Koh Samui Travel Tips
It’s been a while since I’ve been back from my 11 days stay in Koh Samui (and 3 days after that in Bangkok). Like a true blue personal style blogger, I have shared all my looks and beauty related stuff from Koh Samui, the real gist of it all still remains – the beaches I went to, the places I ate at and the stuff I did. All that will soon follow but today I wanted to share a few quick tips for people looking to travel to Koh Samui.
Koh Samui is a fairly small island so it shouldn’t really matter where you stay on it. But yes, make it as close to the shoreline as possible because that’s where most of the fun is. The island does have a few waterfalls. Unfortunately we were so caught up with all the beaches and pina-coladas, we literally did not find time in our 11 days to plan a trip to even a single waterfall. And I don’t regret that. So here you go with some personal tips of mine:
– If you are coming for parties, nightlife and energy to Koh Samui, find a place to stay on the east coast. Chaweng and Lamai beaches are the 2 most happening beaches in Koh Samui – think Baga and Calangute of Goa – just a LOT cleaner and with no perverted Indian men. You’ll see a LOT of abs here. For a little less action you can fan out to areas further than these 2 beaches. The north east corner of the island or even the north where we stayed. We had rented an Airbnb apartment at Replay which has a couple of colonies and housing areas in Bangrak which is the north of the island. The west coast of the island is very quiet, has a few piers where you will need to go incase you are heading out to other islands for day trips etc. The south of the island is completely quiet, serene and a beautiful drive through. You will probably find the cheapest accommodation here.
– Rent a bike. We were quoted 300 baht per day for 11 days. After bargaining we payed 200 baht per day for a gearless but great bike and 2 helmets (This may go upto 250 baht during peak season I reckon). The helmet rule is a bit confusing for everyone there. Very few locals wear them but you’ll see a lot of tourists wearing them. Some people said that it’s no big deal, some people said that the police targets tourists and they end up paying fines of upto 1500 baht if they are caught not wearing helmets. So we chose to be on the safer side and kept 2 with us. We wore them diligently for about 80% of our stay. After that we got a bit Indian about it unfortunately. Nobody stopped us anywhere.
– The bike rental places usually keep a security deposit – we gave 5000 baht – so keep some money blocked away for that purpose.
– There was not a single restaurant/shop or place where credit or forex cards were accepted in Koh Samui in our experience (Maybe some 5 star hotels and the really big general stores may have the facility). Everything was in cash so either take cash with you or use your forex card as an atm card (but take out larger amounts in 1 go if a fee is levied each time for ATM use).
– Reserve 1 day of your stay to drive on your bike along the entire shoreline of the island. You will not regret it. We did the same. After every half hour – 40 minutes we stopped, grabbed a beer from a Seven-Eleven or a bite from a beach shack and moved forward. We discovered some beaches that weren’t even marked on the maps or roads. We reached the west coast in time to see the sun go down, drove up further, had dinner at a roadside noodle bar that has just 3 noodle soups on it’s menu and is ALWAYS packed and got home by night. It was a great day. Make sure you are covered on your shoulders, hands and thighs for this though. You WILL end up getting roasted otherwise. I speak from experience.
– Our Airbnb apartment and Koh Samui as a whole has no concept of water filtration. No-one has water purifiers at home or even at thee rstaurants. So you always have to stock up on bottled water. Horrible for the environment I know but that’s how it is. Tap water is not fit for drinking. The bottled water is cheaper than it is in India so financially it’s not an issue.
– If you are more than 1 person travelling, it’s better to book a separate cab to your destination from the airport. Although even the shuttle buses are quite comfortable and cheaper. But even if it 2 persons, the cost becomes the same. For our return we booked the airport cab from the guy we had rented our bike from. Turned out to be 200 baht cheaper than our arrival cab.
– While it is perfectly fine to read up on restaurant recommendations, you will find amazing places to eat on your own too – you just have to try it out. Food was above average in all the places and damn near perfection in most – we only ate local Thai cuisine – no Western/Indian crap – you can eat that when you get back home. And well if you live in India, this is the place where your beef dreams will truly get you to nirvana.
There is lots more that I will be sharing about Koh Samui but for now I think this is enough. More to come soon.
Hope you enjoyed the tips.