Dec 17 2011
One might travel for months alone quite happily, but come the festive season and particularly Christmas, homesickness can kick in. So what can the lone traveller do on Christmas Day on Ko Samui to make it a day to remember?
Firstly, like it or not, be warned that most resorts charge for a compulsory gala dinner on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Whether you attend or not, you will be charged, so if your resort follows this practice, you may as well make the most of it (or check ahead of time and stay somewhere at the real budget end of the spectrum, where they are less likely to do this).
Resorts do compete with each other to put on the best gala dinners, so they are worth attending once you can get over the idea that you are forced into it. Overflowing buffets of top quality international and local fare, entertainment in the form of fire dancers, Filipino bands playing pretty good cover music, traditional Thai dancers and fireworks can all form part of the experience. Seating is usually organised by the staff, so solo travellers won’t be placed at the dodgy table alone in a corner.
Samui has plentiful options when it comes to Western restaurants, and most of them put on some sort of Christmas lunch or dinner, with all the trimmings. Special menus are displayed on blackboards so if one is after a traditional Christmas dinner, don’t despair, you’ll find one. BBC Restaurant, at the entrance to Big Buddha is offering a full Christmas lunch or dinner for 890 baht a person, and being known for their Sunday roasts, it is sure to be good.
Those travellers that would prefer to take advantage of the alone time over Christmas, away from the usual craziness of family gatherings, might prefer to find some peace and quiet on one of the island’s less touristy beaches on the south or west coast. Although the main beaches of Chaweng and Lamai will be packed over this time, few visitors explore on their own, which is quite safe to do on Samui. Pack a backpack with some snacks and drinks, sunscreen and a good book, hop on your scooter and go where the road takes you and beyond. Laze in the shade of a coconut tree and cool off in the sea when you feel like it, without being disturbed by beach vendors, rowdy tourists and jet skis.
Fancy a bit of pampering on Christmas day? Spas offer day packages that often include the use of the resort’s facilities so after your steam bath, body scrub, massage and facial you can relax in five-star style by the pool. No need to feel guilty that the staff are working on Christmas, as being a mostly Buddhist nation, most people don’t celebrate the day. Elements Resort and Spa in Taling Ngam on the southwest coast offers excellent and well-priced packages and is located on a quiet beach shared only with some local fishermen.
Whether you choose to spend the day alone, or take the opportunity to meet new friends, being alone on a tropical island in Southeast Asia like Ko Samui could be one of your most memorable Christmases yet.
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