KOH SAMUI (SAMUI ISLAND)
Beautiful Emerald of Thai Gulf
Chaweng Beach is a long, long white sandy beach with modern accommodations and several national restaurants as well many more premium shopping houses (See Map). At the very end, toward the rocks separating it from Lamai Beach which is near the Coral Bay Resort, are very economic alone dwellings of thatch on stilts a few feet of the ground with communal bathroom; nearer the center are the better resorts blossoming side by side down the almost straight unbroken beach. Chaweng Beach is basically its own little world populated by old style hippies, new style yuppies, sports enthusiasts, swinging singles and happy families, a combination of Thais and foreigner visitors from literally everywhere. Possibly Samui is a paradise destination for those who love Thai seas.
Go straight through Lamai Beach from Ang Thong district is approximately 2 kilometers according to a national road sign and a few distance from main road of which Hin Lad Waterfall is located inside deep Lush Mountain (See Map). Hin Lad can be done on foot from town in one morning. Hin Lad is your archetypal lovely cascading waterfall setting in the midst of exotic green foliage and countless bright flourishes of extravagant flowers; a great alteration from the burning sun, glittering beaches and seaweed laden tropical sea breezes. It is great for clear unsalted water swimming and being picnic. The dark, cavernous forests bespeak the primeval, so in fact the diversity is refreshing and exhilarating.
Returning to the main road you pass a small village called Lipa Noi where the turn off for Tong Yang Harbor serving the Surat Thani province (Don Sak) ferry is. However,keeping the main road, you will pass the village of Baan Sa Ket, the almost half way point across from the traditional villages of Baan Taling Ngam and Thong Grud which can be reached by road of Baan Sa Ket.It should be mentioned briefly that local points of historic or cultural interesting in Samui’s villages are limited but for observing traditional fisher folk village life as it has been for centuries the villages are authentic and unchanged. Continuing on you will see many coconut plantations and odd durian orchards or two before reaching Na Muang Waterfall.
The Samui’ people said that if you haven’t seen this cascade you haven’t seen Koh Samui. Na Muang Waterfall is much larger and more dramatic than Hin Lad Waterfall. Water falls down a sheer vertical colored mountain facing into a smooth rocky bottomed pool ideal for swimming. This has been a favorite spot for many of Thailand’s King during the past two centuries. Further on is Hua Thanon village which once was a large bustling market but is now decimated. A kilometer onward is Silangu with its famous pagoda, or Chedi, reputed to enshrine a bone fragment of the Buddha Gautama. This is calm, serene and tranquil place with the nature that gives substance to the Buddhist doctrine of peace and non violence. Several times a year traditional Vipasana (Meditation) courses are conducted and foreigners are invited to participate. The living conditions are Spartan; the discipline is rigid and personal spiritual result.
Next stop Lamai Beach, a long sandy beach with smooth rocks dotting the shoreline, together with Chaweng Beach the first beach to be visited and crowded by foreigners, although Chaweng Beach has some developments gone more up market. Lamai Beach is plenty of bungalows for teenager backpackers, V.D.O., restaurants, a few wind sailors, some snorkellers but most evident of all lots of happy people. One curiosity at Lamai is the odd rock formations aptly enough called “Grandfather Rock” and “Grandmother Rock” because they are similar to male and female genitals.
One thing in reality of Chaweng and Lamai Beaches is very powdery sandy beaches and far cry from anything. Most overseas visitors dream to visit once in a life for paradise island. In the unusual case of Samui for called of modernization or “commercialization” translates “infrastructure”, the beauty of the sea beaches and the sincere of Samui people are still remaining for visitors all around the world anytime. Enjoy your stay on the paradise on earth, Samui Island.
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