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April 13, 2013

Koh Samui – A Beach Story

Text by Neha Gupta.

Casually speckled with conch shells and palm trees, the island is meant for all those who trek coastlines in search of engaging solitude

That overwhelming joy of watching an uninterrupted horizon slip into a cosy crimson from a vibrant sapphire; this is exactly why people escape to the sands of Koh Samui in search of sanity. And my agenda of attaining beach nirvana could only be achieved by promising myself ample leisure time on each of this island’s assorted seashores.

Jamborees at Chaweng Beach definitely have reputations that speak for themselves. Cocktail buckets (actual miniature buckets!) and neon bangles assure electrifying nights like never before. But, a stolen night-walk along its contrasting, quieter strip is definitely meditative.

Lamai Beach was comparatively a better option for my sought-after sacrosanctity with endurably-balanced doses of wingdings. Its cyan waters are perfect for a refreshing dip. Swimming towards the south, away from the main shoreline, the waterbed inclined to a shallow stretch, making it an ideal lounge-spot.

Back on the soft white sands in the evening, evocative aromas of Thai foods riding the sea-breeze forcefully roused my hunger pangs. Here, a flavoursome meal exploded into an enjoyable mix of local spices. This, relished against the setting sun, most certainly imprinted a surreal memory on the mind. Indisputably, Lamai’s coastal stretch is known for its panoramic splendidness that is freckled with granite boulders. And a short drive from the coast are the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rock formations. They emulate male and female genitalia. Local legends believe that a couple was washed up on these rocks during an unfortunate shipwreck. They were very much in love, and over the years, nature, in their memory, has carved the boulders with such characteristics.

Two days later I taxied to the nearby Bho Phut beach – an old fishing village that asserts the veracity of Samui tradition. This sandy spread, north of Koh Samui, stands as the motherland for island hoppers. And even with a kaleidoscope of dive shops, beach stalls and restaurants to its west, the three kilometres trimmed shoreline wears a scanty layer of tourist life. There has been a conscious effort to preserve the island’s Chinese-Thai authenticity, simplifying the hunt for traditional seafood delicacies and massages, which only coddled my search for typical Samui tranquillity.

Fluttering towards a higher degree of quietude, the final leg of my exploration was to the lesser known Mae Nam Beach. Here, I hired a local Asian cottage instead of a commercial resort. My cottage’s time-honoured oriental interiors asserted the region’s peculiarly rich Chinese culture. For a full experience, their night markets are worth a visit with a very traditional spread of Chinese commodities – especially the food that betrays its insipid repute.

The last day of my stay was emotional. I bid adieu to the island with truly therapeutic colours, promising myself a quick return.

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