Throwback Thursday: My Thailand trip – part 3 – Koh Samui & full moon party in Koh Pha Ngan

by Karisa

If you missed parts 1 & 2, you can get yourself up to speed over here:

If you didn’t, then read on…

So from Phuket, Kim and I travelled by “ferry” to Koh Samui while the rest of the group hopped on a quick flight.  Our idea with the “ferry” (and I’ll explain why I keep putting that in inverted commas) was that we’d get to chill out on the deck with some cocktails and snacks, without any of the stress that goes along with airports.  Sounds blissful right? Of course it does…  BUT that was until we realised (along with all the other tourists who clearly had the exact same idea) that the 6h 45min journey actually consisted of a 6 hour bus journey, finished off with a 45min ferry ride.  Not ideal. (especially because we spent our last night partying until 5am at a club in Bangla Road called “Seduction” and we had hangovers from hell – buuuut, you live & learn)

After finally arriving in Koh Samui, we took a taxi ride to our hotel which was in the Chaweng area.  Chaweng is pretty much where everyone ends up as there’s lots of restaurants, market stalls, bars & shops, and the beaches are really pretty.

Our hotel was the Bhundhari Chaweng Beach Resort (booked via which cost us around R1000 per night for a double room on a bed & breakfast basis.  It really was a lovely hotel and I’d happily stay there again.  The lovely front desk staff are there 24/7 and they all speak English.  The breakfast is served at a cute little cafe across the street, and there are 2 pools – one at the hotel, and another sexier beach pool just a 2min walk down.  Oh and get this – the beach pool has a bar literally in the pool.  Yup, that means you don’t even have to leave the water… #heaven

Our room

Each room comes with a little balcony which overlooks the pool

The hotel pool by night

The hotel pool by day… To be honest, because everyone looks out on this pool, we felt a bit weird about using it. But it did make for the perfect spot to cool down quickly before heading up to your room. But of course, we still had the option of that beach pool…

Aaaah yes… bliss…

This pool overlooks the little private beach area linked to the resort…

Not too shabby at all…

And there’s the bar! Just look at those happy customers…

As far as eating goes – there are two Chaweng restaurants which you should definitely try if you’re ever in the area:

    • Relax – literally just around the corner from our hotel.  A very small spot, but definitely our favourite.  We ate many meals here and they were all absolutely delicious.  The lady who runs the place is also one of the loveliest people you’ll meet.

      They also do these super cute cocktails…

    • Phensirijust a few spots down from Relax and a little fancier & pricier, but also delicious food.

      Not the best pic, but gives you some idea of the feel of the place…

Then there’s also the Chaweng Walking Street night market which was a short tuk-tuk ride away from our hotel.  Here you can enjoy cheap cocktails (as they say in Thailand – “Save water, drink a cocktail”), a cold beer, and whole selection of foods, and also do a bit of shopping.  I particularly loved the stands where you could just point at your meat or seafood of choice and then they BBQ it for you right there – a hot tip though:  Also order some garlic bread.  That stuff was so good, I had like 3 portions.

Some of the things I had BBQ’d – sticky pork ribs and beef & chicken skewers #yum

Oh and vegetarians/vegans, look away now, but this is also a common sight:

If you love crackling though… this is really delicious…

Now on Sunday 4 Jan we took a ferry trip over to Koh Pha Ngan for the full moon party.  Attending one of these had always been a bucket list item, so obviously I was very excited, but at the same time I was also a bit nervous because of the many horror stories I had heard of serious injuries, losing people, getting really sick, etc. – so I really didn’t want to head into it unprepared.

We did some Google research and ended up living by the advice of Nomadic Matt in his post titled:  The Ultimate Guide to the Full Moon Party.  Thankfully we all survived unscathed and had one of the best nights ever,  so I would highly recommend that you also give that a read before attempting your first Full Moon Party.

The ferry ride to the party was arranged through our hotel and cost 800 baht per person.  A shuttle then collects you at the hotel, takes you to the ferry, the ferry ride is about 30min and then there are multiple ferries until 7am the next morning which will take you back again.  Easy peasy – as long as you don’t miss that last ferry back that is…

The other essential is also something neon (which you can buy all over Chaweng) – everybody dresses up in their brightest gear and then you can also buy accessories & neon paint at the party.  I felt that our safety in numbers strategy worked very well, it’s also all about pacing yourself and staying away from stupidly drunk people. (although that’s easier said than done – read Matt’s bit about the skipping rope which they light on fire…)

The tame pics… because what happens at the full moon party, stays at the full moon party 😉

As for partying on the Koh Samui side, everyone seems to end up at the Ark Bar which is situated right on the beach.  It’s a cool spot to chill during the day, and then the party kicks in at night.  I really loved how everywhere you went you didn’t really need to dress up, or struggle in painful heels.  You literally just went straight from the beach and partied on…

Ark Bar shenanigans yo…

What else is there to do in Koh Samui?  Well you can do more island hopping (I hear Ko Tao is incredibly beautiful), or I’m sure there are some other sights as well.  But we decided to rather focus our energies on our favourite things:  chilling, more chilling, cocktails, good food and yet more chilling.   It’s the perfect combination really.

Island life… it’s so tough…

So yeah, that’s a wrap guys.  After Koh Samui we headed back to Bangkok (but I already covered that part), and then we had to come back home.  Cape Town will of course always be my biggest love, but as far as other destinations go, Thailand is pretty high up there.  If you’ve been wanting to go – Do it!  Life’s too short to sit around dreaming about things.  Just make it happen, even if you have to sell all your furniture on Gumtree. 😉



Gina Watts Oct 5, 2016 - 11:12 am

Just read your Koh Samui blog. We are currently in Koh Tao and moving on to Koh Samui next week. I had a hard time in Bangkok, wasn’t at all what I imagined. But the islands seem much more relaxed. We are going to find a place in Chaweng Beach, hopefully clean and cheap. Then we have a place near Fishermans Village for another week. I agree you have to just “do It” there’s no guarentees in life. We sold everything we own, house, cars, furniture, and left in June 2016. We plan on traveling around the world for at least 13 months. Have fun and keep on traveling. We are at

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