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Travel: Koh Samui Island, Thailand, Aug 24-Sept 4th/2023

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Flying back from CA to Israel

The hot month of August in Israel,, during which summer school break is on, means no educational programs, no kindergartens, no camps, nor any other forms of public child care are open or operating..

What working parents of small kids suppose to do???

The older high school kids were recruited and creatively occupied as "civil soldiers"

at “Camps Protest״ activities which by now run into its 9th pregnancy month, with no indication of being aborted, but only further swelling and galloping into a full

fledged Civil judiciary crisis .

However our daughters and the 2 young grands, decided to spend this vacant month

in Thailand, in which its beach resorts offer Child Activity Centers, with also us joining, only for the last week of the month, as a back up...

After being stationary for 3 months, grounded and preoccupied with maintenance projects, we were ready to hit the road, again and left CA on Aug 19th,

Landing in Bangkok

The landing in Israel on Aug 21st Israel., lasted only for 2 days . On Aug 23rd the flight to Bangkok and further, finally reunited us with our daughters at Koh Samui Island.

Due to the unforeseen (health related) prolonged circumferential stay on the Island,

we less explored, and mainly sampled 3 different resorts, as is reported below,

Koh Samui Island

The tropical monsoon island of Koh Samui set in the Gulf of Thailand, off the east coast, in the Chumphon Archipelago consisting of an area of 228.7 square km (88.3 sq mi),

It is Thailand's second largest island after Phuket.

It is now locally self-governed since 2012, and is visited about 3 million tourists Being a tourist attractive vacationing site, it offers great beaches,( Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, Maenam Beach and Choeng Mon Beach) Temples (Wat Phra Yai– also called Big Buddha Temple) natural rock formations, Waterfalls, Fisherman Village and Elephant Sanctuary.

The main 3 source tourism expansion from Germany, the UK, and Thailand brought about a growth of building resorts, bungalows, and luxury private villas on the island

The central part of Ko Samui is mostly tropical jungle, including its largest mountain, Khao Pom, peaking at 635 m (2,083 ft).

The island was probably first inhabited about 15 centuries ago, settled by fishermen from the Malay Peninsula[4] and southern China

Until the late-20th century, Ko Samui was an isolated self-sufficient community, without roads until the early 1970s and having little connection with the mainland of Thailand. , The 15 km (9.3 mi) journey from one side of the island to the other could involve a whole-day trek through the mountainous central jungles.

Now the various lowland and coastal areas are connected by Route 4169, which is a 51 km (32 mi)-long road, encircling the island

On the west coast of the island is the original capital, Nathon-Pier major port for fisheries and for vehicular and goods transportation from the mainland, a commercial center which still houses many government offices, as well as two of the island's five major piers

Map of the Island Beaches

First Resort - 2 nights

Intercontinental Koh Samui Resort - Taling Ngam Beach

This 22-acre beachfront hotel in Koh Samui, is situated on the steep slops of most verdant lush cliff side overlooking the azure seas and a private white-sand beach. Views are stunning

It offers cliff side and beachfront spacious well equipped villas, apartments, and rooms overlooking the vistas of the sea, the pool by the sea, and the famous Five Islands and Angthong National Park. .- an archipelago of 42 islands

The included Breakfast food is generous and excellent.

The 2 other dinner restaurants are only OK and pricey..

Kids center is by the beach pool way awy from the rest of the hotel's facilities.

The steep spread-out composition of the hotel is not user friendly to parents with very young children nor for the elderly,. There are too many steps to climb up or down to reach the dinning area, the far below beach and beach pool, and even the offered small golf cart transportation service, can not compensate for the mobility inconveniences.

Hanging Bridge on the way to the beach

So unless the view is on the top of your priority list much more more then easy access to all facilities, I wouldn't recommend the hotel for the elderly and families with very young kids.

As a user friendly accessibility to facilities was more important to us, after only 2 nights stay, we moved to:

Second Resort - 5 nights

Santiburi Koh Samui Resort - MaeNam Beah

Ampur Koh Samui Surat Thani

Warinee Pedsuan -Director of rooms.

+66 7742 5031 Mobile +66 723 3823

Situated on the quiet north shore of Koh Samui, amid 23 acres of tropical foliage, shady trees, blooming Plumeria and lotus ponds,

Santiburi overlooks one of the island's most beautiful beaches

MaeNam Beah Beach Strip

The composition of its exquisitely free standing luxury Suites & Villas. is on flat

most accessible cultivated garden ground, around an huge elliptic pool, and 0verlooking 300 Meters of Pristine Sandy Beach of clear sea water.

Interior of the Resort

This accessible to the pool and beach elegant Resort was by far the best one,

as was the sandy clear water (no boats) beach.

Third Resort - 4 nights

Ananatara Bophut Resort Koh Samui - Buphut Beach 99/9 Bophut Bay, , + 66 77 428 300,, +66 2 365 9110

Ananatara is situated right on on Bophut Beach, 15-minute drive from Samui Airport, and only 4 minutes walk on the white sand beach itself, to Fisherman Village.

The resort's landscaped grounds and public spaces, which resemble an ancient temple, are garnished with Lotus & Lili flowers ponds, and are truly enchanting

Bophut beach is a popular beach town on Samui's north coast. It sweeps down several km between Big Buddha and Maenam beaches. It is a busy beach with many moored boats.

The town built along the coast is perhaps one of the oldest places on the island, known casually as the Fisherman's Village.

It runs along the middle section of the beach.

Fisherman's Village is a colorful strip stretching parallel to the beach dotted with, small boutiques, trinket shops, cafes, restaurants, along which the visiting tourists, stroll back and forth, eyeballing the offered mechanized and each other.

The Southern Thai décor, of the Anantana resort, of the modest rooms ( a 4* hotel level) includes a small balcony, which opens into and offers a view of the beautiful lotus pond in the center of the hotel's grounds.

It offers the usual, spa treatments, children center, pool &bar on the beach and good breakfast. It is indeed, a very accessible good family hotel, that served us well when our time here, needed to be extended, after the children returned back to Israel.

Visit to the Elephant Sanctuary

+6695 2698343 +66 614185969

First ethical and award winning Elephant Sanctuary on Koh Samui Island ,for 14 rescued, all only female Elephants,

It is set on forested land, and offers a safe retirement home for elephants that have worked exhausting hours in the logging and tourism (circus) industries.

It was the only excursion we took on this visit to the island.

Preparing food, for the elephants, feeding them, walking with them,

as well as observing these docile giants as they roam around, socialize, bathe, and play in the mud, are all the enjoyable activities, we shared with our grand children .

A pick up from the hotel, cold drinks, and snacks before the very friendly guided tour started, as well as a light vegetarian meal, at the tour's end, are all included in this very worthy tour's price.

Taxi Service

Reasonably priced Taxi rides was a very convenient way to get around the island

Taxi Service- mobile/WhatsApp : +66 89 469 3860

Mr Jarae (Re) - Hotel/Airport Transfer and around the Island

Taxi Service :

Mr K.. 081 958 7642

Taxi woman driver - Tata

She drives a larger car

cell/whatsApp 66 93 691-5744

We found her the most reliable and pleasant

Restaurants we liked

2 Fish -Italian Restaurant -Fisherman Village

79/5 Moo1 Fisherman Village Bophut +66 (o)992 819 973

Suoattra -Thai Dinning

32/6 Moo 4 Nangrak T Bophut, +66 93 282877, 99 3637 030 ,

Kawin's Kitchen - Local Thai very reasonable place (close by the Ananatara Resort)

146 62, Tambon Maret, +66 94 698 9193

Dessert/Ice Cream Store - Fisherman Village

GoodThingsNever Last

This small shop named "GoodThings Never" last on the strip of Fisherman Village ,( just next to Oh La La popular Jewelry store) offers delightful pies, cheese cakes, and muses in addition to a variety of Ice-creams.

That was the place where we and many many other Israeli visors (strolling the Village) found a true consoling desserts almost every evening.,..

Unexpected Expediencies...

On the last night (Aug 30th) and just before we all were due to fly back to Israel on the following day, (Thursday Aug 31st) a mysterious health issue visited upon us, which had delayed only David and mine return

The effort to get on the next available flight back to Israel, failed as it only would leave on Sunday eve, El-Al is not flying on Friday/ Saturday ...

Initially Keren Inbal and the grands were due to fly back together on the same flight we were all booked on (Aug 31st)

However, only at the Koh Samui airport Keren discovered she forgot her passport pouch behind... so I  taxi-run to the airport to bring the stayed behind passports to her, arriving just 40 minutes prior to the closing of the flight. ( from Koh Samui to Bangkok) , So she did made it on time on that flight...

However,only at Bangkok's airport she realized, that hers and David's Israeli  passports got swapped by mistake....

Since Keren entered Thailand with her Israeli passport on which the Visa stamp,was posted,, she was not aloud to depart the country, without it , even though she had with her also a US and a Diplomatic passports...

Thus instead of continuing her flight with El Al on Thursday afternoon, she was compelled to change the return date to Israel to the midnight Sunday's flight, Then she flew/return back to Koh-Samui, (an hour flight) to get her Israeli passport, and to return David his, Other wise, without his Israeli passport David would have found himself in the same predicament, and wouldn't have been able to enter Israel ...

Inbal ,who was truly counting on having Keren and us, on the same flight to assist her with the little ones, was on her own on the original return flight, We all ..disappointment her... Staying unplanned behind.. Inbal and the grands were the only ones who made it back safely home on time.

The 3 of us (David , Keren and I) got to spend unplanned, an extended weekend in

Koh Samui, and that was when we checked into in the Antatna beach Resort (the third resort by now..)

This is typical crazy Navehs story ..

As the saying states .. "Storied happens to the ones who care to tell them"

We are lucky to be blessed with the time and means to calmly handled all these unexpected expediencies....

By now, I had plenty and enough of these family unexpectednecies... and of Thailand, which I am not crazy for, like most Israelis are.

I was really welcoming some boring non-eventful  routines.., when we finaly landed back on Sept. 5th

However once arriving in Israel the national on-going daily turmoil, took over, and immediately contaminated all the state's life routines ...

Thus, our yearnings dippen with honey, and the sweet sound of music, for this new incoming year are much deeper, than ever..

May we all be blessed with peace, harmony and true democracy much sooner than later.

A very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you nad your Family


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