Weekly Journal

Six Brilliant Things to do Around The Content Castle

6th April 2017

As a city girl, born and raised in the sprawling metropolis that is Hong Kong, I found the prospect of coming to a little sleepy town such as Lamai a little daunting, to say the least.

However, upon arriving here and exploring my environs a little more carefully, I have found that there are, in fact, many hidden gems to appreciate that are far from the noisy, touristy main drag of Chaweng. I’m naturally adventurous – so to me, the best way to explore this patch of paradise is to pick a direction and go, go, go!

I thought it might be nice to share with you a few of my favourite discoveries around The Castle, particularly the things I spend my spare time enjoying in paradise when I’m not actively working on my writing or attending some of the fabulous writing classes The Content Castle has to offer.

All residents need to explore the Guan Yu statue.

Marvel at the magnificent Guan Yu statue

The awe-inspiring, towering statue of Guan Yu is situated just down the road from The Content Castle and, as you will literally be living in its shadows, it would be a shame to miss out on seeing this behemoth of a statue up close. Guan Yu is the Chinese God of War and this homage to him towers to a dizzying height, complete with vibrant colours and bright gold accents. My recommendation would be to head over to the statue around lunch time and chow down at one of the courtyard’s quaint restaurants before moving onto the temple itself. While the statue itself is quite impressive, I prefer the cool, calm serenity of the dark temple with its fragrant incense and subdued ambience.

Take a dip at Tiki Tiki Beach Bar

I came across this beautiful oasis on one of my daily wanders down the beach directly opposite our lovely Castle. The beautiful blue and white decor caught my eye and – I must admit – their well-stocked bar certainly added to its allure. In addition to an appetising and reasonably-priced menu, there is a small but beautifully-appointed infinity swimming pool, right on the beach. As someone who has reservations about swimming in the sea (let’s blame this on a city girl’s mistrust of wildlife and hair that mats into one single dreadlock upon immediate contact with salt water), I was delighted to find this beautiful spot, complete with a photogenic swing … perfect for those holiday snaps over which your friends will be green with envy! Order a watermelon smoothie, lie back and relax, to the sound of faint sounds of jazz emanating from the bar and the waves of one of Koh Samui’s quieter beaches.

“I’m naturally adventurous – so to me, the best way to explore this patch of paradise is to pick a direction and go, go, go!”

Sample local cuisine at the Sunday street market

Every Sunday, I look forward to a stroll down the nearby market… and for a few good reasons. Back home, I host a cooking show, so whenever I travel, I always enjoy inspecting the local produce and learning techniques on how to cook them, allowing me to bring different cooking styles and ingredients back home. Since Sunday is a day in which we fend for ourselves food-wise, I like to cook one of the recipes our kind (and patient) housekeeper P. Mena taught me earlier in the week. The market has an exuberant vibe as shopkeepers jostle for attention, flogging their wares in loud voices. You can find everything here, from bundles of verdant green vegetables to bags of chilli sauce that add a piquancy to otherwise bland dishes. You can even purchase both new and second-hand clothes here! A word of warning to those who are partial to a few drinks over the weekend: this is a risky adventure for those of the hungover persuasion as it also is home to a lot of dried fish stalls which may turn your stomach a little. Next to the market, there is a brand new pier that features soaring fountains and lily ponds which are worth a walk around – or better yet, to take a load off and bask in the breeze with a good book.

Indulge in world-class French fare at Vitamin Sea

A sleepy village in Thailand might be the last place to expect to find Michelin-starred quality French cuisine, but it truly does exist! Directly across from us, this cleverly-named restaurant greets you with an all-natural setting with towering plants spilling from hanging pots, bubbling brooks filled with colourful fish, and an airy terrace that opens directly onto the beach. Chef Luc has a grandiose personality and an even greater passion for fine food and similarly delicious French wines. My most recent discovery, however, is the upstairs area, which is reminiscent of a treehouse perched atop a palm tree seating around 10 people. I have spent many a relaxed evening there with my notebook, writing away perched atop a bean bag as the sun glides towards the horizon.

Start your day right with breakfast and a show

Nothing gets better than spending a lazy morning at The Place Cafe, lounging on beanbags or comfy sofas as you enjoy an omelette and a pot of one of their large varieties of quality British teas on offer. With careful attention placed on the decor, the place exudes tranquillity through its cascading fountains throughout and range of healthy snacks to keep you going all day. Not being the athletic type it took me quite a while to notice that there is a Muay Thai gym around the back if you’re so inclined. As for me, I’d rather just observe quietly while munching on a muffin.

Enjoy a glass of wine at Vitamin Sea!

Dare yourself to try new watersports

Sitting back and relaxing not your thing? Craving more of an adrenaline rush? Lamai has got you covered! Only a short walk down the beach, you’ll find rental jet skis, kayaks, and even designated paragliding zones. Make sure you barter for the best possible price and off you go! There’s nothing like that spike of adrenaline as you go off skimming the pristine waves like a henchman in a Bond movie.

If none of these activities particularly appeal to you, there is plenty of transportation to take you to either Lamai beach – the second largest beach in Koh Samui (a mere five minutes away by taxi or Songthaew) or to Chaweng – the main nightlife area where there is plenty of fun to be had. Just don’t forget to take a break from working hard on honing your writing skills so you can play hard, too!

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