Dining out at the beach in Koh Samui

One of the great things about Thailand is the abundance of wonderful food. Whether you’re looking for western fare or local dishes there are so many inexpensive options! Many are just outside your door. Koh Samui had less of the street stalls but had an abundance of fairly inexpensive restaurants to make up for it.

My favorite restaurant while we stayed in Koh Samui was a BBQ place called Eldorado that was located two blocks from our hotel. It was very inexpensive by Western standards and I thought that the food was top notch. Very authentic. I remember liking their pork chops especially, but everything that I got there was good. Also, once a week they have an all you can eat BBQ with ribs, steak, chicken etc. Being able to try all the BBQ on the menu was a great experience, and most of it was delicious! There was even a tasty salad that Eric and I went back for second helpings twice!

Eric’s favorite place was a thin crust pizza place called Pizza Del Sol. It was a short scooter ride up the coast and had this amazingly crispy crust. There were quite a variety of different toppings and they were never too busy. There’s something quite different about the pizzas that we ate in Thailand. I did wonder if perhaps they’re a little more authentic to the original Italian style than what we find in the States, and if that’s what makes them so good.

When we wanted a quick dinner with a variety of options we went to the Lamai Central Plaza. This is a plaza in the middle of town that features a selection of food stalls, small restaurants and open air seating. I remember getting a decent Pad Thai here, and it’s great when you and your friend want to have different dishes. There are bars with dancer women here however, so it might be something to skip if that’s not something that sits well with you.

When we were feeling really lazy there was Live India, an Indian restaurant that would deliver to our hotel! Since it was just a short walk away they didn’t even charge us. I always order the chicken tikka marsala. The sauce was really rich and the chicken was nice and tender. If you eat in the restaurant that is a nice deal that includes a beer, rice, and naan which we took advantage of several times.

We didn’t celebrate Christmas while we were in Lamai, but we did go to the Swing Bar for New Years Eve. Every hour or so leading up to NYE they had fire dancing show! It was actually on a platform a few feet out in the surf. The waves crashing at the dancer’s feet and the streaks of fire in the dark were really cool. The beach was packed with all sorts of dancing and partying people, but we managed to find a quieter section and sit on the sand for a bit. I got an outrageously priced gin and tonic to ring in the new year because that’s what you do! At midnight many people set off the fireworks they’d picked up downtown. Overall it was a nice way to end the year.

Of course we ate at quite a few other places but these are the ones that stand out the most for me. We did start eating at Western places more at this time, I think because we were both starting to get really homesick. And being in a touristy area probably had something to do with it too!

Next time I’ll talk about some of the other things that you can see or do in Lamai.



Koh Samui and the beginning of my island vacation

At this point in the trip Eric and I were really exhausted. I needed to recharge so I spent the next two weeks sleeping late, swimming in the pool, checking out new restaurants, walking along the beach and basically not doing anything touristy or strenuous. It was a relaxing beach holiday! We did go out for New Years but just to a local bar. This part of our trip was slower paced and I think it gave us a better look at what it’s like to live in Thailand like a local.

When you’re traveling for a long time I think it’s important to take breaks. You can get pretty homesick. Travel can be very stressful and you want to make sure that you’re treating yourself and the people around you with some courtesy and kindness.

The next few posts are going to feature less activities and more reviews on our hotel and local restaurants. I’ll start by talking about our hotel, some of the things I liked about it and the beach.

We lucked out on our accommodation. The whole town was sold out for Christmas and New Years Eve but we found a place a few blocks from the beach called the Holiday Park. I believe that it was newly opened and that was part of the reason that we were able to get a room. Funny enough we found it through contacting a property manager through airbnb. The place that I messaged him about was booked (allegedly), but he met us near the McDonald’s and showed us around. I think this was the first place he showed us and we just took it.

Now a little about our hotel. Our room was newly remodeled and was very spacious and modern. It had a few quirks, like the water being a weird color for a few days and the shower head being attached to the side of the bath, but was otherwise very comfortable. The bed was even decently soft!

Early on I bought us some cheap bowls and silverware. We often would have cereal (there was a fridge in the room where we could keep milk) or sometimes eat left overs. If there had been a microwave we would have been set but we had to rely on 7-11 to heat up things for us. There was a free breakfast of toast, jam, margarine, sometimes fresh fruit, and tea in the common area that I often took advantage of. And there are tons of restaurants within a five minutes walk around the place.

Our hotel had a nice pool with an elaborate fountain. I thought this was funny when we first arrived. The ocean was only 5-10 minutes away!  But with all of the high tide warnings it was nice to be able to swim everyday. Actually we didn’t know it at the time but the red flags in the water mean you should not swim. There were a few people that drowned when they got pulled out to sea only a few miles from the beach we stayed near. We found out halfway through our trip. Don’t make our mistake and try to investigate these sorts of things more.

The local beach was very nice. I particularly loved taking walks along the water. There were also a number of bars along the beach where you could relax and listen to the waves while enjoying a gin and tonic. Or even get a massage! Listening to the waves and feeling the gentle ocean breezes was so relaxing, I sincerely enjoyed it. I think Eric fell asleep during his!

Next time I will talk about some of our favorite restaurants.