5 brilliant things to do in Koh Samui

in Recreation by
Boating and diving in Koh Samui

The range of things to do and see in Koh Samui, Thailand is extremely varied and interesting. The island offers a host of activities for those looking for adventure, sport, nature or just relaxing and enjoying a holiday at one of our Koh Samui beachfront villas. Discover Koh Samui’s natural splendour, modern man-made attractions and religious and cultural sights. Of course let’s not forget the perfect beaches, night markets and lively nightlife, either.

There is so much to see and do on this island, it can be hard to fit it all into one trip or, for that matter, one blog. With our guests’ invaluable feedback, our own local insight and some ingenuity as longtime villa holiday experts, we’ve narrowed it down quite a bit to five essential experiences in Koh Samui.

1. MAGIC BUDDHA GARDEN

Magic Buddha Garden Koh SamuiCopyright image from Magic Buddha Garden

This lovely and quiet place was created by a Thai farmer Nim Thongsuk. The whole area looks like a sculpture garden; it is located along a small mountain river flowing across the Magic Buddha Garden. Khun Nim wanted to build a place where people could enjoy peace and nature.

Statues here depict creatures and deities from Buddhist mythology. There are several viewpoints along the way to Magic Buddha Garden offering a stunning panorama view over the southern part of Koh Samui. There is also an artificially created waterfall named after the creator. The waterfall is located right at the entrance and greets the visitors of the Magical Buddha Garden. It’s a unique treasure best enjoyed in the morning.

2. BOAT TRIPS

Koh Samui boat tripsImage by Sailing in Samui

The Gulf of Thailand is an exciting sailing destination. There are five islands nestled closely together; Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Matsum and Koh Tan. Close by, and the famous Angthong National Marine Park. Each island has its own distinct beauty and offerings of unique terrain, beaches, and attractions.

Boutique Yachting based in Koh Samui offers luxury day trips and private charters to Angthong Marine Park and around Koh Samui. Boutique Yachting has two boats, Naga, which is a classic Turkish Gullet and Baidee, a traditional Indonesian Ketch, and if you chose the private charter or day tour you will be able to view all the stunning islands around Koh Samui from different angles and take in the breathtaking scenery from the sea.

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Omnia Bali – a lifestyle destination in Uluwatu

in Leisure by
Hakkasan Group Day Club in Bali

Uluwatu has changed. The pristine beaches that first attracted surfers to the area are as beautiful as ever, the legendary waves still roll up to picturesque white sand beaches, and the limestone cliffs and perfect sunsets never fail to inspire with their natural beauty. Other things, however, have changed a lot. With some of the island’s most sophisticated new venues opening on the cliffs of Bali’s stunning southern peninsula, there are now more reasons than ever to head up the hill.

OMNIA BALI - UluwatuPOOLSIDE AT OMNIA BALI – PHOTO AND BAG: KEMBALI COLLECTIVE

The island is on a fast track to join glamorous island destinations like Ibiza and Mykonos with ever more beautiful, and exclusive, beach clubs in Bali. The jet set would be very happy here and the arrival of the occasional helicopter is a clear sign, that Bali is changing. From designer bikinis to glittering caftans, men in linen shorts and boardies straight out of GQ Magazine, Omnia is a game changer for Bali.

The cliff-side club is the latest and the largest day club to open and the venue is every bit as the stunning as the crowd. It is here that one of the world’s biggest hospitality groups, Hakkasan, has opened their first Indonesian property. And what a statement it makes. They are already big in Las Vegas, this is brand new and already making waves in Bali’s social life. 

Blue and white are the colours that define the expansive club that follows the edges of the cliff with a sparkling horizon pool. Complete with VIP gazebos, private pools, day beds, and a bar that defies gravity, Omnia raises the bar for Uluwatu and Bali.

From the impressive entrance, to the tiered lounge area that leads to the main pool deck, Omnia is chic, crisp and inviting. Here everthing from the towels to the glassware, the service, the menus, the cocktails and the food are polished and ready for guests.

The location, beside the Alila Uluwatu resort, on the cliffs of Pecatu, is breathtaking. The tiered lounge area offers shade from the sun as well as expansive views over the club. Smart looking day beds and sofas line the pool deck. A bridge leads to the main bar, which is suspended above the cliff. A large floating cube gives the bar its name.

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Lembongan Snorkelling and Fishing Trips

in Families by
Lembongan Snorkelling Trip - Pulau Boat Charter Bali

Dive into ten frequently asked questions about boating day trips in Bali. These honest answers can help you easily plan a fun-filled day on the water with friends or family. 

Top 10 FAQ

  1. Where are the best places in Bali for snorkelling and fishing day trips?
  • Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, east Bali
  • Amed and Tulamben, northeast Bali
  • Menjangan Island, northwest Bali

The best snorkelling and diving areas are offshore, so opt for a private boat charter to guide you. Not far from Bali, Nusa Lembongan is a popular island to visit for snorkelling, sightseeing and lunch on land. 

Bali Coral Reefs and Fish - Pulau Boat Charter

  1. What kind of fish and sea life can you see in Bali?
  • Butterfly Fish, Lion Fish, Parrot Fish and Angelfish
  • Striped Ribbon Sweetlips Fish, Oriental Sweetlips Fish
  • Triggerfish, Surgeonfish and Pufferfish
  • Endangered Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles
  • Blue Ribbon Eel, Yellow, White and Giant Moray Eels
  • Reef Octopus and Dolphins
  • Vivid living corals, Nudibranch, Anemone and Starfish

These are just a few of the exciting sights you can expect. SCUBA divers are also attracted to deeper waters around Bali to observe Mola Mola (Giant Sunfish) and gentle Manta Rays. The entire archipelago of Indonesia is a world-famous destination for snorkelling and diving.

  1. What kind of fish can you catch in Bali?
  • Tuna
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Wahoo
  • Snapper
  • Leather Jacket Fish

Fishing from a boat by trolling or using fishing rods are the best ways to catch ocean fish around Bali and you can also try coral fishing, too.

4. When is the best time to go boating in Bali?

  • Weather is usually best from April to November
  • Bali’s rainier months are December through March
  • Get an early start in the morning
  • Arrive back to shore well before sundown

Any day when the ocean is calm and the sky is clear will give you the best conditions for fishing and swimming. Postponing a trip due to rainy weather or choppy water is wise to ensure a fun day out.

5. What kind of boats are common in Bali?

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Through the Keyhole: Naam Sawan

in Villas by

Elite Havens’ villas come in many shapes and sizes. That they are all luxurious homes in some of Asia’s most prized locations, brimming with first-class facilities and tended to by a caring team of staff, goes without saying, but beyond that, each and every villa has its own distinctive character. Many are the fulfilment of their owners’ dreams and have interesting stories attached to their creation.

‘Through the Keyhole’ takes a peek behind the scenes and chats with some of our villa owners to find out how the dream became a reality.  Naam Sawan owners tell us about their stunning beachfront home on Phuket’s east coast.

Beachfront Phuket villa

Why did you choose to buy your villa in Phuket and at this location?

We were living in Singapore in 2004 and looking to invest in a vacation and possibly a retirement home in Asia. When you look into it properly and consider all that you may need there are actually very limited options. We had visited Phuket many times, and I had viewed many properties up and down the busier crowded west coast towns, beaches and developments. An agent showed me an undeveloped piece of dense jungle on the east coast with a dirt track cut through the trees. Within 2 days we had staked out a lot with 4 small posts as we were the first to commit to the project. It took some time but we eventually built, and now 14 years later the estate, hotel, restaurants and all the amenities and facilities are complete. There are very few locations available with a private accessible beach, incredible jade waters, views of the Phang Nga islands and a full service resort, and city like facilities all around you. We are near yachting marinas, golf resorts, shopping malls, the hills and mountains, schools, hospitals and endless entertainment – and only 20 minutes from the airport. And no crowds or traffic. 

What is your inspiration for the villa design?

As written on the websites, the master design was by Stark and Gatthy with preset principles of external structure to show a modern contemporary vision of the Thai pavilion as the center piece. Additional features included the vaulted ceilings with tall columns, and the shade and cooling management for the villa being efficient through louvered external window and wall lattice,

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8 Bali restaurants for romantic dates

in Dining by
Ultimo dessert

Bali is recognized as one of the most romantic places on earth, so when a special occasion comes around, there is no shortage of beautiful places to celebrate.

Bali romantic restaurant
#1 Room4Dessert.

If chocolate is the food of love then Room4Dessert speaks the language fluently. The softly-lit interior with it’s atmospheric long bar and soundtrack of blues tracks played on a turntable, is the ultimate in romance for those who like to play it sweet.

Owner/chef Will Godfarb brings a New York state of mind to haute couture desserts and some of the best cocktails on the island. If something more savoury is required, the Spanish wine garden at the back makes for a fine place to start or finish.

Address:
Jalan Sanggingan, Ubud, Kedewatan, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561

Hours: 
Monday closed
Tuesday-Friday 4PM-12AM
Saturday-Sunday 12PM-12AM
Phone: +62 812-3666-2806

#2 Mozaic.

Nothing says romance like fine dining and few places do it better than Mozaic. Another highly regarded chef, Chris Salans, is behind this innovative menu that brings a taste of Indonesia to classic French favourites. 

The romantic candle-lit garden is the perfect place to celebrate love, while divine degustation menus make for memorable dinners. A list of fine wines, classic cocktails and seductive desserts set the scene for celebrations of all kinds.

Address:
Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571

Hours:
Monday-Sunday 6PM-11PM
Phone:  +62 361 975768

#3 Mejekawi.

The ocean speaks volume to romantics. KuDeTa and the restaurant upstairs Mejekawi are well practiced in the romance languages. Watching the sun set into the horizon with some classic cocktails is the perfect way to begin a night of romance.  

Head upstairs to Mejekawi and take a table for two overlooking the ocean while the talented team of chefs take you on a culinary journey that is as crisp and polished as the dining room. Service is professional and personable and the views are legendary. The menu changes regularly and never fails to impress while the wine has been carefully considered to create a perfect match.

Address:
Jalan Kayu Aya No. 9, Seminyak, Kuta Utara, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361

Hours:
Monday-Sunday 5PM-12AM
Phone:  

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