In the past couple of months (since I have arrived in Thailand), I have often had my friends and acquaintances ask me about the beaches and island, especially about Koh Samui. Rumor has it that Koh Samui is the new “hottest” beach destination in Thailand, and has inevitably become a bucketlist entry for many, which is why the questions. However, I manage to disappoint them every time by telling them that I haven’t been to any beaches or islands yet (yes! I have been in Thailand for 2 months and I have not been to a single beach), but I will soon. The thing is that I have a job here (sort of) and it’s a bit difficultto drop everything and head to the beach. Besides, did I mention I live in Chiang Mai (North) and the beaches are in South. It is a bit difficult to visit even if I have the privilege of 3 days off in a week.
Nonetheless, I now have a definite plan of when i am going to visit the south and to all my buddies’ relief, I have managed quite a bit of information about Koh Samui – from internet and from the locals. So, this post is about all that I know (and helpful links) and all that you should know before you plan a trip to Koh Samui.
The island is really easy to get around and you can mostly walk to any place you want to go. You can rent motorcycles for 150 – 200 Baht a day (500-1000BHT for a Harley), cars (I don’t know the rental for cars here), and bicycles or 80 Baht a day. Alternatively, you can use one of the many songthaews for a cheaper option, or an AC taxi for a luxurious one.
Best time to visit
Thailand pretty much has the same season cycle as India so it is monsoon here. BUT the weather in the south is as different as the North and Central Thailand as it is confusing. As per resources, the best time to visit the islands is between December to June. October and November are the rainy months. Ideally, you can visit the island anytime you want as the island doesn’t get much rain even during the so called “rainy” weather. And even if it did, who cares? It’s an island after all!
List of places to see:
Well, this is just a list based upon what my Thai friends told me I HAD to see/do when I get to Koh Samui:
Big Buddha – Everybody, unfailingly, told me I have to visit this huge Buddha shrine which has many smaller shrines within and is so huge that it can be seen from far away!
Angthong National park – Mountains, jungles, beaches, mangroves, waterfalls, secret coves, and a very rich and exotic marine population!
Na Muang Waterfalls – These come in a pair. There are many waterfalls around the island but these are considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls of the collection.
Cabarets on Chaweng Beach (ladyboys) – Well, it’s a cabaret and it’s full of colour, culture and amusement I guess.
Hin Ta and Hin Yai – Okay, these are a little strange but well nature is nature and art is art and when these two come together, you have two natural rock formations which look exactly like the male and female “private parts”.
P.S.: As far as accommodations are concerned, DO NOT forget to check the Full Moon Party dates as most accommodation options, especially the hostels, are booked in advance and may not be available if you just show up. Also, prices (of everything) may slightly increase during the party but it is still worth it. However, if you really want to enjoy one of the craziest parties in the world a.k.a. Full Moon Party, you need you get to Koh Phangnan (another post coming up soon about it).
P.P.S: For any more information on Koh Samui, visit this website, which will take care of most of your queries (hopefully).
Samui International Airport is the main airport which serves regular domestic flights between the island and all other important locations within the country such as Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi and Chiang Mai, and some international flights from Singapore and Hong Kong but unfortunately no direct flights between India and Koh Samui.
There are regular buses, train and ferries to Koh Samui from many popular tourist town in Thailand. You can combine a bus, train and ferry ride to get to the island from Bangkok. A second class sleeper train ticket should cost around 600 BHT.
Some ferry services that offer such packages (bus and ferry) include Lomprayah ferry service. Visit their website for more information.
Find below links of some of the other popular boat/ferry services: Sea Tran Ferry Raja Ferry Port
There are other categories of boats arriving in Koh Samui from all across the central and southern part of Thailand. These include express, night, and speed boats. Click here for more information