KOH SAMUI, THAILAND

HOTELS

The Sarann

  • Located on a quiet point of Chaweng Noi beach. Walking proximity to the beach and some dining options.
  • Book an ocean front pool villa. Private infinity pool. Outside dining area. Separate living room. Small lawn. Unobstructed ocean views. Absolutely worth it.
  • Breakfast not great except for the seasonal tropical fruit options, which are delicious
  • Friendly staff, intermediate level of conversational English
  • There is a free shuttle service to Chaweng beach that leaves at 1pm and returns to the hotel at 5pm. Instead rent a scooter from the hotel. Chaweng beach, shopping and restaurants are approximately 7 minutes away by scooter.

RESTAURANTS

Krok Mai

  • Fantastic local spot across from Koh Samui’s international hospital. You must ask a local where it is and get the hotel to write down the name in Thai as the road sign is only written in Thai
  • Anything done on the little outside grill is perfection: grilled beef, pork and fish come with bright and spicy dipping sauces. Chicken with chili and basil is another highlight. If you like papaya salad there are a dozen or more variations on the menu.
  • It’s hard to go wrong with the prices. With an average of $3 a plate if you order something you don’t like it’s no big loss.
  • Menu is in Thai and English. The staff doesn’t speak English but pointing and smiling gets the job done.

KunChaoBan

  • Another local roadside spot. Restaurant is built right on a quiet little beach with views of the ocean.
  • Highlights include deep fried squid topped with crispy garlic and chives. Spicy mango salad. Any curry that comes with roti because the roti is perfect. Soft and fluffy inside, crisp and buttery outside. Fried morning glory blossoms with green chili dipping sauce.
  • Unfortunately the pad thai here is disappointing
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2 Comments

  1. Maneeza

    Sharon, luckily don’t ever have to cook here in Bangladesh, but…. we are getting fatter here thinking about food and consuming your loving words on yum asian recipes! This is fantastic …. But, my question is on your travel tip above…

    Thailand being a cheap two hour flight away, is the hotel recommendation in koh samui — child friendly? I was just in Bangkok solo to get away from my boys (kids and hubby) — and prefer Singapore for the family…. But no resort there. Fake santosa island and even worse beach. Everyone here with kids flies to Phuket, although koh samui is just as popular for others. I’m loving the private infinity pool walking distance to the beach… And international hospital just in case.

    Also, now that i think youve found me a hotel, did you notice the vegetarian options on the menus? I love my food bathed in fish sauce, but it’s not too vege friendly. Thanks! And come here and expand your Asia to the rest of asian curry cuisine. Sushi has entered the Dhaka elite platter — with weird local preferences (like too much rice, not soaked in vinegar …)

  2. The Sarann is more geared towards couples. The villas with private pools only come with one queen size bed, making the room not conducive for families. The hotel does have deluxe rooms large enough for families but these don’t have private pools. (Just a note, the hotel does have a communal infinity edge pool). There are many resorts that dot the Chaweng Noi beach. I don’t know if any of them have private pools or not, but they did look beautiful.

    If you like sleek, modern hotels there is a great one in Chaweng called The Library. Gorgeous hotel and pool, and it’s directly on the beach. Chaweng is a probably the busiest beach on the island but still beautiful (close to the international hospital as well). Unfortunately, the hotel restaurant wasn’t to my liking. Very pricey and not very well executed.

    I’m sorry but I didn’t make note of the vegetarian options (I need to be better about that). Thai food has a decent focus on vegetables and tofu although almost every dish has fish sauce in it. Even papaya salad and curries are going to have fish sauce, it’s as common as salt.

    I would recommend Koh Samui over Phuket. I’ve never visited Phuket but both Ben and Dan have visited recently and neither of them enjoyed it much. Phuket is very touristy – great for people looking to party. Koh Samui is better for families and couples.

    I would love to visit Bangladesh sometime. And I’m eager to hear more about the local twist on sushi.

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