Samui Wining & Dining
Samui Holiday Magazine
A Warm Welcome


Autumn, and the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is upon us. Well, perhaps where you’ve just come from! But Samui doesn’t suffer in the same way at all. It’s true that our temperatures will have dropped to a pleasantly-cool 25 degrees or so, but the only mists you’ll see will be the rainclouds hovering at the top of the mountain. There’s certainly the mellow fruitfulness though – but then we’ve got that all the year round anyway.


This is an ideal time of year to visit; it’s not too hot and the rainy season is still a month or two away. And in all the Western nations it’s the start of a new school year, meaning that there are usually fewer people in the resorts, on the street and waiting for taxis. And the shops won’t be so crowded either, making a visit to Central Festival Shopping Mall or Fisherman’s Village a positive pleasure.


And what better time to make the most of the island’s famous Walking Streets? There are bargains galore, from local gifts and crafts right up to quality clothes and some lovely handmade jewellery. And that’s not to mention all that tantalising food – not just Thai, but of all nationalities – and usually some live entertainment, too.


And if you’re just here to slow down and relax, well we’re famous for that, too! Our range of dining is to be envied. And then there are the spas, with something here for everyone. Come, relax and enjoy!



Scuba diving’s your chance to be weightless and explore a world unknown.

Scuba diving’s your chance to be weightless and explore a world unknown.Most people love beaches and swimming. And probably that has something to do with why Samui is so popular as a holiday destination. As you may know, the entire region around Samui is renowned for its scuba diving. Thousands come annually to learn to swim underwater. But why make the effort? Can it really be so much more fun than just spending time on the beach? And don’t forget you have to strap big heavy oxygen tanks to your back. So just what is about scuba diving that’s so catchy?


Marita Fassbender is someone who knows exactly what makes diving so popular. She’s a leading light behind Easy Divers, a professional scuba diving and PADI school with three branches on Samui. She’s been a diver for many years, and still hasn’t lost her passion for being underwater. She didn’t consider going diving until a holiday in Egypt left her wanting for something more than the desert, beautiful as it might be. She heard about a short diving course and signed up. It would at least be an escape from all the sand dunes, if nothing else. She got more than that. She was instantly hooked. But by what exactly? “Scuba diving is the closest you’ll ever get to being weightless, unless you’re an astronaut. Even the tanks don’t weigh anything, once you’re submerged in the water. You’re completely free. And no longer subject to gravity. You can swim up, down or along with the greatest of ease. And of course you don’t need to come up for air. It’s a wonderful feeling. Learning to scuba dive was the best thing I ever did.”

 Oriental Living opens LOFT.

 Oriental Living opens LOFT.From fashion and nightclub society in Amsterdam, to an art gallery turned high-end interior design and furniture service on Samui, Michael Dietvorst, the charismatic Managing Director of Oriental Living, is pushing new boundaries yet again, with the introduction of a new and innovative retail outlet named LOFT.


Oriental Living is one of Samui’s best known and most prestigious providers of interior design and high-end furnishings, sourced mainly from Thailand and Indonesia. Over the last 20 years, they have continually listened to what their customers want, (or think they want!) and have worked together with them, tirelessly sourcing new furniture, new ideas and new designs, being flexible, moving goal posts, redesigning, until the desired look and feel is finally achieved. The end result must evoke that special atmosphere that is unique and individual to each and every customer.


Through this ongoing determination and perseverance, Oriental Living have succeeded in becoming the company of choice for many home owners and investors on the island, providing a one-stop service for clients in need of tailor-made design and furniture solutions. They offer custom-designed furniture packages for private residences, hotels, real estate projects and businesses. Each piece of furniture is specially designed and made to meet the specific needs of the project. Their customer service representatives are always on-hand to offer friendly but professional advice and assistance. The Oriental Living team strongly believe in encouraging creativity and originality, but they also like to surprise their customers and give them something totally new and inspired.


Oriental Living’s collection of art and décor accessories is eclectic, to say the least. With so many years of experience in treasure hunting, there are always artefacts on display that sell for just a few thousand baht, as well as unique treasures worth hundreds of thousands. If you are looking for something exclusively commissioned, or a limited work of art, one of their talented specialists will certainly be able to find it for you. Their sources are primarily within Thailand; from Chiang Mai and Bangkok, but also from local artists in places like Phetburi province. Some pieces are sourced from the island of Java in Indonesia, where there is currently a large and growing industry in wooden furniture, each piece being handmade by skilled artisans using indigenous materials and techniques.

An exceptional resort with an outstanding restaurant, the 5-star Vana Belle lifts the meaning of ‘dining experience’ to a whole new level.

An exceptional resort with an outstanding restaurant, the 5-star Vana Belle lifts the meaning of ‘dining experience’ to a whole new level.I usually write these feature-stories in a certain way – a way that I know works well. I’ve written a lot of them. And I’ve found that being objective and writing in a dispassionate ‘voice’ makes everything sound more professional somehow. But this story is going to be different. I’ve been seriously impressed by one of the resorts here, and so I’m going to try to do them the justice they deserve.


I turned up for the interview, and ended up outside reception in my car, after having spent a frustrating 10 minutes looking for a parking spot. A smiling Thai man came out – “Are you Mister Robert? Let me park your car. Please go inside, you are expected.” My parking funk vanished. I wandered up the steps and was met by a Thai woman, who again called me by name and then guided me into the lounge, where a cheerful man greeted me warmly. He’s the resort’s Marketing Communications Manager, Jonathan Urquhart. Let’s just pause there . . .


I’m just a writer. I’m not particularly important. And yet here I was, with resort staff having been organised to meet me and greet me. This simple thing tells me that this company has perfected the art of both courtesy and hospitality. And if I’m getting this kind of warmth and consideration, then any guest who stays here will be treated like royalty! Indeed, before you even come here to stay, all your likes and preferences will have been discussed and noted in detail by Jonathan, and your personally-assigned ambassador will be constantly available to respond to your every need throughout your stay.

A peep behind the scenes at Chaweng’s Starz Cabaret – where not everything is as it seems!

A peep behind the scenes at Chaweng’s Starz Cabaret – where not everything is as it seems!Anywhere else, a cabaret show is just that – a cabaret show. It’s an equalopportunity employer for men, women and those in-between to shake, rattle and roll via music, comedy, circus, burlesque, live-art, theatre – or bits and pieces of any or all of these. But in Thailand that same word has a different and very specific meaning. It’s a stage show where the performers are usually all ‘ladyboys’, although often supplemented by a handful of ‘showboys’, too. And don’t expect to be thrilled by their voices; it’s traditional that everyone mimes to the set-numbers that their dance routines are choreographed around.


Due to the nation’s Buddhist beliefs, and the tolerance and acceptance that go with this, here there’s a very different attitude to transsexuals. They are seen as ‘the third sex’ and accepted in all walks of life from TV stars and teachers, to hotel or bank employees. Some have less up-market jobs, working in factories or shops. Many more are to be found in creative spheres, such as artists, beauticians or fashion-stylists. And a select few, those with the right sort of temperament, get all glammed-up and strut their stuff every night as show dancers in a ‘cabaret’.

Nora Beach Resort is a Samui institution that’s stood the test of time and is still going strong – here’s one of the reasons!

Nora Beach Resort is a Samui institution that’s stood the test of time and is still going strong – here’s one of the reasons!Not many of you who are reading this will have heard of the Nora Group. And that’s not really surprising. It’s not actually an organised ‘group’ as such. In fact, it’s a small locally-owned, managed and operated grouping of very shrewd and successful business people. They’ve been around for a while now, after having opened their first and luxurious 4-star Nora Beach Resort & Spa, up the far-northern end of Chaweng Beach, back in the early 2000s. Four or five years later they’d opened two smaller hotels in Chaweng. But then, in 2009, they came out with a lavishly-luxurious 5-star offering, with the spectacular flagship of Nora Buri. And, in a stroke, revealed that they’d cleverly created a spectrum of accommodation that drew in everyone from backpackers to high-flyers alike.


And that brings us to dining and, in particular, the idea of buffets. That word, buffet, still carries unsettling vibes for many people. It might bring to mind wedding receptions with chicken in a basket or junior school fêtes. But this is Samui! It’s a tropical island. And a 5-star-quality gourmet buffet on the beach under a star-spangled canopy is a different animal altogether. There will be a sumptuous spread with prime sirloin and lobster, live cooking stations, a whole table filled with sides, salads, sauces and dips, and not even a hint of a single solitary sandwich – although you’d be free to make-up as many as you wanted!

Taxi technology has come of age. Order your ride through NaviGo Samui for a brilliantly seamless journey.

Taxi technology has come of age. Order your ride through NaviGo Samui for a brilliantly seamless journey.Taxis have always been a crucial blend of man and machine: a timehonoured meld of human controller and wheels. It’s been that way for years. But now things have become a little more sophisticated, and there’s a third factor in the equation: technology. Satellites, circuitry and global positioning can now play a part in your ride. Just a few years ago when a taxi set off, the only way to know its location was via two-way radio. That grand era of squawking radio cabs is now on the wane. The cutting edge technology that’s replacing all of this hasn’t been with us for long, but it’s not confined to sprawling cities where the future seems to have already arrived: you can find it right here on Samui.


NaviGo Samui has been running taxis now for almost a year, and operates a seamless system that guarantees your ride. How does it work? As with most taxi companies there’s a central office, but unlike in the old days, you won’t find dispatchers hunched over endlessly ringing phones hoping and praying all the rides will work out. Clients have the option to call in with their requests (more on this later), but most book the ride via smartphone. It’s incredibly easy to do.

Stand by for a serious culture shock when you go food-shopping, Thai style!

Stand by for a serious culture shock when you go food-shopping, Thai style!Thailand is a constant source of wonder and surprise. And that’s said with respect – no condescension at all. Even if you’ve lived here for 20 years, again and again you’ll just shake your head in awe. But, if you come here for just a few weeks, it can be overwhelming. So much so, in fact, that the vast majority of visitors to Thailand rarely venture out on their own. They stay unthinkingly, safely, close to their hotel and pick through glossy leaflets of organised tours. There’s a comfort in this kind of distance – being a part of all the sights and sounds yet being insulated, too. It’s a rare foreigner who ventures out on their own. And that, in so many ways, is a pity.


The most rewarding thing about a visit to Thailand isn’t the sights; each golden temple is much the same as the next. It’s the culture. It’s the way in which Thai people get on with the normal things in their lives. Well, that’s not quite true. To be exact, it’s the difference between this and the way you would expect to do exactly the same ‘normal’ things back home. That’s what’s so fascinating – the difference between your expectations and everyday way of life, and theirs. Even though so many things look the same over here – the smartphones, the cars and taxis, the police directing traffic, the kids on their way to school, the modern-looking hotels, hospitals and banks – all of this sits on top of a way of doing things, and an outlook on life, that will often bring you to a halt with its strangeness.

Be assured of peace of mind when investing in your holiday home at Oasis Samui.

Be assured of peace of mind when investing in your holiday home at Oasis Samui.At one time, buying land in Thailand was something of a nightmare. But now laws and building regulations have become more strictly applied, procedures have changed, and the whole business has become more established and settled. And it all boils down to this. Do your homework carefully. Then chose a developer with a proven track record, together with a sense of design that you find attractive. And buy into one of their projects.


Such as, for example, the prestigious The Ridge. Located in the Choeng Mon area, on a section of the high backbone that runs inland from the island’s most north-easterly tip, the panorama is stunning – from the misty pastel of Koh Pha-Ngan, panning into a spectacular aerial view of the temple at Wat Plai Laem on the nearer shoreline. There are just eight three or four-bedroom luxury homes here. Both the design concept and the architectural styling are exemplary. Also, many of the original trees of the ‘ridge’ have been retained, and this is echoed in the internal landscaping. This, together with thoughtful positioning of each villa on different levels, achieves the maximum of individual seclusion and privacy.

Rocky’s Boutique Resort offers both casual and fine dining at The Bistro & The Dining Room.

Rocky’s Boutique Resort offers both casual and fine dining at The Bistro & The Dining Room.Hugging a tiny, secluded bay in the south of the island, where lush green hills descend to the water, Rocky’s is a resort where guests are treated like family, whether they’re staying or dropping in to savour the first-class food that’s on offer at the two restaurants here.


The Bistro has an unusual approach; you cross a stone bridge over a stream and you’ll see the restaurant, which is open every day for lunch and dinner. The menu features the best of modern Italian and Provencalinfluenced cuisine as well as Thai dishes. You can enjoy simple delights such as sandwiches and exceptional pizzas. Or treat yourself to Steak au Poivre, grilled grain-fed Australian tenderloin, with brandy and peppercorn sauce, or Butter Fish Wrapped in Betel Leaf, with turmeric and coconut sauce, stir fried asparagus and homemade chilli oil.


Commanding wonderful views, right by the sea, you’ll find The Dining Room. It’s ideal for long, leisurely meals that start with watching the sun set over the water while you sip on a cocktail at the adjacent beach bar. You can eat in the restaurant’s very tasteful interior, or right on the rocks themselves at candle-lit tables (you’ll definitely need to reserve these in advance, by the way). Open every evening for dinner, The Dining Room offers classical French cuisine with a modern twist.

You can enjoy very varied dishes, such as Hokkaido Scallops, with topinambour purée, sauce almandine, wilted baby spinach, Parma ham and white truffle oil or the Rack of Lamb, delicious sous-vide Australian Top Paddock lamb, along with confit shallots, caramelized endives and cumin carrots.

Classic Gems offer high quality jewellery at great prices.

Classic Gems offer high quality jewellery at great prices.If you think that the world of gems, at least as far as Thailand goes, is synonymous with tricky negotiations in broken English, and perhaps not up-toscratch jewellery, then you’re a little bit out of touch. Quality jewellery isn’t just confined to Bangkok - you can also find it here on Samui. After all, this is an island where you can now find shops that are as sophisticated as their counterparts in any cosmopolitan city: there is style, value for money and friendly, efficient service. And fashion isn’t lagging behind, either, as you’ll find up-to-date clothing, accessories and, of course, jewellery.


One of Samui’s longest running businesses is Classic Gems, which has been operating here since 1990, although its history goes back further than that. It’s part of a long family tradition that has its roots in Bangkok, and a factory making quality jewellery. The current owner, Khun Chayapa Pongchababnapa, learned the jewellery business from her father, and he learned it from his father. She saw a need for an equivalent outlet here on Samui, and set up a separate factory and store here. Over the years the company has gained many repeat customers due to the quality of its products.

Detox Destination
The Spa Resorts are renowned spots not just for sun and sea but for improving mind and body.

The Spa Resorts are renowned spots not just for sun and sea but for improving mind and body.When guests arrive at either of Samui’s two Spa Resorts, one of the first things they notice is how green the surroundings are. Looking out from the terrace, jungle-clad mountains predominate, and the vista is remarkably green. Then there are the coconut trees that Samui is justly famous for, cultivated everywhere on the island, climbing all the way up to distant summits. A breeze soothes tired spirits and guests just let their cares drop away from them. The twin resorts – everyone refers to them collectively as The Spa – exude all the charm of the old Samui, a destination where you kick back, slow down and start to savour life.


And just like in olden days, you’ll see couples and friends sharing meals in tranquil salas. Later they’ll retire to comfy wooden chalets that have distinctive wig-wam roofs. Wood, seemingly all but banished as a main building material from the island hotels, is still valued here, and the chalets are all made of this. The ubiquitous concrete of some resorts is less in view. The emphasis is on the natural, but not self-consciously so; the resort isn’t trumpeting its eco-mindedness. But what’s really exciting for those coming here is that this is far from typical as resorts go; it’s not just about relaxation and little else. Guests may be here on holiday, but their holidays have a purpose.

Immerse yourself in the world of craft beer at The Bees Knees Brewpub.

Immerse yourself in the world of craft beer at The Bees Knees Brewpub.It’s not just cooking that takes place in the kitchen. A lot of other things happen there too, and much of it is experimentation. There’s always someone who one day clears the big sensible kitchen table and does something completely different. Jim Smith is one such person; he spent some 40 years in his kitchen first experimenting and then producing an exciting range of beers.


But why beer? After all, you can find it just about anywhere and it’s usually not too expensive. Jim wasn’t worried about supplies or costs; he just liked the challenge of making it himself. He had no idea that he’d one day become a professional. It could be called the law of accretion; you learn little by little and each micro-layer of knowledge rests on the one under it, until the realisation hits the amateur that he or she now knows as much as any professional. Decades long in the making, a new skill is one day completely mastered and it’s time now to simply continue or to get practical and go pro.

Whether you plan it or not, knowing your way around the cardiology unit
at Bangkok Hospital Samui might be a very good thing!

Whether you plan it or not, knowing your way around the cardiology unit at Bangkok Hospital Samui might be a very good thing!We all look forward to our holidays. It’s an exciting time. But the most fun comes in the planning. Deciding where to go. Narrowing it down. The dozens of hours on Google keep us going through the long, dark, months. It lifts us up. And then, as the time draws closer, it’s time for all the details: making lists, checking reservations, packing bags, fixing up a taxi. And in the middle of all of this, tucked away somewhere, is the holiday insurance.


Some people aren’t really aware of this. But many others are, and make a point of buying a comprehensive medical option. After all, everyone’s holiday nightmare is to be sick or injured thousands of miles away from home, in a land where you can’t speak the language. It’ll probably never happen. But it’s worth paying that bit extra just for the peace of mind. Hold all of this in your mind for a moment.


Let’s look at quite a different scenario. People of all ages come to Samui from all over the world – singles, couples and families. In some cases they qualify for free or subsidised medical treatment back home. But in the vast majority of cases, check-ups, treatments or operations have either a waiting list or are expensive. Knowing this, many people deliberately select a holiday destination where they can benefit. They can take a break, and at the same time take advantage of the lower cost of treatment.


At one end of the scale is that an operation is needed but there is a long waiting list. At the other end is something like cosmetic surgery – it’s nonessential but it’s cheaper abroad. And so there are many who come to Thailand, and to Samui, simply because the surgical procedures that they need are instantly obtainable and also cheaper, even factoring-in the airfares and accommodation.

We look at why Poppies boutique resort and restaurant is still flourishing after all this time.

We look at why Poppies boutique resort and restaurant is still flourishing after all this time.Samui changes at night. It’s all about the sky. During the day, there’s infinity above. The vast blue dome of the sky is dappled with clouds, and it drops to merge with the hazy thin line of the nebulous sea. But night comes on fast. Blue fades to pastel and the sky is gauzy with golds and pinks before the last shouts of the day fade to grey and the sun whispers away. Everywhere lights wink on, a myriad of sparks and flushes and gleams. But now it’s all smaller, somehow. Cosy and compact. It’s all wrapped around us, here, where we are, close to the ground.


The lights of the night shimmer and dance, each place a new image, every turn a new whim. The concrete of the road is heavy and dull, orange from the street-lights above, yet snappily fringed with neon and glare, bannered with cars that flare, then crawl glowing like coals as they go. Here, and there, it’s softer, more subtle. The romance of soft lights. The enticing glow of an entry half-revealed. You’re tempted to enter, drawn in . . . exactly as will happen when you come up to Poppies from the road outside, and all the dimensions shift once again!

A look at some of the best fun on Samui and why ghosts are a part of it – at Lamai’s lady boxing!

A look at some of the best fun on Samui and why ghosts are a part of it – at Lamai’s lady boxing!Thai people believe in ghosts – although that’s a bit simplistic. But there’s nothing like this in the West, so it’s hard for us to grasp. Essentially, Thais believe that people who’ve lived a good life will reincarnate into the next one, while the spirits of the baddies are stuck here wandering about, causing all sorts of mayhem and malice. This story is about the ‘lady boxing’ in Lamai. But, to appreciate what you’re seeing, you’ll need some background first. Without which, well, it’s just a couple of girls thumping each other for cash – only a small part of the tale.


Thai boxing (Muay Thai) is a very serious business indeed. And in almost every way there’s an entirely different approach to the boxing we know in the West. For a start, it’s all very spiritual, and there’s a lot of ritual attached to it. You’ll sometimes see visitors smiling about all this, and wondering if it’s all a bit of a show for the tourists. Well, actually, it isn’t. It’s all back to those ghosts again, and the belief that the head is the most sacred part of the body and must be protected by spells and prayers, and by invoking the help of good spirits. This is a completely different facet of the happy-golucky smiling faces you see around you on the street and in the shops and resorts. And it’s worth understanding these things if you want to get the most from a visit to the ‘lady boxing’.

Waterline combines beautiful seaside views with unbeatable food and drink.

Waterline combines beautiful seaside views with unbeatable food and drink.Waterline is a hot destination for those who love good food in a relaxed, seaside setting. What could be more tranquil than a lazy lunch by the pool, with views out to the enigmatic south of the island and the edge-of-thehorizon hills that mark the mainland?


Waterline is one of the restaurants at popular Manathai Koh Samui, a unique resort that turns plenty of heads. Seen from the road, its elegant cream façade and tasteful gardens epitomize the dream of a nostalgic hotel. With its louvered window shutters and bougainvillea-lined terraces, it seems to have stepped out of some deep colonial past, thanks to its appealing mix of the European and the Oriental. The surprise is that the resort is actually completely modern. Its owners were keen to build a hotel with a difference, and they have definitely succeeded in creating a venue that exudes magnificence. It’s a striking addition to seaside Lamai.


Behind Manathai the land rises up dramatically in a lush hillside dotted with rocks and boulders; in front the sea stretches away to distant horizons, blue and tranquil. This enviable setting is just one of the highlights of Waterline, an elegant and laid-back restaurant that charms not just holidaymakers but the island’s residents, too.

Loosely translated; temple fairs move around. A visit to Samui is not complete
unless you’ve been to one!

Loosely translated; temple fairs move around. A visit to Samui is not complete unless you’ve been to one!Everyone who comes here knows about Big Buddha. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Mummified Monk, too. These, together with Fisherman’s Village, the Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, the Muslim fishing village, elephant trekking and a couple of others, are the basics of the Samui tours and trips bible. Every resort has brochures on them. Every website about Samui features them. These are the earners. These places are where the tourists are expected to want to go.


But Google-about for a bit and see what you get for ‘Samui temples’. Apart from the ones already mentioned, there’s also the Coral Buddha. You’ll additionally come across Buddha’s Footprint, the multi-armed Buddha at Wat Plai Laem and two or three more. And that’s about all. All these have one thing in common; they are all unusual in some way, and photogenic. They are of interest to tourists. And if you were a casual visitor to Samui, you’d be forgiven for thinking that was it. That these six or seven ‘wats’ (temples) were the total of the temples on the island. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Securing your property is vital, and that’s why we’re looking at B Smart Sys, over in Bang Po.

Securing your property is vital, and that’s why we’re looking at B Smart Sys, over in Bang Po.Samui has changed. At one time, people only came here for a holiday break. Today, many of those people still come here, but to their own house, not to a resort. Some of these people are residents, cashed-up, retired and living here. But others come and go, staying here for a few months at a time. Some properties are gated and guarded. But most of them aren’t. Yes, Samui is certainly desirable all right. And criminals like that a lot.


Back in the early days, one or two break-ins used to happen, here and there in the low season – off-season there’s less money to go around. Thieves grabbed what they could and ran. But now it’s big business. Teams from the mainland spend time here hunting. Then, targets acquired, they’ll hit three or four places at once and be back on the next ferry and gone. Security bars? They’ll put a chain around, hook it up to their truck and rip everything out in one go. The whole job takes just 15 minutes. And if someone nearby phones the police? Well it’ll take half an hour before someone on a scooter turns up in response. But that’s the way it used to be, just a few years ago.

Drink Gallery is as much about eating as it’s about drinking. But it’s more than both.

Drink Gallery is as much about eating as it’s about drinking. But it’s more than both.It’s evening, and the chic space that is Drink Gallery is already filling up, while outside the curious are giving it interested looks. As well they might: it’s certainly a feather in the cap for Chaweng’s beach road, and there’s nothing else remotely like it on the island, or even far further afield. It seems to belong in a cosmopolitan city, and is a meld of the cool and the engagingly fun. People love it, come back to it and it always seems fresh and filled with vigour.


It’s also a lot more than its name might suggest. The words ‘Drink Gallery’ conjure up some sort of themed watering-hole. Perhaps a long bar where patrons enjoy shots of heady liquor. It’s not like that at all. It certainly does offer drinks (and we’ll come to them in a moment as they are quite amazing) but first and foremost it’s a great restaurant serving everything from snacks to full-scale meals and everything in between. Behind the casual name, there stands a solidly professional crew who are as creative as they’re culinary.

If your idea of Samui is lazing on the beach, you need to give Dental Solutions some serious thought!

If your idea of Samui is lazing on the beach, you need to give Dental Solutions some serious thought!It’s hard to put the two together somehow. One the one side of things there’s Samui. It’s a tropical paradise where, to continue the cliché, palm-fringed beaches lazily shimmer under a deep-blue sky full of little fluffy clouds. It’s a slow, healing getaway; a place where you can switch off completely, recharge your batteries, and share some quality, even romantic, time with your partner. And then there’s the idea of . . . going to the dentist!


It’s an emotional subject. And that’s the problem. It’s hard to think about it with any kind of cool logic. Such as, for instance – if you were offered the chance, wouldn’t you want to do some of the basic stuff, the cleaning or maintenance, for one third of the cost? (If your own dentist offered this, you’d do it without a second thought!) In fact, using that same logic, if you think about it calmly, how many painful experiences have you actually ever had? Very few most likely. It’s the thought of it all that’s the problem, not the actual experience itself.

When it comes to lavish food, Noori India provides quality dishes at affordable prices.

When it comes to lavish food, Noori India provides quality dishes at affordable prices.Amongst all the shops and restaurants on Chaweng beach Road, it’s easy to overlook Noori India, as it doesn’t stake out its territory with big neon signs or any other fanfare. And partly, this is what it’s about: a down-to-earth restaurant that’s completely without pretension of any kind. You’ll find it about half way down the street, just before you come to McDonald’s as you go down the road in the direction of Lamai. If you’re driving, however, parking’s very easy – just park for free at Central Festival then leave via the beach road exit and continue on down the street. You’ll soon come to Noori India, which you’ll see on your right.


Once you step inside, you might first have to adjust to a sense of déjàvu; it may recall your local Indian restaurant from back home, or even strike you as having stepped straight out of India itself. Oddly however, there aren’t that many restaurants on Samui that haven’t fused in some way or other with local Thai culture, and Noori is definitely one of them. No disrespect to the host country intended, but it looks humbly and faithfully Indian.


Copyright 2016 Samui Holiday Magazine. All rights reserved Siam Map Company Ltd.