The hottest (fashionably), driest and sunny holiday spot in the world this summer – the Conrad Koh Samui.
The Wandering Palate is wandering again, this time in Thailand, or more specifically, back in Koh Samui for the Conrad Koh Samui Grand Opening.
For those who did not catch the last instalment on my visit to Koh Samui, read more…
So, why would you travel to Thailand, supposedly under water?
Well, firstly much of Thailand was not affected by the floods and the water is now beginning to recede in the most-affected regions.
The banal mainstream media of course took advantage of reporting all the misery, (good news does not sell) with the constant television coverage of the Thailand floods achieving little else than improving TV advertising revenues at the expense of the Thailand’s economy with all the negativity causing mass cancelations of holidaymakers in what is the countries peak visitors season, having a punitive effect on the Thai tourism.
Notwithstanding the severe flooding in parts that caused devastating damage, human toll and displacement, it’s now time for regrouping and getting things back to semi-normal in Thailand, and tourists play a vital part in this.
So folks, if you are still undecided what you are doing for your Christmas-New Year holiday, I would be wasting no time in checking out the many hotels and resorts in Thailand who will be offering great deals, and I notice Thai Airways already offering very attractive airfares and add-on incentives.
I would also add that the island of Koh Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand and the Isthmus of Kras, is an ideal destination with the passing of the rainy season there.
The island enjoys beautiful weather between December and April, being east of the mainland and is relatively drier than say Phuket (on the west coast) with the northeast monsoons dry and cold winds blowing overland from China across the Gulf and generally there is very little rain and a nice cooling breeze from December to the end of February, hence their high season.
Bias aside, having designed and implemented the wine program at the Conrad Koh Samui, this is an incredible resort and I cannot recommend it more highly. www.conradkohsamui.com
It is a stunning location with only Villa accommodation, all with their own pool and sweeping breathtaking 180 degree views out over the Gulf and nearby islands. It has a completely private beach with the resort built on a cliff-face, totally inaccessible for anyone other than house guests and there’s a brilliant, family user-friendly pool and beach area.
For extra-special Wandering Palate VIP service, you may contact the resort directly and liaise with Samuel Chamberlain – Business Development Manager email@example.com
A little travel detail for those flying from the northern hemisphere, in case you are still having jitters of running into complications on mainland Thailand, there are many direct flights from Europe to the Island of Phuket and Bangkok Airways have daily connecting flights from Phuket to Koh Samui.
One needs to be aware that Bangkok Airways actually own the Koh Samui airport and thus flights are somewhat monopolised and restricted, although there are sufficient flights out of Bangkok.
If you are travelling through Singapore, Bangkok Airways is the only daily direct flight out of Changi Airport, departing at 8.10pm. It is a short 1 hour 40 minute hop, well, that’s the schedule time, and would normally arrive around 9pm local time, with the 1 hour time difference, in your favour on the way there.
My last flight actually did not leave until 8.50pm, so it was closer to 10pm by the time we were queuing at immigration. Clearing customs here is relatively painless, that is relative to say Bali, but be prepared for a good half hour queuing time but you can be assured of a warm, friendly Thai welcome that is indicative of the whole country.
It’s worth taking onboard (pardon the pun) that arriving a little earlier for check-in and having dinner at Changi airport, not only avoids pedestrian airline food, but the fact is by the time you arrive at your Koh Samui hotel it could be around 10pm. Depending where you are staying on the island, in my case the Conrad which is a 45 minute drive, dinner service might well be over by the time you arrive, if not a little late for most to have an enjoyable meal.
Yes, I know it is rare that you hear a food writer recommending you go out of your way to dine at an airport, but Singapore’s Changi Airport is in a league of its own.
Bangkok Airways departs from Changi Terminal 1, the oldest of the 3 main terminals and you would think tired and substandard by comparison to the brand new state-of-the-art T3. However, there is a steady makeover program taking place in T1 and I can highly recommend eating at Saboten, Japan’s famous deep-fried breaded pork cutlet chain restaurant – read more… http://www.thewanderingpalate.com/restaurants/excellent-dining-at-singapores-changi-airport/
I have also noticed considerable online comments on the expensive fares between Singapore and Koh Samui, which is somewhat predictable when there is a route monopoly however, I have paid the same for two trips now, S$500 return, plus taxes for a total of S$654 – not inexpensive but for a near 2 hour flight within the bounds of reasonable.
So, Thailand is the hot destination with substantial savings to be had moreover you will be giving the Thai Tourism industry a welcome boost.