Enjoy a 360 virtual tour of Koh Samui with its white sandy beaches and clear waters providing a tropical paradise for kayaking or snorkelling.
We travelled here from Phi Phi having to take ferries and a long ass coach journey. In total it took us just over 12 hours to arrive at our hotel the Natural Samui Hotel, which was situated in the Bo Put area on the North east side of the island, only a short walk to Bo Phut Beach. We were very happy with the hotel, very comfortable and quiet, I would happily recommend staying there.
Koh Samui is probably one of the busiest islands in Thailand with its abundance of bars, restaurants, activities and nightlife. A favourite for those travellers seeking a fun-filled few days or even weeks. It does have more of a holiday type feel rather than a backpacker vibe. Koh Samui is a major tourist destination which sadly has in turn made the island westernised and a more expensive place than the other islands.
The most popular place to be because of the close proximity to all the entertainment including bars and nightclubs is Chaweng Beach. If you want a more chilled out place then head a little more south to Lamai, it’s a little further but an awful lot calmer.
We were only here for 2 and half days, before moving onto Koh Tao. There is certainly more to the island than I managed to see, only covering Big Buddha, the two main beaches Chaweng, Bo Phut and fisherman’s village, which was great at night for street food. If you visit the Big Buddha remember no hats or shoes and ladies cover your shoulders.
Would I come back? Yes I think I would, I’d like to have explored more of the south and trekked to the waterfalls inland. I would hire a moped to check out as much as I could. I think you could ride around the entire island in little over an hour non stop.
The island was probably first inhabited about 15 centuries ago, settled by fishermen from the Malay Peninsula and southern China. Until the late-20th century, Koh Samui was an isolated self-sufficient community, having little connection with the mainland of Thailand. The island was without roads until the early 1970s, and the 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) journey from one side of the island to the other could involve a whole-day trek through the mountainous central jungles.
We stayed in the Bo Phut area at the Natural Samui Hotel which is on the North east side of the island, only a short walk to Bo Phut Beach. We were very happy with the hotel very comfortable and quiet, I would happily recommend staying there.
The liveliest and busiest area is Chaweng Beach. It is also where the hotels are the most expensive and I would recommend booking in advanced. You also have Lamai, a little further in the South and a backpackers favourite. The accommodation rates are lower here plus you can find smaller quaint guesthouses rather than boring big hotels.
You will find almost every type of cuisine: European, Asian, American in restaurants. Samui is well known for its coconuts, which are available everywhere and quite tasty. Being an island, seafood is generally a good choice.
- Ang Thong National Marine Park
- Bo Phat
- Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai)
- Fisherman’s Village
- Hin Ta Hin Yai (Rocks in the shape of a penis and vagina)
- Koh Matsum (Pig Island)
- Koh Taen & Koh Matsum (small uninhabited islands great for snorkelling)
- Magic Alambic Rum distillery
- Magic Garden (Secret Buddha Garden)
- Overlap Stone
- PADI certification
- Wat Khunaram (with its mummified monk)
- Wat Plai Laem
- Wat Theepangkorn
- Wat Lamai Discovery Museum, climb onto its top floor terrace to find a 360° view of Koh Samui.
- The Frog & Gecko Pub
- Patuy Thai Food & Seafood
- Coco Tam’s
- Baan Bo Phut Beach Hotel (had some good panini’s here)
- Legends (49 for a Chang)
- Hard Rock Café
- Hire, a scooter (about 200 THB per day) or a car (800THB per day). Remember helmets are mandatory for tourists.
- Grab app, similar to UBER.
- NaviGo Samui, another app similaar to Uber & Grab.
- Taxi, however they are very reluctant to use their meters, so get a price before getting in.
- Songthaews, (shared taxi) You can get on and off at any time, negotiate the price with the driver before getting in.
We travelled here from Phi Phi having to take ferries and a long ass coach journey. In total it took us just over 12 hours to arrive at our hotel.
- Ferry, Most like me will take the ferry at Lomprayah pier in from Surat Thani.
- Fly, There is an airport, but flights are very expensive.
- Rent a moped, check out my beginners guide here.
- Haggle in the markets, especially if buying in bulk.
- If you eat the street food like the locals, you’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than 200 THB a day on food (maybe not even that).
- If you’re on a budget, Ham & Cheese Toasties from 7-11 are a great, cheap & quick meal.
- Beers and drinks are heavily discounted when purchased at 7-Eleven. Purchase a few beers before you go out to the bars and cut your night’s budget by a lot.
- DON’T forget the mosquito repellent and the Sunscreen.
- If you travel during May through October, you will be missing the peak season, and save quite a bit, even though you might catch some rain.
The dry season is from November-April and corresponds with the tourist high season. May-October is the rainy season with south-westerly breezes bringing rain in between the sunshine. Statistically, the highest chance of rain is during June and September (80% chance) with the lowest chance from November-March (5% chance).
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