With the haze set to linger, your next outdoors run – no matter how beautiful the park, how lush the nature trail, or how alluring your favourite route is – is likely off your schedules for some time. While we can sit around dreaming of the elusive clear days during the monsoon season, we sometimes need to take a breather (pun intended) away from the smog.
Our latest wanderlust is Koh Samui, Thailand, just a short two-hour flight away from Singapore.
Where to Run
Because we’re runners, we’d look for new places to explore and run at even for a weekend getaway. And if we had more time, we’d explore these other beautiful places in Thailand too! Here are four beaches we’d love to run at in Koh Samui, a darling island tucked within the Gulf of Thailand:
Bophut Beach & Maenam Beach
Located along the northern coast of Koh Samui, Bophut is a beach village and one of the few places that retains the island’s original Thai-Chinese atmosphere. Stretching for 2 km and 7 km respectively, the white sand beaches are fringed by coconut palms and calm bay waters.
During or after your beach run, explore the charming Fisherman’s Village at the middle section of the beach. One of the most well-preserved places on the island, the village is lined with old wooden Chinese shop-houses juxtaposed against modern Mediterranean-style buildings, reflecting its history of being the island’s main French outpost.
Chaweng: the biggest and busiest town, and home to one of the best beaches on the island. Situated at the east coast of Koh Samui, Chaweng Beach is approximately 7 km long and has a reputation for its pristine white sand and spectacular views. Here, you’ll see two small islands near a natural reef that you can walk to and explore at low tide.
You could run here anytime in the day, but if music and activity is not your scene, avoid the crowded central part of Chaweng and stick to the quieter south or north areas. Come sun set, it turns into a vibrant nightlife central, bursting with bars and restaurants to cater to every taste. In particular, the Green Mango strip, the main strip nearly three kilometres long, is packed with mostly young revellers every night.
Quieter and less busy than its big sister Chaweng, Lamai Beach is the second-largest resort area in Koh Samui. While there are still plenty of places to stay, eat, shop at and things to do, the general atmosphere here is laidback.
With the widest strip of sand, the southern third of the beach is the best area for swimming and has the most infrastructure nearby. Further north, the beach gets narrower and quieter, eventually becoming rocky towards the headland.
Where to Go
Besides running, there are lots to do on the island to suit every personality.
Nature lovers will be thrilled with all the options available for them. Behold stunning waterfalls in person – the Na Muang Waterfall 1, in particular, is about 80 metres high and worth the walk there. If you don’t fancy trekking on foot, drive through mud and forestland in an ATV (all-terrain vehicle).
Spend an afternoon at the Butterfly Garden, a beautiful tropical garden with hundreds of colourful butterflies, as well as several observation decks overlooking the sea. For a scenic tour over the tropical canopy of Samui’s north coast, take any of the four cable rides connecting six tree houses across 300 metres.
Adrenaline junkies, head to Chaweng and bungee jump from a platform 50 metres above the ground! Feel the buzz from watching champions and amateurs battle in Muay Thai matches, or take part in classes yourself.
There are also golf courses, cultural sites like temples with mummified monks, colourful walking markets, and still many more activities and places in Koh Samui to explore!
Where to Stay
There is a wide range of accommodation options available on Koh Samui, from backpacker motels to more high-end resorts. If you’re wanting to indulge in a revitalising retreat away from the haze, consider Samujana’s new ‘Escape The Haze’ package – a getaway for couples, groups and families in a boutique luxury villa estate.
Book a stay for three nights or more, from 1 October to 30 November 2015, and you’ll enjoy sumptuous meals by a private chef throughout the stay. On top of that, you can also take part in any two of the following complimentary activities:
- A group beachfront yoga session per stay
- 1 x 90mins Thai massage per adult per stay
- A group Thai cooking class per stay
- A group Muay Thai boxing class per stay
Rates depend on the villa booked and are subject to availability. Visit the Samujana website to find out more.
Share with us: Where would you want to go to escape the haze?