Seemingly 'private' stretch of beach just behind Ko Samui's First House hotel - that's sure to up their occupancy rates!
This was my second ever visit to
Ko Samui, after visiting the island as a backpacker in May of 1997,
when the intensity of the sun almost caused me to sizzle alive, and the
throngs of euphoric tourists, all happy to share the island's magical
charm, kept me in high spirits throughout my stay. This time around
though, it was an almost entirely different affair, and I stayed at
something more closely resembling a proper hotel, with a gorgeous
stretch of private beach just around the rear of the property. It is
worth pointing out that, back then, the main street was not properly
surfaced, and was lined with stalls selling bootleg cassettes, amongst
other items, and a few restaurants and bars of note, hinting at a
tourist infrastructure which was at a developmental stage.
Exotic is the first word which springs to mind - temple near Big Buddha
seemed to take all of about 15 minutes to cover, from end to end, but
second time around, it had been properly surfaced, seemed to be 3 times
its original length, and had gone upmarket, in terms of what it had to
offer in the way of lodgings, eateries and nightspots. I, for one, am
not averse to this kind of development, because it is the influx of
tourists which makes it this way, and besides, there are far quieter
resorts on the island than Chaweng Beach, where I stayed at on both
occasions, so I suppose you pays your money, you takes your choice.
Highlights were numerous, including a guided tour of the island by
private driver - cheap and a very varied itinerary too, and also the
beach life and the time spent lazing around the hotel pool, or enjoying
a Thai massage at the hotel's spa. All in all, Ko samui will always
occupy a special place in my soul, and I am always keen to hear
travellers' reports about the island, since I recommend these kinds of
places to people in search of inspiration for travel destinations, and
would hate to think that I am leading them to places they are not
really suited to!
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