Dan about Thailand loves great content from across Thailand from fellow Expats and is delighted to share this post from MeanderingTales.Com. The author, Kim Waddoup, has over 40 years in the travel industry and is now happily living in Thailand.
I have been visiting and subsequently living in Thailand for more than 12 years but surprisingly had never before visited Koh Samui. Having heard so much about the island and having read so much about the legendary way of life, I was not sure if my expectations would exceed reality. A recent business trip presented the opportunity to visit not purely as a tourist which is an excellent way to gain extensive knowledge from professionals living on the island.
Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island (229 sq kms) located 35 kms of the eastern coast off the Kra isthmus. At it’s widest point it is just 25kms and just 51 kms to drive around the island. You can either arrive by ferry from Surat Thani or direct to Samui’s quaint ‘island’ airport. The permanent population is around 65,000 and approx. 800,000 visitors each year.
There is only one airport on the island. It is privately owned and unique and unlike any airport that I have every passed through. As it is owned by Bangkok Air you will generally find that you will only be arriving on a Bangkok Air flight which are relatively expensive but offer superb service. (See my report on Bangkok Airways). The aircraft are met by what can only be described as ‘Attraction Busses’, quaint with wooden seats, no doors or windows. This is different!
The Terminal building is single story and again just so quaint and unusual. It’s only fresh air and no air conditioning, beautiful flower beds abound and there is even a fish tank in the gents toilet. (Sorry not photo as I had my hands full!). Arriving in Koh Samui is just so effortless and pleasurable.
The reason for my trip was to visit and review the charming Montalay Villa, a beautifully built 3-bedroom family home with swimming pool, gardens and even a special ‘Sunset Room’. (See report). Fortunately the owner knows Koh Samui exceptionally well, so not only did I see the entire island (not so difficult as it is only 51 kms around) but I was also able to gain so much knowledge about the island and also about island life in a short time.