Exploring Koh Sumai
The amazing coconut island of Thailand is fast becoming a tourist hotspot. With the perfect white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, amazing hospitality and exotic locales...it's no surprise.india Updated: Oct 14, 2009 17:47 IST
The amazing coconut island of Thailand is fast becoming a tourist hotspot. With the perfect white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, amazing hospitality and exotic locales...it's no surprise.
To be greeted by the most beautiful airport in the world, was indeed a good start to our second honeymoon. The Koh Samui airport is almost entirely outdoors with the departure lounge being a little street of quaint shops and bars.
Time is of little importance at Koh Samui. From the moment you arrive at the terminal and breathe the frangipani-scented tropical air, you feel yourself slow down and relaxed, which is one of the best things about the island. There is an overriding tranquility here that transforms tourists from stress-merchants to serene smiling beings.
Set on the beautiful and unspoiled beach of Choeng Mon on the northeast coast of Samui was our Hotel Imperial Boathouse. Our every whim was catered by the very friendly and obliging staff, and the million dining options on display had us spoilt for choice.
There is much to do in this natural wonderland, from just cycling or walking around the island to arranging a romantic candlelight barbeque before the sea at leisure. For the ultimate indulgence one can retire to the sun beds for dessert and coffee under the true evening sky, or wine and dine with the sounds of the ocean under the moonlit sky.
The island has something for every traveller. There are bikini-clad, oil-slicked tourists, crowded beach areas where teenage boys peddle mangoes and coconuts, and noisy jet-skiers churning up whitewash on the clear waters.
Around the island
We felt that we couldn't just sit relaxing by the pool and on the beach every day, so we decided to take a tour together around the island.
Grandpa and Grandma Rocks, our first stop was a bit strange, though the bunch of rocks by the sea looked really cool. We were told that they were so named since one rock formation resembles the male genitalia and a crevice in another looks like the female genitalia. One of the stories about the place was that two star crossed lovers jumped off the cliff there and the only remains of them were these organs.
Our next stop was Wat Khunaram, a monastery where the mummified body of monk Luang Por Daeng Piyasilo is kept in a glass case in a meditative position. Monk Piyasilo is believed to have predicted his own time of death and given up his body during meditation. The place is not just a tourist attraction, but also a shrine for locals. But the locals don't seem too rigid about their religious beliefs - someone had put a pair of sunglasses on the monk's eyes!
We also visited a coconut plantation where trained monkeys climb trees and pick the right coconuts. We then moved on to the Elephant ride park and hiked on a hilly trail that ended at a water fall, where we also indulged in some local street food consisting of Som Tam and grilled duck! time to chill On our last evening, we just chilled in our boat house and ordered room service.
I thought to myself, "With spectacular views all across, there's no better place than this to chill out and relax, enjoy the hospitality and tropical ambience of this friendly paradise". Koh Sumai sure is a melting pot where the past and the present blend together smoothly. It offers a rare beauty that compels you to return to its shores time and again.