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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 1: Singapore - Koh Samui (Thailand)

We didn't really plan to go for a trip but our helper wanted to go back home for two weeks, so I thought why not we go for a trip as well, just the three of us. So far we always travelled with our helper hehehe.. so this time around let's see whether we could survive without her. And then I also realized that our Krisflyer mileage is going to expire next year, so it was a good reason to utilize it before it's too late.

My first choice was Perth, but the airport tax and surcharge for SQ was as much as the price of a budget airline ticket. In this case we might as well take the budget airline and keep the mileage. After frantically searching for a destination to go, I chanced upon Koh Samui, which doesn't have any budget airlines flying there. Now, that's a good reason to use the mileage. :)

Our flight was at 8 am in the morning and we purposely woke up much earlier in order to try the JetQuay lounge, complimentary from the credit card hehehe... From the time we entered the main gate, I could feel the sense of exclusiveness. Our cab wasn't allowed to proceed until the security guard cross checked our names with his list. Wow.. not everyone can enter, not even the drop off point. :P

The lounge itself was alright, more or less like the Krisflyer lounge except that they have an outdoor area for smoking. Food was quite a disappointment, it didn't have as many varieties as in the Krisflyer lounge.

Sitting area


Not much variety of food


Nice chair :)

Outdoor sitting area

Smoking area

Comparing the two, I still think the Krisflyer has the best lounge. (Read my posts of Krisflyer lounge here) but JetQuay has one privilege that Krisflyer doesn't have. When it was time to board the plane, a staff member came and brought us to their own immigration counter. After we cleared the immigration, he would then escorted us to the boarding gate in a buggy ride. And not only that, they timed it so perfectly that we reached there just a few minutes before the gate was closed. Nice..... it really made us feel like a VIP hahaha...

Koh Samui Airport
The airport has a resort like feeling, it also uses natural air circulation which means no aircon. :)

Shuttle to the arrival terminal

Arrival terminal

An airport or a resort?

Clock tower, behind it are the shops that leads to departure terminal
From the airport we took an airport van to our hotel. I didn't know that it was so near, only took us less than ten minutes to reach there.

Nora Beach Resort & Spa
This hotel had a glowing review in tripadvisor, and from all the reviews I read, none was negative. So the next thing I did was to search for the cheapest rate in all the travel websites. And surprise surprise, the cheapest was from Zuji, which from my impression was never ever give a good deal. In the hotel website itself, they were selling at SGD 150 per night for a superior room. Zuji were selling at SGD 100, plus another 10% rebate from Mastercard promotion, I only paid SGD 90 per night. Cool. :)

And that's not all, they upgraded us to Garden Villa. Can't believe our luck :P

Flowers at the lobby

Path to villas and the swimming pool

Lovely flowers surrounding the resort

The swimming pool right next to the beach



The superior rooms where we were supposed to stay, but...

This is what we got. Yay!!
The bedroom
The most exciting part of the villa is the see through bathroom overloooking the garden.And you've got to love the spacious bath tub. :)

The standing shower comes with a glass ceiling.

Nice balcony but beware of mosquitoes!!

In the afternoon we rented a motorbike from a shop in front of our hotel. It only cost about THB 200 per day compared to THB 1000 for a car rental. Riding a motorbike was so much fun, our daughter was so excited that her eyes lighted up whenever we told her we were going for a ride.

Riding a motorbike

Passing by a scary handicraft shop. These aliens are made from motorbike spare parts.

The Big Buddha

Koh Samui most famous landmark: The Big Buddha

Wat Plai Laem

The Laughing Buddha

Guan Yin
Wat Plai Laem

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