Koh Samui, Thailand
Updated December 27, 2013—We asked Werawat Roatchanaphaphong, Guest Experience Assistant at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui in Thailand, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions he could find—not just his own, but also those of other local connoisseurs, including some he works with every day at the Resort. Koh Samui combines postcard-perfect beaches and natural scenery, Thai culture and cuisine, and the opportunity to unwind in a tropical paradise.
Snorkelling, diving and kayaking are justifiably popular in the clear, warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. You can try all of these while aboard one of the Hotel’s two boating options. The Sunseeker Cruiser Minor Affair is Koh Samui’s most luxurious. Measuring 20 metres in length, it provides comfortable space for up to 12 guests. Alternatively, you can relax on the 12-metre SIAMSEAS cruiser. Both of these options are perfect for exploring the 40 islands of Angthong National Marine Park. Another favourite stop is Koh Phangan, home of the legendary “dance until dawn” full-moon parties.
Off the Beaten Path
Koh Samui encompasses some 200 square kilometres (80 square feet) of white sand beaches, jungle-matted peaks and endless groves of coconut trees. A day trip by private car, arranged by a Four Seasons Resort Concierge, is the perfect way to see it all. Popular stops include waterfalls like 80-metre (260-foot) Na Muang 2, where you can splash in the pools, and the Lad Koh Viewpoint, also known as the Zenith Viewpoint. This is probably one of the easiest-to-reach breathtaking viewpoints on the island.
Thailand’s rich Buddhist culture is on display all over the island, and Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui has created a unique cultural outing designed to showcase Buddhism’s many local faces. During the Buddhism Experience, you’ll venture to Wat Phra Yai (home to the golden three-story Big Buddha, a great photo opportunity) and two other temples, Wat Plai Laem and Wat Khunaram.
Using Your Noodle
Chaweng is Koh Samui’s liveliest beach-side town, and it’s fun to stroll the streets and shop for souvenirs. A perfect pit stop in Chaweng is The Page Restaurant at The Library, where you can enjoy a casual beach-side lunch with great food in stylish surroundings.
For something truly unforgettable, sign up for the Bio-Rhythm Restoring Ritual, the perfect jet lag recovery treatment using 100 percent natural, chemical-free products by Ila at the Resort’s Spa, designed to rebalance the body’s natural biorhythms and deeply relax the nervous system. This 120-minute treatment begins with a mineral-rich Energy Scrub and Bio-energy Mud Wrap to restore the body’s bio-magnetic energy field through the release of negative ions. A Kundalini Back Massage using warm poultices and chakra-balancing techniques follows to relax and balance the nervous system. The ritual concludes with a gentle rose oil marma point facial massage to stimulate the flow of energy.
Spend a relaxed evening at the fisherman’s village of Bophut, a charming, laid-back spot right on the beach, lined with traditional Chinese wooden shophouses. The perfect place for shopping, evening sundowners and quiet dinners, Bophut is home to stylish boutiques, beachfront restaurants, friendly bars and some of the island’s best seafood.
Memorable dining abounds within the Resort itself. Start at the Beach Bar for a fruity Bontania made with Mekhong, Thailand’s signature whisky. Fresh seafood is featured at the secluded beachside Pla Pla restaurant, where the pad thai noodles with Samui rock lobster is a must-try dish.
The Resort’s newly opened KOH Thai Kitchen & Bar delights the most adventurous of food connoisseurs. Calling on the island’s local culinary roots, Executive Chef Alex Garés’ authentic menu elegantly combines savoury Thai flavours, regionally sourced ingredients and traditional dishes. After noshing on area favourites like fresh oysters and Samui seaweed salad, sip a cocktail at the restaurant’s adjoining bar where unmatched views of the Gulf of Thailand provide the perfect backdrop.
To savour all the moods and experiences the country has to offer, visit all four Four Seasons properties in Thailand. Start in the capital city of Bangkok, then head north to mountainous Chiang Mai, Thailand’s artistic heart. Next, drive north to the exotic Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, an atmospheric tented “elephant camp” in the bamboo jungle. Finish by chilling out in grand style on the beach at Koh Samui.