Secret garden by the sea

sleep September 09, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

Koh Samui’s five-star Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa is now offering guests a guided walk through its stunning landscaped grounds to botanical beachside gardens that provide a hidden haven for many local species.



Covering some 36 rai (more than 14 acres), the shady gardens offer guests an enchanting expanse of natural beauty right by one of Koh Samui’s best beaches. Landscaping began over 25 years ago, when the owner planted a symbolic golden shower tree, now a symbol of Thailand. 

A quarter of century later, the gardens have grown and flourished making the Santiburi Beach Resort and Spa one of Koh Samui’s most attractive tropical destinations thanks to continuous care and professional attention. 

The guided walks take guests on a magical mystery tour of the flora of Thailand and Southeast Asia. They discover some of the plants used in rural medicine, many of the natural ingredients used in traditional Thai dishes, and learn about flowers that can be steeped to make fragrantly scented teas. 

The rich, vibrant landscape includes the iconic lotus flower and the dramatic bird-of-paradise plant. Water lilies and jasmine flowers provide splashes of pink and white, butterfly pea flowers stand out with their deep purple petals, which are used to create refreshing drinks and add colour to Thai dishes. Lofty poinciana trees sprout pretty yellow buds, whilst snapdragons, torch ginger and golden helicona add to the depth and diversity of the floral display. 

“Most guests visit Santiburi and Koh Samui for its white sand beach and turquoise-blue waters, as well as to experience our luxury resort and spa experience. The Santiburi guided garden walks enhance guests’ experience, revealing a whole different side to the island and a window on Thailand’s rich natural beauty,” said Cedric Bonvin, Santiburi Beach Resort and Spa General Manager. 

Mature Yang Na trees tower above the resort’s villas, an impressive species that stands for hundreds of years, whilst Ironwood trees, considered a protector against wild animals in some parts of Asia, guard the Santinuri grounds. 

Fruit trees also abound, including dragon fruit, coconut, banana, rose apple and passion fruit varieties, and in the garden nursery, more delights flourish, with a banyan tree, Chinese roses and paper flowers being nurtured. 

Sprouting orange guppy flowers attract some of the many birds to build their home at the Santiburi gardens, making it a popular spot for birdwatchers. Among the species are the sociable mynah bird, the softy cooing dove, the yellow-browed warbler and the red-whiskered bulbul. 

Find out more at (077) 425 040 or email rsvn@santiburi-samui-resort.com.