27 May, 2008

Shopping in Ko Samui

Shopping in Ko Samui can be as extensive and varied as the attractions of this tropical island itself! There are numerous shopping venues to be found at almost every corner of Ko Samui. Though the major shopping destinations are limited to the markets at Chaweng, Lamai and Nathon, there are plenty of shops worth visiting in other parts of Samui. There are great and unexpected shopping opportunities throughout the island. Shopping items include everything from Antiques to Zen Buddhist Art. Most departmental stores offer fixed-price items but a little bargaining here and there is allowed almost everywhere else. Items like cameras, sunglasses, watches and stereo gear can be bought at much lower prices than in most duty free shops. Various kinds of retail goods from other parts of Thailand are available here to ensure that you enjoy great shopping in Ko Samui.Some internationally acclaimed Thai goods include Thai silks and handicrafts, Gems & Jewelry, Cultured Pearl and others. Traditional Thai Silk is reflective of the diversity of Thai culture. Each region of the country produces uniquely distinctive silk varieties with their characteristic weaving and dyeing styles and techniques. Some parts of Thailand abound in precious gems like rubies, sapphires, zircon, onyx, jade and opal. Local cutting, design and manufacturing skills ensure a fine range of quality items with a wide range of prices.
The resident dressmakers and tailors at Chaweng and Nathon Town can be ordered to make custom clothes to suit you to perfection. The cultured pearl farms in the region produce pearls of guaranteed quality.
Shopping in Ko Samui can also include items in Gold, Lacquerware, Silverware, Nilonware, Pewterware, etc.

Bophut Shopping Area Ko Samui
Although there are plenty of shopping areas in every part of Ko Samui island, the major shopping destinations are limited to the markets at Chaweng, Lamai,Nathon and Bophut among a few others. The Bophut beach is a famous shopping area where you can buy beautiful furniture items and some excellent souvenirs from the shops at the Fisherman's village. You can do some great shopping while strolling along the Bophut shopping area and the streets of the Fisherman's village.
While at Fisherman's Village Bophut, you can visit a small stall named Samui Footwear, which sells and repairs leather shoes. You will find some remarkable designs and craftsmanship at this store and the shoes are reasonably priced. Another great store at Bophut shopping area is Siri in Fisherman's Village. You can head for this shop if you want to buy some unique souvenirs to make your trip even more memorable. The small and elegant shop is owned by an interior designer and it stocks various personally sourced items from around all parts of Asia like handbags from India, China and Malaysia, silver jewelry from all around Asia, designer clothes from Hong Kong, bottled orchids from Bangkok and hand carved amulets engraved with Thai or Chinese script.

Chaweng Shopping Area Ko Samui
There are numerous shopping venues to be found at almost every corner of Ko Samui. But the major shopping destinations are limited to the markets at Chaweng, Lamai and Nathon.
The Chewang Shopping Area comprises of numerous shops lined on both sides of the beach road. They provides a wide and varied choice of shopping items ranging from watches, DVDs, CDs, clothes, shoes and sunglasses to almost everything you can fancy. The goods here are a bit higher priced than at Nathon, but the variety is amazing!
Good standard copied items are also sold aplenty at Chaweng, but be prepared to bargain quite hard with the vendors. You will also find famous brand stores selling international brands at a fraction of the prices charged in the West. Stroll along the Chewang Shopping Area and you'll definitely find your coveted items!
One of the famous shops in this market is The Australian Bikini Shop with two openings at the Chaweng beach road. For fashionable yet high quality and long-lasting swimwear, choose from among the imported bikini brands sold here.
The two Bookazine stores at Chaweng beach have a great selection of books ranging from the latest international bestsellers, trashy novels and even the classics.
Visit the renowned British pharmacy chain outlet – Boots, where you will find everything from makeup and suntan lotion to medicine. There is a boutique clothes store named Chandra, which sells exquisite fabrics from all over Asia, including Bali and India. At the Chaweng Shopping Area, you will also get a wide variety of other items like hand framed antiques from all over Asia, excellent array of gold, white gold, silver jewelry and precious gems, clothes, accessories, all kinds of home wares,….the list goes on!

16 May, 2008

Karma Samui

The island of Koh Samui sits in the Gulf of Thailand and has an area of 246 square kilometres. Dotted with palm trees from long-gone palm plantations, the island has a true tropical feel. Koh Samui is the third largest island in Thailand and has a 55km loop road that circles the island, perfect for scenic outings in a hired car or taking a chauffeured 4x4 on a driving adventure. Waterfalls, jungle treks and secluded beaches are only some of the charms of this tropical jewel.

Five minutes south of Karma Samui is Chaweng Beach - a 3km long strip off the island's ring road that is lined with a plethora of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. During the day one can shop for traditional Thai artifacts at the local markets or look for bargains amongst the branded outlets, many of which carry designer products manufactured in Thailand. In the evening the town comes alive with every form of entertainment from Thai dancers to contemporary nightclubs and chic restaurants.
Average annual temperature is around 30 degrees centigrade during the day, however, temperatures can fluctuate between 25 to 35 degrees. Occasional rains can be encountered in the Oct-Dec period but for most of the year the weather befits a balmy tropical paradise.
Karma Samui resort is nestled in a serene cove and rises gracefully from the blue seas and golden sands of a stunning tropical beach. Four minutes drive to the south one finds the bustle and excitement of the island’s major shopping and entertainment centre - Chaweng Beach; while the boutique international airport is conveniently placed only 15 minutes away. The 36 pool residences are arranged in 5 terraces, maximising the sea views and creating a village-like atmosphere with quaint buggy paths serving as unobtrusive transport conduits. Elements of Thai and contemporary architecture merge to create the perfect harmony of East meets West. Rich Thai silks and handcrafted artworks adorn the interiors of the residences themselves, The restaurant and the reception and library areas, allowing a balanced and elegant flow from the interior to the exterior.
The concept of ‘choice’ is one of the key philosophies of Karma Resorts and Karma Samui embraces this ideal with bespoke experiences and lifestyle options to satisfy every requirement. Various choices include private in-residence dining with the option of personal chefs and waiters, dining in the restaurant or a romantic beach dinner under the stars. This is just a sample of the array of choices that can be tailored for each guest and every occasion.
Chakra Spa treatments can be enjoyed either in the privacy of one’s own residence or at the Chakra Spa centre, where the healing touch of Thai therapists will relieve and rejuvenate your body and soul. Individually tailored holistic regimes can be catered for at all levels to achieve the desired level of well-being.
Karma Samui’s luxurious and spacious pool residences sit within world-class resort facilities with a service level that creates a truly magical experience.

Contact Information
Name: Karma SamuiAddress: 80/32 Moo 5, Bophut,Koh Samui, Surathani 84320Tel: (66) 77 234 500Fax: (66) 77 234 493
E-mail: res@karmasamui.com
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Website: http://www.karmasamui.com

07 December, 2007

Samui Snake Farm - Butterfly Garden

Samui Snake Farm
Southern Thailand is home to a great many species of snakes, many of them venomous. The mountains of Samui have their share. The bite of a full grown king cobra for example can bring death within one half hour. But don't worry! They are extremely reclusive, and chances are tiny that you will come in contact with one anyplace but at this attractions' two shows a day, where they are handled by capable and "death defying" trainers. Located in the southwest on the 4170 ring road.

Butterfly Garden
Located in the south of the island, Na Tian Butterfly Garden is a kaleidoscope of colour provided by hundreds of spectacular butterflies. For bug enthusiasts there's also an Insect Museum, featuring rare insects from Thailand and other countries, and a bee house, which allows the visitor to observe the activities of bees. Don't forget your camera!

Koh Samui Attractions

Buffalo Fighting Festival Ko Samui

The Buffalo Fighting Festival, Ko Samui is a very popular event held on special occasions such as New Year's Day in January, and Songkran in mid-April. This festival features head-wrestling bouts in which two male water buffaloes are pitted against one another. Unlike Spanish Bullfighting, wherein bulls get killed while fighting sword-wielding men, Buffalo Fighting Festival, Ko Samui is a fairly harmless contest. The fighting season varies according to some ancient customs and ceremonies.
This hugely cheered spectacle is organized at selected venues around Ko Samui, like the stadiums at Ban Saket, Ban Makham, and just outside Nathon town. Banners are displayed well in advance all over the island.

On the day of the fight, the bulls are adorned with colorful ribbons and gold-painted leaves on their horns. Holy water is sprinkled on them as a sign of blessings prior to the fight. The bout takes place in two rounds, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The buffaloes lock horns with each other - much to the cheer of the huge and lively crowd - until the weaker one submits. The first Buffalo to turn and run away is considered the loser. The champion buffalo becomes worth several million baht. The Buffalo Fighting Festival, Ko Samui is still a popular sport among the locals, and if you visit Samui at the right time, you might just be lucky enough to watch this thrilling encounter.