Welcome to Samui Unmasked!

I love Koh Samui.  Warts and all, I fucking love it.  Always have, since the first time I stepped foot on this magical island 25 years ago.  The year was 1994.  I was 2 months out of University and had just moved to Seoul on a one-way ticket to god-knows-what.  On a night out while throwing down way too much Soju some other expats were telling tales of Full Moon Parties and $5 beach huts in a place called Samui. 

Two weeks later, my buddy Jay and I were in Bangkok at 2am.  Bars all closing.  No flights south till morning and nowhere to go, we did the reasonable thing and hailed a cab to Surat Thani, a 9-hour drive south.  To our amazement, the driver said ‘hop in’ and off we went.  9 hours and about a dozen near-death incidents later we arrived in Surat Thani.  We’d only stopped once for gas during the whole drive down so we offered to get the driver lunch for going so hard.  He hurriedly told us that he had to get back to Bangkok, slammed the door shut and sped off on his 9-hour journey home.  Welcome to Thailand.

Jay and I hopped on the ferry and made our way to Samui for the first time in my life.  July 1994.  As Pulp Fiction had heads popping in dark movie theaters, we were drenched in sun on the deck of the ferry as Samui appeared out of the haze on the horizon. It was love at first sight, or should I say love at first ‘bite’ cuz everything we sank our teeth into was delectable.  From the meals, to the drinks, to the magic shakes, and yes, the $5 huts on the beach too. We had found heaven.

Fast forward to July 2019. I’d been coming to Samui every year for the past 25 years and each time falling more in love with the place. It was finally time to make the move.  25 years to the day since first feeling the sand of Chaweng beach between my toes my wife, daughter and I were doing it….moving to Thailand full time.

I had been living in Seoul for 4 years, then Toronto (my hometown and forever ‘home’) for 14 years and then Hollywood for the past 7 years, with regular visits to Samui throughout. I’d built a booming business in the film industry and was the poster boy for ‘corporate success’.  But it was getting too corporate for me and I couldn’t shake the mantra that I always wanted to guide me earlier in my life.  You only get so many trips around the sun in this life….what are you gonna do with this one? 

And with that, I abruptly shocked my co-workers and clients by quitting my job and immediately moved to Thailand.  It’s been 3 months since then and I couldn’t be happier. 

So why this blog?  Well, I recently built and rent out a villa on Samui called – you guessed it – Moonstone.  The best part about renting out a villa on Samui is all the cool people I meet from all over the world who rent it.  And almost all of them have asked me for my personal recommendations of the best places to go on Samui.   

So think of this blog as a living, breathing Koh Samui Guide Book.  But this is no ordinary list of ‘Top Things To Do’, written by someone just passing through for some Instagram shots, or for some corporate website, or any bullshit like that.  This is written by a real person who has been going to Samui for a quarter century and will introduce you to the hottest spots but also the hidden gems so you can live like a local when there.  I’ll cover the best eats, the best activities, the best bars, the best beaches, and, well….you get the picture.   

If you’re planning your first trip to Samui, then this Blog is a place to flip through to get inspired for some fun times ahead.  If you’ve been to Samui before but are looking for new things to discover you’ll find them popping up in this Blog right here.  And if you have some amazing Samui spots that you think readers of this Blog should know about, then get involved!! 

I encourage you to comment below each Blog Entry and share your thoughts.  I will also be taking Guest Blog Entries here so if you have a piece that you think our readers will enjoy then reach out to me at welcome@moonstonesamui.com anytime! 

This is a place with only one rule, and that’s to keep things positive.  Have you heard of Jonathan Gold?  He’s one of LA’s most famous ever food and music critics.  Sadly, he passed away last year.  He was a gem.  There’s a documentary called City of Gold that is an amazing ode to him but an even better snapshot to the City of Los Angeles.  I highly recommend you check it out.  Here’s the trailer:

Anyways, the thing about Mr. Gold is that his M.O. was to never write negative reviews.  If he didn’t like a place, he didn’t write about it. Simple.  And that mindset is exactly what the Moonstone Samui Blog will be inspired by.  We’re not here to tear things down so if that’s your goal, then you’re in the wrong the place.  Disagreements are totally welcome in your comments, but keep the underlying vibe positive.

So that’s it.  A bit about me.  A bit about the Moonstone Samui Blog.  I’m excited to share regular posts from my favorite places on the island. So come along for the ride and learn all about this magical place called Koh Samui. 

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