So guess where we went the past week?
It's back to Koh Samui! But unlike 2009, when our Koh Samui trip was a couple's holiday, this time, we took the whole family along, including Esther (16 months old) and Julie, our helper. Accompanying us were the Soons and the Yeos--yes, Rachel, SM, En, Min, Wen, and both sets of grandparents! In total--9 adults and 6 kids!! Wow, we are really helping the Koh Samui economy huh! ^__^
Here is just one of the many beautiful photos from the trip. This was our very first overseas holiday which included Esther, and our first family holiday since our Fraser's Hill trip in March 2010, more than 1.5 years ago. The only other trip we've taken since she was born was... Church Camp! And that was a driving trip (and it wasn't really a holiday).
So this was a trip of many "firsts" for the Lau family:
1. First trip as a family of 5
2. First airplane ride for Esther
3. First elephant ride for us & the boys !
4. First time climbing up and down a waterfall !
5. First boat ride for Esther
6. First time we stayed in a villa !
and...first time we got sooo many mosquito bites ! Daniel got 30 bites, I believe !!
All in all, it was a wonderful holiday. I was a bit worried about the weather, but other than the first morning, it was very nice and sunny, with blue skies. Praise God! I will be sharing more pictures in the near future. In the meantime, I really miss Koh Samui!
It is a great family destination. The plane ride is only 1h 40 mins--perfect for an active toddler! There are many well-maintained & decent hotels and villas on the island, and for those who are worried there's not much to do for kids--think again! Other than the beautiful beach with its shallow waters (we were stationed near Lamai beach, at Samui Beach Village), Koh Samui also has quite a few mountains--so there is very nice elephant trekking in the hills and trekking along the waterfalls. We only went to one waterfall, but there are so many and we really wouldn't have minded going to a few more! Also, very nice viewpoints where you can enjoy the views. Other than that, there's a very nice waterpark called Coco Splash, which has a two-storey water slide, and a most fantastic farm called Paradise Park Farm (also in the hills) where you get to pat, hold and feed deer, hoses, birds, rabbits, even monkeys. To top it all off, Paradise Park Farm has got a lovely playground, and... a gorgeous infinity pool which we were able to use. Oh, and it's got a nice restaurant. Perfect! Of course, there are also night markets, walking streets and street food. Finally, we took a long-tail boat out from the western front of the island to see the sunset, and that was very nice too.
And that is not even counting the stuff we DIDN"T DO: go-karting, and the ever-famous angthong marine national park for scuba-diving, and if you're keen, there are also temples to visit, and a strange mummified monk exhibit ?!
One great thing about Koh Samui is that it is not as crowded or touristy (or rundown) as Phuket. Also, it's a small island, with only one main road ringing the island--so renting a car and driving around is very easy. It's so hard to get lost!
We were really also fortunate to be able to get our villa, Baan Chaba at more than half price off! Thanks Samui Beach Village! I guess you're just being generous? Or maybe rack rates are never strictly adhered to?
Well, I think the next time we go, we will be sure to stay a few more days and try out the snorkelling at the marine national park, and the go-karting. The kids were really happy, and after every activity we did, they promptly declared it their most favourite activity, which they wanted to do again the next day. Of course, the next day, their most favourite activity would be whatever they did that day which they then wanted to do the day after again, and so on...
If I had to complain about anything, it'd be the mosquito bites we received! We will definitely have to bring more mosquito repellent and coil the next time! But other than that, it was a most fantastic time! Praise God!