The next day we had a booking for a whale trip, but after the scary experience with the birds island we decided to give it up. Instead we traveled to the neighboring islands. First, we got to Sortland to make sure the cabin we booked indeed existed, and indeed a huge cabin was waiting for us there, one of the prettiest and most expensive of the trip.
We headed toward Granvin. We planne÷d a certain camping there but it was closed. The hour was 16:00 and it was getting foggy outside. Eventually, we found a large cabin for 850 krone. The spacious cabin was required because we had to repack everything in two cases. During the the trip we used another bag, and we had picnic box with food. We left the remains to the picnic owner.
Kata Beach Resort
We chose to stay in Kata Beach in order to avoid the high commotion of Phuket. We stayed at Kata Beach Resort which was really nice. It had a very nice kids swimming pool - something we took into consideration when we ordered this hotel - and a nice beach. During that time of the year the ocean was quite high, so we spent most of our time in the pool.
We stayed at Sareeraya (http://www.sareeraya.com/). The hotel is located at Chweng Beach, around 7 mins walk to the center of Samui. We found this place ideal as it allowed us to be on a quiet area and within short walking distance from the "downtown" area.
There is nothing like Sareeraya. I hope this review won't create too much attention so they'll raise the prices, and I can't afford it next time I'm there... but this place is heaven on earth.
The first day you arrive you will be seated on their very welcoming couches, receive necklaces of jasmin flowers, and cold water to refresh yourselves. The lobby is widely open and you can view both the pool and the beach. Then you understand you made a very wise decision (although not that cheap - we payed 5000 Bht for a night for a large room for the four of us).
The rooms are HUGE and contain everything you need. It includes straw hats for the beach, a straw bag to take your stuff to the beach, and a pair of sandals. So in case you forgot any of the above; don't worry.
On our first day we didn't use any of the above, but then when we saw everyone else using it, we wanted to be part of the scene.
Breakfast at the hotel was very good. You can order any type off egg you want including their nice variation of shakashuka. The fruit variety is very good, and they have amazing walnut and banana cake. Be careful not to be too tempted with the food or you'll gain some extra pounds. For the kids you can have cereal, scrambled eggs etc.
In the hotel you can choose rooms with a pool outside or rooms on the second floor. We were too scared our kids would decide to practice their swimming on the room's pool, so we chose the second floor rooms which had a huge and amazing porch with a beautiful sea view.
If your kids can swim, or better, if you're staying without kids, take advantage of the room with the pool.
After wondering in the center of town, looking for a descent guest house, I discovered that almost every place were full. Okinawa Guest House, which is located close to the Sule Paya (2 minutes walk), was also jam packed, but they managed to find me a bed in a small dormitorio between 2 other rooms. I woke up twice during the night when a couple of American girls rushed out to catch their flight.
I paid 7$ per night. the place was pretty clean, and except for the lack of hot water, and few rats showing their faces in the showers, I enjoyed my stay there. The place had a "backpacker atmosphere", and on the front yard, sitting on the bench, you could get some valuable information from people who were in the last days of their trip, and meet other people, who like you are only starting the journey in the Burmese wonderland.
Bavaro beach is the real thing. Imagine white sandy Caribbean beaches, with coconut trees, Pina Coladas and that fantastic blue color of the sea - you got it.
We booked the hotel through Travelocity. It was fairly priced and the hotel was very good.
Our time there was spent mainly on the beach. Reading books.. enjoying the tranquility. In the afternoon we took walks on the beach, that way we could also see other resorts.
The food there was OK but not great. Some beaches had an enormous amount of Algae but nothing you cannot escape.
We arrived to Palenque at 06:45 after sleeping the entire ride. We immediately took a cab to El Panchan. We arrived to the Margarita Hostel, and took a room with two single beds for 270 pesos per night (it was high season). We dropped off our bags and immediately left looking for a tour to Agua Azul and Misol Ha falls.