This is Koh Samui from the air.
The hotel decorated our room with flowers on the bed, in the jacuzzi, and in the bathroom sink.
Our room was on a hill overlooking Mae Nam beach. The flowers looked pretty, but kept getting caught in the intake for the jets...
We never figured out what this was -- the sign at breakfast only said "local fruit".
Our first full day in Samui, we drove the ring road around the island to the southern part (about half an hour). The first stop was the Namuang I and II waterfalls.
The Namuang I waterfall is about 18.5 meters tall, and was a short stroll from the parking lot.
We stopped at Wat Khunaram to check out one of the stranger tourist attractions on Samui: a mummified monk. He died more than 20 years ago, did not decompose, and is now sitting in a glass case wearing Ray Bans so that you can see him. Pretty weird, huh?
This is the main building at Wat Khunaram (not the one containing the monk).
We really liked the dragons decorating the stairs at Wat Khunaram.
Next we drove to the end of the road near the Namuang II waterfall. This monkey in was really friendly, but he didn't smell very good.
I held on to my hat, but he grabbed my sunglasses and attempting to take off with them. He didn't get very far because he was tied to the tree, but it still took awhile to get them back.
Watch video of the friendly monkey
We rode an elephant for half an hour toward the base of the waterfall. Asian elephants are much smaller than African elephants, but we were still pretty high off the ground. Elephants don't seem like the most efficient form of transportation.
After we exited the elephant, it was a short and hot walk to the base of the falls. There was thick vegetation on both sides of the trail.
The Namuang II is 79 meters tall. We sat in the shade and watched as an entire tour group came, took pictures of themselves, and left.
You can see more of the falls in this picture of us in front of Namuang II.
We walked up a little higher because we thought we saw an umbrella on the side of the stream. Once there, a guy motioned us up a very steep path that disappeared through the jungle. We climbed for about 20 minutes, and were dripping sweat and starting to wonder what we'd gotten ourselves into. Then we found this pool! It was very cool and refreshing after the hike. There's a small cave behind this waterfall that we pulled ourselves into using a rope that's tied to the rocks. It started pouring on the hike back down, which was nice because it wasn't as hot.
After lunch, we stopped at the Grandfather and Grandmother rock formations. The Grandfather rock was pretty obvious.
Our hotel included breakfast in the morning, and we sat outside right on the water.
We went diving in the Ang Thong Marine Park. We did two dives, one around each of these little islands. The water was so warm! We saw all sorts of interesting things, such as blue spotted rays, a sea snake, and some huge schools of fish.
Before dinner, we walked along the beach in front of our hotel for a little while.
Our last morning on Samui, we checked out of our hotel and went to Chaweng Beach, the biggest and busiest of Samui's beaches. The beach was nice and wide, but we were glad we weren't staying there because there were lots of jet skis in the water and resorts jammed in close to each other.
We thought this sign was really funny.
This is gate 1 at Koh Samui airport. There were fish in the pools -- they looked like the gouramis we have in our tank at home.