Bangkok-Koh Samui-Ayuthaya-Bangkok
October 2004


This is an abridged description of a trip to Thailand in October 2004. The intention is to give a first hand personal experience of how we did get to Bangkok and then (with an intermediate trip to Myanmar) to Koh Samui. We did not book anything in advance at all except for the flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok and the first two nights in a Bangkok hotel. It was a very comfortable trip with no hassle whatsoever: No wonder, because we only continued to fly to Koh Samui from Bangkok when we arrived from Yangoon. So this trip will not be adventurous at all, not to mention much sight-seeing either. My entourage needed some lazy days at the beach (after our Burma round trip) because they still belonged to the working class. Nevertheless, just in case you need to relax from work too, then Koh Samui is the right place to do so.

Arriving in Bangkok

We (Brigitte, Petra, Uli and myself) flew from Frankfurt with Qatar Airways to Bangkok. Booking the flight for Brigitte and myself was a story by itself. Actually we were supposed to fly with the newly founded Tiger Airways to Bangkok. The return ticket for only 398 Euro was a good deal (though we missed the 99 Euro one way contingent). Just one month before the flight we were informed that "Tiger" had no airplanes. After several phone calls with the travel agent we did get tickets for Qatar Airways instead and without any surcharge. So this was my cheapest flight ever to Bangkok. Qatar was also a rising star in the sky, even as a five star airline, but still with a cheap contingent of which Petra and Uli did get their share for at least 100 Euro more.

On arrival our passports were stamped with a tourist visa for a maximum stay of 30 days. Right from the Airport we took a taxi directly to our pre-booked
Royal Hotel
Rajdamnern Avenue
Tel.(02) 222-9111 to 26
The reason why we had this pre-booked: we didn't have to search for a room upon arrival, especially if you are four people, and, this time, it was cheaper for 24 Euro (double room including breakfast) than we would have paid as walk-in guests.

The hotel was conveniently located close to the Grand Palace, the What Phra Kaew and the museum (though we didn't visit it this time again) and of course the Khao San Road, the traveler hang-out with many guesthouses, restaurants and many "cheap" travel agencies. One of these, as I have already mention in the Myanmar Travel Report, was the
Namhasin Tours
Viengtai Hotel
Rumbutree Road
Tel.: 02629-3684,02629-3935
where we booked the flights with Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui, together with the flights to Yangoon, but for the time directly after we come back from Yangoon.

This is an agency with the best fares for flights, and definitely much cheaper than booking in Germany, for example. As a matter of fact another travel agency on the parallel Khao San Road, where we inquired before, was more expensive.

After that, we of course strolled around to the Khao San Road to take a look at all those shops and stalls and eventually having a drink at one of the street restaurants. Later on we also ate at one of the many and crowded restaurants.

We had another day in Bangkok before our flight to Yangoon, so we did some sightseeing and also tried the Tea Time menu at the most expensive and most exclusive Oriental Hotel for 38 Euro each (as far as I remember).

Click the small picture to get it large

Having a drink in the Khao San Road and tea in the most exclusive "Oriental"
The evening was used to inspect the Patpong Area with its bars (though did not watch any pussy shows) and night market filled up with vendors selling all kinds of goods, but not many fake camel shirts (stricter rules seem to be enforced in Thailand nowadays). Next day we flew to Yangoon for our Myanmar roundtrip.

Koh Samui

Same day we arrived from Yangoon back in Bangkok we continued right away to Koh Samui with Bangkok Airways. There was no other airline to fly with, so no cheaper ticket to get (except if we would have gone by train and boat), but there was already a nice treatment in the departure lounge: Free snacks and drinks.

After arrival in Koh Samui (nice small airport with South Pacific flair), we took a van together with some other people to get to our hotel one after another. We have chosen the Lamai Beach to stay. The first hotel we did not like and the second one either. Then finally we took the
Weekender Resort & Hotel
124/19 Moo 3 Lamal Beach, Koh Samui
Suratthani 84310
Tel.: 07742-4429
because firstly, it was late, secondly, we did not want to keep our driver too much longer and thirdly, we ran short of any other suggestions. The rate for a double room including American breakfast was 18 Euro, which was ok.

However, we wanted more luxury (desperately needed by my exhausted working class companions) so next day Brigitte and Uli went along the beach (each to either side) to look for a better domicile. They really found two and left it up to the rest of the bunch for further inspection. Petra and Uli decided for a nice cottage (with no sea view though) in a huge resort the
Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort
124/24 Moo 3
Koh Samui 84310
but for at least double the double room rate than what we paid just 100 meters to the south for our chosen
Thai House Beach Resort
135 M 3 Maret Lamai, Koh Samui
Suratthani 84310
Tel:(077) 232-190
And we did not regret it. It was the best choice (in my opinion) and I can recommend it very much. All the houses and cottages were build in Thai style (thus the name Thai House) and looked very beautiful, as you can see from the photographs. We paid 50 Euro including American breakfast for the double room. That was supposed to be a discounted rate, because the whole resort was not finished yet. In the rear part of the resort there was still some construction going on during the day but that did not disturb us very much and they should have been finished by now. But still: I found a rate of 65 US Dollars in July 2007 in the internet, which is not far off the 50 Euro we paid.
Thai House Resort Our Thai House
With the swimming pool area in front and the sea view behind
And the whole long Lamai beach during the day and the Thai House restaurant on the beach in the evening
Or get together in "Petra & Uli" resort having some drinks before dinner
while watching girls performing traditional dances for the tourists only, no folk festival of the locals
Hey man, Uli, don't dismiss let's still enjoy every miss
Since we couldn't always lie around on the beach or having a massage every day, we rented kind of a jeep for a trip around the island (the rental station was just opposite the Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort). Actually there was not much to visit, the country side was the biggest asset (especially having a look around from some hills) and thus not very much spoiled (neither squatter areas seen nor ugly high rise buildings). One "highlight" was the ride through the "jungle" on an elephant in an elephant tourist camp.
Better riding elephants Side by side
No banana for Uli's and Petra's elephant? Brigitte takes better care of her elephant
I take care even more and my elephant wants more and more
After the elephant camp we trekked through a little "jungle" to a waterfall (nice to walk a bit after all that sitting either on the elephant or in the jeep). Then we continued our trip further up north to the Wat Phra Yai to be reached via a causeway. The Buddha is 12 meters high and located on a hill surrounded by some temples and of course a lot of souvenir shop. There is a nice view from up the hill down to the sea and the demon standing in the water, whatever it was supposed to be.
A nice waterfall on our trek A demon does not scare Uli
Doesn't scare me either but with Buddha I am more at ease
The round trip circuit is closing down to our last stopover: Chaweng Beach. This is the main beach with the most resorts on the island. Parallel to the beach runs the street with a lot of shops, all kinds of shops and ... galleries, where you can watch the painters "faking" any famous painting, you name it they can paint it.
A visit to the painters in a Chaweng mall This painting I ordered for my bedroom wall
If you also want some customs made paintings then contact the
Poo Gallery
Close to Silver Sand Resort
Cell 09-5889858 or 01-0825818
I bought 2 large paintings (100x60cm) and 3 smaller ones. I paid around 80 Euro for all, including packaging: nicely rolled and put into a tube for transport. And they paint everything you want, from Mona Lisa to the Last Supper (even exactly to Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code"). Give them up to three days to paint. Also mail orders are accepted.

After that trip we finally our tranquil beach we reach Not so next day: a storm was raging the beach
Another day back to tranquility and peace Only the palm trees still braving the breeze
Strolling alone along a pristine beach Con-templating about the world's beauties
All those nice rocks, who arranged them there? Making the beach more picturesque everywhere
Petra and Uli left already after one week on the island, because of duties at home which could not wait. Somehow we wanted but did not make the trip to Ko Pha-Ngan island for the full moon party, because there was no moon shining and bad weather, I guess. So we did just hang around one more week before we headed back to Bangkok
A beautiful traveler hangout with an inviting look Last dinner on the beach before flying back to Bangkok
Finally also our time came to say good bye to Koh Samui. Getting to the airport was easy, the flight back to Bangkok smooth. Again, from the airport in Bangkok we went directly to our (already pre-booked from Koh Samui) hotel
The Plaza Hotel
178 Surawongse Road
Bangkok 10500
Tel. (66) (02) 235-1760 to 79
of which I saw an advertisement in a local newspaper offering a double room including breakfast for 999 Baht (20 Euro). It was a very good deal and a very good location, close to the Padpong area.

Since we had one extra day contingency we decided to visit Ayuthaya for a day. We left in the morning by train from the Hualamphong station and after 86 km and 1, 5 hours we reached the old capital (till 1767 when it was destroyed by the Burmese and the king moved to Bangkok after). We took a Tuk Tuk for the whole day to get around until we finished our sight-seeing at a good floating restaurant on the west bank on the southern side of the bridge, the
Phae Krung Kao Restaurant
After taking our time for a good meal and relaxing at the river we just missed one train and had to wait for some time to finally hop on the last one back to Bangkok.
Old stupas in Ayuthaya Nice Buddha to look at
Better with close-up An elephant for the tourists
Stupa, very antique Stupa with stupid
Last glimpse of Ayuthaya's decaying stupas Last look out the Fig Tree roots at the Wat Phra Mahathat
Ok, that was our trip to Thailand, or better to Koh Samui, a little Ayuthaya and Bangkok, not much else. I have visited Thailand many times before (see my list) with more traveling around and more actions. This time it was not that much of an adventure or out of the ordinary I must admit. But it was supposed to be a relaxing experience and, again, with a lot of fun. If you want to know more all about the places we have visited, then just look up any of the many guidebooks or in the internet.

© 2002 by WEW Tours