Koh Samui

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It is Thailand's third largest island after Ko Chang and Phuket, with an area of 228.7 km2 and a population of over 50,000 (2008) attracting 1.5 million tourists per year. It is rich with natural resources, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees. However we felt that the charm that the island exhibited when we were there 10 years ago, had all but disappeared under the weight of mass tourism.

Our tour of the island by minibus consisted of seeing a weary man training a weary monkey to harvest coconuts, a visit to a phallic shaped rock, the Big Buddha, a local market, and finally the uninspiring "shopping" at Chaweng Beach. On top of the lack of real culture on the trip, the weather was a full rainstorm. One felt that there would have been a better way of celebrating Christmas - bad move Orion.

Samui T shirt anyone? Sad man and sad monkey Sad monkey climbs sad coconut tree. and detaches a coconut that would be sad if it could
Phallic T Shirt anyone? Phallic rock OK its just coconut caramel Giant Buddha is unmoved by either the rain or the tourists ..
Tourist nearly moved by the rain

Tourist enjoying a drop of coconut water, but without the rum

The local market had fish, ells, turtles, shell fish, anything that ..
..could be hoovered from the sea. And a fair selection of meat too. Downtown Chaweng shops. At last back to the Zodiacs and Orion.


On to Tioman Island

Cruise Hanoi to Singapore on Orion II