver but so cleaned up.........nowhere to dump it!

So I relented and went to the dump.............the whole truckload cost me about 18cad!! I spent years driving around looking for places to dump shit, not knowing how cheap the dump was 555
 

Quarky

Administrator
It's free here.... not for an alley... for a proper recycling centre... and they do recycle just about anything...
 

Ian Forbes

New member
MarcTwoSix;346786 said:
Funny story about the dump

So I relented and went to the dump.............the whole truckload cost me about 18cad!! I spent years driving around looking for places to dump shit, not knowing how cheap the dump was 555
They won't take bodies though, and especially not the semi-alive ones still bleeding. Got to figure another plan for those. 55
 
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