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Ko Samui reviews

Average Rating based on 2 Reviews:
OverallOverall = 5.005.00

Travelersx2 saw things this way:
OverallOverall = 55
The beaches, the laid-back pace, the food; these might entice us to return., May 14, 2013
Reviewer: Travelersx2

Pros: The beaches, the laid-back pace, the food

Cons: Not much, though in April it was hot--made just tolerable by a little sea breeze

Tom Kha Kai, Pad Thai, and Deep Fried Stuffed Crabmeat in Crab Shell; this was our lunch at Nora Beach Resort & Spa on Kho Samui. All three dishes were delicious, and we cooked them ourselves! We joined a “Thai Cooking Class” excursion and believe we may have had the best lunch of anyone on the cruise today, save our classmates.

We tendered ashore about 10 a.m. in a choppy sea, making it a little tricky boarding and leaving the tender. Six of us were transported by air conditioned van to what our guide, Sally, called the “Wet Market,” in Nathon, the island’s commercial hub. Here she explained about the local cuisine.

She encouraged us to taste fish cakes, a popular snack, sniff variously hued and spiced curry pastes, and three varieties of basil, and sample a refreshing little berry-like fruit called long an. Stumped when asked to guess what part of a chicken she was pointing out, we learned they were the key ingredient in chicken-foot soup.

Then we drove nearly half-way around the island to Nora Beach Resort with roofed, open-air public spaces, lush landscaping and a beachfront terrace restaurant where we met our instructor, Sous Chef Walai “Paula” Tabtawee. After a miraculously refreshing herbal welcome drink we received a booklet with ingredient lists and preparation instructions for each dish, along with aprons and chef’s hats to make us official.

While the stuffed crabmeat was an original and creative recipe using several typical Thai ingredients, its title is pretty descriptive. And we all knew that Pad Thai is a traditional fried noodle dish and staple of Thai cuisine. But the Tom Kha Kai, that was new. It’s translated as “chicken soup in young coconut,” and provided an unexpected taste sensation. Coconut milk, coconut water, lemon grass, Kaffir Lime leaves, cilantro, and a Thai root similar to ginger called galingale, combined with more conventional ingredients plus some Thai chilies to taste and, Wow! We’re trying this on out friends when we return home.

Sally explained that Kho means “island” in the Thai language and that Samui means “first gate.” Kho Samui is where European trading vessels would provision with water, rice and coconuts before continuing on to Bangkok, making it the first stop in Thailand.

Naturally, it is hot and humid here, but the island and beaches are beautiful and deserve more time than we had. Perhaps we’ll return in cooler season for a better look, and if we do we’ll try to stay at the Nora Beach Resort.

Erwin1lucy saw things this way:
OverallOverall = 55
Would go back for longer stay; much to do yet can relax., December 7, 2010
Reviewer: Erwin1lucy

Pros: Exotic and friendly

Cons: It has been discovered so can be busy.

We got together with two other couples and found a driver of a truck with benches in back. Exhaust was a problem. He knew the island well.

We all wanted to ride an elephant which was a highlight of my 31-day cruise. Also feeding a young elephant. Hiked to a waterfall ate durian chips had Thai beer then went to a beach and had a lovely meal and took a swim.

We spent about $75 US total each which was less than half what the ship charged. A truly memorable experience. The mahout took a picture of us on the elephant, me on the neck! Would go back.

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