Leaving Bangkok we were excited and ready to get back to the beach for some relaxation before going full beast mode tourist in Japan. We ended up staying longer than planned, sixteen days to be exact and they were nothing short of uneventful. Initially, we booked an Airbnb apartment for nine nights in the northern part of the island called Bophut, known for its shopping and dining street – Fisherman’s Village where we had drinks and dinner a few nights with Coco Tam’s and Red Moon being the highlights. Looking back, we should have thought twice about the location because our place wasn’t close to any good beaches and the people who worked at the condo complex weren’t the most welcoming, which was a first for us in Thailand. Although the condo was big, it wasn’t comfortable at all and we weren’t happy. Not to mention the stray dogs all over our dead end street and AC only in the bedroom. The final straw was completely losing internet on the third day. Needless to say, our first five nights in Koh Samui didn’t give us the best impression and we needed a Plan B and fast. Jesse rented a motorbike for the sole purpose of finding new accommodations in the Chaweng Beach area on the eastern side of the island. After some research we decided to check out a fairly new hotel, OZO to see if it would suffice and after a tour of the grounds and a room we immediately booked eleven nights… and couldn’t get there fast enough the next morning. There inevitably comes a time where as much as you try to stick to a budget, it gets thrown out the window and that’s exactly what happened to us when we happily gave up our last four nights in the condo. Our Airbnb host was nice enough to give us a lift to our new digs and didn’t offer a refund (and we didn’t ask). At that point we were desperate to have a better experience and be comfortable, which thankfully we were at OZO. We’re definitely biased having come from the pristine Aegean waters in Greece and Nice because we found the beaches in Koh Samui to be less clean and since there were warning signs everywhere to beware of jellyfish, our days were mostly spent at the pool (when it wasn’t raining). And since we literally didn’t do anything cool, here’s a description of our daily routine:
- 10:30AM – breakfast buffet (good food and variety which was included in our nightly rate)
- 11:30AM – pool (depending on the weather) or room to read or watch TV
- 3:30/4:00PM – gym (we were very consistent!)
- 6:30PM – dinner (our favorite time of day)
- 10:00PM – TV (thank goodness for being able to stream shows from home) & bed
Highlights of our time here, other than relaxing and prepping for the final leg of our trip were our dinners. Noori, an Indian restaurant in particular had us by its simple, tangy cabbage/carrot/tomato/cucumber salad the first time. The restaurant has no frills and it definitely doesn’t lure you from the street so we were a little hesitant at first but decided its great reviews warranted it a try. Yeah, its the best Indian food we’ve ever eaten so we went three times in a week and loved it more with each visit. The most noticiable difference and what put it over the edge was how much lighter the food was at Noori with no compromises whatsoever in the spice punch…we were addicted. Jenn even ordered a second salad for dessert one night – yes, dessert. Before ordering, they bring two very thin pieces of chickpea crackers (think really thin lavash kicked up a notch with some chili powder baked in) accompanied by two sauces for dipping and adding to any dish – a mango/cardamom and spicy cilantro green chili. What a way to get the taste buds going. The butter chicken, chicken vindaloo, mixed vegetable yellow curry that included perfectly cooked green beans were standouts. On our last night we tried the tandoori chicken which was super tender and delicious. The nut/raisin Naan was out of this world, macadamias and pecans with a light brown butter flavor, I mean.. c’mon. Each time we walked out of there at under $30 total which included a carafe of wine, such a deal for ridiculously good food. The service was also great and we can’t recommend this place enough!
A few nights we ended up eating at our resort and enjoyed a really fresh salad with grilled chicken and a tangy red wine vinaigrette that was excellent. Jenn is really picky about salad dressings so thankfully this one passed the test. We ate at an Italian spot across the street, Baci twice and we liked it best the first time where we had a pork roulade and flaky white fish with a really great tomato/olive/caper sauce. The second time Jesse tried their pizza – it was fresh but nothing to write home about and Jenn had vegetable soup which was flavorful and a good portion size but the veggies were beyond overcooked. One night we ventured all but twenty feet from our hotel to Stacked where Jesse had a pretty good burger and Jenn tried the tomato soup which was a little too creamy for our liking but had great flavor. After more dinner research we ventured to Scandic to have some authentic Scandinavian food (we aren’t kidding). There are a ton of ex-pat’s on Koh Samui, many of whom own restaurants which is the case for Scandic as the owner and chef hails from Sweeden. The Swedish Meatballs were deliciously moist and when topped with a dollop of tart lingonberry jam and a small bite of mashed potatoes… delish!
After recharging at OZO we were ready to leave the warmth and head to Japan to experience the last leg of our journey! #OOWT