Nestled in the quiet fishing and farming village of Thong Krut, our school and nursery are located a short walk away from some of Samui’s most unspoiled and scenic views. Just 200 meters from the school you’ll find tranquil turquoise waters, traditional long-tail boats and several shops and restaurants lining the beach.

Koh Taen/Koh Tan Beach Thailand

Tourists from the busier, more developed sections of the island often venture down to this more relaxed and authentic area to enjoy the sights or join a day tour to the smaller barrier islands visible from the beach. Koh Taen is the most popular of these islands; often referred to as the best kept secret on Koh Samui and revered for it’s untouched beaches, crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs and lush mangrove forests.

I had gazed at that island almost every day for the past 10 months and somehow, despite multiple attempts at organizing, just hadn’t made it over yet. Little did I know, however, that my feeble attempts of getting a group together were lacking one vital aspect… Facebook cred. Luckily I have far more hip and tech savvy friends to figure such things out, so I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invite for a camping trip this past weekend.

Camping with friends on a Thai island is a great way to spend some time

The group couldn’t have been better; including my fellow expat friends living on Samui, some friends visiting from home and my lovely volunteer/BFF, Alice. There were about 25 of us altogether. We all met up by the beach Saturday morning and piled onto long-tail boats, eager to reach our top-secret destination. Also eager to pop open our beers before they got warm. So we did.

Drinking beers with friends on Koh Taen/Koh Tan, Thailand

After a short, sometimes bumpy ride over, we landed on the beach and settled into our new surroundings. The rest of the day is a blur of beach Olympics, barefoot jungle trekking, ice-cold beverages, trampoline h-o-r-s-e, delicious & cheap Thai food (is there any other kind?), water rugby, fishing, and at some point myself and 3 friends tipped over a kayak. Good times.

When the sun finally set we built a massive bonfire – perfect for cooking sausages and scaring off wild buffalo – then spent the rest of the night playing games, singing songs, enjoying MORE ice-cold beverages and generally just enjoying such fine company in such a fine place.

Fun times on the secret island of Koh Tan

The taxi boat returned for myself, Alice and a few others at 8am the next morning. With a new tour group arriving at 11:30, it was time to take off my camping hat and don my responsible, organized tour guide hat… which brings us to my next entry:
“The Wonders of Caffeine”

Daniel, Koh Samui Volunteer Coordinator

PS – A huge thanks to my friend, Eakapong Thongaram, for the wonderful photos in this blog!

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