Thailand is a country that offers so much to see and do, from jungles to big cities to white sandy beaches. Having one of the longest, nicest, coast lines in Asia makes it a great destination to visit and Guy Around. There are also several islands that are worth a visit and sometimes choosing the right one to visit can be a challenge. Every island has its pros and cons, but I want to tell you about one that I visited recently and highly recommend. Towards the end of the Chinese New Year in February 2019 I visited Koh Samui.
Interestingly enough Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island, even though it doesn’t seem too big once you are there. Chaweng Beach is one of the more popular beaches on the island with plenty of restaurants and nightlife close by. You will see plenty of other tourists in this area, mainly Chinese and Russian. It seemed like anywhere I went there were Russian and Chinese tourists, I am sure there were other nationalities, but these two were the most prevalent. Koh Samui’s airport is about a 30 minute ride away from this area, but beware of traffic at certain times of the day. There is really only one road that goes around the island with just one lane each way. Mostly all flights coming into Koh Samui come through Bangkok, which is how I arrived there. I know you can also take ferries to the island as well, flying was easiest for me as I was coming from Chiang Mai.
You are probably thinking where the best place to stay is on the island. Just like every other vacation island you have all different types of accommodations. There are beach front hotels, Air BnBs, Hostels and cheaper hotels that are a close walk from the beach. I stayed at Samui Verticolor which was a fairly priced hotel about a 5-10 minute walk from Chaweng Beach and about a 30 minute ride from the airport. The hotel had a nice buffet breakfast included in the price which is always a nice start to the day. There was a hotel bar that had an extended happy hour with a pool right out front that was open all day.
I would suggest renting a scooter to get around the island if you plan on exploring more. There are several scooter rental shops around the island, so you can’t really go wrong with the one you choose. Out in front of the hotel was a scooter rental shop that offered daily rates and extended rates for multiple days. Once you have those scooters I would suggest cruising around the island at your own pace. Be careful on the roads as they drive on the left side of the road and there are plenty of other tourists driving which I think they’re more dangerous then anything else on the road. If you plan on just going to the beach and relaxing where you are staying, then there is no need for a scooter. Make sure to apply sun screen every where your body is not covered when driving a scooter. You do not want what is pictured below to happen to you.
If you like to explore, hike and swim under waterfalls then I have a good suggestion for you. You will need to have a scooter if you plan to stay around Chaweng Beach for this excursion. On the south east part of the island there are the Na Muang Waterfalls to explore. It is a beautiful ride to the falls from Chaweng Beach with clearly marked signs along the way, it would be tough to get lost. You can hike, explore and swim to the two different waterfalls. They are about a 5 minute drive from one another as well. You will need to do some walking to see them from the parking lot, so I would recommend wearing shoes.
There are plenty of different styles of restaurants all throughout the island where a lot of seafood is served. One night I ate at an outdoor market about a 5 minute walk from my hotel. Tables and chairs lined the side street and vendors with mostly different Thai cuisines sold their food. There was plenty of fresh seafood in different thai curries which is something to try. I would say the biggest thing I missed about the food on the island was the fresh fruit being sold everywhere. The island has plenty of 711’s but be advised that they do not serve alcohol certain hours in the afternoon. From 1-5 in the afternoon you could not purchase alcohol which I found was interesting. As far as nightlife on the island, it seems like every other place was a restaurant, bar or girly bar. There is always something to do on the island.
So if you’re looking for a nice relaxing Thai island, that has different activities other than chilling on the beach and partying, then look to Koh Samui. I would recommend 3-4 days on the island before going to explore another part of Thailand. Comment below if you’ve ever been to Koh Samui or another Thai Island. There is so much to explore in Thailand.