Visiting Koh Samui is like landing on a heavenly island where the best of Thailand is presented to you on a beautiful, enchanting canvas. Beautiful landscapes and breathtaking seascapes will enchant you, delicious delicious cuisine will satiate your taste buds like nowhere else, and the array of luxury accommodations will make you want to stay here forever. And there’s more to draw you to this gorgeous island: sun-kissed beaches, impossibly blue waters, pampering spa treatments, and fabulous retail treatments to top it all off. Armed with our Koh Samui travel tips and advice, head off to the pristine island and have the time of your life.
Top travel tips for Koh Samui
Here are some essential tips that you should take note of if you are visiting Koh Samui anytime soon. Not only will these things help you plan a flawless vacation, but they will also allow you to have a hassle-free experience!
1. The best time to visit
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- The weather is definitely an important consideration while planning your trip to this enchanting island paradise. Here are some important travel tips related to the weather in Koh Samui, before planning that perfect vacation:
The best season with perfect beach weather and ideal for swimming, sunbathing and enjoying the island is between the end of December and April. There is a lot of sunshine and hardly any rain.
- May to September also has good sunshine with some brief showers. However, October and November are the rainiest months on the island with a few sunny days if you are lucky.
- Christmas and New Years time gets really crowded, so booking in advance is a great idea; July and August also witness a huge tourist flow. You can get great deals in October and November, which is the low season on the island.
2. What to pack
As the charming beaches of Koh Samui will tempt you to spend most of the time stretching out on the satin sands, gazing at the stunning seascapes, or enjoying a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters, these are must-haves:
- Good, comfortable swimwear with plenty of sunscreen to ensure you stay protected from the strong tropical island sun. Make sure the sunscreen contains at least SPF50.
- Comfortable sandals are great for lounging around in wet weather as well as using them at the beach or while visiting temples.
- A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses will go a long way in staving off the harsh sun as you cruise along the island.
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3. Documents and currencies
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- Indian passport holders can avail the facility of visa on arrival at Samui airport as well, upon presentation of the duly filled form, required documents and visa fee of THB 2,000.
- To avoid waiting at the airport for your visa, you can apply for a visa ahead of time at the Royal Thai Embassy, which usually processes the application within 3-4 working days.
- Make sure you carry your travel insurance along with your passport and other important documents.
- Since hiring your own transport is the best way to explore Koh Samui, you must carry your International Driving Permit.
- The prevailing currency is the Thai baht (THB). If you want to carry cash, taking US dollars is a better idea, although traveler’s checks command a better rate and are a safer option.
- ATMs, forex kiosks, and Western Union counters are scattered all over the island, with a greater concentration around Chaweng and Lamai Beaches. ATMs dispense only Thai baht with a withdrawal limit of 20,000 THB per transaction and a small fee per transaction.
- Although most shops, restaurants, and hotels accept credit cards, additional service fees apply.
4. Arrival in Koh Samui
- With the 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 get to Koh Samui.
- More affordable flights are available to neighboring Surat Thani.
- With no rush hour, it takes only 15-20 minutes to get to the hotel/resort located around the beaches from the airport.
- Koh Samui can also be reached easily 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 Nathon Port.
- One-way ferry tickets start at 130 THB per passenger.
5. Getting around and local commuting
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- Most mid-range and upscale hotels arrange free airport pick-up. Else, taking a taxi is the most convenient way to get to your hotel, though it’s a bit expensive.
- If you love to travel like the locals, Songthaew minivans can be a fun way to get to your destination
- Since hiring a point-to-point taxi has become quite expensive, renting your car/bike is the best way to explore the many charms of Koh Samui. Car rental starts from 500 THB per day and bike from 150 THB per day.
- It is best to arrange rentals through your hotel to avoid handing over your driver’s license to rental companies.
6. Where to stay on Koh Samui
With such an amazing range of accommodations, you will be spoiled for choice while deciding on the best place to stay on the island. Below is information on the main areas to choose from to explore the best of Koh Samui:
- Chaweng – This is the most popular area of the island with the best resorts, restaurants and bars as well as fun and adventure options. If you want to be close to the stunning white sandy beach, choose to stay in South Chaweng.
- Choeng Mon – For a more relaxed and friendly vibe, although there is a smaller selection of restaurants and bars. It is home to many luxury resorts and is great for snorkeling right on the beach.
- Bophut – With its cultural core in Fisherman’s Village, Bophut preserves the island’s authentic Thai-Chinese culture and is also a top place for food lovers, with its eclectic array of restaurants and bars.
- Lamai Beach, Mae Nam Beach and Bang Rak (Big Buddha Beach) are perfect for backpackers with a wide range of mid-budget accommodation, cheap lodging and great Thai street food.
7. Things to do in Koh Samui
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Whether you’re a culture buff, an adventure buff, or a nature lover, our top picks for the must-do and must-visit places on your Koh Samui itinerary have you covered!
- Visit the beautiful and unique temples to get your dose of culture: the Big Buddha Temple and Wat Play Laem are not to be missed.
- Take a speedboat from Bophut to one of the world’s wildest full moon beach parties on Koh Phangan. Don’t forget to try the Thai cocktail “Aquarius” while you dance to the crazy tunes.
- Head to the vibrant night markets for your shopping and Thai food: The Night Market at Fisherman’s Village Walking Street every Friday and Lamai Walking Street every Sunday are great things to experience the local buzz.
- Experience the thrill of snorkeling and diving through marine wonders at Angthong Marine National Park
- Explore the incredible natural wonders like the Secret Buddha Garden, Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks, and the stunning Namuang Waterfall.
With these helpful tips, we are sure that Trip to Thailand with TravelTriangle It will be nothing short of an impeccable affair!
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