After months of meeting KPI after KPI, it was time for a good break where the only things to do on my itinerary were to eat, swim, shop and relax!
We arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 1 around 3pm for our late afternoon flight at 5.25pm.
Our favourite airline, Singapore Airlines, was charging waaay too much for their tickets so we decided to go with the cheaper Bangkok Airways instead.
However, as it was the Labour Day long weekend, we ended up paying S$526.60 per adult and S$446.60 per kid (total S$2473 for 3 adults and 2 kids)! For a 1 hour 45 minutes flight! *gasp*
I kinda regretted paying so much to go during a peak period; although I highly doubt the price would be that much cheaper off-peak because the bulk of it went to airport taxes if I didn't remember wrongly.
|Clockwise from left: Baby Boy is finally at the age where he's got his own seat;|
Bangkok Airways, Asia's Boutique Airlines (whatever that means);
Girl and the Mum-in-law sat in the same row while the hubby, boy and I sat in the row in front.
It was the first flight in 2 years that I haven't got an infant on my lap! It was sad (no more infant privileges *boo*), painful (for our wallets *double boo*) yet liberating (I'm freeee!) at the same time. I know, such mix of emotions is the cornerstone of motherhood.
|Why does the kid's meal always look sooo much better than the adult meals, which we weren't allowed to choose by the way (it was fish, take it or leave it).|
There's no entertainment (at least not in the form of individual TV screens) on board but they did give out sticker cards to occupy the kids for a while.
|Busy sticking the stickers onto the card|
Just as the pilot instructed, "cabin crew to your landing stations please", I caught a glimpse of the island of Samui (Koh means island in Thai) from my window.
|The island is so small that you can see most of it just before you land! To get this view, book a seat on the left of the plane facing front.|
I had also caught a glimpse of distinctive white buildings just before we landed, and those turned out to be our accommodation (more on it later) even though I had no idea then.
We arrived safely at Samui International Airport at 6.10pm. Koh Samui is 1 hour behind Singapore.
|Our Bangkok Airways flight|
|Shuttle trams ferried us from the plane to the terminal|
In case you're wondering why you see Bangkok Airways everywhere in Samui International Airport, it's because the airport is operated by the airline! The airport also looks more like a resort than an airport!
|Welcome to Samui International Airport|
|Tiny luggage belt that is hardly utilised|
I knew we had to rent a car because our accommodation was located on top of a hill with amazing views but further away from town. It would not be easy getting a taxi from where we stayed.
We rented a Toyota Vios from Thai Rent a Car at approximately S$40 a day. Do book in advance so that your car will be ready for you to pick up when you arrive.
|Completing forms at the Thai Rent A Car counter|
|Our rented Toyota Vios|
Once we've gotten our rented car, we were off to our accommodation, which we booked via Roomorama. It's the go-to place to book value-for-money accommodations for large travelling parties (that would be too costly to put up in hotels) or people who just want something homey. Nursing mothers who need a freezer to store their breast milk should also consider apartments rather than hotels because most hotel refrigerators do not have a freezer compartment whereas apartment refrigerators do.
|Book an accommodation via Roomorama|
I chose a seaview two-storey apartment at Dasiri Unique because of the direct pool access and amazing views of the sea. The 3-bedroom apartment costs about S$340 per night, which is very value for money if you're travelling in a large group (e.g. families with 4 adults and 3 children)!
Dasiri Unique was located on the highest part of a hill (that's why the view is so good), however, that meant that the road leading up to it was very steep (the steepest slope was almost 60 degrees!). Our poor Toyota simply did not have the horsepower to climb up the steepest slope (lesson learnt, rent a SUV!). Added to the fact that it was quite dark, you can imagine our panic when the car started to roll back down the hill! *gasps*
The hubby told me to get out of the car and take a look at what's happening because he can't really see. While I was out of the car directing him, he suddenly felt like he should step on the accelerator and try again. This time it worked! Thank God!
We met up with the estate manager in charge of checking guests in and out of the apartments. I have to say, we were just happy to be settled into our accommodation after a long day.
|Reading corner in the living room with large flat screen TV|
|Living room with huge sofa that can sit 5 adults comfortably|
|There are THREE toilets altogether in this apartment, with this one in the first level.|
Do note that there aren't shower facilities in this toilet, although there's a drying rack and iron/ironing board that you can use
A cool feature of this apartment is also a pure white winding stairs that lead you from the ground floor to the second floor. Of course, this very same feature was deemed a contraption for my super active 2-year-old!
I actually lost my voice from shouting at him almost every hour, "NOOOO! STOP!!!!!!" #truestory.
|You can't trust a child younger than 4 years old with these steps! Adult assistance is compulsory!|
My girl, on the other hand, had no problems with it.
The treacherous winding stairs. Super cool but a hazard for #babyboyjlee! Took constant supervision and my behavioural conditioning to prevent him from climbing every chance he got. Cross fingers we'll all go back in one piece! #madpsychmum #madpsychmumtravels #dasiriunique #kohsamui #thailand #travelaccommodation #travel
The winding stairs led to the second floor of the apartment, where the master and two bedrooms are located.
|Doors leading to the two bedrooms, each with a queen size bed and towels (right)|
|The common toilet with full amenities|
|The humongous master toilet, also with full amenities and even a jacuzzi (more on that later)!|
|Anti-clockwise from top left: The comfortable king size bed in the master bedroom, the only room facing the sea;|
The TV and wardrobe;
The balcony that allows you to admire the pool and the amazing views!
We were really curious as to how the view was like since we arrived really late that day and everything was pitch black when we looked out of the window. Well, this greeted us when we woke up the next morning after a good night's sleep:
|An awesome view of the crystal clear waters, magnificent mountains and blue skies! =)|
Ahh, I could get used to this! *grin*
I went downstairs to check out how the first floor and the swimming pool looked in the day.
|Walking through the sliding doors directly to the pool|
The pool wasn't private but as the building only had 7 units, we literally had the whole pool to ourselves the whole time. The other units were either not occupied or had occupants who weren't interested in swimming, which I found really odd because you would think people booked apartments with direct pool access so that you can access the pool to swim!
|Clockwise from left: The exterior of our 2-storey apartment.;|
My girl demonstrating how comfortable the lounge chair is;
Dip and suntan, for those of you who love to suntan. Me, no thank you.
|The exterior of the building is a modern white.|
There are 3 levels in all, the first two levels are the 2-storey units and the third level is probably the 1-bedroom units.
|Lovely wicker swing chair - wish I had one of these in my home!|
Mum-in-law prepared breakfast for us with the food we had brought from home (since we didn't get a chance to buy any ingredients from a supermarket).
|Making sure the kids are fed at the enormous table while the mum-in-law busied herself in the kitchen|
|The kitchen is really spacious and well stocked with amenities such as a full size fridge, toaster, utensils, microwave, oven and even a juicer. Mum-in-law loved the kitchen, which is always her favourite part of any house.|
The hubby thought we should run the jacuzzi to see if it works.
|Up the stairs..|
(you can appreciate how dangerous this is for my boy!)
|It works! Awesome!|
|The jacuzzi faces the mountains and a bit of the sea, was super relaxing! Even the kids enjoyed it!|
Samui is an island plus the building is located on a hill so all the water that we use is delivered to the building via a water truck (not water pipes like in the city). We were also informed that Samui was experiencing drought, which meant that every drop of water was very precious. Hence, to conserve water, we decided to reuse the water again and again to prevent wastage.
|Refreshed after a good bath and all ready to take on the day|
|Love this natural group photo|
(although baby boy was literally forced to look into the camera)
We were running out of food supplies so it was off to the biggest shopping mall on the island, Central Festival, to get our shopping done (more on the mall in the next post since we go to this mall almost everyday!).
When we were done with our shopping, we headed back to our apartment where we were faced with the dreaded slope.
|The photos don't really do it justice but you can sort of see what I mean!|
|Another view of Dasiri Unique|
(obviously taken as I climbed the slope up to the building)
It was so hot in Koh Samui that we were ready to jump straight into the pool the minute we got back!
|Not really swimming but more like floating..|
|Relaxing in the pool|
As we were right next to the airport, we could see the planes landing and taking off almost every 15 minutes! Not to worry, it's not very noisy. We weren't bothered by it at all (when you're indoors you can't hear it).
|Cheap thrill getting the hubby to catch us with the planes in the background every time we heard them approaching!|
|Accidental awesome shot taken by the hubby of me|
(I made him take a lot of photos so that at least one of them might be usable hehe)
If either you or your kids are into airplanes, this would be a great place to stay. They'll get to see them really up close all the time!
We ended the day with Thai food that we 'dapao' (take away) from the food court at Central Festival. You'll be surprised how cheap and awesome the food from an ordinary stall at the food court is!
|Various Thai dishes for everyone in the family|
(the supermarket actually sold cooked brown rice which I bought for me! Yay!)
Overall, I have to say that the apartment was really true to the photos that were posted on Roomorama. We weren't disappointed at all!
I can't wait to explore more of the island and see what more she has to offer! =)
Continue to >> Koh Samui Day 3-4: Hinta, Hinyai, Shopping & Seafood
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Disclosure: Complimentary accommodation for two nights (we paid for the third night) was received from Roomorama for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.