I don’t think that I ever told you about the time that I accidentally got married in Koh Samui…
Well, OK, accidentally is probably the wrong word for it, but it certainly wasn’t the plan when we first booked our trip to Thailand. The original idea was simply to fly over to spend time at Christmas with Patrick’s family – with everyone spread out all over the world it was a rare opportunity for all of us to be in the same place at the same time.
A few months beforehand we were staying with some members of the family back home in Scotland when someone made a passing comment about how great it would be if we got married while we were there. We laughed, mumbled something about maybe looking into it and headed off to bed. The next morning, we woke to find that everything had all but been booked! Patrick’s sisters had contacted a company specialising in weddings in Thailand, priced everything up and found out that they had availability over the festive period.
Fast forward to Christmas eve and we found ourselves on Taling Ngam beach on the western coast of the island – the boys all brought their kilts, I’d had a dress made by a Thai tailor overnight the day before and we’d picked up flowers from a roadside flower seller on the way. And apart from a couple of minor dramas involving embassy bureaucracy, everything went off without a hitch.
And even though it was a bit off the cuff, luckily for us, Koh Samui turned out to the be perfect place for a beach wedding.
Why Koh Samui is the perfect wedding destination
Probably first and foremost, Koh Samui is the perfect wedding destination simply because the island is so pretty! It’s full of everything you picture when you think of a tropical island. The white sandy beaches stretch all round the island and are fringed by palm trees. And across the sea, there’s beautiful views across to neighbouring islands such as Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and some of the 42 islands that make up the Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Moving back from the shoreline, the jungle-covered hills rise steeply, giving amazing views all across the island and out into the Gulf of Thailand. It’s definitely worth driving up to one of the hillside resorts to enjoy a drink whilst gazing out at the scenery (hiring a car is probably the way to go for this – some of the hills are so steep that scooters can’t cope). If you’re there in the evening, you’ll be treated to some of the fantastic tropical sunsets that the Thai islands are famous for.
And talking of things that Thailand is famous for – there’s a good reason that Thai food is enjoyed world over. Every budget is catered for on the island, from luxury dining at the Four Seasons (where I was lucky enough to have an amazing Thai version of Christmas dinner for my wedding reception) right down to the small family-run restaurants sitting beside the beaches. Som Restaurant on Mae Nam beach and Relax on Choeng Mon beach are both regular family haunts for us.
On my visits to the island, I’ve found that it strikes a good balance between activity and relaxation. In the bustling tourist towns of Chaweng or Lamai, you can take your pick from the shops, cafes, bars and Thai massage stalls that line the streets and beaches.
There’s Buddhist temples, night markets, Muay Thai tournaments, waterfalls, go karting, diving trips and much more to keep yourself occupied if you wish – or you can easily find beaches that are all but deserted if you don’t.
Basically, although Koh Samui has its tourist attractions and areas, it’s also easy to escape the crowds if you want some time alone.
How to get to Koh Samui
Koh Samui is really easy to get to with its own international airport. We’ve flown there both from Bangkok and from Hong Kong, The airport is privately owned, which means that flights aren’t always particularly cheap when purchasing independently, so it’s worth costing up different routes. There’s also an option to get the ferry across – I’ve never done this myself but it’s pretty easy by all accounts.
As we were visiting family, we arranged our flight, accommodation and wedding package independently but if we’d been visiting ourselves, I definitely would have booked through an operator such as Emirates Holidays who offer a great range of Thailand holidays. We had flown to Bangkok with Emirates anyway so leaving the rest of the trip in their capable hands would have removed all of the hassle and left us free to enjoy our wedding trip.
This post was brought to you in association with Emirates Holidays.