Visiting Koh Samui is like landing on a heavenly island where the best of Thailand is offered to you on a bewitchingly beautiful canvas. The pretty landscapes and breathtaking seascapes will enchant you, the delicious gastronomic delights will satiate your palate like no place else and the range of luxurious stays will make you want to stay here forever. And there’s more to entice you to this gorgeous island paradise: sun-kissed beaches and impossibly blue waters, pampering spa treatments and great retail therapy to top it all. Armed with our Koh Samui travel tips and advice, head off to the pristine isle and have the time of your life.
Top Travel Tips For Koh Samui
Here are a few essential tips that you ought to take a note of if you’re visiting Koh Samui anytime soon. These won’t just help you to plan an impeccable holiday, but will also let you have a hassle-free experience!
1. Best time to visit
- Weather surely is an important consideration while planning your trip to this enchanting island paradise. Here’s some important weather-related Koh Samui travel advice, before you plan that perfect holiday:
The best season with perfect beach weather, ideal for swimming, sun-tanning and enjoying the island is between December end and April. There’s plenty of sunshine and hardly any rain.
- May to September also has good sunshine with some brief showers. However October-November are the rainiest months on the island with a few sunny days if you get lucky.
- Christmas and New Year’s time gets really busy so booking well in advance is a great idea; July-August also witness huge tourist influx. You can get great deals in October-November, which is the low season on the island.
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2. What to pack
Since the charming beaches of Koh Samui will entice you to spend most of the time sprawled on the satin sand gazing at the breathtakingly beautiful seascapes or enjoying a refreshing dip in the clear waters, these are a must:
- Good, comfortable swim wear along with tons of sunscreen to ensure you stay protected from the strong sun at the tropical island. Make sure the sunscreen is at least an SPF50.
- Comfortable sandals are great for walking around in the humid weather as well as using on the beach or while visiting temples.
- A wide-brim hat and sunglasses will go a long way in warding off the harsh sun as you amble along the island.
3. Documents and Currency
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- Indian passport holders can avail the visa-on-arrival facility at the Samui Airport too, on submitting the duly filled form, requisite documents and the visa fee of 2000 Thai Baht
- To avoid waiting at the airport to get your visa, you can apply for a visa well in advance at the Royal Thai Embassy, which usually processes the application within 3-4 working days.
- Make sure you carry your travel insurance along with the passport and other important documents.
- Since renting your own transport is the best way to explore Koh Samui, you must carry your international driving license.
- The prevalent currency is the Thai Baht (THB). If you want to carry cash then getting US dollars is a better idea, though traveller’s cheques command a better rate and are a safer option.
- ATMs and Forex booths and Western Union counters are widespread across the island, with a greater concentration around Chaweng and Lamai beaches. ATMs dispense only Thai Bahts with a withdrawal limit of THB 20000 per transaction and a miniscule fee per transaction.
- Though most boutiques, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards, an additional service fee is applicable.
4. Getting to Koh Samui
- With its own beautiful and green Samui International Airport, taking one of the many Bangkok Airways flights from Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai is the most convenient way to reach Koh Samui.
- More reasonably priced flights are available to nearby Surat Thani.
- With hardly any rush hour, reaching your hotel/resort located around the beaches takes just 15-20 minutes from the airport.
- Koh Samui can also easily be reached by taking a ferry from Surat Thani. Ferries depart at regular intervals of 30/60 minutes from Donsak and take about 90 minutes to reach the Nathon port.
- One-way ferry tickets start from 130THB per passenger.
5. Getting Around and Local Transport
- Most mid-range and luxury hotels arrange for complimentary pick-up from the airport. Else taking a taxi is the most convenient way to reach your hotel, though a little expensive.
- If you love to travel like the locals then Songthaew pick-up trucks can be a fun way to reach your destination
- Since point-to-point taxi rental turns out to be pretty expensive, renting your own car/bike is the best way to explore the many charms of Koh Samui. Car rentals start from THB500/day and bike from THB150/day.
- It is better to arrange rentals through your hotel to avoid handing out your driving license to rental companies.
6. Where to stay in Koh Samui
With such an amazing range of accommodation you will be spoilt for choice while deciding on the best place to stay on the island. Here’s a lowdown on the main areas you can choose from to explore the best of Koh Samui:
- Chaweng – This is the island’s most popular area with the best resorts, restaurants and bars as well as options for fun and adventure. If you want to be close to the stunning white sand beach then pick your stay at south Chaweng.
- Choeng Mon – For a more laidback and friendly vibe, though with a smaller selection of restaurants and bars. It is home to many luxury resorts and is great for snorkelling right off the beach.
- Bophut – With its cultural core at the Fisherman’s Village, Bophut retains the island’s authentic Thai-Chinese culture and is also the best place for foodies, with its eclectic range of restaurants and bars.
- Lamai Beach, Mae Nam Beach and Bang Rak (Big Buddha Beach) are perfect for backpackers with a huge selection of mid-budget and cheap accommodation and awesome Thai street food.
7. Things to do in Koh Samui
Whether you’re culture vultures, adventure enthusiasts or nature lovers, our top picks for the must-do and must-visit places for your Koh Samui itinerary have got it all covered!
- Visit the beautiful and unique temples for your dose of culture: Big Buddha Temple and Wat Plae Laem must not be missed.
- Catch a speedboat from Bophut to one of the wildest full moon beach parties in the world at Koh Phangan. Don’t forget to try out the Thai ‘bucket’ cocktail as you dance to the crazy beats.
- Head to the vibrant night markets for your shopping and Thai food fix: the night market at Fisherman’s Village Walking Street every Friday and Lamai Walking Street every Sunday are great to experience the local buzz.
- Experience the thrill of snorkelling & diving through marine wonders at Angthong National Marine Park
- Explore the gorgeous natural wonders like the surreal Secret Buddha Garden, Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks and the spectacular Namuang Waterfall.
With these handy tips, we are sure your trip to Thailand with TravelTriangle will be nothing less than an impeccable affair!
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