Koh Samui is among the top choice wellness vacations in South East Asia. It has become one of the top 10 vacation destinations for Asian Spas.
Well….....that all sounds well and good.
But there is something more.......something hypnotic about Koh Samui that gives it a quality beyond that of being among the best wellness locations.
It is this ‘world away from the world’ feeling that characterized Koh Samui.
This distinctive quality makes it all the more a favorite couples vacation. It offers the best romantic getaway or hideaway.
Everything in Koh Samui catches you in its spell.
From the best (and most developed) beaches - Chaweng and Lamai on the east coast to the calmer, quieter beaches - Big Buddha, Bophut and Maenam on the north coast.
From beach front luxury resorts to traditional cottages and bungalows.
From tantalizing Thai food to international cuisines.....each offering an experience that is more than just culinary
From small massage parlors along the streets to the sanctuary of wellness spas that you will not find open to the gaze of the world.
Most of all, from the simple delight of watching the sun sets to welcoming splashing waves to listening in to cicadas in your midst.
Hey! We can all enjoy a natural, laid-back wellness vacation without signing up for detox programs that seem to typify all wellness vacations.
Whatever your reasons for a vacation destination, you just could not resist the lure of this ‘world away from the world’ feeling that we keenly remembered since our first wellness vacation to Koh samui ten years ago.
February 2007.....what a time for a wellness holiday!
Smitten by the tsunami of love on the beaches of this idyllic retreat, we were spoilt by a thousand and one ways to celebrate valentines.
Actually, we weren’t there just for the valentines.
We were there to take time out on a wellness vacation for a very important person in our lives: the inner child within us....reminding
Life is supposed to be ‘simple....relaxed....and a pleasure’
If you ask those who have been to Koh Samui, you are more likely to hear about the popular beaches of Chaweng and Lamai. The reason is these parts that lined the east coast beaches of Koh Samui have been the most developed since the first tourist arrived in 1971.
If you like the proximity of restaurants, pubs, discotheques and shops, but are prepared to put up with the thumping bass that pervades the area, then stay in Chaweng or Lamai. Of the two, Lamai is relatively less noisy.
The ‘world way from the world’ feeling that I speak of are found on the north and north east coast at Maenam, Bo Phut and Big Buddha Beach respectively.
They are without doubt the more idyllic parts of the island that offer all the respite you need for a wellness vacation. And when evening falls and you are all energised to hit the nightlife, Chaweng is just only 20 to 25 minutes drive or just 300 -350 bht by taxi.
We stayed for 5 days at the Moon Bungalow located at Ban Tai Beach, Maenam.
This bungalow offers a tranquility and private space we sought.
And it faces the beach that takes less than 2 minutes’ walk.
Among the most transforming experiences I had was sitting in quiet at the patio under a wall lamp between 11pm and 12 midnight.
Then....uncharacteristically.....the surrounding took on an aliveness of its own!
The trees....flowers....that surrounded our bungalow and, the sound of rising tide engulfed me completely in their presence.
Shane (far left) and Gaid (far right), are the owners of Moon Bungalow.
Humble and affable, this couple bonds naturally with every guest. We always felt very much at home.
There are limited bungalow villas. Should you wish to book their bungalows, you would do well to contact them by clicking here - wellness vacations at Moon Bungalow.
Let them know you learn about them through us. Just take note that they can only accept cash payment at the moment.
You can also view their website at www.samuimoonbungalows.com but like I said, it's always easier when they know who recommends your choice of accommodation. So use the contact form here for your convenience.
I seemed to take more pictures of my poodle…oops.. (I mean my wife) than she has of me.
Our bungalow offers a terrific beach front view and is just within 50m walk to the beach as you can see from this photo. Joanna delights in taking her late morning breakfast at our patio.
This is our favourite ritual each morning. Breakfast by the beach at Moon Bungalow Restaurant.
It’s really therapeutic just looking softly out to the sea oblivious to the surrounding but surrendering to the natural elements of rustling palms, waves and breeze.
Hmmm...do it your way wellness vacations.
I never missed my regular stroll by the beach catching the sun set.
Unlike Chaweng, you literally could have all the beach to yourself!
And the privacy…....to be with your own thoughts.
It seems the most beautiful sunsets hover over Koh Samui.
Here is one captured at Nathon pier. This is the north western part of Koh Samui. You get to see awe-inspiring sunset like this one.
Shopping here is less expensive than Chaweng or Lamai. There are lots of interesting souvenirs and copy items for sale.
The shops close at about 5pm. Try out the 'Sunset Restaurant' while you await to view the sunset.
Visit the Na Muang Waterfalls.
There are two there; waterfall 1 and 2. The former is the more popular as it is easily accessible.
Nothing is more ionising than spending an hour there in the morning.
I call this place the 'Samui Ioniser of Life'. Take a dip but just be careful of the slippery rocks.
A visit to Chaweng and Lamai is a must.
We drove down every night. There are spa resorts and massage palours that are atypical of all wellness vacations.
Great international and Thai restaurants lined the streets. And after a meal, chill out at the numerous pubs and discotheques or shop for souvenirs.
For dinner, try the Thai Royal Siam Restaurant. It has a rich heritage that goes back to the recipe used to serve the Thai royal family.
By the way, as you walk the streets, look out for the street vendor that makes Thai flavoured pancakes. Trust me you will like it.
Finally...I am saving four of our most treasured memories for the last.
The first of these....
What I enjoy about going on wellness vacations is the experience of what you will discover by getting off the beaten track - what you will see when you get away from the tour buses and tour guides.
There is a nice beachside restaurant on the west coast - the stretch leading to Nathon.
The 'John Thong Seafood' is clearly signposted.
It's popular with the local Thai people (if you see local Thais eating in a restaurant, you will know its good!).
Enjoy economy priced crabmeat and red snapper with garlic!
And off course...lot's of fresh juices ...ice cool beers.
Best time to go, early evening.
Witness to Beau..tiful sunset!
The second.... (A must for Joanna)....is trying out the spas.
I wouldn't think of staying at 'The Santiburi Resort & Spa'. A night's stay is above US$500.
I would, however, recommend a visit to their spa.
After that, enjoy the ambience of the resort as you proceed to the lounge to relax.
Santiburi Resort is only 5 mins drive from Moon Bungalow.
Third pleasure.....get a jeep or a car.
It's very easy to get around and about Koh Samui. The 'Ring Road" is your link to all the best attractions.
(Look out for the 'John Thong Seafood' signboard if you do go there)
Finally....wellness vacation in Koh Samui is all about being alive to what the island offers - the warm and simplicity in relating with nature and the people there.
Wellness vacations make the best elixir of life!
The best detox you can undertake is being simple and relaxed to enjoy the pleasure of each moment. Here is one moment of friendship frozen in time.........
Tarro (left) from Holland, who has been staying in Moon Bungalow for three years now. She is joined by her friend, Daksina (right) from Germany, who is here to participate in Tarro's wellness retreat.