There are 2 main beaches that travelers stay at in Ko Samui: Chaweng and Lamai. Some other areas you’ll see are Mae Nam, Bophut and Bang Rak but I did not visit those areas. If you’re arriving by ferry, you’ll probably arrive in Nathon but you don’t want to stay there unless you have to catch an early ferry out. There is little for tourists to do there. From Nathon pier a songthaew to Chaweng or Lamai should costs about 100 Baht.
Chaweng is most developed beach on the island and has the nicest beach (in my opinion). Chaweng beach is a pretty long stretch of beach. The busiest part of the beach is near Ark Bar. The areas north and south of here are less crowded, with the south part a little more quiet. I walked up and down most of the beach and the resort with the best set up and most customers was Ark Bar.
Ark Bar Crowd
Getting to Ko Lanta
I arrived in Ko Lanta from the Krabi airport. From the airport I was able to get a shuttle to Krabi town, where I was dropped off at a travel agency. From there I had to purchase a ticket for the ferry. I waited a little while with the other tourists until a pick-up truck came and we all climbed in the back. We made one more stop to pick up more tourists from another travel agency then it was off to the ferry terminal. At the ferry terminal, we just exchanged our receipts for ferry tickets and waited for the ferry.
The seats on the ferry are the bench seats you would find in a minivan. They’re not that comfortable and it may be a little hot but I still think it’s better than sitting outside, in the front of the boat. Every time I’ve taken a ferry in Thailand, the people that sit in the front of the boat end up getting splashed by a big wave and end up coming back in soaking wet. I don’t know why people sit up there. You sit under the hot sun then get splashed by the waves.
Park Plaza Soi 18 Hotel Exterior.
Update: This hotel is now a category 3 hotel and cost 28,000 points a night. All 3 Club Carlson properties in Bangkok are now category 3 hotels.
I stayed at the Park Plaza Hotel Soi 18 several times during my last trip to Bangkok. I chose to stay at this hotel because Club Carlson was running a promotion where if you booked one award night, you would get 9,000 Gold Points. This hotel is a category 2 so each stay would cost me 15,000 Gold Points. Since I was getting a 9,000 point rebate with each stay, each night was effectively costing me only 6,000 Gold Points.
Aloft Bangkok Standard Double Room.
On my most recent trip to Bangkok, I checked out two of the newer Starwood hotels. Earlier in the trip I stayed at the Four Points Hotel. I also wanted to check out the Aloft Bangkok because it opened on December 1, 2011. In fact, the hotel was not yet completed when I stayed there in early January. I was given a room on the 20th floor but some of the floors above us were not completed yet. I was able to take the elevator up to the upper floors but the hallways up there were still unfinished.
The standard room at the Four Points Hotel in Bangkok.
I stayed at the Four Points Hotel in Bangkok this past December. The location of the hotel is great, right off Sukhumvit Soi 15. It’s about equidistant from the Nana and Asoke BTS Skytrain stations so it’s easy to access public transportation.