The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Koh Samui-island-Thailand-beach
Koh Samui-island-Thailand-beach

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui, my first visit was in 1998 and I thought I had found Paradise. Over the next 6 years I returned about 10 times and watched the many changes take place. I must admit I preferred the old Koh Samui before the turn of the century, but as they say in the classics, you can’t stop progress. My last visit was 5 years ago so my information may be a little dated. Yesterday I returned from a few days in Koh Chang which in many ways reminds me of Koh Samui in the 90’s.

This is Chaweng in 1999

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

There are many beaches on the island of beautiful Koh Samui, my post focuses on Chaweng beach as this is where most of the action is. Walk out the front of your bungalow on to the sand, walk out the back of your hotel to the shops, restaurants & bars.

The Ark Bar on Chaweng beach

Ark bar Chaweng beach Koh Samui

You won’t get much peace staying here, they party all night.

Beach dining at beautiful Koh Samui.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

For me the greatest buzz on Koh Samui was dining on the beach at night and watching the moon rise over the water. I have forgotten how many times I enjoyed this wonderful experience, including New Years Eve 1999.  For years prior to the millennium I always planned to be somewhere very special for this special event, and Koh Samui was my choice.

New Years Eve 1999

Beautiful Thai Island Koh Samui

Well I made it to the new century and still have a long way to go.

Seafood on the beach.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui Bar-B-Q seafood on the beach in the moonlight, does life get any better than this?

Two Aussie friends Tammy & Kate.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui  Did I just ask if life could get any better than this? Well I think you can guess what my answer is. 😆

Lanterns on Chaweng beach.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui At night on the beach hundreds of lanterns are lit then they lift off into the night sky, it is quite a magical sight. Here are my two Aussie friends Tammy & Kate joining in the fun.

Now they are relaxing in the sun.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Aussie babes love the sun.

Breakfast by the beach


Beautiful Thai Island Koh SamuiBreakfast by the beach with Ken Shelly & Richard Blair.


Chaweng Beach in beautiful Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

 One of the best places in Thailand to chill out.

A favourite photo of mine.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Sunset on Beautiful Koh Samui. 

Here are some magic sunsets from my condo in Pattaya.

Island resort Chaweng.

Island resort Chaweng beach This is the pool at the Island Resort on Chaweng beach. It’s at the quieter northern end of Chaweng beach. However I prefer to stay at the Baan Chaweng resort about midway along the beach.

Island Resort

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Another favourite photo.

Sunrise at Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui My friend Tammy took this great sunrise, I am never awake at that time of the day.  😳

Island Resort Chaweng Beach.

Beautiful Thai Island Koh Samui

The bungalows are private and peaceful.

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The reasonably priced bungalows here offer quite nice 2 star accommodation, with more upmarket rooms around the pool. However my preference is the Baan Chaweng resort which is in the centre of Chaweng beach.


Beautiful Koh Samui

Koh Samui Elephants.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

That’s my friend Paul McNeil from San Diego.

August 1999 with Jane

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Here I am with gorgeous Jane who I brought from from Nana Plaza.

At the waterfall

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui Jane from Bangkok and Evelyn from the Philippines cooling off at the waterfall.

 Gorgeous dancer.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

 Tell the truth, did you realise the blond is one of the famous Thai Lady-Boys? Or did you think it was a girl? Many of the most attractive girls in Thailand turn out to be boys. :oops:E

Wonderful Koh Tao.

Koh Tao beach

In the 1980’s overseas travellers began to visit Ko Tao and quickly became a popular destination. As a consequence, bigger, faster and safer boats were used to allow easier access to Ko Tao. In the 1990’s the island became known as a diving site.

Historically, Ko Tao was once a detention place for political prisoners similar to Ko Tarutao of Satun Province, but today it is a great place for divers or anybody who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of Ko Samui and want more than the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan. The island is geared towards diving tourists more than backpackers on a budget. Ko Tao is a great place to learn how to dive. There are hardly any currents and a wide selection of dive sites and dive shops, schools and resorts. Activity options are growing outside of diving and the food and nightlife options are some of the best in the Gulf of Thailand.

Ko Tao is a small island of approximately 21² km and receives over a 100,000 visitors per year. To minimise your impact on the eco-system, notice that there are no garbage disposal facilities, so everything that can’t be burned has to be taken away. Book your hotel before you go.

Memories of my island romance.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

For a very brief moment in time this beautiful Italian princess was my island romance. Her name was Barbara Manelli and she came from Florence, however I preferred to call her Gypsy. Our brief affair took place on Koh Samui in December 1999 and sadly ended there at the end of our holiday, c’est la vie. 😥

Zirco’s Brazilian restaurant.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from at Chaweng, if you like Brazilian food put Zirco’s on your list.

Bananas or bazookas?

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui Here I was minding my business on the beach, taking a photo of a guy peeling a banana, and as luck would have it a gorgeous girl in half a bikini wandered into my background. It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  😆

Here is Kok Samui in June 2016.

David Herd relaxing in Paradise.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Sing it for me Glenn.

Many thanks for visiting my Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui photo blog, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed being here.
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                         What a great year for travel in 2015                  

                 Istanbul                  Budapest                        London

Galeta Tower     St. Stephen's Basilica       Walkie Talkie London    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

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Thailand Europe Vietnam Japan        Main Square Zagreb       Vung Tau


         Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
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That’s all folks

Beach Club Pattaya Bay

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Krabi, it is close to Koh Samui


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Every April Thailand goes mad for Songkran


Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets. I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington. Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for "long term relationships" so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand. What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :) I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit. Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ???? Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia. Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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