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Ban Taling Ngam The Virgin Coast


Photo : ekka | owleyeview.com


Visitors to Koh Samui rarely venture far from the busy commercial areas of the island, yet only 30-40 minutes away, for those who wish to discover the ‘real’ Samui, a visit to the Virgin Coast on the unspoiled South-West of the island is a delight. The Virgin Coast is known for its wide sweeps of coconut plantations and forests that cover hill slopes rendering the area extraordinarily green. Take the ring road and turn off at Route 4170 and follow the signs to Baan Taling Ngam, and eventually you arrive at two massive elephant statues guarding the road to this rustic little fishing village.


chemicals have been used to preserve the monk, his earthly continuation as a corpse is seemingly miraculous. Apparently, both his fingernails and hair still grow with nail clippings made into protective charms. You can still see him today, sitting upright in his shrine, where with perfect equanimity he baffles modern science, as well as everyone who comes to see him. Luang Por Ruam was born near the temple in 1879 and in the early years of the 20th Century made a journey to Burma where he was initiated into deeply mystical Buddhist practices. After which he returned to Koh Samui where he lived a life of purity and meditation.


Taling Ngam has seen the least change of any area on the island, as though time has stood still. Originally named Taling Punk, or Damaged Shore, after a destructive storm in 1900 took the beauty of the shorelines away, it regained its splendour over time and was renamed Taling Ngam, or Beautiful Shore in 1942. Families go back many generations and are content with keeping their traditional lifestyle. They are descendents of mainland Thais and Chinese migrants who made their living through fishing. One of the first seaports was situated here, and was used by merchant traders over 100 years ago. They came seeking water and provisions as they sailed throughout the waters of South East Asia.


Many traditional wooden Southern style houses can be seen still standing in compounds with other out-buildings of the whole extended family. The rivers and bays harbour long-tail boats that bring in a daily catch of fish, while shellfish are collected by hand along the shore. The marshes provide the mineral rich varieties of leafy herbs and green vegetables that grow much like watercress from the damp earth. These are the delicious greens served on the plate with steaming bowls of soup. The life of hunter and gatherer is still the standard here, which may account for the numerous elderly citizens in good health and vigorous demeanor.


The Virgin Coast has some of Koh Samui's best beaches with palms coming right down to the water's edge, dense greenery right up to the sands with swimming an idyllic experience. Out to sea are five islands known locally in Thai as ‘Koh Si Koh Ha’, meaning ‘Four Islands-Five Islands’ as one is hidden behind another. Beyond the five islands is the mainland, a series of mountains distant and hazy, fading to purple as evening comes. This coastline is the ‘very point of the western sunset’. Regardless of the weather, sundown is spectacular over the Five Islands, the mainland in the backdrop – every day brings a new palette of unimaginable colour. Along the shoreline there are a few excellent beach establishments to enjoy a cocktail or two, whilst witnessing the sun disappearing into the ocean and lighting up the evening sky. Truly a visit to the Virgin Coast will be a most memorable part of your Koh Samui experience.


Ban Taling Ngam The Virgin Coast WHERE TO STAY Baan Taling Ngam Resort & Spa Tel: + 66 (0) 7742 9100 Fax: + 66 (0) 7742 3220 www.baan-taling-ngam.com

WHERE TO STAY & DAY SPA

WHERE TO EAT

Baan Taling Ngam Resort & Spa Tel: + 66 (0) 7742 9100 Fax: + 66 (0) 7742 3220 www.baan-taling-ngam.com

The Five Islands Restaurant Tel / Fax: + 66 (0) 7741 5359 Mobile: + 66 (0) 8 1477 5371 samui@thefiveislands.com www.thefiveislands.com

Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort & Spa Tel: + 66 (0) 7742 8200 Fax: + 66 (0) 7742 8250 sunset@bansabaisunset.com www.bansabaisunset.com

WHERE TO ESCAPE Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort & Spa Tel: + 66 (0) 7742 8200 Fax: + 66 (0) 7742 8250 sunset@bansabaisunset.com www.bansabaisunset.com Am Samui Resort Tel: + 66 (0) 7723 5165 info@amsamuiresort.com www.amsamuiresort.com TopCats Freshwater Fishing Resort Tel: + 66 (0) 7741 5387 Mobile: + 66 (0) 8 1476 2324 admin@fishinginthailand.com www.fishinginthailand.com

The Five Islands Restaurant Long-tail Boat Tours Tel / Fax: + 66 (0) 7741 5359 Mobile: + 66 (0) 8 1477 5371 samui@thefiveislands.com www.thefiveislands.com TopCats Freshwater Fishing Resort Tel: + 66 (0) 7741 5387 Mobile: + 66 (0) 8 1476 2324 admin@fishinginthailand.com www.fishinginthailand.com

The Promenade Baan Taling Ngam Resort & Spa Tel: + 66 (0) 7742 9100 Fax: + 66 (0) 7742 3220 www.baan-taling-ngam.com L'Ananas Restaurant Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort & Spa Tel: + 66 (0) 7742 8200 Fax: + 66 (0) 7742 8250 sunset@bansabaisunset.com www.bansabaisunset.com Am Samui Resort Tel: + 66 (0) 7723 5165 info@amsamuiresort.com www.amsamuiresort.com TopCats Freshwater Fishing Resort Tel: + 66 (0) 7741 5387 Mobile: + 66 (0) 8 1476 2324 admin@fishinginthailand.com www.fishinginthailand.com


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