“Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo.” – The Beach Boys.

Everyone should know this song, and the feel good vibes it sends through you. However you’ve never truly understood the meaning of the song until you’ve lived it. I have been fortunate enough to know several places that give you that ‘Kokomo’ feeling.

Today I’ll be talking about my latest paradise destination. Koh Samui is a little island in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s about 25 km at its widest point. There’s a single 51 km road that circles most the island, connecting the lowland areas as the centre of the island has an almost uninhabitable jungle mountain, Khao Pom, peaking at 635 m.

Coming into land you’ll see a sparkling turquoise sea and lush green islands dotted around the water. It’s the kind of view that makes you want to jump out of the plane there and then so you can splash into beautiful world beneath you. (I recommend you resist this urge until after you land.)

When you land you’re welcomed by an airport that looks more like a resort than a hotel. So you get that holiday vibe as soon as your feet touch the ground! You also become aware that this place is different. This place is special.

If you usually hate airports than Samui airport will bring a welcome change, it’s a small privately owned airport that has few incoming and outgoing flights so there’s never masses of people running about or long lines to passport control. It’s more like a giant wardrobe, and Koh Samui is a tropical Narnia. (If you remove the ice queens, talking lions and such.)

Walking away from the cute little airport and we’re greeted by the driver that the hotel has sent us. This seems common here, there were queues of hotel cars and mini buses waiting to pick up the waiting tourists. The alternative is to take a tuk tuk, taxi, or for the adventurous – the motorbike taxi.

Almost everyone in Koh Samui gets around by motorbike or scooter, they’re also readily hired to tourists… although that doesn’t always end well for the tourist. (frequent accidents occur from silly shenanigans involving drunken tourists and motorbikes.) On my way to the resort I saw a whole love scene unfold in front of me as a young man tries to court a girl riding on the back of a motorbike. He pulls up next her, smiling. She giggles bashfully and waves him away but he persists, convincing her to meet him tonight for a drink. Then our drive honks his horn to remind them that this is the open road, not a dating service… They ignored us completely.

Such is Love. Such is Koh Samui.

More about Koh Samui in my next post.

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