Koh Samui island, lapped by warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand is just 70 minutes away from Bangkok by plane. There are still some corners, having escaped from the mass tourism wave.
Eight Bida Manda houses, charmingly veiled by a tropical garden, are located not far from the village Maenam. In spite of concrete walls and neat roofs, they still resemble small bungalows. Mosquito net covered windows and a terrace with small tables and comfortable loungers add to this feeling. The small Thai style houses are very modest - inside there is just a small kitchen, a bathroom, an air conditioner and a bed, separated from the rest of the room by a see through wall of wooden lathes. Also you can have relaxing time in a pergola next to the swimming pool. The bungalows are just a few meters from each other, yet your privacy is guarded by thick wall of tropic flora. Bida Manda does not offer breakfast but an independent traveller might be pleased to have more communication with the local folks, and in KohSamui they are still more then tourists. A genuine amiability of the hotel's staff is characteristic everywhere in Thailand, also here. Bida Manda is favourite spot of lots of travellers and a bungalow should be booked in due time.
About 500 meters from the hotel there is a port. Small ships are carrying tourists to the nearby islands, and something like a tourism information centre is located there too.
Address: Bida Manda, 24/17 Moo, Tambon Maenam, Koh Samui, Thailand
Tel.: +66818939697 (Joy)
Three minutes walking distance from Bida Manda there is a restaurant John's Garden. It belongs to a guy from Switzerland, who lives there. Thanks to the owner's own choice, traditional Thai menu has a touch Swiss cuisine there. A meal is not so spicy and alongside with the traditional sweet and sour sources one can taste also the greatest pride of the host - Swiss chocolate cake. It is praised as the best one on the whole Koh Samui Island, and quite often people are visiting John's Garden thanks to this cake alone.
The same way as Bida Manda, also John's Garden is comfortably settled in the middle of a tropical garden. A kitchen is situated in front of the living house of the owner himself but light bamboo tables, about 15 all together, are placed deeper in the garden. Contrary to the usual restaurants' standards, tables slightly differ from each other, still keeping to the characteristic Eastern style. Also tasteful lamps, decorated with some carvings, create fantastic and authentic atmosphere. It is a place with a taste, so to say.
John's Garden offers breakfast too; moreover, prices are more favourable then at some of the local restaurants. Also quality of the food is much better here. One person can have a meal for approximately 400 bahts.
A massage in the middle of jungle! Thicket of tropical plants in the eastern part of Koh Samui, hiding Tamarind Springs spa, ads unique flavour to the variety of fantastic massages offered there. A visitor, expecting a traditional vapour bath, is astonished by enormous blocks of monolith stone, forming two walls of comparatively small sauna. However, inside is not so narrow at all. There you will find a heated stone surface but outside - comfortable loungers. There you can settle back with a cup of tea in front of the natural pool with a refreshing shower, falling down from a big piece of rock. Also facial, oil, Thai and other massages can be enjoyed in the pergola covered with straw, amidst of tropical plants. Somewhat surreal feeling possesses at nightfall, when body tension is drained away by a massage under the rays of the moon. And sometimes your eyes spot a small lizard, quickly dashing away...
Tamarind Springs delights with its natural beauty, its ambience, amiable service and the excellent quality. At times it seems that every Thailander is born to be a masseur. That is why almost four hours spent there, still does not seem to be enough.
Although exclusive and quite expensive, the hotels Amari Palm Reef Resort&Spa and Karma are pleasant and elegant spots for some late night cocktails. Amari hotel chain covers not only Koh Samui islands, but the whole Thailand too. Maybe that is why authentic Thai atmosphere is somewhat hard to notice there. Also bungalow style hotel Karma is located near to Chaweng, the biggest and the most tourists' filled city. However, even an independent tourist will find no fault in lounging for a while near the swimming pool and enjoying good service, tasteful design and the clear azure of Thailand's sky. Just a few steps across the Karma hotel pool, waves of the Gulf of Thailand are splashing against its rocky shore.
- You can reach Koh Samui Island by Bangkok Airways.
- The only one main road is leading around the island. Here and there at the roadsides are placed something like small ice-cream trailers, where Thai women there on the spot are offering to prepare some food. It will be warm, delicious and very traditional. One should taste pasties with a spicy fish and meat filling. Thin and white dough is made from rice flour, and they are served with cocoa nut milk and lemon grass sauce.
- The nearby Koh Phangan Island is famous for its Full moon parties. To be perfectly true, during the high season merry get-togethers on the beach takes place also during half- moon (A Half-moon party). It's advisable to put on some foot-ware, to avoid injuring your feet on pieces of glass scattered in the sand. It is not advisable to fall asleep on the beach with all your jewellery on your fingers, in your ears and around your neck.
- The screening of the famous novel by Alexander Garland „The Beach" has been shot on one of the archipelago's islands too (a sightseeing excursion from the port near Mae Nam will take you there). The island itself is famous for its incredibly beautiful bluish-green lagoon in the middle of it.
- 1000 bahts (Thailands currency) is about 30 USD.Share it:
Keywords: Koh Samui, hotel, restaurant, thai, Thailand, spa