Saturday, January 31, 2009

Koh Samui on Chinese New Year

Hong Kongers don't tend to stick around for Chinese New Year, and after seeing my fair share of lion dances last year, I was anxious to get out of town this year, too.

Our destination? Koh Samui. Friends of ours had raved about this small little island off the coast of Thailand, and we were anxious to check it out for ourselves.

We booked ourselves into a villa, one of our favorite ways to feel home away from home. Villa Sunshining, and the people who manage it, were amazing. Perched upon a hill, the villa commands a fantastic view over Big Buddha harbour. From our high vantage point, we were able to enjoy spectacular sunsets each night of our stay. This was the high point.

As for the rest of Koh Samui, it is quaint, but doesn't go so far as charming. Like most of Thailand, it has a pieced together feel: Big glitzy resorts next to shacks and huts. And, like many travel guides warn, it was overrun with folks seeking a neverending spring break rather than the neverending summer.

Chaweng Beach is the biggest and best known in Koh Samui, but unless you plan to stake out a piece of sand early, you will be hard-pressed (between bodies that is) to eek out blanket space. The beach is nice, however: calm waves lap against soft, white sand beaches. At night, Chaweng get groovin. The bars don't really start

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