Ko Tao, Thailand
Arrived in Koh Samui after an hour flight from Phuket. We took a van outside of the airport to take us to Lamai Beach, where our hotel was located. We stayed at the SeaBreeze Place hotel for 2 nights. The hotel was pristine, and strategically located along the main road, where you can have access to a variety of shops and restaurants. Special mention to Sri Nuan 2, a restaurant located just right outside SeaBreeze. We ate here for the most part, and they got to have the best and freshest seafood dishes around all of Koh Samui. The prices were pretty reasonable too. Hands down, the gastronomic highlight of this whole trip. The hotel was also a 5-minute walk to the beach, where you can get a Thai massage or an oil massage for around 300 baht. I had an oil massage, and it was truly the icing on my Thailand cake. Since we only had two days, we signed up for a city tour and a trip to the Ang Thong Marine National Park. For our first tour (Ang Thong), we were picked up from our hotel at around 0800, and brought to the pier where we boarded a boat that transported us to the Marine Park. It took about an hour to get to the cluster of islands off the coast of Koh Samui. This was definitely one of the highlights of my Thailand trip. My mom and I were asked to kayak by ourselves around the tiny islands in the park. To maintain safety, there was a guide in front and behind our group. We meandeared through small caves and several rock formations jotting out of the sea. It was initially difficult, but we got the hang out of it eventually. It was truly an awesome experience. After kayaking, we went back to our boat for another scrumptious lunch buffet, then after lunch, we sailed to another island to do some snorkeling and hiking. Snorkeling in Ang Thong was unpleasantly bad. The visibility was nil, and snorkelers were restricted to explore only a limited area. For future travelers to Koh Samui, my advice would be this: a. If you want snorkeling, take a Koh Tao or Koh Phangan tour, also available in Koh Samui, or b. If you really want to experience kayaking, then Ang Thong is the trip for you. Anyway, after lunch, I decided to climb up to the top of one of the islands in order to obtain a good vantage point to view the group of islands. The hike was strenous, but worth it. After a hard day’s work, we went back to Koh Samui around 1700. The next day, we had city tour, we checked out the usual Thailand city tour stops – Big Buddha and several temples. We also saw some interesting rock formations, a mummy and a waterfalls tucked in the jungle. We headed to the airport on our third day to catch a flight to BKK. The Koh Samui airport was absolutely well-maintained and the lay-out was superb. They made everything look like you were in a tropical island in a secluded area in the Pacific. Kudos to BKK Airways, the owner of the airport. Also, flying BKK Airways was really an experience. Being the only boutique airline in Thailand, passengers are provided with food and drinks while waiting for flights. I wouldn’t hesitate taking Bangkok Airways again in the near future. When we arrived in BKK, my mom took a PAL flight back to Manila, and I took a flight for Siem Reap, in Cambodia.