Supporting local business in Samui

There’s a few local businesses in Samui that we’d like to give a shout out to… and can recommend them if you’re on holiday or living here.

Health & Fitness

The Yogarden – Tammy’s favourite yoga studio is an openair sala in a private garden in Boput Fisherman’s Village.  Fresh juice, smoothies and healthy meals are prepared in the 100+ year old teak house next door.  Friendly spot to hangout if you have time after class.

Lamai Beach Crossfit  / Samui Fitness Retreat – Our friends in the south love the group training classes run by trainer Mike at Lamai Beach Fitness, and they’ve achieved great results this year.  They also run Fitness Retreats which include fun activities such as Stand Up Paddleboarding and Hiking in the jungle.

Samui Home Clinic – Our local GP is the best!  A great little clinic run by a professional, English speaking GP.  Located in Bangrak, next to the Samui Pier Resort.

Fresh Spirulina Paste – Raja places a special order once a month, bringing the product down to Samui from Bangkok by air freight.  Contact Raja to place your order – mobile 089 730 0746, or search for Raja Tamaran on Messenger.

Home Interiors & Fashion

Moon Interiors – you’ll find 3 floors of furniture, soft furnishings, decor and home gifts in the Moon Interiors shop at Samui Town Centre.  A lot of the furniture has been imported from India, and will be one of a kind here in Samui.

Kosamuckis Interior – a lovely little home interiors shop located just off Soi Bandon, opposite the Aspira Samui Hotel. Scandinavian inspired homewares, Christmas decor, candles, wine glasses and home-baked German Christmas cookies.

Ms Carino – contemporary resortwear meets bohemian Bali inspired fashion.  You’ll find a great range of dresses, skirts, tops, pants, jumpsuits, jewellery and handmade products in the Ms Carino shops in Bophut.  Plus clothing for kids too!  There’s one shop in The Wharf, and one shop in Fisherman’s Village.

Taiwaree Summer Lifestyle – a boutique online linen fashion brand with a range of linen clothing ideal for tropical island life.  Taiwaree designs her own linen clothes and sells them online at https://taiwaree.com/

Food & Drinks

Bangrak Minimart – better than any corner store, they have a wide range of food, drinks and snacks.  Also fresh bread and a great range of wine, beer and spirits (best price on Samui, perhaps?).  Located on the Bangrak beach road, opposite Petcherat Marina.  And they offer free delivery if you are in Bangrak & Plai Laem areas.

The Lucky Cow – homemade greek yoghurt, feta cheese, hummus, tahini and pita bread.  Yum!  Next door to Makro in Chaweng.  You can also find Lucky Cow products in Bangrak Minimart.

Merchant Gourmet Food – a fab place to buy bacon, sausages, parma ham, steak, tuna and loads of cheeses and cold meat.  Located on the ring road in Lamai.

French Delights – home made sausages, pate and smoked salmon, bread and cheese.  Plus they have pre-cooked meals and desserts.  In Bangrak, between Big Buddha and the Bangrak market.

Car Hire

ID Scooter & Car Rental – they are based in Bangrak, and will bring the bikes/cars up to your villa if you’re staying in the north-east.  You don’t need to leave your passport with them which is good – but you will need to show your car/bike licence.  Call Ian on 081 081 0340.

 

Where to buy a paddle board in Thailand?

So you’ve got the SUP bug and you’re ready to buy your own board?  Here’s a few places where you can purchase Stand Up Paddleboards in Thailand.  Listed in alphabetical order.

Amara Watersports – Pattaya ☆

Amara Watersports carry a range of Starboard paddle boards, paddles, leashes and other accessories.  Located in Pattaya, and they can arrange delivery to Samui.

Aztron – Bangkok

Aztron have a range of inflatable and composite paddle boards.  I don’t know the brand, but I’ve seen them promoted on on the Go SUP Thailand page on Facebook.  Seems to be a Chinese brand, but they are being promoted locally in Thailand.

Decathlon – Bangkok

Decathlon sell a couple of inflatable paddle boards in their Bangkok store.  Affordable and reasonable quality for a first board.  They have an 11′ touring board (11′ x 34″ x 6″) – which would be pretty stable for a beginner.  They also stock adjustable paddles, life jackets, pumps, spare fins and waterproof bags.

Freedom Boardsports – Phuket ☆

Freedom Boardsports stock paddle boards from Red Paddle Co and NSP, and they also have paddles, leashes, fins, soft roof racks and other accessories in stock.  They can also custom make board bags.  Products are listed on their website.  Located in Phuket, but they can arrange delivery to Samui.

Kayaker Asia – Phuket

Kayaker Asia sell the Aqua Marina brand of inflatable paddle boards.  They are based in Phuket, but can arrange delivery to Samui.  I haven’t used the Aqua Marina brand yet, but they are very affordable and the quality seems good for the price.

Saltwater Dreaming – Phuket

Saltwater Dreaming carry stock of Aqua Marina, BIC and E-Force paddle boards.  Located in Phuket.

Samui Outboard & Fiber Glass – Koh Samui

Samui Outboard & Fiber Glass sell marine supplies and usually stock a couple of NSP paddle boards.  We bring our inflatables here for repair.  Location:  on the ring road near the PTT LPG Gas Station in Bophut. You’ll see a few boats outside.  Phone: 081 719 2655 / 081 711 5935 / 077 427 383

  • Brands: NSP
  • Phone: 081 719 2655 / 081 711 5935 / 077 427 383

SUNOVA – Khao Lak ☆

Sunova manufacture their own brand of surf boards, flat water, touring and race boards to order.   The factory is located near a great surf beach in Khao Lak, 80km north of Phuket.

Sail in Siam – Pattaya

Sail In Siam carry stock of the BIC paddle boards.  They are located in Pattaya.

Surf SUP Warehouse – Bangkok ☆

Surf SUP Warehouse stock a wide range of NSP paddle boards, paddles, leashes, fins, board bags and other accessories.  Products are listed on their website.  Located in Bangkok, but they can arrange delivery to Samui.

 

 

Chao Phraya River SUP Adventure

Trip notes from our SUP Adventure down the Chao Phraya River,  July 2019.

Paddle crew:  Ali Wright, Marie Wright, Ian Wade, Tammy Wade

Day 1 – 20km from Ayutthaya to Bang Pa-in

  • Date: 27 July 2019
  • Start time: 6:30am
  • Paddle distance: 20km
  • Moving time: 3 hours 51 minutes (03:51:00)
  • Average speed: 4.6km/h

Highlights:

  • We started at Ban U-Thong, where we stayed for the first night in Ayutthaya.  This hotel has a floating pontoon, which made it easy to access the river.  The owners of the hotel were really helpful.
  • After around 1-2 hours we stopped for our first break.  Just sitting on our boards while we had some snacks and water.  Everyone enjoyed the homemade banana bread that I’d brought all the way from Samui.
  • We took a small side khlong, which proved to be very interesting (map link)
  • We were very keen to see the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and paddled through the water hyacinth into the small khlong.  It was quite challenging, and probably not a good idea.  For next time, we would recommend to stop on the other side of the small island (map link).  We had quite a long rest at the Summer Palace, taking advantage of the shade, fresh coffee and food on offer from the small market stalls, and free access to very clean toilets at the entrance to the Summer Palace.
  • We continued paddling down to our accommodation, the Ayutthaya Garden River Home (map link).  We chose this hotel because of the good river access (floating barge/pontoon) and it also has a swimming pool.  This hotel is a little bit out of town, so there’s nowhere to get a massage – and the nearest 7-11 is a short bike ride away (the security guard gave Ian a lift to get some drinking water for the next day)
  • We had a relaxing afternoon.

 

Day 2 – 35km from Bang Pa-in to SUP Station (Phatum-thani)

  • Date: 28 July 2019
  • Start time: 6:00am
  • Paddle distance: 35km
  • Moving time: 7 hours 34 minutes (07:34:00)
  • Average speed: 4.2km/h

Highlights:

  • We had estimated it would be 30-35km to paddle on our second day, so were up early (before sunrise) and started paddling at 6:05am.  Keen to get some distance under our belt, we paddled for around 2 hours (10km) before taking our first break.  It was a short floating break near the Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center (map here)
  • We carried on paddling and stopped for lunch at a riverside Seafood restaurant.  We chose this restaurant because it has a big pontoon which was good for mooring the paddle boards (map link).  It was here that we calculated the full distance… it was going to be a 35km day.
  • We were so happy to find the Pumpkin Art Cafe.  We stopped for cake and coffee in aircon.  This is a great place for a break because it also has a pontoon which was good for mooring the paddle boards (map link)
  • The final leg was a slow 7km paddle taking us past some Dragon Boat races, and finally down to SUP Station (map link)

 

Packing light for the weekend, as we would be carrying everything with us on our paddle boards.

The old capital, Ayutthaya – sightseeing before we started the SUP Adventure.

 

Paddling down the River – Tammy Wade & Ian Wade

Ian and Tammy Wade – so happy to arrive at SUP Station (the end of day 2)

Marie and Ali Wright – look how excited they are to arrive at SUP Station (the end of day 2)

Yay – we made it!  Paddle crew:  Ian Wade, Marie Wright, Ali Wright, Tammy Wade

 

Useful notes:

 

Post paddle treats

Stand Up Paddling is great exercise and you can use up quite a bit of energy during a session, therefore after completing our tours hungry participants are treated to a tasty healthy snack. Tammy’s homemade gluten and sugar free banana bread is a great hit with paddlers and we have had several requests for the recipe. So here it is:

 

HEALTHY BANANA BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g smashed ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 60g olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 200g almond meal
  • 25g ground flaxseed

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 160 C
  • Smash the bananas in a mixing bowl with a fork
  • Mix in the honey, olive oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lime (the lime activates the bicarb)
  • Add the almond meal and ground flaxseed and mix well
  • Prepare your loaf tin (I line mine with greaseproof paper, so it lifts out easily and doesn’t stick to the sides)
  • Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 45-60 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the loaf tin
  • Options: Sometimes I add a handful of chopped walnuts and raisins into the mix at the end.  You can also decorate the top of the loaf with sliced banana, or a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds.  Or if you want a chocolate version – just add a little raw cacao powder into the mix.  If your bananas are ripe and sweet you don’t have to add much honey.
  • If you want to make an egg-free version you can use ground flaxseed as an egg substitute.  1 egg = 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed + cold water.  Mix together and leave in the fridge for around 10 minutes before adding to the mix.

Recipe source: Teresa Cutter’s Gluten-Free Banana Bread (http://ironmumkarla.com.au/2014/07/teresa-cutters-gluten-free-banana-bread-green-smoothie.html).

 

5th Thailand SUP Festival – April 2018

The Thailand SUP Festival is the biggest SUP event in Thailand. This year marks the 5th year of the event running in Thailand. We’re expecting it to be a fabulous weekend in the sun – with short and long course technical races (2km & 6km), sprints, team relays, family/kids races, SUP yoga, SUP lessons and board demos. Bring your friends, family and team-mates!

The last event in 2016 attracted 70 competitors from all over Thailand and participants many other countries in the region including Australia, Japan, Korea, Hungary, Canada, Singapore and even India. And with the growing popularity of SUP in Thailand, we’re expecting even more people to participate this year.

Brought to you by iSUP Samui, the 5th Thailand SUP Festival will be held at LUX Beach Club, on a beautiful stretch of Bang Tao beach in Phuket. LUX Beach is an idyllic beachfront venue, with plenty of outdoor seating, restaurant and bar facilities! You can hang out at the beach club during the day, grab a massage after the races, and party at night after the dinner and awards presentation.

Date: 7-8 April 2018.

Location: LUX Beach Club, Bang Tao beach, Phuket, Thailand

For more information visit: www.thailandsupfestival.com

Samui Webcam – Crystal Bay Yacht Club

Gorgeous Samui beaches

Crystal Bay is a lovely beach to hang out for a few hours, with crystal clear water and white sand.  There’s a beachfront restaurant for fruit shakes or lunch, and plenty of afternoon shade on the beach.

Now with Samui Webcam, you can check out the beach conditions at Crystal Bay Yacht Club before you leave your hotel or villa.

We don’t paddle at Crystal Bay (mostly because it’s not easy for us to get the boards down to the beach,) but we can paddle at some of the nearby beaches, which are just as beautiful.

Contact us now if you’d like to know more about Stand Up Paddleboard Tours & Lessons in Koh Samui, Thailand.

 

Which beach is best for paddle boarding in Koh Samui?

We do most of our paddle boarding on the north eastern corner of Koh Samui, as we find the water is nice and calm for paddle boarding, and there’s plenty of coastline to explore.

In the Northern Hemisphere winter, from October – April, the winds are coming from the north east. This makes Bangrak a nice calm spot to paddle, and allows us to glide past Big Buddha at sunrise, get a good work out paddling out to Koh Som, and on other days enjoy a quiet sunset over the hills.

In the Northern Hemisphere summer months, from April – October, the wind is coming from the west. During those months we start our SUP lessons and tours from Choeng Mon beach, exploring the rocky coastline and quiet bays nearby. For the more adventurous we can paddle north to Tongson Bay or south down to Hanuman Bay, towards Chaweng. So many options and that’s just our regular paddles.

Depending on the weather conditions and experience of the paddlers, we have a few longer tours such as the Sunset & Cocktails Sunset Tour, Five Islands Longtail SUP Tour and the North Coast Paddle Tour. Something to suit every paddler – beginner or experienced.

Contact us now to book in your Stand Up Paddleboard lesson or tour. Let us know where you’re staying and we can try to customise a paddle tour to suit your group. As you can see from the map below we paddle from several spots around the island.

Take a look at our blog post “A guide to the beaches in Koh Samui” for more details on each of the beaches and suggestions of hotels in these areas.

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) & Kayak Repairs in Koh Samui

In case you’re looking for somewhere to get your stand up paddle boards or kayaks repaired in Koh Samui, here’s a couple of places where we get our boards fixed.

Inflatable Paddle Board Repairs

There is a shop next to the PTT LPG Gas Station on the Ring Road in Chaweng.  I think the shop is called Samui Outboard and Fiber Glass.  You’ll see a few boats outside.  They sell marine supplies and NSP paddle boards.  Sometimes we get a tiny pinhole/slow leak on our inflatable paddle boards – and when we do we bring them here for repair.

Phone: 081 719 2655, 081 719 5935, 077 427 383

Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/Ej4yoHpCzYC2

 

Composite Paddle Board Repairs (ie. Hard Boards) & Kayak Repairs

Khun Yot has a shop near Nathon where he sells and repairs kayaks and composite paddle boards.  He also has a great little furniture shop next door, called Samui Furnish.  His guys have been trained by Starboard to repair hard boards.  If we ever get a ding on our fiber glass race boards we’ll be taking them here to get repaired. We’ve known Khun Yot for over 10 years, so if you do go to his shop you can mention that we recommended him :).

Phone: 081 815 0649, 081 912 5485, 077 236 169

Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/ECNUCf74mwM2

 

 

The Ritz-Carlton opens in Koh Samui

If you’re looking for a bit of luxury during your stay in Koh Samui, there are several 5-star resorts and villas to choose from.  However a stay at the new Ritz-Carlton is the probably the most convenient if you’re wanting to join one of our Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Sunrise and Sunset Tours.  We take small groups out on paddle board adventures along the Koh Samui coastline close to the Ritz-Carlton.  Beginners and experienced paddlers are catered for (just as long as you can swim).

If you’ve previously paddled with us in Samui between the months of May and October we’ve probably taken you for a paddle right past the new Ritz-Carlton Resort.  We’ve been watching the development of this new 5-star resort over the past couple of years, and they have just opened the doors to guests this week.

Sunrise and Sunset Paddle Board Tours in Samui

Our Sunrise Paddle Tour starts at 6AM, with a brief introduction on the beach.  Very quickly we’ll get you out on the water and standing on your paddle board.  We paddle for around 1.5 hours, taking a fairly relaxed pace and stopping for water breaks and swimming whenever you want.  After the paddle tour we provide some yummy and healthy homemade snacks, including Tammy’s famous Paleo Banana bread.  Resort transfers are included, and we’ll get you back to your resort in time for breakfast.

The Sunset Paddle Tour starts at 5PM, and follows a similar schedule to the Sunrise Paddle Tour.  We finish around 6:30PM and get you back to the resort in time for dinner.

With qualified SUP Instructors from Australia and premium paddle board equipment from Starboard, you’re in for a wonderful experience when you go paddle boarding with the team at iSUP Samui.  But don’t just take our word for it, why not read some of our customer reviews on TripAdvisor.  You’ll quickly see that it’s an experience you don’t want to miss out on.

Stand Up Paddleboard lessons and tours are suitable for all ages, and great for couples and families traveling together.  We usually only take small groups out on the water, however larger groups and team building events can be catered for.  Experienced paddlers can join us for a longer paddle or a downwinder, depending on their experience.

Bookings can be made directly with the team at iSUP Samui.  Email [email protected] or call +66 92 737 9705.