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Arriving in Surat Thani bus station (not actually in Surat Thani town!) after an overnight train from Bangkok (see separate blog post) at 4am, we sleepily waited in a street-side cafe, whilst chatting to locals, drinking coffee and watching the sunrise.

“Please don’t take our photo, we’re too tired!”

Three hours later, we boarded a double decker bus bound for Don Sak pier, our gateway to the Gulf of Thailand islands. Aboard a Lomprayah catarmaran, we whizzed across with the hot sun on our faces, wind in our hair and the promise of some chillin’ beach life!

Reassured by our friend Jo (thank you!) that Koh Samui isn’t all built up touristy resorts, we found a beautifully decorated Thai-style villa on a secluded white-sand bay in the south-east of the island, close to Taling Ngam.

With no ‘farangs’ (tourists) around we could experience Thai life in a small village. Spending our days building rafts…

…claiming ‘islands’ as our own, swimming in the sea, barbecuing on the beach…

wandering the dusty tracks to source local street food and out of the way beach bar shacks…

…dancing and swimming in the tropical downpours…

…and admiring the flora and fauna…


…we felt lucky to have stumbled across our Airbnb find (thank you Kevin, our super helpful, and extremely friendly and kind host – https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/20627799?location=Taling%20Ngam%2C%20Ko%20Samui%2C%20Thailand&s=F7bfssDZ) and were even luckier to secure a promotional rate because its new to the site!

We didn’t have enough time to explore the rest of Samui, but were pleased to find a nugget of what it used to be like years ago.