At first, I never liked Samui.
Compared to the neighboring islands like Pha-Ngan and Koh Tao, Samui was too big, too crowded and too urbanized. So for me, for the first time, Samui was just a stopover after lazy days in Pha-Ngan before going back to Bangkok. What I loved back then was this hotel, The Scented Hotel by Karmakarmet. So serene and romantic.
Then years after that and several work trips, I ended up at The Scent Hotel again with the very same guy (lol). This time it was purely for vacation, so we spent like 4 days here. That seemed like the right decision for a post-backpacker couple who just wanted comfy stay, lazy days and great food. Of course the hotel obviously looked a lot older, but I like it anyway. Glad that it’s still there.
After ten years, Samui has turned out to be more urban. (They even have Central!) But it still has its charms, like the local vibes and local gastronomy that is quite hard to find in Pha-Ngan or Koh Tao. So there are many great restaurants around. If you want to try local food, we recommend seafood at Bang Por Seafood and Chan Hom restaurants in Mae Nam. For rice noodles or Kanom-jeen, head to Pa Maitree. For great Italian food, Peppina at Coco Tam’s might be a great choice. And don’t forget to try Kalamae or sticky candy made of glotinous rice flour which are sold at Hin Ta Hin Yai (the black rice one is the best).