Samui Wining & Dining
Samui Holiday Magazine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CAPITAL ATTRACTIONS
What to see and do in Nathon.

What to see and do in Nathon.For many years, to get to Nathon, there was only one way - you had to take a night boat from mainland Suratthani. It was cramped and uncomfortable, hard to sleep, but if you hadn’t finally managed to doze off by the time you arrived in the tiny port, you’d be greeted by the sight of steep hills dwarfing the sleepy town that lay at their base. The slopes were entirely covered in dark green, and the town itself a patchwork of white concrete and the brown of traditional wooden housing. You stepped ashore and found the little port workaday and cheerful, an administrative outpost, but more laidback than official.

          

It’s much like that today, though more modern, and one of the best ways to approach is still by sea, which lets this small port grow bigger in increments. It’s only in the last minutes that it seems to have any real size at all, almost reluctantly spreading out as the ship docks. You can also approach along the ring-road, and then it’s there instantaneously and without fanfare. Even though it’s the island’s capital, it’s unfamed in comparison with Chaweng and Lamai. For a start there are far fewer hotels here, and people who are staying only do so in order to catch a ferry.

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ISLAND ICON
Pick Poppies for dinner tonight.

Pick Poppies for dinner tonight.Poppies Samui has been an island favourite for as long as most people care to remember, and little has changed since it was built in the 80s, becoming one of the very first of Samui’s upscale resorts and restaurants. Conveniently located in the south of Chaweng, on the beach road, the disarmingly simple façade hides the surprises within. For a start, there’s an entire oasis of green that begins once you’ve gone through the atrium. A path leads through grounds that have look as if they have stepped straight out of a fable. Deeply green and enigmatic, the lush foliage, plants and trees all beckon you to slow down and become aware of your surroundings.

          

Unless you’re lucky enough to possess your own tropical garden, you may not have seen anything like this before – and it’s rare enough a sight even when you’re travelling. It’s hard to believe that you’ll come to the sea and the restaurant that fronts it – there’s definitely no sign of either. Follow the path as it meanders through the gardens and it becomes a little journey all of its own. And thankfully, you don’t have to share it with crowds, Poppies being a discreet, select kind of a place. You’ll see cottages on your way, and there are 24 of these, but they hardly impinge, lost to view in all the greenery. People love to stay at the resort,it’s a luxury experience, and very often the same guests return over and over again. Half way down to the restaurant, you might even want to take a break. There’s a small pavilion right by a bridge that crosses a pond, where you can sit awhile.

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