Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Landing in Koh Samui . . .

The Firefly flight from Subang Airport to Koh Samui was a pleasant surprise. The 72-seater prop plane was a smooth ride although the landing got a bit hairy when the plane seemed to be careening in a wavy path in an attempt to stop!

Less impressive was Subang Airport and its new facilities. Food outlets located at the far-end were easily missed as many shop lots were unoccupied. Avoid the kopitiam like the plague! Service is non-existent mainly because they haven't got a clue what they are doing. Irate customers waiting for their orders were frantic about missing their flight. A better bet would be the mamak shop and their predictable quick service.

Airport personnel had a less than attentive demeanour. One could even read the boarding pass up-side down. A travel pack asam boi (preserved tamarind seeds) garnered some interest from the carry-on luggage scanner.
The daily flight to Koh Samui is quite scenic, capturing aerial views of the Malaysian main range and the coastline of the Gulf of Siam.The Isle of Samui, one of many in the Samui Archipelago, welcomed visitors with a resort-like Airport complete with native thatched roofs and luscious greenery.Deluged by transport operators, the Marriott Group won hands down with their offer of free hotel transportation if one agreed to spend 90 minutes listening to their Luxury Villa Timeshare proposal and even threw in a couple of free games of golf. Some golfers I know were extremely happy to receive this bonus.
Reminiscent of sleepy Langkawi, Koh Samui is refreshingly less commercial than Phuket or Pataya. However this is also reflected in the efficiency and service, or rather the lack thereof, of hotel staff; understated and lackadaisical? Best take on the local pace to reduce stress levels.

The Gulf of Siam under the scorching sun, invites to gleaming sandy beaches and transparent turquoise seas. It is pointless to resist.

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