I’m definitely a beach rather than pool person so I was a little bit sad to be leaving our ocean front paradise to head further inland to our mountaintop retreat. But as soon as we arrived any tinge of disappointment that I felt quickly evaporated. Baan Bon Khao boasts the most expansive views across the ocean, with Ang Thong Marine Park in the west, Koh Pangnan to the north, Choeng Moen Bay to the east. We were completely blown away by the views alone.

After welcome drinks with the villa manager we met the rest of the staff who live on site and were given our pick of the bedrooms. Baan Bon Khao has 6 bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms and different views. We wandered, ok ran, excitedly through the villa, checking out every room until we found our favourite where we would rest our head for the following four nights.

Reluctant to leave our new home for the rest of the day at least, we opted to have lunch on the balcony and were treated to one of the best meals we would have for the duration of our trip, a feast of coconut sticky rice, green Thai curry, fresh prawns and crispy spring rolls. I wish I had photos to share with you but the fact of the matter is, we were far too excited to stop for photos.

We spent the next few days lounging by the pool, making home videos and practising our bomb dives – going on holiday with one of your little brothers will do that to you. Despite being in late twenties (him) slightly older (me) we reverted back to our childhood roles of bickering and dunking, except this time with beers in hand, making it all the more fun.

Eventually we decided to leave the villa to explore some more of Koh Samui,  jumping on our mopeds in search of one of the islands waterfalls. We drove about an hour, getting lost on the way and stopping for fresh coconuts, before finally arriving to the Na Muang waterfalls.

As we rode in we spotted a few tourists riding elephants through the jungle and once we parked we saw another baby elephant behind a pen, who was clearly not in a good way. It was absolutely heart breaking to see and completely soured our visit to Na Muang. We left shortly afterwards because it was just too upsetting to see the elephants being used for tourism. You can read more about animal tourism here. Sadly this is common practice not only in Koh Samui but all over Asia. I know so many people who have ridden elephants in complete naivety of what exactly it entails. Myself included. When I was 18 I travelled to Sri Lanka and rode an elephant because the opportunity was there. I saw many other tourists doing it, I thought it looked like fun and it really upsets me to say that I didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t cross my mind that it was any different to, say, riding a horse. The point I’m trying to make is that if we aren’t educated on a subject then how are we to know. Perhaps you already knew about it, but if you didn’t then I’m hoping that reading this post will encourage you to educate yourself more on the subject and to also spread the word.

Back at the villa we made the most of the properties impressive infinite pool, lapping up the sun, and playing pool. Yes Baan Bon Khao even comes with its own pool table. In the evenings we ate freshly prepared Thai food or if we fancied something different or a change of scenery we ventured out on mopeds. The villa is only a 5 minute drive to the nearest beach, Choengmon. This was actually my favourite beach we found on the trip as it was situated in a little bay meaning the sea was really calm and the sand extra soft. There is a beautiful hotel called Sala, which does incredible cocktails. I highly recommend if you’re in the area.