Thailand’s leisure island of Koh Samui holds a priority position on the bucket list of every chic traveller. With Mick Jagger, Richard Branson and the Beckhams drawn to the divine destination, the island’s enviable reputation for barefoot luxury is set in stone.
Powder soft white sandy beaches dotted with swaying palm trees and glittering turquoise shallows gently lap the shores and set the spectacular scene.
Private coves and hidden beaches abound and are easily discovered through local fisher folk who will happily transport you to these dreamy destinations – or if exquisite coral reefs for a spot of snorkeling are more your style then for a few dollars you can be transported there.
Exclusive holiday villas are always the preferred style of accommodation among the rich and discerning, and many already own a private property on the island, however the well-versed traveller knows the joys of simply renting a private luxury villa to experience the ultimate holiday.
Then there is the food for which the entire Thai Kingdom is rightly honoured…
Chefs attached to these luxury villas are unique professionals with a vast repertoire of dishes fulfilling all dining moments – snacks, kids’ choices, a broad western menu, specific diets and five-star flavours.
Order a stunning poolside seafood barbeque, a formal degustation feast for 12 people or an intimate dinner for two at a perfectly set table on the beach at sunset. It is all fabulously possible and seamlessly executed.
Chefs adore to showcase their regional specialties and to dazzle guests with their culinary magic. Start the day with a trip to the local markets, which is always a cultural immersion, and launch into a crash course in Thai cooking.
Learn to identify and select fresh ingredients to be pounded into the paste that you will turn into a creamy and lush coconut curry. Or as the afternoon heat sets in climb into a comfy hammock with a cool signature cocktail and have a chat with the villa manager about possible trips to one of the pretty waterfalls in the hinterland, a traditional sea gypsy village or a visit to one of many Buddhist temples whilst your personal chef surprises you with yet another Thai masterpiece.
Dining in any one of our luxury Koh Samui villas is a gourmand’s dream come true,
“For the herds of wild elephants show no resentment when domesticated animals join them. They have none of that herd instinct directed against the stranger that one finds in cattle, in small boys, and among many grown-up men. This tolerance is just one of the things about elephants which makes one realize they are big in more ways than one.”
― J.H. Williams, Elephant Bill
Samui Elephant Sanctuary opened on 16 January 2018 by Founder Wittaya Sala-Ngam and is the first ethical elephant sanctuary in Koh Samui. Currently, there are five elephants in their care; Cartoon, Kham San and Sri Nin (50 – 60 years old) who came to the sanctuary from the local riding camp on Koh Samui. The sanctuary also has two younger elephants; Nong Pech (7 years old) and Moloair (9 years old) who came to the elephant sanctuary from Surin province.
Samui Elephant Sanctuary offers tours that educate visitors about the importance of these extraordinary, majestic giants. You will be able to feed and walk and observe the elephants as they forage, socialize and play, and do what elephants do, and that’s be elephants.
These five elephants that now live, at the Samui Elephant Sanctuary, have come from an extremely hard life, working long hours in the entertainment or logging industries. These stunning animals have been beaten and made to do what their owners wanted by use of force and torture. Having a chair strapped to their back or painting a picture has never been part of their natural environment. The positive news for elephants is that times are changing and projects such as the Samui Elephant Sanctuary are becoming the new way for a tourist to experience elephants.
The Samui Elephant Sanctuary is the perfect opportunity for families, couples, and friends to discover the life of elephants in a stunning natural setting and enjoy these beautiful creatures in a way that does not take advantage of the animal. The project works under the Save the Elephant Foundations “off Saddle” program.
On arrival, you will be welcomed by extremely friendly and highly dedicated team of staff, many of whom are volunteers, that are all committed to the well-being of the animals. The tours focus on observation of the elephant’s natural behaviors and as such, they do not allow guest to join the elephants in the mud pit or swimming pool and of course NO RIDING.
Idyllic destination, exciting new experiences, exotic food and summery cocktails all day, right? You bet. Our Koh Samui villas offer exactly that and a whole lot more. Although, when it comes to domestic Thai spirits worth drinking, the selection in Koh Samui is underwhelming. Unless you know this: there is magic rum on this island.
IMAGE FROM MAGIC ALAMBIC RUM
Of the few distilleries in Thailand, Magic Alambic Rum is the only one producing a Caribbean agricole-style spirit and they offer a true island experience right here in Koh Samui – local rum tasting.
Located on the southern tip of Koh Samui, this rum distillery was founded in 2003 by entrepreneurial couple Elisa and Michel Gabrel. Elisa, originally from Martinique, and Frenchman Michel experimented with brewing alcohol from the abundance of locally-grown tropical fruits available. Unsuccessful at first, they decided to make rum in the agricole style, a process that uses distillation from freshly-squeezed sugarcane, which is readily available in North Thailand. This facility is the first French distillery in Thailand.
AGRICOLE SUGARCANE RUM
While most industrial rums are made from molasses and additives like caramel, rum agricole is an exception because it originated in the West Indies where the French government strictly controlled its production.
Agricole-style rum is made from a single ingredient: 100% pure first-press sugarcane juice, which gives it a dynamic and delicate earthy taste and a high alcohol content. Here’s how: raw sugarcane stalks are pressed to extract fresh juice, which is naturally fermented for two to three days before being distilled and put to rest in stainless steel tanks or aged in wooden barrels.
IMAGE FROM MAGIC ALAMBIC RUM
RUM TASTING IN KOH SAMUI
Visit the Magic Alambic Rum distillery in South Koh Samui for a fun memorable experience. We recommend renting a car for a leisurely day trip to this remote area. Make sure not to drive under the influence after a tasting.
Visitors are greeted by Ludovic or Martial Leplutois (owners since January 2014) with an invitation to see the rum production facilities and sample the final products in the tasting area surrounded by beautiful palm trees.
Koh Samui has an array of dining options for you to venture to, combining the local ingredients and traditions of authentic Thai cuisine with contemporary culinary techniques and some of the island’s most scenic locations. If you want to try fresh local seafood or you are a steak lover, or even if you are making sure you live a fresh organic life there is something for everyone on Thailand’s third biggest island, Koh Samui.
Sa Being Lae
Sa Being Lae Restaurant is one of the most well known and established restaurants in Koh Samui that serves mostly Thai seafood dishes. They offer traditional fresh seafood in a classic Thai style.
Owned and run by Mr.Amnart and his wife the restaurant has been open since 1990, they have strong family connections to the local fishermen, and everything that is sold here is fresh off the boat each day, with absolutely nothing being kept to sell-on again tomorrow.
The range of fish to chose from is extensive and the southern Thai cuisine is characterized by the number and variety of curried dishes on the menu. If you have a sweet tooth the kluay buad shi (bananas in sweet coconut milk) can’t be missed. Unlike other seafood restaurants in Samui, Sa Being Lae is affordable and might come in under B1,000 for two.
+66 081 538 7045
ITALIAN AT FISHERMAN’S VILLAGE
2 Fishes is a brand new fine dining Italian restaurant which offers a range of traditional and modern dishes. The Chef Leandro Panza has over 25-years experience working at some of the best restaurants around the world from London, Sydney, Singapore and Melbourne.
The team are very inspired to use fresh local produce and mix these with classic ingredients imported from Italy. 2 Fishes is a warm and welcoming restaurant with professional staff and a great open kitchen so you can watch the chef make the handmade pasta and the classic homemade Italian Desserts.
2 Fishes offers friendly, hospitable service and a top-notch menu, and we didn’t even mention the amazing signature cocktails and fabulous wine list. They are located in the heart of Fisherman’s Village.
OPEN FROM 18:00 (Closed Mondays)
+66 0992 819 973
THAI RESTAURANT ON THE BEACH
(IT’S OUR COVER IMAGE)
Krua Bophut is an authentic Thai restaurant located in the beautiful Fisherman’s Village on Bophut Beach and is surprisingly one of the few Samui restaurants that specialize in traditional local cuisine,