From the moment you arrive in Koh Samui, you are instantly hit with the island paradise that you have been craving for with the palm trees, the sounds of the beach, the splash of the pool and the sound of the ice dropping into your glass for your next cocktail. Even the stunning and boutique Koh Samui Airport lets you know the instant you have arrived that luxury lives on this exotic Thailand island.
It is fair to say the vibe starts off good after hours of flying, with a tingling sensation of what excitement that lies ahead on your vacation. Exiting the airport and getting into the island fails to dampen the positive mood as you get a sense of how the locals live.
There are many Markets, restaurants, and retail shops line the streets with the locals rushing around either by foot or by scooter, dodging traffic at will. You will never see a more fascinating sight than a mother on her scooter cradling her two children, perhaps more.
Let’s get to it and take a look at this basic travel guide to Koh Samui, an Island of dreams and the ultimate paradise that you have been searching for all your life.
A Very Basic Travel Guide to Koh Samui – Thailand
Getting to Koh Samui Thailand
The easiest way to get to Samui is by aeroplane, either international or domestic. Although a lot of major airlines do not land in Samui, it means it will be difficult to get to the island from your home country with a direct route. The competition is thin, therefore rather expensive.
I travelled on Air Asia from Australia, via Kuala Lumpur to Phuket. From there I caught a domestic flight with Bangkok Airways to Samui. Complicated but I did save a few hundred dollars travelling this way. Another means of travel if arriving on the mainland of Thailand, is by bus then ferry. Much more affordable but it will take a heck of a lot longer. That just means you’ll be able to explore the beautiful country a little more.
Great Thai Food in Koh Samui
Everyone loves Thai food and in Koh Samui you can get ready for some awesome food, starting with delicious curry meals that are served with coconut milk. Thai food is delicious, we all know that, whether you’re ordering a delicious Tom Yum Soup or the very popular Papaya Salad, you can’t go wrong when ordering Thai Food on the island and you won’t have to travel far to find a suitably priced decent restaurant for evening dining.
Enjoy Thai Beer in Local Bars
Ice cold beer, important to some of us, especially when you are holidaying in the tropics. On Koh Samui, you never have to go too far on the island to get rid of your thirst and all at a low cost. Especially if you wander outside your resort. Bars and restaurants sell Thailand’s own Chang and Singha brand beers at no more than two dollars a pop. International beers also come at a good price.
Just remember buying any alcohol in supermarkets between the hours of 2 -4 pm is against the law, although you can still buy your drinks at the Resort.
Day trip to Angthong Marine National Park
A National Park like none other and it’s another taste of paradise. The blue ocean waters with an abundance of islands placed throughout the ocean are nothing short of stunning as you gaze atop the highest peak and look at nature at its incredible best. A day cruise to Angthong is the number one thing you must do in Samui.
Be prepared to be mesmerised as you hike to the peaks on a few of the islands and navigate your way through the national Park kayaking the blue waters, and even entering into the dark caves. Then it’s time to get your snorkel gear out and marvel at the sea creatures that call Angthong Marine National Park home.
Of course, once all that is done, it’s time to relax and sun-bake under the Thailand sun.
Wat Plai Laem
One of the most gorgeous temple attractions that you’ll ever come across is the Wat Plai Laem and it will dazzle you as wander from sculpture to sculpture that only gets better more you see. The Buddhist temple is where locals come to worship every day is a big tourist winner with attractions including The Fat Chinese Smiling Buddha and the 18 arm image of Guanyin.
Swim, shop, relax, eat and a relaxing massage are your main options in Chaweng. The main town centre is situated on the eastern side of the island is full on entertainment, with shopping during the day and clubbing during the night when the main hub Chaweng comes well and truly alive. Chaweng Beach is the fun beach of the island with pristine white sands.
In Chaweng, there are many shopping outlets, marketplaces, bars, massage centres and restaurants are spread-out through the beach, where sun baking and cocktail drinking is a way of life. In the water is when you can get the adrenalin going with jet-skiing the rage on the open waters. Central Festival Samui is the largest shopping centre in Koh Samui. Two levels of popular retail chains such as Nike, Rip Curl and Quicksilver, amongst other retail outlets. The complex also has food courts, cinemas and coffee shops.
Day Trips in Koh Samui
Day trips are must and there are several to choose from to have the opportunity to explore Koh Samui to its limit. Whether it is a trip to Angthong, as mentioned earlier, or a four-wheel drive tour around the island, you’ll find the perfect tour for your vacation in paradise.
Many brochures for these trips are always on hand at resorts but personally go to the stalls stationed in Chaweng where you will save money for your tour. Conversely, you can save heaps on a day tour by booking through Klook.
Stunning Accommodation throughout the island
You will not have any hassle finding accommodation in Koh Samui. With many hotels, motels and resorts spread-out through the island, you will find a range to cover all prices, whether it is a budget motel or a fancy resort.
Now I would be rude not to give the resort I stayed at in Koh Samui a plug, which was Mai Samui Beach Resort and Spa. Located on the north-west side of the island and bit of travel away from the Chaweng, Mai Samui is a resort with the lot, three restaurants, four swimming pools, a spa & Massage centre and large comfortable rooms that truly luxurious on the inside.
It truly is another bit of paradise on a truly spectacular island and that concludes this very basic travel guide to Koh Samui in Thailand.