‘BIG BUDDHA’ STATUE
There are many ornate and imposing Buddha statues to visit in Samui. They are places of distinct calm and tranquillity. The ‘Big Buddha’ statue in Wat Phra Yai temple overlooks the water in Bangrak, and is arguably become Samui’s best-known landmark since its construction in 1972. Accessed by a short causeway to Koh Fan Island, the 12-metre high, golden ‘Big Buddha’ statue, can be seen from several kilometres away. Also within the temple grounds are many other shrines and smaller Buddha statues.
WAT PLAI LAEM TEMPLE
Close to the Big Buddha statue is Wat Plai Laem, a Buddhist temple compound featuring a striking white 18-arm statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. Visitors get an insight into Chinese-Thai beliefs as well as some elaborate Buddhist-themed art and architecture. Adding to its feel of tranquillity the temple is surrounded by a lake, which is teeming with fish, and visitors who make a donation to the temple are given a bag of food to feed them!
YACHT & BOAT CHARTERS
Take a memorable speedboat trip to a nearby island or a full, or half-day’s yacht charter, or maybe even just a ‘Sunset Cruise’ to end your day perfectly – the choices are endless. A yacht charter is a unique sailing experience. Discover the beauty-by-sea of the surrounding archipelago on this pristine vessel, with on-board fine-dining options available. At 52 feet in length, we are affiliated to what is currently the largest sailing yacht operating from the island of Samui. A luxury experience, second to none… a rare treat is guaranteed!
YOGA & WELLNESS
If your vacation intentions include some personal wellness activity there is a wide selection of spas, retreats and yoga studios in the locality. Our close proximity to the Absolute Yoga & Detox Sanctuary – one of Asia’s premier wellness centres, – makes participation just a few minutes’ stroll away. If you prefer not to venture out, various styles of relaxing massage, manicure/pedicures and other pampering treatments can also be made available, in the shade of your room, or al fresco by the pool!
BEACH & SHOPPING
The largest and busiest town on Samui is Chaweng Beach, which for almost 3km, sprawls in tandem with the island’s longest and arguably best sandy stretch. Undoubtedly ‘nightlife central!’ Restaurants catering for every cuisine style, with multiple venue choices for people-watching or romantic beach dining – every eatery having a ‘star-rating!’ Casual beach bars abound, as do the many hotels that offer free nightly shows). There is even an authentic ‘Irish Pub”. The shops on the beach road sell everything you could wish to buy in the way of souvenir – and don’t forget to have you ‘haggling boots’ firmly laced-up!
FISHERMAN’S VILLAGE & BOPHUT BEACH
On the cosy, sandy beach of the small town of Bophut there is a plethora of dining and water-sport activities, alongside the multitude of al fresco pampering and relaxing prospects. Every Friday evening the tourist hinterland of the Fisherman’s Village area in the heart of Bophut is closed off to all traffic, and transforms into a 2km ‘blur’ of pop-up stalls, where vendors, coming from 100’s of kilometres away, fuse with local business and battle for your ‘holiday savings’ by tempting you with snippets of what they’re best at, whether it be souvenirs, vintage clothing, tea houses, cocktails, or every kind of food-on-a-stick imaginable! A great way to taste local Samui life.
ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK
Ang Thong translates as “golden bowl”. A stunning 250 km2 archipelago of 42 pristine islands, protected for its outstanding natural beauty. Islands rise from the sea as dramatic rock cliffs and bizarre rock formations. All of the islands are uninhabited and undeveloped except for two – Ko Wua Talap and Ko Paluay. Caves, hidden lagoons, and white-sand beaches just wait to be explored. Kayaking and snorkelling amongst the shallow coral gardens, makes for a popular and fascinating day trip.
BEACH & VILLAGE
The quieter option to Chaweng Beach, for sunbathing, water sports or dining is the village of Choeng Mon, conveniently just a short 1.5km Tuk-Tuk ride, along the same road that links it with our location. The village, sprinkled with restaurants, spas, shopping is only around 800m in length. Considered more upmarket than surrounding areas, Choeng Mon beach, and especially the cosy cove of Crystal Beach, with its many informal bars and restaurants, is continually the 1st-choice of our sun-worshiping guests. It’s hard to want for more than the therapeutic rewards of an hours’ relaxing massage to the calming tones of lapping waves!
NA MUANG WATERFALLS
The Na Muang Waterfalls are a majestic set of cascades. Namtok Na Muang, or ‘Purple Waterfalls’, are so named because of the striking purple shade of their rock faces. The falls can only be reached on foot (or elephant!) along a jungle-park pathway. Na Muang 1, flows into a picturesque natural pool that provides a cool escape from the ambient heat. Further uphill is the smaller Na Muang 2. Generally, a popular place for families to relax and swim or grab an elephant taxi-ride through the safari scenery!!
HIN TA & HIN YAI
This collection of fascinating rock formations on the south coastline of Samui, have evolved naturally over 1000’s of years and are affectionately nicknamed the ‘Rude Rocks!’ They have been a source of mirth and wonder on the island since their ‘intimate’ shapes were noticed by locals many years ago. Art often imitates nature, but less common is nature imitating art. Hin Ta (Grandfather Rock) and Hin Yai (Grandmother rock) look, respectively, like male and female genitalia!!
Thai New Year’s Day is the 13 April. The celebration of Songkran spans 3 days, and is rich with symbolic traditions and unity. Thais living away from home usually travel back to their families. Songkran in the tourist’s eyes is better known for the antics of its water festival. Major streets are closed for traffic and are literally used as ‘arenas’ for water fights. Young and old participate in this tradition by splashing water (and white powder) on each other. Traditional parades and “Miss Songkran” pageants also take place.
There are several Ladyboy Shows along the Chaweng Beach Road. With 3 or 4 nightly performances, lasting for around 45-minutes, they feature a mix of song, dance and ribald! The lady(?!) artistes flaunt their femininity in spectacular handmade costumes, miming to divas such as Tina Turner, Kylie and Beyoncé. No entry fee if you buy just one drink or speciality cocktail. Whether you visit out of pure curiosity or for nothing more than a good laugh, you’re guaranteed a memorable night out… with a few unexpected surprises!
FOR THE SPORTY &
YOUNG @ HEART!
There is a selection of both 9 & 18 hole courses on Samui, for golfing enthusiasts to enjoy.
There are several attractions all over that suit kids (and adults!) of all ages.
General water attractions
Samui ‘Pink Elephant’ Water Park
Samui boasts many fine eateries, from haute cuisine fine dining to street vendors making the most delicious food from the simplest of ingredients – the price level choice will be yours – but you can truly have a culinary Thai food-fest for the same price as a Big Mac back home!
Don’t forget that we can also serve you delicious take-away meals in your Boutique Guesthouse room, or at the 8-seater dining table in The RETREAT villa.
+ Our recommendation – The Larder
+ Samui Restaurant Guide
+ Samui Dining Guide