In this instalment of Master Chef Turns Master Tour Guide, Dr Boss introduces you to some of his favourite places to stay, recommended dishes to eat, and best places to travel on the island of Ko Samui.
What do you expect from a beach holiday in Thailand? Sitting on the sand and reading your favourite book with a freshly cracked coconut by your side? This is what I thought I would get from this trip to Ko Samui, but it was far different this time. This was a chance for me to experience wellness travel where I could truly relax my body and my mind on beautiful Samui Island.
Welcome to Kamalaya
Going to Ko Samui is very easy these days. You can fly directly from Bangkok to Samui airport or fly to Surat Thani airport and then take a transfer via ferry to the island. My friend and myself took the latter option and cruising through the Gulf of Thailand was a lovely way to travel to Samui. We even wished the journey would take a bit longer. On arrival at Nathon Pier on Ko Samui, it was only a 30-minute drive to reach Kamalaya on the south coast of the island. Arriving at the resort just after the dusk it seemed like we were surrounded by an amazing landscape with rocks and trees and we couldn’t wait to explore it during the day.
Our villa at Kamalaya was connected to the beach with a long swimming pool at the front. In the morning, the first light shone through the window and now I could truly see the real beauty of this land. I took a good amount of time to absorb this positive energy and ran straight to the beach just to feel the sand under my feet. I had such a good feeling about this trip already.
Wellness for body and mind
Kamalaya was built on this beautiful part of the island to be a wellness sanctuary to bring together people who have a passion for wellness and mindfulness. The rooms, villas and restaurants have all been designed with this idea in mind. I went to the wellness sanctuary expecting a good massage, but it was incredible and I came back to my room full of emotion and joy!
The program was personally designed for me to help me recover from my overwhelming work obligations. After just 3 days in this sanctuary at Kamalaya, I felt like my mind had been cared and well looked after again. Imagine what it would be like if I could stay here longer! I can’t really explain the feeling, you have to come to experience it yourself.
If you visit Samui Island you must try the famous local speciality known as ‘kalame’, a sweet and sticky coconut parcel. This dessert brought back happy childhood memories when I helped my grandma to make it. It took hours and hours to stir the runny mixture until we got the right consistency and caramelisation. You can buy kalame from the vendors at Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks).
Highlights of Ko Samui
We went to a few places on Ko Samui. The must-visit destination is Hin Ta and Hin Yai near Lamai Beach. This is a small cape with a few funny shaped rocks which put a smile on my face. There is also a tiny beach here where you can just sit and chill.
We also went to the Jungle Club Viewpoint. At first we thought we could drive there, but the hill was too steep for our car so we used the Jungle Club’s own shuttle service to take us to the top and the view didn’t disappoint; it was incredible.
Another destination we visited was one I accidentally found on Instagram; Dusit Dhewa Cultural Centre. It looked stunningly beautiful in the photos and in real life it proved breathtakingly charming. The owner of Dusit Dhewa Cultural Centre is passionate about South-East Asian cultures. He is a fine-art artist himself, and he created this magical place with bricks and love.
This was a wonderful trip to Ko Samui and I’ve learned a lot from it. I’ve learned to love myself in order to share and express love to others. When you feel complete, you can then share. Travel makes you complete as a whole and makes you ready to see the world from a brighter angle. Happy travels everyone!
Visit samui Like a Boss: Nawamin’s ‘SET’ (Stay, Eat, Travel) Menu
Eat: Kalame (sweet sticky coconut dessert)
Travel: Hin Ta & Hin Yai; Jungle Club Viewpoint; Dusit Dhewa Cultural Centre
Thank you to Dr Boss and Kamalaya and we hope you are inspired to discover another side to Ko Samui when you next visit Thailand. Follow the adventures of Dr Boss on his travels around Thailand on the Fan Club Thailand Facebook and Instagram channels.
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Nawamin (Dr Boss)
MasterChef, Doctor, Scientist
Born and raised in Southern Thailand, Nawamin Pinpathomrat is better known to many in the UK and Ireland as Dr Boss. The Thai man studied for a PhD at Oxford University and charmed viewers with his humour and crab dance on the way to the final of BBC’s MasterChef in 2018. He now works as a doctor in a local hospital in Thailand and still loves to eat, cook and create recipes. Connect with @nawaminboss on social media and follow his travel and food adventures in Thailand.
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Tourism Thailand (UK & Ireland)
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