Luxilicious Koh Samui – Thailand  

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Humble beginning of tourism on the then laid back island of Koh Samui, dotted with a few log cabins, brought  back- packers some 30 years ago. The opening of the Samui International Airport (1989) – a privately owned and operated by Bangkok Airways, was a game changer and the Island transformed into a high-end lifestyle luxury resort with some of the world’s most opulent abodes. Thailand’s award winning boutique airline: Bangkok Airways operate daily flights to Samui.

Today, the Island is crowded with mass tourism activities raising concerns over waste management that could hinder the Island’s appeal. The TAT has taken up the initiative to work with local tourism players to rid use of plastic replacing it with plant based and bio degradable products like straw and so on. However, there are pockets of Samui that retain the old charm appeal with stretches of  sublime beaches.

One of the favorite is the North  Chaweng area with lifestyle resort like the Amari Samui that pleasantly overlooks the calm and glittering cerulean waters of the Gulf of Thailand, and the shores sprinkle with fine sandy beach. This gem of a place offers personalized service with a smile. My spacious Sea-view Room with a balcony is meticulously fitted with 5 star+ amenities, including a welcome fruit basket and sweet delights. Dining venues at Amaya Café and Prego dishes out palatable cuisines with thematic nights like Mongolian, Indian and more. A Romantic Dinner on the beach can be arranged for couples for an unforgettable evening.

Prego is the best Italian Restaurant on the Island. Executive Chef Marco Boscaini’s vast experience in gastronomical creations and mastery in Italian food and world culinary creations has fashioned the menu with an amazing variety. A choice of juicy, flavorsome pizza baked in a wood fired oven is the signature fare at Prego.

Just about a mile down the road is the Ozo Samui (both belonging to the Onyx Group of Hospitality) – an economy Resort with a 5 star appeal.

Nearby, Trend Fashion (North Chaweng) has earned a reputation being the best custom tailor on the Island. The shop is well stocked with high quality shirt and suit material.

M: +66-099-485 5222

You may book the hotel’s shuttle to go shopping in central Chaweng, just 5 minutes away.  Chaweng central throng with souvenir shops, massage parlors, hotels, bars and restaurants including some exotic venues like Mexican Gringo Cantina and Noori Indian.

Recently renovated, the secluded Paradise Beach Resort abound lush tropical garden with two pools sits on sublime golden sand beach is a fine place to bed-down at Maenam, overlooking Pha Ngan Island. There are only a few beach villas at the Resort so it would be wise to book early. Each room lavishly designed fitted with opulent amenities. The open restaurant with the sea view offers appetizing buffet breakfast and the chef has created a palatable menu comprising scrumptious International and Thai cuisines. You can avail complimentary shuttle to shopping center at advance booking.

Experience a splendid hideaway in a paradise like place at Villa Beige – a heavenly retreat that exactitude Samui, as it should be. In the lush hilly, tropical forested region of Baan Thaling Ngam, Villa Beige rises up hill from palm fringed private beach into the richness of living in a contemporary residence abound Mother nature. The Villa comes with the master bed room, en-suite sea-view bath room, a working office room (fully equipped with Wi-Fi, computer-printer), graciously designed living area with dining, coffee bar and outdoor infinity pool. A personal butler cum chef would gracefully attend to all your need to ensure seamless hospitality. The meals prepared here are amazingly delicious.

They can also arrange day trip including jungle hiking and driving around the Island.

Activities on the Island:

Explore the Fisherman’s Village with some chic restaurant like Café Darling, owned by a French entrepreneur partnered with Thai Chef. The restaurant has a relaxing ambiance with plush seating area in a rustic interior and has some tables laid out in the balcony looking out at the sea. The menu offers authentic French and Thai cuisines complemented with innovative drinks, not to miss: goji berry, passion fruit, ginger and another favorite is a blend of Fresh mint, ginger, lime and honey. On the main course, try Phad Thai with chicken and Tartine (French bread with olives, ratatoule, onion, shallot, fete cheese). fb/Cafe Darling.

Opposite is the New Samui Armani Tailor shop, recommended for custom made dresses and suits. M: +66 87 621 3371

Highsea Tour Company (also owns Krua Thai Restaurant opp. Nathon pier) are the first to operate full day sea tours to Ang Thong Marine National Park – a must-activity on the Island. On a day trip, indulge into kayaking, snorkeling or just relax and be inspired with natures marvelous seascape as the boat ply unspoiled archipelago of 42 islets within a 100 kms. of land and sea.

Sea Tran Ferry plies from Samui to nearby islands including Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao.  Discovery package with a day trip to Koh Nang Yuan and other nearby island beaches is worth it.

Pha Ngan offers an interesting mix of lodging including the unique Pha Ngan Arena,

a unique sport hostel with a professional football field. The hostel area has a large pool,  kitchen, pool-tables, Table-Tennis, a relaxing lounge area and air-condition and fan rooms.

Nearby, La Casa Tropicana is an inventive restaurant, which is inspired with Mexican and Mediterranean favorites.

Words and Pictures by: Saifuddin Ismailji

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