Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Fine Eating Options in Chaweng

There are a lot of restaurants to choose from in Chaweng. If you are looking for a fine dining experience rather than a cheap bowl of noodles or a quick burger and fries in Chaweng then the following list might help you decide where to have lunch or dinner.

Noori India

There are 2 Noori India restaurants along the Chaweng Beach Road – one opposite Chaweng Buri Resort and one next to Poppies Restaurant. If you like Indian cuisine these are the places to head for. The menu has favorite Indian and Mughalai dishes as well as some interesting Thai-Indian fusion dishes.

Sample Prices:

Samosas  60 – 180 THB
Tandoori snapper  350 THB
Chicken tikka masala 210 THB
Goan seafood curry  200 THB

Open from 11am to 11.30pm
They also have Indian cooking classes in the afternoon.


Poppies is a stylish restaurant in Chaweng on the Chaweng Beach Road. Poppies has a great sea view spot for those who like to take in the natural scenery while eating.

The menu includes such Thai classics as:

Tom yum gong
Yam talay
Som tam with sticky rice
Gaeng phed pet yang (roast duck in red curry with grapes and pineapple)
Poo pad pong karee (sautéed crab in yellow curry)


Expect to pay about 800 THB a head

Open from 5.30pm to 11.30pm
On Saturday night there is traditional Thai music and dancing

Red Snapper Restaurant and Bar

The Red Snapper Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Koh Samui. The restaurant is beach front next to Chaweng Resort. It can be accessed from Chaweng Beach Road opposite Starbucks.

The restaurant offers Mediterranean fusion dishes by a French chef. Food is served in relaxed surroundings. The restaurant is quite often full. Every night except Sunday diners are treated to live jazz.

Sample prices:

Grilled chicken on marinated bamboo in Moroccan spices 190 THB
Pan fried Hokkaido scallops and tiger prawns 390 THB
Red snapper fillet in herbs crust 520 THB

Open every day from 5pm to 1am. Free wifi in the restaurant

The Page (part of the Library)

The stylish minimal luxury resort called The Library has an equally stylish restaurant called The Page. It is a beachfront restaurant in Chaweng accessed from the Chaweng Beach Road. The Page offers Thai and Western fusion dishes.

Sample prices:

Ox cheek massaman curry with potatoes 420 THB
Grilled snow fish with 5 Asian flavors 650 THB
Tenderloin of Wagyu beef 2,500 THB
15 petit dinner – set of 15 signature dishes 1,500 THB per person

Open for dinner from 7pm to 11.30pm

Spirit House

Spirit House in Chaweng is often regarded as the place to get the best authentic Thai food in Koh Samui. It is located on the Chaweng Beach Road opposite Banana Fan Sea Hotel. The restaurant has attractive traditional Thai architecture featuring original walls and chedi from a former temple.

Recommended dishes include:

Phad Thai goonk
Laab salad
Tamarind prawn
Red duck curry

Open from 12pm to 10.30pm
They also have Thai cooking lessons

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Wat Samret

Wat Samret is one of the lesser known gems of Koh Samui. It is located near Hua Thanon Village on the 4169 road between Lamai and Laem Set beaches on the east coast. Wat Samret is a fairly small and unassuming temple from the inside. It, however, has a small chapel, that the monks will open up on request. If not you can see inside from window slats.

Inside this chapel there is a large collection of stone Buddha statues all crowded together in a small space. As is tradition in Thailand these statues are draped in saffron robes in similar style to Thai monks.

The most prominent statues are a large seated Buddha and a large reclining Buddha. All the Buddha statues are guardians for the ancient White Marble Buddha in the chapel that is meant to have come all the way from India.

Other things worthy of note about Wat Samret is that it has one of the largest trees on the island behind. In the grounds there is a packed grave yard that is worth a look. It contains the grave of one foreigner.

As with Wat Khunaram a trip to Wat Samret offers something different for the visitor. For those bored of gold wats with tall roofs both these places will be of interest.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Taxis in Koh Samui

There is a certain knack to catching taxis in Thailand. The trick is to know the correct way to proceed. In Bangkok there are of course taxis around Khao San Road that refuse to use the meter. From the street around the corner this is not the case. Knowing these types of things in Thailand saves you both money and stress.

It is not always the case that the taxi driver is being greedy or obstinate. Some journeys require toll fees to be paid. Some passengers will complain that are being cheated if this additional fee is added on to the meter price. Other times it is because the traffic is very bad or there is a one-way street that means a driver would have to go several miles out of his way.

In Koh Samui all the taxis say meter taxi but to a car none of them will do so. There is very little room to negotiate prices. The main advice is to know what the price should be for a journey and make sure you pay a similar amount. You can ask any number of people about this. It is always worth checking if you come back a year later as the prices change frequently. On Koh Samui many ex-pat residents use their own transport or the songthaew system which is like a ‘bus’ system.

For short journeys an alternative form of public transport is ‘mototaxis’. These are men with yellow vests that often mill around in groups on road corners. You negotiate in advance a fee and jump on the back of a small motorbike. If you have little baggage and find a friendly motorbike taxi driver this can be a relatively cheap way to make short trips.

At the airport there is a taxi limousine service. That is pre-paid. It isn’t any cheaper than the normal price, but it is a stress free system. Cheaper is a mini bus system that is also pre-paid at the airport. However, if there are more than three people traveling together taxis can be a better option than paying per person.

Many resorts will offer a transfer service. This is a convenient way to get picked up the airport but is usually a 100 Thai Baht more expensive than regular yellow taxis in Koh Samui.

The best advice about taxis in Koh Samui is not to get angry. Your frustration will not bring about change. Complaining on the help line numbers will also bear no fruit. Just accept the situation and always remain polite. Shouting and swearing is regarded as serious escalation in Thailand and is sometimes met with similar or greater emotion.