We didn’t have any plans for our breakfast the first morning of vacation, so headed towards Maenam on the trail of hot coffee, fluffy pancakes and fresh juice. I had seen Angela’s bakery on several occasions and thought it looked popular and clean so we stopped there. The kids were in raptures about the excellent crispy bacon and the best pancakes we had ever eaten, the scrambled eggs were excellent and I had spicy prawns (when in Thailand …) which were just perfect. The coffee is strong and good, the setting is cute and the service was fantastic. Highly recommended!
If you are a fan of Thai food, you could do a lot worse than Krua Bophut. This restaurant is located in a traditional Thai house at the western end of Fishermen’s Village, just on the beach. You can sit outside on a terrace or on the beach, or (if the weather looks threatening), in the teak building. We took the children aged 3 and 7 for an early dinner and our party of 6 was made to feel very welcome. The atmosphere is friendly and calm and the food is 100% Thai. A very mild fried rice with chicken was recommended for the children and it was delicious and the dishes are all cooked to order so can be as fiery as you wish. Steamed rice arrives in little covered tureens followed closely by a huge range of curries, stir fries, salads and soup all beautifully presented with carved vegetable garnishes. Our favourites include Thai red curry, Tom Kha Gai (fragrant coconut and chicken soup), duck with mushrooms and pineapple and sweet and sour prawns, washed down with fresh coconut or mango juice.
Service is friendly and efficient but not rushed and the bill for 6 of us came to about GBP 60.
Walking streets are hugely popular on Samui and each town seems to have its own dedicated evening to hold them. They involve anyone who can sell anything (souvenirs, food, cocktails etc) setting up a table along the street as a small market area. Fishermen’s Village holds its walking street on a Friday and the ideal time to go is around 5.30pm (or before a sundowner at the quiet end of the street). We tend to enter the main gate (under the Fishermen’s Village sign) and walk down to the performance area and jetty. The streets are mainly pedestrianized and you are greeted by tables of spring rolls, mojitos, satay, carved coconuts, fried chicken, leather wallets, guitar strings, replica cosmetics, Tshirts and hand carved soaps. The food is mostly cooked at the stalls in a health-and-safety-free zone of cooking oil, bottled gas and fire, but there is so much to take in that you have to walk slowly, pausing at each stand to examine the wares.
At the jetty, there is a performance area where children from local schools play traditional Thai instruments in their school uniform. Turn right at the jetty for the crowded end of the market, then turn back, past the jetty to the other far end of the market, quieter and fewer stands but more restaurants and bars backing on to the beach, in case you haven’t filled up while wandering.
There are other walking streets at Maenam on Thursday and Nathon on Sunday.
Dr Frogs, on the road south from Chaweng, claims that it makes Samui’s number one pizza. It can’t be far off, because the pizza is excellent (as is the Thai food) but what really sells it is the view. We arrived for lunch and the place was desertedbut we could see for miles. We watched the fishermen on the rock below and gazed out to sea as our food (andexcellent smoothies) was delivered at Samui speed. A very relaxing and enjoyable lunch with friendly service and and amazing view!
We went to Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo this afternoon. Although it’s at the opposite end of the island to Baan Pimalai, near Ban Harn, it’s a great drive and a nice way to see the island. To be honest, it’s an expensive visit at ThB 750 per adult (we seemed to benefit from some sort of family deal) and we missed the 1.30pm tiger show but the kids enjoyed it and there are some big sharks, turtles and wrasses there, which I suspect would have been released into the wild in other aquariums. After the aquarium, you get to see tigers in their compound (although the wire mesh separating us from so much orange tiger flesh didn’t fill me with confidence and knowing how much daughter 2 can annoy the cat at 20 paces, we moved on fairly quickly). You can have your picture taken with a fairly sleepy (tranquilized no doubt) full size tiger – again we prefer our tigers further away. You can walk through a garden with cages of parrots, otters, monkeys and various squirrel-type animals to the beach. There is a little cafe with a great sea breeze and we even saw someone taking their buffalo on a walk along the shore. After a brief activity of shell-collecting, it was time to head back … along the other half of the ring road.
There may be terrible flooding in Bangkok and it’s supposed to be the rainy season here but it seems that someone forgot to tell the clouds over the Gulf of Thailand. We arrived yesterday and this picture is the view from the four poster bedroom at 6am today. We haven’t had a drop of rain and apart from a few clouds that clear by breakfast time to a clear bright blue sky, the weather has been perfect.
We’re spending a lot of time at the pool with the children (who love the fountain) and hope to explore a bit more over the next days.