Thailand is world-famous for stunning islands. Whether it’s Koh Phangan for the full moon party, Maya Bay aka “The Beach”, the diver’s paradise; Koh Tao, or the tourist hotspot; Phuket.
Unfortunately, many travelers don’t have the time or money to make their way down to southern Thailand to experience these great places, but MAI PEN RAI (Thai for “no worries”) – Koh Samet is a worthy alternative in a more opportune location.
Koh Samet is easily and inexpensively accessible, as it is just a 2-hour bus journey and 30-minute ferry from Bangkok.
Koh Samet is the perfect beach getaway for expats living in central Thailand, or for those staying in Bangkok a few days and seeking to escape the concrete chaos. Naturally, it gets quite busy during the long weekends throughout the year.
There are several tropical beaches scattered around the island, ranging from secluded and uncrowded, to the popular and packed. Regardless of whether you’re looking for peaceful relaxation or water activities, music, and plentiful beer – this place has it all.
I highly recommend renting a scooter or ATV to explore the more remote parts of the island, as they are stunningly beautiful.
Like many other Thai islands, Koh Samet has no shortage of bars, restaurants, and places to stay. I’ve visited Koh Samet a few times and I would recommend a night or two on the main beach, Hat Sai Keaw, as well as a night or two on the southern beaches of Ao Wai and Ao Kiu Nok.
Sandwiched between Bali and Lombok; Gili Trawangan is one of three gorgeous Indonesian islands that you have to visit.
Known to many as ‘Gili T’, it is becoming increasingly more popular to travellers, and I can see why.
Like most backpackers that visit, I stayed a lot longer than I had initially intended. Gili T steals your heart and soul. I’m not being cheesy, it really does! An unstable power grid and a road system that consists of no motor vehicles makes Gili T quite unique allows for a sense of escapism.
The F**king Food
Gili T has more than a handful of restaurants. However, the local market is the real show-stealer for flavorful dishes. Every evening a local market sells a wide selection of Indonesian food at cheap prices.
The F**king Ocean
My favourite thing about Gili T is the ocean. Undeniably beautiful to look it, what lies beneath is even better. Swimming between the sparkling surface and the heavily occupied coral foundation are Green Sea and Loggerhead turtles. I don’t know how many hours I spent snorkeling in the ocean of Gili T, but it wasn’t enough. I don’t think there is such a thing as enough.
The F**cking Party
Naturally, Gili T is full of people looking to have a good time. There is an area (near the food market I mentioned before) that has several bars that play good music and offer cheap drinks. Gili T even has its own full moon party every month.
The F**king Sunset
Ombak sunset viewpoint is located on the lesser occupied side of the island. The best seat in the house is definitely the swing that is positioned a few metres out into the ocean. I spent the majority of my evenings on this side of the island taking in the natural masterpiece.
The F**king Journey
In comparison to other transportation methods in and around Bali, the “speed boat” (you’ll have to experience it to understand the need for sarcastic quotation marks) to Gili T is not very cheap, but it is worth the effort, there is no excuse! GO!
When thinking of countries that boast tropical islands, Korea isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind. I didn’t think the R.O.K would have much to offer in terms of island beauty, but how I was wrong…
Geoje Island is a small landmass located in the southeast of Korea. It’s so close to mainland, it’s connected via a road bridge.
I visited in May 2015, and it was hot. Perfect timing!
Green. The first thing I noticed, whilst driving along the coast to our pension was the colour of the ocean. It was majestic. It is easily comparable to that of an ocean view in South East Asia. Later, I did find out that the water is a lot colder than those famous oceans, but when the suns out, who cares?
Geoje island is not just a pretty face—in fact, there is plenty to do. You can participate in many activities from sea kayaking (beware of the armies of jellyfish) to quad biking, where you can drive an ATV through the sun-dappled forest and find some extraordinary views.
A handful of tour groups offer a selection of trips to Geoje that depart from various cities across the country. I used a company called ‘Waegook Travel’; they were decent, but a bit overpriced.
I would recommend a few days on this island to both travelers who are in Korea, and the many people that call Korea their home.