5 Hour Activities

MASTER ORGANIC CLASSIC THAI DISHES IN A COOKING CLASS

  • Stroll through an organic Eden
  • Pick ingredients right from the garden
  • Whip up Thai curries, noodle soups, and salads

How to wow guests at your next dinner party? Master the complex mix of spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors that define Thai cuisine at a cooking class with Island Organics. Husband and wife team Cameron Hansen, an Australian photographer, and Thai-born Rattanaphorn “Lat” Dokduang, a cooking enthusiast, welcome aspiring chefs to their lush farm to learn about classic Thai dishes. It all began when the couple set out to transform their one-acre property into an organic Eden. Interest in their self-made garden—and the incredible bounty—grew locally, and the idea for a cooking school took root. With the exception of meat and seafood (ethically and locally sourced), and the rice (from Chiang Rai), every ingredient is grown on site. Class begins by trailing Lat through the property to pluck Thai eggplants for green curry, gather peanuts for pad Thai, tear up kaffir leaves for seasoning, and pick native fruits like papaya, roseapple, and starfruit for dessert. Students then work at individual wok stations whipping up yellow curry with prawns, ground pork salad, or vegetarian spring rolls. Reserve a spot well in advance (via email) for the classes held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. The private classes, hosted Tuesdays and Thursdays, are ideal for families. If you feel like staying in, the resort offers a daily “Thai Cooking Class” for both guests and non guests from 3 to 5pm.

Located an hour’s drive from the hotel, Island Organics can be hard to find, so take advantage of the cooking school’s hotel pick-up services to avoid confusion with a GPS-less cabbie. Otherwise, arrange transportation via the hotel concierge.

ISLAND ORGANICS
24/1 Moo 4 Chaweng
+66-89-731-6814
islandorganicssamui.com

JOLLY JILLA HUT
55 Fisherman’s Village
+66-2121-9841

IL MARE
55 Fisherman’s Village booth C11

SAMUI COCONUT SHOP
55 Fisherman’s Village

DALAYA BOUTIQUE
55 Fisherman’s Village
+66-85-782-1430
facebook.com/dalayaboutique

HOUSE OF SILVER BAAN NGURN
55 Fisherman’s Village
+66-857-979-630

COCO TAM’S
99/1 Moo 1
+66-87-592-7900
facebook.com/CoCoTams
Open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

CHECK OUT A NIGHT MARKET

  • Dine on seafood cooked-to-order
  • Shop the best beachfront boutiques
  • Sit back in the sand with a nightcap

Skip the tourist-thronged markets on Lamai and Chaweng beaches, and head to the vibrant night market in Fisherman’s Village instead. It’s open every day but, if crowd averse, avoid busy Friday nights. Prep for power shopping with a seafood feast. Choose your fresh catch from an ice-packed crate at one of the grill-style restaurants, and the chef will cook the tiger prawns, lobster, or sea bass (a local specialty with lime and garlic) to order. Add a side of rice, morning glory tossed with garlic, or snag a bowl of noodles or sliced fruit as you stroll. Adequately stuffed, begin by browsing the cute kids’ clothing at Jolly Jilla Hut, and pop next door to Il Mare for bold, handmade jewelry. Pick up locally made coconut oils, creams, and soaps as souvenirs at Samui Coconut Shop. Lightweight dresses, and eye-catching cover-ups at Dalaya Boutique adhere to the island’s easy-going dress code. Designer names are notably absent but for topline trinkets, stop by House of Silver Baan Ngurn for locally made sterling silver jewelry. Wind down for the evening with a Dark Passion cocktail beneath the stars at Coco Tam’s, a beachfront Tiki-style bar where you can plop down on oversized pillows in the sand.

Hire a taxi for the hour drive to Fisherman’s Village. The newly constructed wharf area is where all the best boutiques are clustered.

JOLLY JILLA HUT
55 Fisherman’s Village
+66-2121-9841

IL MARE
55 Fisherman’s Village booth C11

SAMUI COCONUT SHOP
55 Fisherman’s Village

DALAYA BOUTIQUE
55 Fisherman’s Village
+66-85-782-1430
facebook.com/dalayaboutique

HOUSE OF SILVER BAAN NGURN
55 Fisherman’s Village
+66-857-979-630

COCO TAM’S
99/1 Moo 1
+66-87-592-7900
facebook.com/CoCoTams
Open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

TAMARIND SPRINGS
205/7 Thong Takian
+66-84-459-1563
tamarindsprings.com
Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

ESCAPE TO A TROPICAL DAY SPA IN TAMARIND SPRINGS

  • Sooth aches and pains in a steam cave
  • Reenergize with an ancient Thai healing massage
  • Nibble on healthy vegetarian dishes

Retreat from the beach crowds to Tamarind Springs, an eco-friendly day spa tucked deep within a tropical forest. Ease into a day of pampering by exploring the herbal steam caves (said to soothe achy muscles and get the blood flowing) carved into massive natural rock walls. Then, cool off with a dip in one of the secluded rock-bottom plunge pools. Whether lounging inside of a cave or beside a pool, lather up with the house-made skin scrubs and body polishes set around in colorful bowls. Still clinging to residual stress? Go in for a traditional Thai yoga massage, hot and cold stone treatment, or an herbal wrap in the breezy massage pavilion. If your idea of relaxation is more active, call ahead to book a 90-minute private or group yoga session with one of the spa’s seasoned instructors. Even dining is a tranquil affair. Follow a stone pathway hemmed in palm fronds to 9 Seasons Restaurant, a thatched roof tearoom with a vegetarian-heavy menu. The bulk of the organic fruit and vegetables in the thirst-quenching smoothies, bright spring rolls, and noodle dishes are sourced from small, local farms. If you want to relax within the comfort of the resort the Conrad spa offers a variety of luxury wellness programs and spa treatments using world-class facilities.

Tamarind Springs is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Negotiating a cab fare with a local taxi will only disturb your spa-day bliss, so arrange for the hotel’s car service to take you there and back.

TAMARIND SPRINGS
205/7 Thong Takian
+66-84-459-1563
tamarindsprings.com
Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

SANTIBURI SAMUI COUNTRY CLUB
12/15 Moo 4, Tambol Mae Nam
+66-7742-1700-8
santiburi.com

TEE UP FOR POSTCARD-PERFECT VIEWS

  • Play a PGA championship course
  • Stop to snap photos of waterfalls
  • Brush up on your swing

Play like the pros at the 18-hole championship Santiburi Samui Country Club which ranks among the best in Asia. With heart-stopping Gulf of Thailand views, coconut mangroves lining the greens, and natural waterfalls cascading along the way, the real challenge is staying focused on the game. Book an early tee-time to beat the heat (though constant island breezes do cool things off). The course, which regularly plays host to the PGA Asian Tour, is designed to meet international golfing standards. The setting is pure gold and the prices are unbeatable, too. Just 5,000 baht ($140 USD) sets you up for 18 holes with a private English-speaking caddy and a golf cart. Looking to sharpen your skills? Take a private lesson with the pros or practice your swing at the driving range. Cap your round with lunch at the casual clubhouse. Snack on classic Thai dishes, like chicken satay with peanut sauce or tom yum goon (a spicy and sour coconut soup with prawns), and raise a cold Singha, the national beer of Thailand, to a fine day on the links.

Hire a car to take you the hour’s drive north to reach the Santiburi Samui Country Club.

SANTIBURI SAMUI COUNTRY CLUB
12/15 Moo 4, Tambol Mae Nam
+66-7742-1700-8
santiburi.com