As part of our youth awareness program we all submitted travel reports about our summer holidays. We had to go somewhere new and then write about it. It just so happened that my family and I went to Koh Samui in Thailand for part of the vacation. I wrote this report about one of the places we stayed during our time in Thailand:
Review of Ban Tai Beach in Koh Samui
Ban Tai is the name of a long stretch of beach in the north-west of the southern Thai island of Koh Samui. It is not a well-known beach, and can be confused with the more famous beach area of Ban Tai in Koh Phangan where the Half Moon and Black Moon Parties occur. The lack of tourism in the Ban Tai area of Koh Samui is part of its charm for many people.
Ban Tai is just 20 minutes drive from the main port town of Nathon and also 20 minutes away from Koh Samui Airport. It is a very accessible part of the island and yet it is not really on the tourist map. This is because the area has very little development. Along the beach there are just a few resorts. These range from cheap wooden bungalows to a few good mid-range options such as Koh Samui Resort. The accommodation options are widely spread out along the beach. This means when you go to Ban Tai beach you often see very few people. The area is also popular with long stay visitors to Koh Samui. A few private residences are also in the area.
Unlike the main tourist centers like Chaweng, Bophut and Lamai there are few bars, restaurants and shops in the area. This is not an area for those who like exciting nightlife on their doorstep. Instead you can find a few local shops along the road selling basic necessities. There are also a few local seafood restaurants worth checking out if you like Thai food. They serve authentic Southern Thai dishes at very reasonable rates. Other than resort bars there is very little that called be termed ‘nightlife’.
Parts of Ban Tai are good for swimming. In other parts there are corals which can cut the feet. At low tide it is obvious where the best swimming spots are. The water is especially clean at Ban Tai due to the lack of development. However, since the beach is not in a busy area it tends to look less beautiful because flotsam washes up leaving a black line on the beach. It is probably for this reason that most visitors to Ban Tai choose to stay around the pool or they head out to either Maenam or Bophut where the beaches are more spotless.
Ban Tai is famous for its wellness centers. There are a few small centers in the region that specialize in treatments such as botox and colonic irrigation as well as offering the standard Thai massage. People are drawn to Ban Tai for the peace and quiet as well as the opportunity to take rejuvenating treatments.
Finally, the hills behind Ban Tai offer some great trekking and mountain biking opportunities. It is one of the best areas in Koh Samui to experience the tranquility of nature on the island.
For many people Ban Tai is nothing special but for a few it is exactly what the doctor ordered. It is worth asking yourself what type of beach holiday you are looking for before considering booking accommodation in Ban Tai.