After 9 days in Siem Reap and Chiang Mai, we were physically and emotionally exhausted. We had done some amazing things like bicycle around Angkor Wat and ride elephants bareback, but we were tired of always being on the go. Although we were bummed to leave Chiang Mai, we were more than ready to chill on a beach for a few days.
Koh Samui did not shock me with pristine white sand and clear blue waters like the Phi Phi Islands, but it was perfect for what we needed at the end of our trip… some well deserved rest. I booked a hotel on Lamai Beach to avoid the party atmosphere at Chaweng Beach and to stay relatively close to the airport. We were pretty shocked to find Koh Samui overrun with European tourists, especially Russians and Germans. Thailand must be the European equivalent to the Caribbean for Americans. The Lamai Beach town strip was essentially souvenir shops, Russian-run restaurants, cheap massage parlors, and loud bars. We only ventured into town for occasional dinners and some souvenir shopping for family.
We were a little annoyed the overall vibe of Lamai Beach so we spent most of our time swimming in the ocean and walking down the beach. We also had our fair share of massages and coconut drinks which made us pretty happy. But the highlight of our trip had to be when we hiked up the Na Muang Waterfall and took a dip in the clear cold waters at the top of the mountain. It reminded me a lot of our waterfall hike in Kuala Lumpur except we had to walk past stupid tourist traps including waterslides, elephant rides, and ridiculous wildlife shows. We avoided these “attractions” and got to a quiet swimming spot at the top of the waterfall entirely by foot. It was amazing and a great adventure to have in between naps and massages on the beach. Honestly after two days of relaxing, we were restless!
All in all, Koh Samui was the perfect bookend to our South East Asia adventure. So enjoy these pictures from my iphone! Many more legit pictures on my camera are coming soon.
Despite the somewhat “Eurotrashy” character of Lamai Beach, we enjoyed relaxing and recovering. By the end of our trip, I was excited to go back to Penang. Our trip was such a success that Carina and I are already planning our next big adventure. On the agenda? South America! Time to start planning!