What’s the best area in Samui to stay in?
That depends on what kind of holiday you’re looking for. Some of the main neighbourhoods in Samui are Chaweng, Bophut, Taling Ngam, Lipa Noi, Choeng Mon, and Laem Set. Do a bit of research (or read this to get started) to see what there is to do in the area, and whether it suits you.
I’ve made up my mind. Now what?
Pick a villa! There are so many amazing villas all over the island; book one and you get complimentary concierge service to help you make any travel, food, and sightseeing arrangements. If your itinerary allows it, don’t just stay in your neighbourhood. There’s plenty to do around the island.
What do I pack?
Don’t forget to pack shawls or scarves as coverups! While swimwear is perfectly fine when you’re on the beach, don’t walk around town in just your bikini. You also need to look decent when visiting temples (no short shorts or strappy tops), but they usually lend cover-ups free of charge.
How do I get around?
First, check with the villa you’re staying at to see if there’s a car and driver available for you to hire. If not or if you want to go around yourself, here are other modes of transportation.
If you’re up for an adventure, this multi-passenger vehicle is one of the best ways to get a feel of a day in the life of a local. A songthaew is basically a converted pick-up truck with a roof and two benches fitted at the back for passengers.
Read also: 12 Thai phrases to learn before your holiday
#2 Motorbike hires
Easily the fastest and most economical way of getting around the island. Just bear in mind that you need an international driving permit in order to legally ride a motorbike in Thailand. Independent travellers who want to get around quickly will appreciate motorbike hires.
#3 Taxis and ride-sharing services
The most comfortable mode of public transportation on the island. Just be wary of drivers haggling for a fixed cost rather than sticking to the metre, as they may try to quote a much higher price. You can also try ride-sharing services like Grab, but they aren’t as common as taxis.
#4 Car rentals
Although the most expensive option, this is also the most convenient. There are plenty of car companies offering rentals on the island, but it’s best to only go with those who offer insurance. Similar to motorbikes, you will need an international driving permit in order to legally drive around Thailand.
Read also: 6 bars in Koh Samui you must visit
How much money should I bring?
Again, this depends on what kind of holiday you’re having. There are too many variables to peg down a single budget, but you should know that ATM machines and FOREX booths are widely available across the island (though most booths close by 10pm). ATM machines only dispense Thai baht, and there’s a limit of THB20,000 per transaction. Also, a withdrawal fee of THB180 applies to every transaction. Koh Samui also has Western Union outlets and agents in all major areas of the island.
What do I do if there’s an emergency?
If you find yourself in need of medical services, be assured that medical facilities on the island are first-rate. Samui International Hospital in Chaweng provides excellent care at a decent cost, and has multilingual staff and top-notch facilities. The government hospital at Nathon, though not as modern as the private hospitals, is cheap and good for minor injuries and illnesses.