Well Koh Samui’s been great. The wedding that was the reason for the trip was a blast and I’ve been introduced to a part of the world to which I’d like to return. Koh Samui and neighbouring Koh Phangan offer many different experiences for all types of travellers. I’d heard so much about the Full Moon parties of Koh Phangan and the sleaze of Chaweng, but if that isn’t your thing it is easy to be oblivious to all of that and enjoy some natural beauty and culinary delights. Koh Phangan is a real surprise and enjoying a red curry and a Leo Beer on Bottle Beach is a memory for all time.
The last thing I expected as walked towards the departure lounge of Koh Samui airport was a novel beer experience. Max Murphy’s is an Irish Pub about two hundred metres from the security check in. Whilst small it ticks all the Irish Pub boxes – Sentanta, Guinness and Kilkenny on tap and a George Best news clippings display, which was museum quality.
The real surprise however was the presence of a couple of collaboration beers from Thailand/Australia. Stockade Brew Co (Australia) and Full Moon BrewWorks have made at least two beers together – a Pale Ale (“Cha La Wan”) and an IPA (“Cha Tri”). The IPA was particularly tasty. Max Murphy’s is a great idea. I’m always guilty of getting to the airport early – to the extent that it’s a phobia. A bar like this means you can get rid of unspent Bhat and get comfortably numb for the flight. A great feature of the most laid back international airport I’ve had the good fortune to visit.
At the point of departure I was forced to consume my last Thai (sort of) beer find. I’d picked up a stubbie of “Thai Craft Beer” at an upmarket supermarket. Customs discovered it in my carry on (D’oh) and politely offered me the opportunity to consume it. It turns out that Mahanakhon White Ale is actually brewed in Taiwan by Redpoint Brewing. The US blokes that run Redpoint have done a good job – but is it a Thai Craft Beer? Thai recipe maybe and contract brew. The craft beer world is very confusing. So Thai beer is more than just Chang/Singha/Leo as Koh Samui revealed. I look forward to returning.