Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Koh Samui, Thailand -– Island Trekking

Island Trekking

Since Samui is such a tiny island, you can easily drive around the island in a day. There are many rental stores. We rented a small jeep for the day for $15. You can also rent a moped for $5 a day. However, if you are planning on driving around the island, I would opt for the jeep because traffic is insane. There are no age requirements to rent, but they will hold your credit card until you return with the vehicle. Though a small island, there are many things to do and see on Samui. Pick up a map from your rental store, and you are good to go!

Our island SUV

Big Buddha
If you are starting your trek in Chaweng Beach and heading North, Big Buddha will be your first stop. Big Buddha is a 12 meter high gold Buddha statue. There are also several Buddha statues surrounding Big Buddha on the upper level. You will see a reclining Buddha, which is the pose taken just before death. This is more than a Buddhist attraction, but is actually a temple used by the locals, so keep this in mind and be sure to wear something over your shoulders.

Big Buddha

After Big Buddha, you may be ready for some lunch. Check out Nathon Beach. Though it is not a typical tourist beach, the food is amazing. There will be several restaurants along the road you will be traveling on. If you want to venture off the main road, head to the beach where you will find traditional, brightly-colored, Thai fishing boats. After lunch in Nathon, you can either continue to loop around the South side of the island, or trek to the interior. We took the second option.

Nathon Beach

Nathon Restaurant

NaMuang Waterfall
Na Muang Waterfall is located 10 km south from Nathon at Ban Thurian. There are 2 waterfalls.The first is 18 meter high and can be reached by vehicle. The second is about 80 meters high and can only be reached by a 30 minute walk. The waterfalls are the most scenic on the island.

Small waterfall

We were able to find the first waterfall and it was beautiful. Thai children were using it as a water slide and sliding down the moss coated rocks. While checking out the waterfalls, you may also want to take a scenic tour, via elephant.

Elephant Trekking
Very close to the waterfalls, you will find a couple venues for elephant trekking. This was an interesting experience, but the ride was fairly short. The locals are great about letting you "drive" and taking pictures of you on the elephant. It was fun, but also sad to see the elephants with chains on their legs to keep them from running.

Elephant trekking

I couldn't help to think that these big guys would rather be running in the wild. But it looked like the Thai people treated the elephants well, and perhaps even took care of them better than they did themselves.

We did the Samui Safari Nature Tours. It was 1,200 baht for a 30 minute guided trek.

Grandmother and Grandfather Rock
Before you head back to the hotel, don't miss Hin Ya and Hin Ta, or Grandmother and Grandfather Rock. Strangely shaped rocks at south Lamai. A local story tells of an old couple whose ship was wrecked in the bay. Their body's were washed ashore to create the rocks. Amazing how vulgar these rocks are, but definitely worth seeing!

Grandfather Rock

1 comment:

Adrianne Molin said...

I guess that has a crystal clear sea which is really, very ideal for snorkeling.

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