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…and finally on Koh Samui

I realise that with work, travel and moving house that I haven’t really managed to be particularly good at finishing the Koh Samui articles I promised and still have some outstanding experiences to share.

I thought that I’d put one final article together with what worked for us and what didn’t rather than drag on. This is a short list of only three places that all garner lots of publicity on the Island and abroad and my views are only how we found them at the time.

The Beach Republic

This is a hotel complex past Chaweng on the East Coast (about 40 mins drive from our villa at the top of the Island) and has the same sort of feeling as Ku De Ta in Bali yet more room and less attitude.

The rocky erratics at the beach front and on the beach are more like the Seychelles than Samui and what makes this better than Ku De Ta to spend a day at, are the two pools – one rectangular and deep and the other shallow for kids and adults to chill.

It has day beds, a DJ playing the usual Balearic Chillout tunes and great staff/food and is also not on Chaweng Beach so it is much more relaxed and spacious with a crowd both made up of people staying in the villas and day guests.

I don’t have any great overview shots of the beach front – but this is a general one with crossed Elite chrome on my Nikon f2A.

This next one is the same time and place but with the new Kodak Portra 400 in the Nikon and a polarizing filter on a 50/1.2.

These come out so crisp that you would be forgiven if you thought I was using a digital here but this is a camera from 1971 using a manual 50mm lens and no flash to fill in.

The final one from the Beach Republic has a bird that had stunned itself by flying into a window, recovering on Lola’s foot before flying off again. Whilst we were in Samui, Lola got up close and personal with stick insects, a few frogs, a praying mantis, baby geckos and this small bird and showed no fear with any of them. She has also learnt to talk to dogs and introduce herself first as she understands that some dogs can be a little “grumpy”.

The next place that I would recommend for a visit is again a hotel that has some day facilities (restaurant, pool etc) but unfortunately is bang in the middle of Chaweng Beach and is called The Library.

You probably won’t recognize the place from my photo, as the pool is actually tilled bright red and the colour scheme throughout the loungers and umbrellas is blocks of red and black. Any flight to Samui is going to have you seeing this place in the inflight magazines with great colour photography of the pool that had me kicking myself that I was only carrying my R2A and a whole collection of B/W films to choose from.

The winner of the most photogenic restaurant goes quite obviously to the “On the Rocks” at the Sixth Sense. Unfortunately it also wins the biggest disappointment award for food that promised so much but delivered so little.


The views from the tables on the off-set terraces are stunning and the dinning experience is meant to be very separate and private – unless of course it rains – and then you will be shepherded into the total inadequate tables, crowbarred into the areas under the magnificent decks.

From a food point of view – the menus you can choose from are all taster menus for a deconstructed style of food – unfortunately the complexity of these is far beyond the ability of the foreign Head Chef and his local brigade and so you are likely to be either scared or disappointed by the unmanaged complexity of each dish.

If I was asked for my opinion on this restaurant, I would be conflicted in my view, as the setting is amazing and on a clear night the evening is truely memorable but the food is too expensive for it to be so bad and this is why it is the most dissapointing of restaurants.

Posted by simon on August 21, 2011

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