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A Blog about the Daily Life on the Tropical Island of Koh Samui

Tarnim's Magic Garden

Text and Photography by Nike - Saturday, July 16, 2011

Apart from Samui's brilliant white beaches and breathtaking water, the island offers more than just a day at the beach. I recently decided to explore the mountain area. I drove on the ring road towards Ban Taling Ngam. On the right hand side I found a signboard that for Tarnim's magic garden. I took the right and drove up towards the hills. The drive up the mountain itself is an adventure as one get to experience a true sense of jungle atmosphere. Thick, lush green plants, coconut trees and exotic creepers paints a picture of absolute pristine tropical jungle. A small and narrow, but well kept road weave up the hills. Be sure to honk a few times before turning sharp corners in case there is traffic coming from the other direction. After about 15 minutes you will come across the Magic Garden.

Natural beauty

"Learn from the waters: in mountain clefts and chasms, loud gush the streamlets, but great rivers flow silently." - Buddhist Quotation

Before entering the garden you have to pay a small entrance fee. The garden is absolutely beautiful, stowed away so deep in the heart of the mountain and overflowing with bright and livid shades of green. As you walk down the stairs you will see a river below dotted with a few levels separated by waterfalls. This is the perfect place to take some good photographs. Then of course you will see the marvelous sculptures and statues strategically placed all over the garden, in the water and between the greenery. Statues of ancestors, Buddhist gods, Thai heritage and immaculately creative art pieces gives this place a true sense of whimsical magic. I found it so peaceful and quiet and could hear nothing but the sounds of the jungle and the flowing water. There are many paths and nooks to explore, some engravings to read and the overall lovely scenery to take in. I you get hungry or thirsty there's a small shop at the entrance that sells some refreshments as well as a few souvenirs.


"Make an island of yourself, make yourself your refuge: there is no other refuge. Make truth your island, make truth your refuge; there is no other refuge." - Buddhist Quotation

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Tarnim's Magic Garden and will definitely go back there again if I need to get away and spend a relaxing day in serenity.

Thai Take-Away Food

Text and Photography by Nike - Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some nights I don't feel like cooking or eating out, but the thought of a greasy take-away meal don't appeal to my taste buds either. Here on Samui, there's a simple solution for that. All around the island, outside most Family Marts or 7-Elevens, and on the road sides, dwells the wonderful invention that is the portable Thai food stalls. These stalls are complete with wheels, portable gas canisters and hotplates. Here you can find some of the most delicious and zestful "take-away" foods on the island. At first glance these "hawker stalls" might scare you off but don't be deceived by the outdoor location or modest kitchens of these local mobile joints. In fact, I might add that I have had some of my top-drawer meals on Samui, here. Apart from the extreme economical aspect of grabbing a meal from a stall- an average Thai meal here can cost as little as 20 Baht- this "take-away" food is a lot healthier than the typical western standard of fast foods. You can find almost anything here- rice, curry, flame grilled corn on the cob, beef, chicken and vegetable satay, fish, pork, noodles, fruit shakes, fruit salads, and my personal favorite, chicken noodle soup.

Fresh corn

"That quantity that is sufficient, the stomach can perfectly concoct and digest, and it suffices the due nourishment of the body." - Benjamin Franklin

I enjoy picking up a meal, eating it at home, feeling that I had a nourishing, healthy meal, and enjoying the lack of dirty dishes too. However, these stalls can provide a quick meal any time of the day, whilst out and about on the island or if you're looking for a snack that won't pile on the kilos. Some people are afraid of falling ill from these roadside eateries, but so far I have never been sick after eating here and I recommend that you try it at least once if you visit Samui, as you will see all the locals eating here and can enjoy the true taste of traditional food. It will certainly be a treat for all enthusiastic 'foodies' out there.


"Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age; and if you understand that old age has wisdom for its food, you will so conduct yourself in youth that your old age will not lack nourishment." - Leonardo Da Vinci

And so I'm off to pick up Thai "take-away" dinner.

Previous posts 2011: Week 28 | Week 27 | Week 26 | Week 25 | Week 24 | Week 23 | Week 22 | Week 17 | Week 03 | Week 01 |

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