I know I haven't been to the other islands yet, but there's something about Koh Samui that makes it feel like the right place to start your adventure. The streets are buzzing, the people are ridiculously friendly and the jeep safari drivers have the dirtiest laughs to set you off laughing, too. For me, the place I had to tick off the list first of all was Wat Khunaram, home to the mummified monk - this seemed suitably kooky for my blog, but also a great way to get a sense of how important Buddhism is for the people here. There are shrines on the roads as you drive along, and they're beautiful, but the sight of a miraculously well preserved monk from 1973 has to top it all. Whilst I visited on my own (and jet lagged), this was actually part of the extra tour on the second day, so it pays to read the finer details of the itinerary! On my second visit, this time with the rest of the group, I had the chance to take it all in again and noticed that the monk has several pairs of sunglasses which are swapped over regularly. Hey, even the dead manage to look cool here!
The other thing that's been a real adventure for me was the animal side to the jeep safari, where we had monkeys on our shoulders and got to pose with a tiger. Later we met a banana leaf spider, which some of the girls weren't too crazy about, but maybe if a spider could fetch a coconut like the monkey had done then we'd give it a bit more of a chance!
Basically I've had a great first two eye-opening days here and I'm looking forward to what Koh Samui holds next for me - whether it involves monks or monkeys.
By Polly Allen
Polly won a Thai Island Hopper tour in Contiki's blogging competition and will be blogging her way around three fascinating islands this month so stay tuned!