If you’re anything like us, holidays are a sacred time for some much needed R&R. The best part about living in Asia is that even luxury travel is affordable. If you’ve worked hard this year and are thinking it’s time for ‘me time’ or a family escape, Thailand’s white-sand beach paradise, Koh Samui, is a winner.
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort is the perfect base to explore beautiful Koh Samui in comfort. Outdoor excursions include feeding the famous pink dolphins on private speedboat, visiting pristine private islands like Koh Tao (turtle island) and Koh Nang Yuan, or experiencing the breath-taking limestone cliffs and waterfalls of Angthong National Marine Park.
1. Pink dolphin spotting
If you’ve never seen the rare and mystical pink dolphin, it really should be on your bucket list. Interact with this stunning marine animals in their wild, natural habitat, sans the crowds and captivity. See them while you still can. The dolphins, native to the waters of the Samui Archipelago, are a sub-species of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin and are facing an extinction threat. The resort’s private speedboat and English-speaking guide will take you directly to some of the dolphins’ favorite spots off of the coast of Khanom, on the Thai mainland.
2. Island exploring – Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan
Known also as Turtle Island because of its shape, Koh Tao is a small, jungle-topped island that’s gaining popularity. Little sister to Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan is a private island that consists of three smaller islands connected together by a gorgeous sandbank. Both spots offer crystal clear waters and gentle currents. For divers and snorkelers, experience a paradise of neon coral and tropical fish, or go deeper and cavort with rays, sharks, and, if you’re lucky, the sea’s gentle giant – the whale shark. Whale sharks are often spotted around Chumphon Pinnacle, 15 minutes by boat from Kho Tao.
If diving seems like too much work, sunbathe on powder-white sand, cocktail in hand. The resort offers both private and group trips to the islands which include a personal guide, lunch box, insurance, snorkelling equipment, soft drinks and towels.
3. Get lost in the Ang Thong Marine National Park
Nature and wildlife lovers, you’re in for a treat! Made up of an archipelago of 42 islands, Ang Thong’s national park status has protected it from being developed. An easy boat ride from Ko Samui, think lush jungle lined by dazzling beach strips, stunning limestone cliffs, waterfalls and hidden lakes. Visit the emerald green lagoon, climb up Wua Ta Lap viewpoint and relax on the amazing beaches. The park is also home to a rich variety of exotic wildlife and sea creatures, including the Asian Long-tailed Monkey, Hair-nosed Otters, Pacific Reef Egrets, White-bellied Sea Eagles, Ashy Drongo Birds, Brahminy Kites, Oriental Pied Hornbills, tortoises and sea turtles.
Where to stay:
For a luxury travel experience, stay at the InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, where the concierge is on hand for insider tips and assistance with booking excursions. We recommend the Pool and Family Villas!
Try their ‘Adventurous Island Package’ – an accommodation and activity package for two adults which includes a snorkelling speedboat excursion, an elephant ride at the Namuang waterfalls, private Thai boxing class, guided bicycle tour to the buffalo fields, coconut farms and mangroves, as well as a guided kayak trip.
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