Day 88: Temples & mountains in Samui
Claire: I’m always a bit restless before I’ve explored an area. Much to Gav’s annoyance I like to walk down every path and drive down every road before I can really relax. That way I know I’m not missing out on any epic experiences.
We hired a scooter today and made our plan over brunch in Fisherman House (delicious coffee). The good thing about more tourist areas is that there’s a demand for proper coffee!
Our first stop was Wat Phra Yai (aka Big Buddha Temple), a big gold buddha standing 12 metres tall. The stairs leading up to it are adorned with Nagas, mythological serpents in Buddhism. At the top we had a great view of the surrounding beaches and could also spy Koh Phangan island in the distance.
We’d heard the beach at Chaweng was the best on the island but to be honest we left feeling very disappointed. The sand was littered with bottles, wrappers and glass. And the bars lining it were really trashy (no pun intended) with a bit of a rowdy crowd. A crowd that comes to Thailand to only sunbathe outside a cheap bar drinking 18 hours a day, every day. If you stood out in the water looking out at sea ignoring the bars / people / litter behind you it was of course incredible. The waters here in Thailand are the best we've ever seen. But we'll stick to our beach in Bophut.
Further round the coast we stumbled across this ace view point...
We also found a little beach called Thong Takhian (Silver Beach) which was really pretty and the sand was so soft and fine. A perfect stop for lunch.
There's a main road that circles the island which is a great surface for driving on but there’s also lots of traffic so it doesn’t make it as fun as our usual island explorations. Sooo we decided to go off track and head home via the mountains!! Which despite a little map error (leading us down a steep dirt track to a dead end) it was absolutely incredible and definitely the highlight of Koh Samui so far!
Gav's day 88 takeaway
- If you go to Koh Samui, you really can't be hiring motorbikes without a valid Thai or international licence which legally allows you to drive said vehicle on the roads of this island. If you don't have said legally binding documentation, you really shouldn't be hiring such a vehicle – even if the nice hire people couldn't care less if you had a motorbike licence or scrap piece of paper with a shopping list you wrote in 2002.
- Unless of course, you want to go on an awesome, unmissable ride through the breathtaking mountains, which was by far the highlight of the island for me.