Visiting Koh Samui is like landing on a heavenly island where the best of Thailand is presented to you on a captivatingly beautiful canvas. The beautiful landscapes and breathtaking sea views will mesmerise you, the delicious cuisine will satiate your taste buds like no other place and the range of luxurious stays will make you want to stay here forever. And this gorgeous island paradise has so much more to tempt you: sun-drenched beaches and impossibly blue waters, pampering spa treatments and, above all, the ultimate retail therapy. With our Koh Samui travel tips and advice, head 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 consider if you are visiting Koh Samui in the near future. These will not only help you plan a great vacation but will also give you a hassle-free experience!
1. Best time to visit
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- Weather is definitely an important consideration when planning a trip to this enchanting island paradise. Before you plan a great vacation, here are some important weather-related Koh Samui travel tips:
The best weather, with perfect beach conditions, ideal for swimming, sun-tanning and enjoying the island is between late December and April. There is a lot of sunshine and hardly any rain.
- There is good sunshine with light rain from May to September. However, October-November are the rainiest months on the island and also have some sunny days if you’re lucky.
- The Christmas and New Year period gets really busy so it’s a good idea to book well in advance; A huge influx of tourists is also seen in July-August. You can find great deals in October-November, which is low season on the island.
2. What to pack
Since Koh Samui’s attractive beaches will tempt you to spend most of your time spread out on satin sand admiring the breathtakingly beautiful sea views or enjoying a refreshing dip in the clear waters, these are a must:
- Good, comfortable swimwear with plenty of sunscreen to ensure you stay protected from the hot sun on the tropical island. Make sure the sunscreen is at least SPF50.
- The comfortable sandals are great for walking around in humid weather as well as to use at the beach or while visiting temples.
- A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses will go a long way in protecting you from the harsh sun as you explore the island.
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3. Document and currency
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- Indian passport holders can also avail visa-on-arrival facility at Koh Samui Airport on submission of duly filled forms, required documents and visa fee of 2000 Thai Baht.
- To avoid waiting at the airport to get your visa, you can apply for a visa 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 your passport and other important documents.
- Since renting your own transportation is the best way to explore Koh Samui, you’ll need to have your International Driving License with you.
- The prevailing currency is the Thai Baht (THB). If you want to carry cash it’s a better idea to get US dollars, although travelers checks have better rates and are a safer option.
- ATMs and foreign exchange booths and Western Union counters are widespread throughout the island, with a greater concentration around Chaweng and Lamai beaches. ATMs only dispense Thai Baht, with a withdrawal limit of 20000 THB per transaction and a nominal fee per transaction.
- Although most boutiques, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards, additional service fees apply.
4. Getting to Koh Samui
- With its own beautiful and lush Koh Samui International Airport, taking one of Bangkok Airways’ many 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 hours, it takes only 15-20 minutes from the airport to reach your hotel/resort located around the beaches.
- Koh Samui can be easily reached by taking a ferry from Surat Thani. Ferries depart from Donsack at regular intervals of 30/60 minutes and take approximately 90 minutes to reach Nathan Port.
- One-way ferry tickets start at 130THB per passenger.
5. Getting around and local transportation
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- Most mid-range and luxury hotels arrange complimentary pick-up from the airport. Otherwise taking a taxi is the most convenient way to reach your hotel, although a bit expensive.
- If you like to travel like the locals, Songthue pick-up trucks can be a fun way to get to your destination
- Since hiring point-to-point taxis tends to be quite expensive, renting your own car/bike is the best way to see Koh Samui’s many attractions. Car rentals start at THB500/day and bike rentals start at THB150/day.
- It is better to arrange a rental through your hotel to avoid handing over your driving license to rental companies.
6. Where to stay in Koh Samui
With such an amazing range of accommodation, you’ll be spoiled for choice when choosing the best place to stay on the island. Here are the main areas you can choose from to best explore Koh Samui:
- Chaweng – This is the most popular area of the island with great resorts, restaurants and bars as well as fun and adventure options. If you want to be close to a stunning white sand beach then stay in South Chaweng.
- Choeng Mon – for a more casual and friendly atmosphere, although with a smaller selection of restaurants and bars. It is home to several luxury resorts and right near the beach is great for snorkeling.
- Bophut – With its cultural center in the Fisherman’s Village, Bophut preserves the island’s authentic Thai-Chinese culture and is also the best place for foodies, with a wide 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 amazing Thai street food.
7. Things to do in Koh Samui
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Whether you are a culture lover, adventure enthusiast or a nature lover, our top picks for must-do and must-visit places for your Koh Samui itinerary have it all!
- Visit beautiful and unique temples for your dose of culture: Big Buddha Temple and Wat Play Laem are must-sees.
- Catch a speedboat from Bophut to one of the world’s most unique full moon beach parties in Koh Phangan. Don’t forget to try the Thai ‘Bucket’ cocktail while you dance to the crazy tunes.
- Visit the lively night markets for your shopping and Thai food: the night markets on Fisherman’s Village Walking Street every Friday and Lamai Walking Street every Sunday are great for experiencing the local bustle.
- Experience the thrill of snorkeling and diving through marine wonders at Angthong National Marine Park
- Explore gorgeous natural wonders like the surreal Secret Buddha Garden, Hin Ta and Hin Yai cliffs and the spectacular Namuang Waterfalls.
With these easy tips, we are sure that your Travel to Thailand with TourTravelHotels This would be nothing short of an impeccable affair!
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