Samui Wining & Dining
ISLAND HOPPING
Get away from it all on Koh Matsum.

Get away from it all on Koh Matsum.Close to Koh Samui, adventure beckons in spades. Mysterious islands dot the sea, and relatively few people have visited them. Koh Samui belongs to an archipelago that has dozens of islands, some of which are no bigger than a football pitch in size, while others are large enough to warrant a village or two being built there – yet hardly anyone has chosen to settle them as it would mean a hardscrabble existence. All eyes are on Samui as a busy cosmos with thousands of visitors a month, but a near-silent world beckons just a few miles away. Koh Matsum, also spelled Koh Madsum, is one of the archipelago’s treasures, and these days, it’s a cinch to visit – it used not to be – but the surprise is that so few people avail themselves of the opportunity.

          

Koh Matsum is located a few kilometres off the south coast of Samui. Its low-lying terrain means it can be easily missed, but on sunny days its white sand beaches are strikingly visible from Samui. To reach it, you’ll need a boat, and they’re easy to hire at the village of Thong Krut in the very south of Samui. The journey to the village is one of the most scenic on the island; there’s little development in the south of the island, the roads are far quieter and for long stretches you might encounter no other traffic at all.

          

Aim to get to the village early in the day, and you’ll be able to join a tour, which will usually start at 8:00 am or thereabouts. You can also hire your own boat. Either way, you’ll be brought back before nightfall and will land anywhere between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. The journey to Koh Matsum takes about half an hour, depending on the conditions at sea. Remember to bring suntan cream and water – the heat may be deceptive. The sea is usually calm, Get away from it all on Koh Matsum.but sometimes gets choppy and you should be aware that when the ocean’s looking chancy the boats may not go out.

          

Though Koh Matsum is hardly remote, it might as well be – it has an untouched feel to it. It’s an idyll when it comes to whiling away a few hours. Tours usually factor in some kayaking and snorkelling, and one thing is for sure; this is a great place for relaxation. Most visitors are quite happy to spend time on the beach here, taking cooling dips in the very clear water. The more intrepid may wish to explore the island itself, and though it yields up no astonishing secrets, it’s the kind of place where it’s easy to forge memories. After all, how often do you get the chance to spend time on a deserted tropical island?

          

Well, near-deserted. Nowadays it’s not quite the castaway island that it used to be. You can find drinks and lunch at a small restaurant where you can hire a kayak and go explore, and you can even stay here at a resort, The Treasure Koh Madsum.

          

Adventurous couples can even get married on the island; some wedding planners include it as a venue, as it’s such an intimate place – no rubberneckers on the beach here! Other people come here for a picnic and maybe have a sleepover under the starsGet away from it all on Koh Matsum.. It’s definitely romantic, and the back-to-nature feel will re-awaken the explorer in even the most reluctant soul.

          

If you’re taking part in a tour, your boat may well also include neighbouring Koh Taen on the same itinerary. Here you’ll find a bit more in the way of civilization, with a clutch of people living here and running a fledgling community. Visit the mangrove woods and walk through them on an elevated walkway. A restaurant, close to where the boat lands, offers food and drink. The island is definitely worth a separate trip.

          

Koh Madsum is just about the perfect place if you’re looking for a pristine tropical island that offers beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. Easy to get to and a delight to explore, it’ll leave you with happy memories. And it definitely has a mysterious feel to it. Perhaps in some distant future, it’ll be a popular destination on its own. But until then, it’s all yours to discover.

          

Rob De Wet


 


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