This weekend, I’ve been invited to stay at three resorts: Avani+ on Koh Samui, Anantara Rasananda on Koh Phangnan, and Anantara Bophut on Koh Samui. I appreciate them helping support my trip, particularly as I had to take unpaid leave to do this. Trips like this help me answer the many questions I get about travel around Thailand during the COVID pandemic. Click here for a map list of all of the places that I visited. In all I took pictures at 31 different locations in just four days. So, there should be a good overview for you here.
- Part One: Avani+ Samui
- Part Two: Anantara Rasananda, Koh Phangnan
- Part Three: Anantara Bophut, Samui
Date of travel: 17th-20th July 2020
Good morning from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. This is the first time I’ve been on a domestic flight in Thailand since the pandemic started. The airport is eerily quiet.
Boarding Bangkok Airways PG129 from Suvarnabhumi to Samui Airport. Flight time is about one hour and twenty. No social distancing onboard as I’m sitting next to a stranger. The best thing about flying this airline is the free access to the lounge for everyone. But sadly closed it is still closed. Surprisingly, my Bangkok Airways flight from Bangkok to Samui was full. Every seat was taken. And this is the second flight there this morning. I wasn’t expecting that. No inflight service like drinks and food due to hygiene rules. So bring some water.
At Samui Airport I had to show them the QR Code that was generated during check-in in Bangkok. For some reason mine was orange which means I was pulled aside. But they only wanted to know how long I had stayed in Bangkok and how long I planned to stay on Samui. Then they let me go.
These are pictures of my Avani Pool Villa at Avani+ Samui which not only has its own pool, but also private access to the beach. This is where I’m staying tonight. I’m about to go on a boat tour to a nearby island. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/dgHs6wqGct3WSssYA
Boat Trip to Koh Taen and Koh Mat Sum
This afternoon I went on a long tailed boat tour off the southern tip of Samui island. This is one of the free activities offered to guests of Avani+ Samui. Our first stop was near the island of Koh Taen which is a good spot for snorkeling. There’s some beautiful coral here.
Next stop was Koh Mat Sum. There’s a nice white sandy beach here with deckchairs and a restaurant. A good place to relax for a few hours. Normally there are dozens of boats moored here at any one time. But today only four. While I was there, I only saw Thai tourists. A very beautiful beach. The talking point is obviously the pigs! Thais flock here to take pictures with the pigs and then post on Instagram.
Map for Koh Mat Sum: https://goo.gl/maps/e8BgdYHNUpiCgw177
The following are drone photos of Koh Mat Sum, a small island off the southern coast of Koh Samui. You can come here on boat trips that also includes snorkeling. There are usually dozens of boats moored here. But only a few today. A great time to come to Samui.
After Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach on the eastern coast of Samui is probably the next busiest resort beach on the island. Though as a consequence, it is also one of the hardest hit as it relies heavily on foreign tourists.
At Lamai beach, many of the shops and restaurants haven’t reopened. And they probably won’t too. I saw a lot of for sale and for rent signs up. But if you’re one of the few tourists on holiday here, you will find enough places open. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/3Thyzi6RVpKP4gbr7
Lipa Noi Beach
On the western side of Samui, Lipa Noi Beach looks quite good with some nice looking resorts. But I’m here for the sunset picture. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ZFngY7r922KD1TzQ7
I was really lucky tonight to get a lovely sunset on Lipa Noi Beach on the western side of Samui island.
Good morning from Koh Samui in Southern Thailand. This is the view from my bed at the Avani+ Samui Resort. Looks like it’s going to be another great day. Maybe I should stop being lazy and get out of bed!
I went for a walk along the beach after breakfast. At this time of year it’s low tide for much of the day. The water is a little brackish near the resort because of the river and nearby mangroves. But it’s very clear the further I walked out into the bay.
Some aerial photos of Avani+ Samui resort and PhangKa Bay where I stayed last night. This is on the southwestern corner of Koh Samui
My stay at the Avani+ Samui was all too brief, but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to the team at the hotel for being good hosts. I’ve checked out & will be taking a speedboat transfer to my next hotel on Koh Phangnan. Although I don’t have much time there, I will show you as much as I can.
Namuang Waterfall, Samui
A quick stop at Namuang Waterfall in the center of Samui island. The waterfall is about 40 meters high. You can swim here but be careful of the rocks. There were a few foreign tourists but nothing compared to the past. Entrance is free. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/RY7oenB9ttPie2kMA
Nathon Pier, Samui
This is Nathon Pier which is one of the main ports on Samui. Quite a few Thais from Bangkok drive down to Surat Thani and then cross to Samui on the car ferry. Boats every hour. You can also catch boats from here to Koh Phangnan and Koh Tao. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/4wqAThNmEYXeA5HG9
I next took a speedboat to Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangnan Villas on the island of Koh Pha Ngan. Click here for my photos of this resort and the tour that I did of the island.