After 3 and a half months of staying in the north of Thailand, we went to the south of the country, where we spent another three weeks. During this short period of time we managed to visit Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and 4 small islands, which are located off the coast of Krabi town.
The nature in Samui is very beautiful, the air is clean and there are many long sandy beaches are not crowded at all. It’s a place which has something for everyone. For the party seekers, there’s a lively night life, bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. For those who prefer a more peaceful stay, they can take a break from the bustle of the city and retire anywhere in the bungalow amidst palm trees on the beach. Family vacationers with children won’t remain indifferent as well as travel lovers like us.
Prices here compared to Phuket are cheaper, but much more expensive when compared to the north of Thailand. Local food here is more limited than Chiang Mai. While in Chiang Mai you’ll find lots of vegetarian and organic restaurants, here it was restricted to very local dishes plus a good number of European/American eateries. Actually local food at reasonable prices was hard to come by on this island, mostly because many places charged a premium for the lovely views they offered to their patrons. However, it should be noted that the Sunday night market in Lamai surprised us with regards to cleanliness of food and good taste. The prices were reasonable, but compared to Chiang Mai, a little on the high side.
The locals here are not as friendly and smiling as they are in the north of the country, the service ain’t that good either. However, we were very lucky with the staff of our hotel, they were super friendly and always willing to help. As a side note, if you are looking to rent an apartment or a villa, you can find plenty on Airbnb. If you are not registered on Airbnb yet, click this link, sign up and you will get up to $30 discount from me on your first trip! We use Airbnb very frequently and are very happy with this service.
Wherever you are staying on the island, you will need a vehicle, as there isn’t much of a public transport system, only taxis. In our opinion, the most convenient means of transportation in Thailand is a scooter. It is very easy to find a newish motobike in Koh Samui for 200-400 baht (for 2013, currently the price can differ!), depending on the model. We rented a brand new Honda PCX 150 for 350 baht a day.
Before we chose our hotel on this beautiful island, I researched a lot and that paid off as we were very pleased with our hotel and chosen location.
I advise you to carefully consider the information about the beaches and villages of the island before you book a hotel.
For those who are planning to go to Koh Samui, I have prepared a brief description of the beaches / villages of the island, to make it easier to choose the hotel.
The North coast of Koh Samui. This beach didn’t particularly impress us. The water was very cloudy, making snorkelling impossible. We also felt a curious stinging sensation while in the water, might be some very small fish or jellyfish larvae but we didn’t see any. We did not understand what it was, but we felt it in the sea around almost the entire north-west coast of the island. Maybe it was just salt water that irritated our skin?
So, back to the beach. The beach is long with yellow sand, not crowded, there were a very few people (we loved Koh Samui for this reason. It is so easy to find a beach where you will be alone!). There is a sharp descent into the sea, you don’t need to walk 100 meters off the shore to swim as it happens in some places.
Of course the coast is beautiful, as elsewhere in Thailand, but I wouldn’t stay at this place.
Bophut Beach, the Fishing village
We didn’t like the beach that much. When I say we didn’t like I compare with the most beautiful beach we have seen in Koh Samui, but it does not mean that the place is bad.
The beach is long with yellow sand, the sea water seemed more or less transparent. Generally the place is picturesque and interesting. The fishing village is quite small. It is filled with an abundance of restaurants (mostly Italian) at medium and high prices. It is located not far from the main attraction of the island – Big Buddha.
Would I stay here for a holiday? – probably not.
Big Buddha Beach
This long beach is very similar to Bophut, they are located next to each other. Pros: it is close to the airport, close to one of the most important attractions of Koh Samui – Big Buddha (definitely worth a visit!). It is also sufficiently close to Chaweng Beach if you are searching for an active nightlife. I think that the Big Buddha beach is decent enough, like Bophut, but I wouldn’t book the hotel in this area if I had a choice.
Choeng Mon Beach
A very beautiful beach which is located in the north-west of the island. Its sand is slightly yellowish, but mostly white, the sea water is opaque and «biting» as well. This beach does not have a village, although of course, you can find restaurants and shops, but there is not much of them. There are a lot of very beautiful and expensive villas in this area. We liked this place, but it’s definitely not the very best place on the island, though one of the best.
The most popular beach. This is a place for lovers of nightlife and filled daily life. Here you will find an abundance of restaurants, shops, a night market and lots of people.
The beach is crowded, you won’t succeed in lying down in silence on the white sand. As I already said the sand on this beautiful beach is whitish, and the sea water is clear.
Chaweng is very noisy at night. Lots of cars, drunken tourists on motorbikes, a bunch of transsexuals on the streets – chaos in one word. I would suggest this place for only those who like a very lively nightlife.
Crystal Bay / Tongtakian
The most beautiful beach on the island! A small beach between Chaweng and Lamai, surrounded by large rocks on both sides and palm trees from the road. The water is blue and crystal clear. The sand is white, and there were very few people at the beach.
If you like snorkeling, you should definitely come here. Of course, you won’t see much, as Koh Samui is not very good for snorkeling, but I am sure you will manage to see a dozen different beautiful fish, including barracuda if you’re lucky.
A few meters from Crystal Bay towards Chaweng, you will find Coral Cove, it is small, but the water there is clear blue. There are lots of crabs and fish, which can be observed while snorkelling. The approach to the sea is easy, despite the stones. It’s a very beautiful place!
Our hotel The Palm CoCo Mantra was located just a five minutes drive away from these beaches. We were very lucky, because the beach at the hotel was not the best (maybe this fact makes the hotel cheaper compared to others), but the hotel itself was very good, the staff was super friendly, we liked the service and amenities, and the price of course. We really enjoyed our room with the sea view and of course breakfast served right on the beach!
If you’re staying at any other place of the island, be sure to come to Crystal Bay and Coral Cove at least for half a day. Highly recommended!
The second most popular beach in Samui after Chaweng Beach, but more laid back. Every Sunday in the local village you can enjoy the night market with street food and a variety of Thai trinkets and clothing. There are also plenty of restaurants.
Not far from Lamai you will find waterfalls, a variety of activities, for instance riding the elephants, while in the southern part of the beach you can snap a picture of the famous Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks.
As for the beach, we liked its southern part, the sea was clear and blue, the beach itself with yellow sand was quite beautiful. The northern part of the beach seemed neglected. If I came again to Koh Samui, I would have stopped at the Crystal Bay or near it again, or in the southern part of Lamai. Recommended!
Taling Ngam Bay / Virgin Bay
Beautiful beaches with a slightly yellowish white sand and clear blue water, with amazing views of the nearby small islands. The roads leading to these places are surrounded by palm forests.
The nearest landmark is a temple hosting a mummified monk inside. These places are very beautiful, but they are a bit far from ‘civilization’. We haven’t seen any infrastructure as such, there were no restaurants or shops nearby.
This place is ideal for those who wish to retire from the city and all the crowds in a beautiful villa overlooking an equally beautiful sea and islands.
If you are interested where the two photos below were taking, beneath in the comments I pasted an image of the map with the exact location.
The business and administrative center of Koh Samui, as well as the main port of the island. Ferries depart from here to various destinations, including Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and mainland to Surat Thani.
In this small town you will find souvenir shops and seafood, which are sold at the street by weight at very attractive prices. Restaurants in this part of the island offer local traditional spicy food and seafood.
The beaches of the town are deserted, they are long with white sand and feature clear waters.
I hope my post was helpful. Have a great journey!
P.S. Guys! The post was written in 2013 and updated in 2017. Many of you ask similar questions again and again. Please go through the comments! There is a lot of useful information in the comments as well! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Are you planning to visit Phuket island after Samui? Read my post on how to get from Koh Samui to Phuket by bus.
Jerry Bridge says
Fantastic article, well written and easy to read with great photos…many thanks! As someone who has been to Koh Samui many times (first time in 1982 whilst backpacking) and going on to sell the destination to my many clients via all the travel companies I have worked in, owned and run…(Trailfinders 1985-1988, Bridge the World 1989-2002 & Bridge & Wickers 2004-2011) I found this honest feedback extremely useful as sadly, many parts of this once really really beautiful island have been spoilt and over commercialised….which is just one reason why I will be heading to Koh Phangan later this year…maybe we should get in touch as blogging and such articles as yours are very important for my latest travel venture, World Travel with Bridge……
Jerry thank you very much for your comment! Haven’t been to Koh Phangan unfortunately, but heard a lot of good things about it. Maybe next time 🙂
Ankit Sharma says
very well written. i went to koh samui but couldnt visit much as i headed back from the full moon at koh pha ngan and stayed at samui for just a day. planning to go as early as next year with my wife and this post definitely helped me in shortlisting the places i’d like to stay. thanks a lot! 🙂
You are very welcome! I am glad you found it useful! Happy travels!
Hi there!! could you please suggest us how to move about from Phuket (patong beach) to Koh Samui? is there a day’s tour you would recommend?
Hi! I don’t think there are day tours to Samui from Phuket, at least I’ve never heard about them. You can fly to Samui (with Bangkok Airways) or else for a cheaper trip try to book a bus/ferry package. It will cost you around $33 per person + they can pick you up from your hotel and give you a 5% discount for a round trip. You can book it here.
Hi Alyona, I love your article, easy to read with great information. My husband and I are planning to take our 11 and 13 year old children on April next year to Koh Samui. Any suggestions where should we stay? . We love the beach and have been in Phuket last March. This time we want to take the kids with us. Thank you
Hi Rocio! I am glad you found my post helpful! Thanks! If I were you I would choose the southern part of Lamai. Since you are going with your kids, you would need not only some good beach, but also a developed infrastructure. I think that south of Lamai could be perfect. You will find nice beaches, clear water in the sea, shops and restaurant nearby, sunday night market is held in Lamai as well. If you decide to take a look at waterfalls, you won’t need to spend a lot time to get there, they are very close. Make sure to visit my favourite beach in Koh Samui – Crystal Bay/Tongtakian, it’s very beautiful and not far from Lamai. I don’t suggest to stay there with 11-13 years old kids only for a reason, that if you need to buy something or you want to try out different restaurants, everything is a bit far if you walk, and you have to walk along the road, you will need some transport for sure, so you can’t just go out in the evening for a short walk, you can only stay at the beach or you have to drive. Anyway, I suggest to choose the southern part of Lamai. If you have more questions, please let me know!
Pushkaraj Deshpande says
Hi there .. seriously nice write up.. would just like to ask u one simple question .. how far is koh samui safe .. means in terms of people and stay as I wil be heading there with my wife.. would love to experince every bit of the things u have written .., cheers
Hello Pushkaraj, thanks for stopping by! Koh Samui seemed pretty safe. Though we had read some not good reviews about this island before we planned our trip, mostly regarding unsafe driving during the night especially by drunk people. Like in any place in the world you just have to follow common rules and avoid obviously unsafe places and everything will be fine. We travelled across the whole island and to tell the truth never saw any places where we wouldn’t feel safe. We’ve met some drunken guys on the scooters in the nights but we just kept our way and drove carefully. That’s pretty much it. We didn’t encounter any uncomfortable/unsafe situations. So, be calm and enjoy your trip to Samui!
Hi alyona I am hoping to visit Koh Samui in May 2014 for 14 weeks. Do you have any suggestions for a single lady traveller (50) my budget is around $30 AUD per night and I would like somewhere walking distance to food/markets, or would you suggest a moto (I have a motorcycle licence in Aust.) I would also like to meet some of the locals ie homestay or for a meal. any suggestions would be most welcome..thanks heaps from
Shardy ,York West Australia..ps have you ever been to Australia?
You are planning a great trip!
It’s not a problem to find a scooter to rent in Samui. I would suggest you rent one, since it’s pretty difficult to move around without a vehicle. Depend on the model of the motorbike, it will cost you from $9 to $12 AUD per day. If you rent it for a month, it will be cheaper.
Accommodation tends to be more expensive in the south of Thailand then in the north. Please use this website for searching hostels/guest houses/hotels. It’s really good.
It’s a bit difficult for me to recommend a part of the island where you can stay…It’s hard to say where in Samui you can meet locals for a meal or homestay, since everything looks very touristic. But I am sure if you search for it, you will find an opportunity. I would stay in the southern part of Lamai, it’s pretty active, but not very crowded or noisy at the same time. It’s very close to other villages where locals live. So you can maybe book something for a few days in this area and when you arrive, you rent a scooter and search for what you need right there on the island.
I hope this was helpful. If you have more questions, please let me know.
I haven’t been to Australia yet, but I am planning to visit one day 🙂
Can’t thank you enough for your wonderful blog!
We are planning a family trip to Thailand beginning December 25th and its so lovely to come across your very informative and helpful blog. We are deciding between Krabi vs Koh Samoi and its a tough call. May be a word from you would clinch it for us!
Thanks a tonne for sharing your memories, experiences and wonderful write up with pics!
PS: You are gorgeous!!
Thanks for stopping by, Deepak! I like both of these places. They are both very beautiful and you will find things to do. In my opinion while you are in Krabi you tend to move around more, since most of the attractions (different beaches on the nearby islands) require you to get a boat to get to them. Make sure to visit Emerald Pool it’s around 75 km south-east from Krabi. You can also travel around the region, you can even go to Phuket, it’s only 150km away from Krabi.
Koh Samui is more relaxing. There are lots of different beaches that you can discover, and you can have some of them pretty much to yourself. You can see waterfalls, temples and you can travel to surrounding islands for snorkelling. The island is really beautiful. I think I would prefer to go to Samui. But it’s your holiday and therefore your choice. Anything you choose, set your mind at ease, both Krabi and Koh-Samui are amazing places for a relaxing vacation 🙂
Cpacibo bolshoi Alyona for your response. haha…just when I was more or less made up on Krabi, you had to say ‘I think I would prefer to go to Samui”… 🙂
Hmm! Do we have good snorkeling options in Krabi as well?
How did you travel to Emerald pool? By scooter or ferry?
Thanks a tonne for being so helpful! 🙂
You are welcome! We went to Emerald pool by car. You don’t need to cross the sea, it’s on the main land 🙂 As regards with snorkeling in Krabi, you would need to take a boat, there is nothing to see in Ao Nang beach, the water is cloudy.
As for Koh Samui, we found only 2 ok places for snorkeling: Crystal Bay and Coral Cove. You need to go to surrounding islands, since Koh Samui is not very good for snorkeling.
Hi, Alyona, could you advise least biting and least jellyfish beach, we are thinking travelling in June, heard jellyfish is more in monsoon
Do we have to carry passport with us all the time in Thailand? Considering its a beach and waterfalls country…..pretty dangerous I would consider it if one has to carry passport all the time. Could you help with a confirmation Alyona? Thanks!
I used to carry passports, but not when we went to the beach. You can make a photocopy, carry it with you and lock your passports in the hotel. We were never asked for passports and never actually needed them, but I still had them almost always with me 🙂
Hi Alyona, brilliant reviews thankyou.
Just one thing as i am going to Lamai in Koh Samui in January do you know what the price for a pint of beer is ?
Hi Peter! I can’t really answer your question, sorry. Only can tell you that we used to buy a package of 4 cans of beer from the Seven Eleven and it was from 90 to 120 baht, depends on brand. Best of luck!
Living in Phuket at the moment, and thinking about moving over next year!
very helpful post Alyona! Thank you! I am planning honeymoon in koh samui sometime in the second week of June 16th June to 26th June..is the time right?
Although I’ve never been there during this month, June should be a good time to visit the island. The weather is good from December to June, with little rain and not too much heat. June has the added bonus of lower visitor numbers as most holiday-makers are waiting for the European school holidays of July and August to come to visit Samui.
Clothes and Creativity says
This is such an informative post, Alyona!
My husband and I are planning to visit Thailand in June 2014. I think we are looking at a 10 day trip which would cover Bangkok and Koh Samui. Initially we were looking at Railay but I think we’ll save that for another time.
Just wanted to ask you about budget accommodations on Koh Samui? And what’s the average tariff, say for a clean and tidy, basic place? Also, we are thinking of renting a motorbike (like we did in Bali), so are the traffic cops out to fine you? Do you necessarily need an International Driving License?
Awaiting your response!
Hi Anya, thanks! You can easily find good and inexpensive accommodation in Koh Samui (starting from $10 per night, it all depends on your priorities). I really liked using Agoda.com when I needed to find a place for a short term. It has very convenient filtering that helps to find what you need and at a price you can afford. You will see that they have all the range of accommodations from guest houses and bungalows to luxury villas.
As for a motorbike, it won’t be a problem for sure. There are many shops in Samui which rent out scooters in a very good condition. We rented a Honda PCX 150 (at 350 baht per day) and were very happy about it. The shop was a few minutes away from the hotel where we stayed, with a very nice lady-owner. She was so kind to give us the helmet of her husband, because we wanted something good and she didn’t have one ;). It’s not as dangerous to drive a motorbike in Koh Samui as people write on the web. Yes you can see drunk guys riding their scooter and shouting, but if you follow the rules, don’t overspeed, and be cautious, everything will be fine. I haven’t seen any police in Koh Samui. Maybe there are cops, but we didn’t have a chance to meet them. There are a lot of people who drive without an International Driving License, but we had one…though it was only for a car :P. Actually once we had a case in Thailand (Chiang Mai) when a policeman stopped us. He checked our International Driving License, didn’t understand anything I guess (otherwise he would tell us that we don’t have a permit for driving a motorbike) and let us go. The most important is to wear a helmet. It’s not only for your safety, but also to decrease the risk of police stopping you.
Hope that will work!
Clothes and Creativity says
Thanks for the prompt reply, Alyona!
I have already started doing a fair bit of research on accommodations in Koh Samui. And I think we would figure that out soon! BTW, did I miss where you stayed?
And yes, helmets are absolutely important. Thanks again for your tips!
You are welcome! Yes, you can find the place we stayed in the post. 🙂 It was the Palm CoCo Mantra hotel.
thank you very much for posting all these useful information
Dan place says
Hi. Thank you for the candid review. Headed to island in late may. Looking for luxury accommodation and beautiful beach. Any recommendation? Four seasons and Napasai are supposed to be beautiful resorts but both are in the north. Any other thoughts? Thank you. Also has is the weather in late may?
Hi, please refer to the comments above. Thanks
Hey Alyona, beautifully written, provides great insights for touring ko samui.
Me and my friends are planning to visit ko samui in a couple of days. We are group of three, do you think that hotels will allow 3 people to stay in a single room for 2? Otherwise our budget would be increased.
Same question for renting out bikes, is it allowed for three people to ride a scooter or would we have to rent out 2 bikes?
Hi there! Thanks for your comment! I guess in Thailand you can do whatever you want, even drive a scooter together with all your 3 friends. You can see locals riding their motorbikes with little kids in front of them without any helmets and dogs behind them…But you should use common sense. It’s not safe to ride a scooter like that, it’s made for 2 people, not for 3 or 4. But of course it’s up to you, it’s your life. 🙂
Obviously if you tell people that you are going to break the rules (that is riding a motorbike with more than 2 people) they are unlikely to rent it out to you, though maybe I am wrong (you never know what to expect in Thailand).
As for hotels, normally you have to pay for all the people that stay in a room. Unless they won’t notice the third person during check-in and somehow you will manage to hide your friend, it’s almost impossible and not allowed to stay in a room for 2 people if you are 3 persons, it would be cheating. 🙂
Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful reply! 🙂
Thank you so much for the detailed blog! It will certainly help as I am in the midst of planning a trip to Thailand & Tokyo.
You’re welcome, Talisa 🙂
Rahul Bose says
Just when I was wondering where to go for my honeymoon in December, you have cleared most of the doubts in my mind. The small hints like, calm and less attractions, cheaper but nice, etc helps me to take a wise decision.
What are the 5 most beautiful attractions for a couple to visit in Samui ?
Do we need international license for hiring bikes and scooters ?
Thanks for stopping by! I am sure your honeymoon will be amazing! Normally you do need an international license for driving a bike, but they don’t require it when you rent one. We had only one case when a policeman stopped us to check our documents and it was not in Samui and we didn’t have a license for driving a motorbike at that time, just an international license for cars :). It’s always best to have all your documents in order, especially if you have an insurance case, but people do drive vehicles without international license. This time we’ve prepared all our licenses including the one for a motorbike.
As for the attractions, there are many things to see. Make sure to visit Big Buddha, Wat Plai Laem, Namuang Waterfall, Mummy Monk (there are 2, in Virgin Bay and in Lamai. People seem don’t know a lot about the one in Virgin Bay, it’s very quiet there and you barely see 2-3 people. Check out the beach near this temple, it’s really good!). You may be interested also to see Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandfather and Grandmother statues), these are the rocks in southern part of Lamai Beach, the art of Nature 🙂
All that you need in Samui is a scooter. Just hop on it, get a map and drive around, discovering interesting places and beautiful beaches!
Hi alyona thanks for giving tip for kosamui & krabi
We r planning to go in month of August. Is it good time?.what type of clothes we carry.&tell about full moon party on beach
I haven’t been to Samui in August, so I can’t really say how the weather is at this time of year. But I am pretty sure it is going to be hot, rainy and sunny. 🙂
As for the Full Moon Party, you will have to go to Koh Phangan island (very easy trip by ferry). The party will be held on the 10th of August, Sunday. Enjoy your trip!
Im booking my honeymoon in december and the end will be hopefully in luxury on the chaweng beach at the Anatara hotel.
The hotel they say is in a quiet part of chaweng beach. We both are two very lively indiviuals so i think the noise and busyness wont be a problem.
couple of questions were
1) is there any jungle excursions? if no, where can we get one preferably in 4×4 vehicle
2) wheres the best place for snorkelling?
3) this might be a dumb question- ive never ridden a scooter or motorcyle before.. only bicycles.. so do you think its wise to get a scooter? by taking into consideration is it very busy on the roads etc?
If we dont get a scooter how else can we get around the island?
how much average taxi fares etc?
thank you ever so much for your post. I was unsure about koh samui before but the pics and details youve provided it is 100% were going!
Hi Bal, thanks for stopping by!
I am sure it won’t be a problem for you to find a jungle excursion with the vehicle of your preference. All hotels and tour agencies around the island provide a variety of activities, so you won’t miss any for sure.
As regards to snorkelling the best places in my opinion, as mentioned in the post, are Crystal Bay and Coral Cove. However Koh Samui is not an island for snorkelling. The nearby islands are much better for this activity.
Driving a scooter in Thailand is an amazing experience. You have to be careful of course, but it’s not dangerous. If you have never driven a scooter before just practice a bit in a calm place and take it easy while driving. Keep your lane, don’t overspeed, and stay away from drunken people on bikes in the evening. Riding at a slow pace you are not likely to have an accident. If you are afraid, just rent a car. I think it’s quite boring to have no private transport on this island. There are no buses or any public transport. You can hire a taxi of course. I don’t really know about the prices for cabs unfortunately. You can do without a vehicle as well, but then you will have to stay in the area of your village only and go to the same beaches every day.
Hope it will work! Have a fantastic honeymoon and congratulations!
Hi Alyona.. What kind of water sports might be safe in Samui? I’m travelling there next month with my partner. I was thinking of jet ski, kayaking and parasailing but after reading up extensively online, I worry they may all be quite unsafe (except kayaking trips to smaller islands). We are staying at Chaweng. Thank you so much for the wonderful post. Wonderful pictures.
Hi Saritha! Thank you for your comment. I am sorry but I can’t help you with this question. I didn’t try any water sports myself in Samui and didn’t really research about it. I actually don’t remember seeing any of kayaks, jet ski or parasailing at the beaches…I guess I just didn’t pay attention to them.
Hope you will find an answer on your question and will be able to do water sports safely in Samui. Happy holidays!
Alyona, Great article! you wouldn’t happen to have been to Koh Tao? I’m considering staying in Koh Samui for 4 nights and Koh Tao for 4… or maybe just do the whole 8 in Koh Samui and do a bunch of day trips? Any suggestions? 🙂
Hi Kristie, I haven’t been to Koh Tao, but I know that it’s wonderful there, more peacefully than in Samui and this island is great for snorkeling or diving. It depends what kind of holidays you are after. You can stay 8 nights in Koh Samui (since there are a lot of places to see) and make a 1-2 days snorkeling tour to Koh Tao.
I am sure any option you choose you will have a fantastic holidays!
Hello Alyona, I am so relieved after reading out ure article, its a huge help!!! still I have certain queries as all.
I am planning to go by the end of october, will it be a perfect time to visit weather vise?? also can u tell me how much the local ferries cost a trip to koh phangan?? did u got those day tours that take u to several islands in a day if yes how is the tour if not, any idea abt price and services?? I have four days in samui and 3 in phuket. wud it be better if travel to phi phi island fr a day and stay there?? any ideas and views?
Also at lamai u said we can get fish and seafood can we buy it?? and cook there on beach??
the bike rides that u tell in all how far are the beaches to one another??
I don’t think that the weather in Samui is perfect in october, it tends to be very wet at this time. I’ve been to Koh Samui in March and it was perfect. People mostly suggest to visit the island from December to June.
I can’t really help with the information about the ferry to Koh Phangan. I haven’t done any of those tours, so I can’t advise on this subject. As for Phi Phi Island it’s better to go from Phuket for sure and since you have limited time I would just go for a day tour.
I am not sure if you can cook fish on the beach…I haven’t seen anybody making a BBQ or frying a fish…
The island is not very big, so you can get from one beach to another in 5-10 mins if these beaches are close to each other. Obviously if you go to another side of the island it may take 30 minutes or so.
Hope it was helpful. Cheers!
We only have 2 days to go either to krabi or koh samui
pls place would u suggest from the two
My husband and I went to Thailand in October last year and we would really like to go again,
but we can only go either in June or December.
Which month would you suggest?
We’ll be going to Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya.
I would definitely go in December. More tourists and less discounts for flights/accommodation – yes, but the weather should be much better than in June 🙂
P.S. By the way…your photography work is great! 🙂
Thank you so much:) Will definitely keep it in mind before we make our decision.
Keep well x
Can u pls help I want to decide weather to go krabi or koh samui
We are couple going so which place we will enjoy more
It all depends on what kind of holidays you prefer. I would go to Koh Samui. It seemed to me more peaceful and less touristy. If you are tired of one island you can take a ferry and go to Koh Phangan or Koh Tao, it’s not far from Samui.
On the other hand Krabi can offer different trips to those popular small islands like Phi-Phi or you can go by boat to the Railay Beach.
Both places are very beautiful, but I would choose Samui 🙂
Abhishek Lahiri says
I am visiting Samui for my honeymoon and have booked at Bophut in Samui Boat Lagoon hotel. I am getting some negative reviews that its in quite a off location and not the best place to be at. Kindly advise if I need to change the hotel/location (either for safety reasons or not the best to be at for honeymoon. The tariffs are 3000 THB per night. Also the hotel does not have a attached restaurant as well.
Hi there! The place you chose is not bad. Maybe it’s not the best, but it’s my opinion. If you are going to rent a vehicle, you won’t really have problems, since you will be able to travel to any place you want. The only attraction nearby is the Big Buddha. The most of restaurants in that area are quite expensive, we were struggling to find something cheap and good. A supermarket can be found a few km away, you would need a car or a motorbike to get there. The place looks nice, the beach is ok, nothing special in my opinion since there are nicer beaches in Samui. The place is safe, don’t worry about it. The hotel you chose looks wonderful! I am sure you will enjoy your honeymoon! Just make sure to rent some vehicle, don’t stay in one place, ride around the island and visit different beaches. You will love it!
Hi were going to koh samui just wondering where laem yaii beach is situated with everything? tthanks
Hi there. Laem Yai is located at the very northwest tip of Koh Samui. Nathon and MaeNam are the closest places.
Hi, i found your review and pictures of the beaches in Koh Samui extremely useful. I am planning a trip with my wife and 5yr old boy in December and am wondering if you are able to recommend places to stay in Lamai Beach. We are looking for a more luxurious beach resort with direct access to the beach and also have lots of activities for younger children.
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately I can’t recommend you any place to stay, I can only suggest the area, which you already chose, and it’s great! Try to check also Crystal Bay, they have bungalows right on the beach, I think it is a very good place to stay with a kid. I am not sure about activities for children, I actually haven’t seen any in Samui…maybe I just didn’t pay attention to it, because I don’t have kid yet :). But Lamai Beach is very good, I am sure you will enjoy your stay!
Love this article Alyona! Very helpful and really gorgeous pictures. I plan on going back to Samui early next year. Last time I went I stayed at akyra chura samui on chaweng, it was during low season though so it wasn’t so crowded. I had an amazing time! The resort was really cute and the staff were always smiling and helpful. This time I want to try a quieter beach, as I hear chaweng has gotten very popular among tourists. Any suggestions? 🙂
Hi Allie, I am glad to hear that you had a great time in Samui! As for a quieter place, I would go for the Crystal Bay. The bungalows on the beach are very cute, and the beach itself is beautiful. It’s a few minutes drive from Lamai and maybe 15-20 mins drive from Chaweng. It is quiet comparing to other beaches and quite secluded 🙂 If you don’t mind rocks instead of sandy beach, then Coral Cove could be a perfect option as well. See the photos above 🙂 Ah and also check the Virgin Bay. It’s super quiet and beautiful. Though it’s a bit far from a village and it’s a bit hard to find something to eat nearby 🙂
Thanks for a wonderful Blog
I was wondering if I could pick your brains for my trip. My wife and I are traveling to Kosamui in April. I wanted to stay in a hotel in an area with great sandy beaches (not too rowdy) and good water for swimming. However, we would like to be somewhere not too far from restaurents and some life for the evenings.
Hello Harshil, since you don’t want a noisy place, I would go for Lamai or for Bophut. I think both places are very good. However, I prefer Lamai when it comes to beaches. But this is my opinion and it can be very subjective 🙂
Hi am looking at staying at crystal bay yacht club with my 2 daughters 19 and 15 are there many bars restaurants within walking distant ? Nervous of hiring scooters as never risen one
Hello Cheryl, there are restaurants around, but the problem is that you will have to walk along the main road, so even if the restaurants are not very far to walk it, it might be a bit inconvenient, especially in the evening, since there is not much of a pavement as far as I can remember. There is one or two restaurant at the beach for sure.
stephanie rabel says
Hello, we are new developpers on the island of koh samui and would like to share with your our village. Have a wonderful time in Thailand!!
Carlos Esperanza says
Hello Alyona! Congratulations on your wonderful post! I will be spending the first week of July in Koh Samui, and I would like to ask you about the dates in which you travelled to the island, because the weather looked so good! Do you know if it is going to be sunny in July, or if we are going to have a rainy holiday? Thank you very much!
Thank you Carlos! We went to Samui in March. As far as I know July is hot, humid and cloudy with around 50% chance of rainfall. But you know, the weather changes all over the world and you can’t say for sure how it will be. I read some reviews from people who travelled to Samui in July and they said it was sunny throughout their trip. I bet you will enjoy your holidays!
Hi Alyona! So happy to read about your trip in Koh Samui 🙂 i will be going there in June. can you advice if we need to book those day tours (eg. snorkeling, sightseeing etc) in advance or it is easily available to book when we arrive there?
secondly, is it easy to ride around in the scooter to visit those places you mentioned like the Big Buddha, waterfalls, temple and etc?
lastly, is it advisable to stay at 2 different locations as i will be there for 5-6 days?
thank you for your kind advice! 🙂
Hi Jenny! You don’t need to book tours in advance. You can buy them right there. I wouldn’t advise to stay in different locations for such a short period. Samui is not a big island, you can easily move around by scooter and visit any place you like and come back to your hotel, even if it’s on the other side of the island.
Hi Alyona. Thank you for this very helpful post. I’m confused about the beach situation in Samui. I understand there’s no such thing as a private beach–everything is publicly owned–but that you can only access some of the beaches from hotels. If we stay in an AirBnB place not on the beach, will we be able to go to these beaches you discussed? Thank you!
Hi Katia, you can access any beach you like. You can rent an Airbnb apartment and enjoy all beaches of the island.
Wywy Wong says
We are a family of 4 adults and are thinking of arriving into Koh Samui July 16 fmorning leaving July 19 morning, 3 nights staying at the Miskawaan Beachfront Villa on Maenam Beach that has a 20% discount of published price for Air travellers.
I intend to rent a car, as my son is blind. May I have your thoughts and guidance please. We have been to Phuket many times, and am choosing Koh Samui as there is a direct flight from where we are.
Hello Wywy! Thank you for stopping by. What exactly would you like to know please?
We are staying at the Akaryn samui in June 2015 and I am wanting to know about things to do and see on the Island. We are there for one week and I am wanting to go on a boat ride and snorkel at other islands etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi Kim, I can’t help you with suggestions regarding the boat ride and snorkelling as we didn’t do such trips, but you can contact any tour agency there are lots of them, or just ask your hotel receptionist.
MONIKA ARORA says
Very informative post!!
we are a family of 4 including 2 boys aged 10 and 4, looking for a reasonably priced hotel in koh samui for 4 nights, with nice beach to laze around and proximity to indian food restaurants. Will palm coco fit the bill. Also, will hiring a car be necessary for 4 of us to travel to nearby places? Please also suggest the best mode to book a trip to ang thong marine park. We would like to go the koh tao for snorkelling – please suggest best tour operator for the same if possible.
Hi Monika, thanks! Palm coco is a very good hotel and prices are very reasonable. I am not sure if you will like the beach of this hotel, as the water is deep only in the morning. In the afternoon due to low tide you will need to walk and walk in the sea to be able to swim. However there are very good beaches nearby, which you can reach within 15 mins on foot. I would suggest to rent a car, as I think it’s impossible to go around the island without a transport. You can either take taxi all the time, or hire a car. Check with your hotel receptionist as soon as you check in regarding that trip to Marine Park. I can’t really suggest on that, since we didn’t do this trip. If you have more questions just let me know. Happy holidays!
Rajat Gupta says
Great article, very helpful. We are currently planning our Honeymoon in Thailand with Ko Samui being a big part of the trip. We will be in Koh Samui from Sept 26 – Oct 4th. Couple questions for you:
1. We are choosing between the Six Senses and Banyan Tree. We love both properties, (the pool villa suites, etc.) though Banyan Tree is more expensive and seems more polished/luxurious. Do you have thoughts on either in terms of the hotel, location, etc? Are there any others you’d recommend that are similar?
2. Is the weather ok for the time we are going? How bad can rainy season get and what are things we can do if it does get bad?
Thanks for your help!
My apologies for the delayed reply. Fist of all congratulations on your wedding and hope your honeymoon will be fantastic!
As regards with the hotels both of the places you chose seems very good, quality and location wise. I’ve been to the territory of Banyan Tree and I loved it! The beach there is rocky with clear beautiful blue water (You actually can see a photo in this post – Coral Bay). If you prefer sandy beaches you can just walk for a few minutes and you will find my favourite beach on the island – Thongtakian/Crystal Bay (see the photo above). I really like this location. But of course it’s very subjective.
The other hotel seems very good as well and the location is quite nice. I think whatever you choose you will enjoy your honeymoon!
The weather should be fine. Maybe it will be a bit cloudy sometimes, but don’t worry too much about rains!
All the best,
This is such a great overview! Really helpful. Thanks! I’ll be on Koh Samui in two days!
Thank you 🙂 Have a wonderful holidays! 🙂
Hi Alyona, thanks for this review. It´s very helpful.
I´m planning to stay in Koh Samui for New Year´s eve with parents. I would like to take them to a nice beach resort where we can join the hotel NYE party (we dont plan to go out to bars or beach parties), and we want to be away from the crowds and noise, and have a hassle free trip. However, we´d like to stay not too far from downtown (wherever it is, is it Bophut the city center?), to go in the evenings and look at the markets. Would Choeng Mon be a good location? or Lamai?
I read that you woudlnt stay there, but why? even though is considered one of the best locations.
Also, should we be worried about the distance from downtown, since it is a small island?
Thanks a lot!!! Really appreciate your advice!
Hello Veronica. Thank you for stopping by. First of all please take my suggestions as subjective since all people have different taste and mine might not match with yours :). When I go to any place, the atmosphere of the place for me is as important as its beauty, or quietness, or price, or any other criteria. That’s why I suggested certain places to stay. I didn’t like Choeng Mon for its atmosphere. Beaches there for me were nothing special as well, though of course as all the island they are beautiful. There are a lot of expensive villas there but there is no village close by and you feel like in the middle of nowhere and every time you want to go out, you have to go to the neighbouring village (by car or by scooter). Lamai is nice, although I prefer its Southern part for the beach. It is close to the village and the beach is more beautiful.
As for the downtown, there is no downtown in Samui. There are several villages spread around the island. That’s why it’s important to choose some nice village, as, though you can move around the island easily, if you just want to go for a walk you will be stuck in your village (there is no public transport, only taxi and you can rent a motorbike or a car).
If you’d like to stay away from the crowds and noise, choose between Lamai and Bophut. Both of these locations are very good. Bophut is a bit more pricy, there are a lot of luxury hotels and rich people. The restaurants in the village are a bit more expensive. The place is beautiful. If you asked me, I would go for Lamai though 🙂
welcome samui says
I was wondering if you rent a villa on Samui is not better than the hotel.
Maybe the price is cheaper if you are likely to rent a villa?
What do you think of this idea, you who travel a lot?
Hey, it all depends on the budget, amount of people and the type of holiday one prefers. 🙂
Abi Yudhie says
Wow detail posting 🙂 thanks for sharing Alyona it would be on my next bucket list
I have been so confused trying to decide at which beach I should stay in Samui, all the articles I had read were not satisfying, until I read yours.
I thought to myself, FINALLY!!!! Something that is straight forward and in details with great pictures!!
I’ve decided to stay in Lamai 🙂
Thank you so much!
Hi Yanti! I am glad to help and thanks for your comment! Enjoy your holidays! 🙂
Vaibhavi Naik says
Reading this article in 2016…:D…Very very informative…I wish i read it earlier before booking my hotels…I would have chosen to stay near crystal bay….Me ad my hubby are going to samui for our 1st anniversary….We are first staying for 3 nights at Chaweng beach to enjoy nightlife and later staying at near choengmon for bit relaxation…I will be definitely visiting all the places you have mentioned…Thanks a ton…Also, Can you suggest any place for nice romantic dinner at the beach not that costly…around 1000 baht…
Thank you very much Vaibhavi! Not sure about the romantic dinner at the beach…I know a place that is located not very far from Chaweng and it has a wonderful sea view, but as far as I remember it’s a bit expensive, the food was quite good. Check it on TripAdvisor: “Dr Frogs Bar & Grill”, the one that is located closer to Chaweng on the way to Lamai. Enjoy your holidays!
LOVE THIS!!! Great review of the island. Glad to see you replied recently, so I’m guessing you are still active to the blog. A couple of questions. Did you get your scooter once arriving a the airport? or the hotel?. Will i be able to locate a taxi from the airport to South Lamai or do i need to pre book? Is the Accommodation best booking before i arrive or will i be able to turn up and book there and then? Can you drive the scooters on the ferry to Koh phangan? Who expensive was the meals on Koh Samui? Which way of transport would you recommended to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui and Koh Samui to Krabi? How often is a fuel station for the scooters?
I am visiting Thailand in March for 34 Days, Bangkok-Koh Samui-Koh Phangan-Krabi-Koh Lanta-Phi Phi islands-Phucket-Bangkok.
Would you advise me on visiting any other locations whilst i am there? Going with my girlfriend. Not a fan of parting and really love beaches and relaxing! Thank you in advance
Hi Cory! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I will try to answer all your questions.
We rented our scooter from a shop near to our hotel. We were just walking around and asked for prices and conditions in different places and then chose the one that we liked. A taxi is not a problem. As long as you pay they can bring you anywhere. There is no public transport in Samui so many people use a taxi.
I am not sure about the accommodation, as we always book hotels or apartments prior to arrival. I really think it’s better to book in advance. At least book the first night and then you might find something else if you prefer to choose accommodation there and then.
I didn’t go with a scooter on a ferry, but I heard that people did. So you need to check this, I guess there should be companies that allow cars or scooter on ferries. The food was cheaper than in Phuket, but much more expensive than in the northern Thailand.
If I were you I would fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui for sure. As for koh Samui to Krabi, it all depends on how much you like being on a bus or driving a car.
1. You can take a ferry + bus from Koh Samui to Phuket and then rent a car (or use a bus) to go to Krabi;
2. You can fly from Samui to Phuket and then drive to Krabi;
3. The easiest and maybe even the cheapest way (if you consider time you’ll spend and how tired you will be after a journey by bus), will be Koh Samui – Krabi by plane.
I think you chose great destinations! I would strongly recommend you to visit Chiang Mai in the north of the country, but March is not a good time for this city, as there is a lot of pollution from the end of February to the end of March – beginning of April, due to rice fields burning.
I hope I’ve managed to help you. Have a nice trip and enjoy Thailand!
Hi Alyona… i think i found the perfect blog to gather more than necessary information about Koh Samui
Although, need a few suggestions from you – Me and my wife are planning for a 10 days trip to Thailand. So we want to do Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Penang and then back to Phuket, then Bangkok. Is this a good plan/route? Also, is Krabi a better relaxed stay or Patong?
We want to spend more time in the beaches and less time on the town/cities…
Hello Ramit, thanks for your questions. You should be fine in November. Penang is Malaysia, did you mean Koh Phangan? Your route sounds good to me. If to choose between Patong beach and Krabi, I definitely choose Krabi. Patong is too crazy for me 🙂 Hope you’ll have great holidays!
Also, forgot to ask whether November is a good season to travel? We are expecting a moderate sunny climate, not too hot but no rain… Thanks
Thanks Alyona…. thanks for your suggestions, will come back to you if i need more info…. Thanks a million again 🙂
Thank you!!!! Your advice is much appreciated
Hi Alyona, where is Virgin Bay exactly? I cant locate it on the map, looks pretty cool! Maybe you could advice how to get there as it’s not one of those famous sports. Thank you so much!
Hi Ausra, you should look for Taling Ngam Bay on maps. The exact place where my photos were taken is a bit south from InterContinental resort, just near the temple with a mummified monk inside “Wat Khiri Wongkharam”. Take the road 4170 south from Ban Saket, look for a big elephant gate (If I’m not mistaken it will be also written “welcome to virgin bay”). Go through the gate, off the route 4170. Near the temple you will find a beach. You can just go along the coast and find a spot which you like most :). Here is the screenshot for better directions. Enjoy your holidays!
Hi Alyona, many thanks for your response, much appreciated 🙂
Hey dear pretty interesting!!!what is one more place to cover with koh samui
Hey thanks 🙂 You can go to Koh Phangan, it’s not far from Samui.
very helpful! thank you! can’t wait to go!
Hey, your information really help on our planning , as we are not sure where to stay, We have a group of 9 going on the May Day . any suggestion as we plan to look for apartment or villa, not the expensive one, on budget.
we have only 3 days there, and we intend to take a speed boat out to islands for a day trip. Which agency will be the best. we love seafood, can you let us know where can we have good and reasonable price for seafood, with local only will be the best.
Hey guys! You can rent a luxury villa at around $200 per night. If you share it between the 9 of you it will be very cheap! You can find villas at even cheaper price. Go on Agoda.com and find one choosing a location based on my post. I would suggest a villa, not an apartment. Actually apartments are not so common in Samui.
As for the trip there are bunch of agencies that offer more or less the same things at a similar price. Check online, but coming there and booking right there might be cheaper (lots of people everywhere promoting numerous services, even at the airport).
As for a seafood I’m afraid I can’t really help with that. We usually use Tripadvisor to find good restaurants. If you are searching for something very local and particular I am afraid I don’t know of any. Unless you go to Lamai Sunday night Market, they have street food there, it’s cheap and quite good. Seafood can be found as well :).
Thanks Alyona for your great information, we will try looking for one villas, and as what you mentioned we will book the day trip upon arrival.
Bella Juhari says
wow! you score a big well done on this write up! 😀
i’m planning to go to Samui this month and you’re a life saver !
now i can try to find a place to stay without just choosing aimlessly <3
Thanks a lot 🙂
Hi. Thank you for very helpful article. I would like to ask you about scooter transport.
Where you parked you scooter during your trips? Is there no problem to park scooter somewhere near beach or in other places you visited? Are there any parking lots, or just you can leave it where you want.
Hi Marek, you won’t have a problem with parking your scooter. In some places you can leave your bike right on the beach, in other places there are special parking lots. Just see where everybody leaves their motorbikes and do the same. Parking a scooter in Thailand is not a problem at all! 🙂
You can leave your scooter at a parking lot if there is one, or you can leave it anywhere you want, but be reasonable. Whenever we were unsure about parking we tried to leave our scooter in a place where most of bikes were parked. Parking a scooter in Thailand is not a problem at all! 🙂
Hi there! Great article, I’m sure these tips will be handy! I would like to ask for your opinion if it is OK with you.. We will be visiting samui for 6 nights to spend our honeymoon. I figured the food and hospitality might be different then what we are used to so I tried to choose a luxurious hotel. Picked the Tongsai Bay for now.. But after reading your article, I checked the beach coast at Tongsai Bay and it doesn’t look so long. I mean just like it’s name refers to; “bay”. So I was having these nice toughts of walking at the beach right before the sun set or having a walk outside at beach to clear my head but I don’t think I can do that in Tongsai Bay.
I would like to read your comments on this and, if you could, any recommendations for a honeymoon resort?
Hello Okan, there are lots of luxury resorts in Samui. It looks like you’ve chosen a very nice one! You’re right regarding a “bay”. If you’d like to go for a long walk along the beach before the sunset it’s better not to have your hotel located in a bay.
Check out these resorts please:
– Hansar Samui Resort
– Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
– Nikki Beach Resort
– Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa
– MAI Samui Beach Resort & Spa
Hope it was helpful! Enjoy your honeymoon!
You mention the beach area for your hotel was not that nice , if you went to another part of the beach wouldn’t you be without a beach chair or lounger since most hotels will not let you sit in their chairs unless you’re a guest ?
Well…we almost never use those, we have our on stuff. Also many beaches in Thailand are free from chairs or umbrellas, as beaches can’t be private in Thailand. But if you see an area with beach chairs that belong to some particular hotel you, surely, can’t use it unless you pay for it.
Hi alyona, did you guys ever take scooter at night from lamai are to chaweng? Some say the highway or road has no street lights between lamai and chaweng.
Hi Ted, It’s true, the road is quite dark. We drove from Chaweng to Lamai a few times in the late evening, but slowly and tried to be extra cautious!
J Khan says
Hi there Alyona. What a comprehensive write-up on Samui you have here. Splendid work! I was wondering if you could help me. I’m planning to go to Samui in either May or July next year. I’ve heard that May is the hotter month but less crowded than July. Is it true? I’m hoping to avoid the crowds as much as possible and plan to stay at Choeng Mon Beach. Your response in this regard will be appreciated. Thanks.
Hi there! Thank you 🙂 May should be hotter than July, with less possibility of rain (as it’s still considered to be a dry season). In July expect afternoon showers, in some places more mosquitos and yes, might be more crowded due to school holidays in many countries. If it was my decision, I would go in May for sure 🙂
Jeff Adamson says
Hi Alyona. I am looking for a get away from it all destination on a beach, do you think this is the island for me or should I be looking somewhere else in Thailand?
Hi Jeff, I think you can easily find things to do apart from staying at the beach. You can just ride around by scooter, enjoy different places, nature, culture, food, maybe events or parties. I think we spent not more than 3-4 hours a day near the sea and a pool, and we always went to different beaches, staying 30 mins in different places. It’s not boring at all 🙂 If you want to be completely disconnected from the beach go North to Chiang Mai 🙂
Hi Alyona, what an impressive work done, very comprehensive! This is the kind of posts people need. Of course, Koh Samui beaches has their distinct beauty, it all depends on how the person want to spend his/her time at the beach. But aside from the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui, other nature attractions shouldn’t be missed and fun activities as well. The island of Koh Samui has so much to offer that will surely fit every holidaymaker’s need.
Thank you for your comment Grace!
Good Entry Alyona..Thank you so much
Paul Redgrave says
I found your post very useful & interesting. I live in Barbados but i am going to Koh Samui for 8-10 weeks in September this year. Am thinking of staying in Lamai. Are there plenty of restaurants & bars there? Am not really a night time person but like to relax with a cold beer or two in the daytime. Was also considering Chaweng/Bophut/Choeng Mon….what would you recommend of the four places? Also where would I find the cheapest accommodation? Is Lamai fairly cheap?
Look forward to your comments.
Thanks & Regards
Hi Paul, I like Lamai, there are restaurants there, maybe not as many as there are in Chaweng area, but then Chaweng is crazy, I wouldn’t stay there for 10 weeks. If I were you I would choose between Lamai or Bophut, but the accommodation in Bophut is more expensive. I think Lamai is cheaper. Have a great trip!
Paul Redgrave says
Hi Alyona , thank you for your reply which again I found very useful , you have also put my mind at rest. Have just booked my flights & accommodation and I will be staying in Lamai. I have booked into the Pavillion Suite Villas in Lamai for the first 10 days and will look around for other/cheaper accommodation thereafter! Think I will use Lamai as my base & check the whole island from there & possibly look to stay in Bophut at some point. Thank you again for your recommendations very much appreciated….I think its great that I can get advise from someone who has been to and experienced the Island before others , ie myself and read your honest and informative opinions , will certainly look out for more of your travelling posts from now on! Wherever you are in the world now I hope you are safe & enjoying yourselves & if you have not already been there I would highly recommend Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean….I have been there for nearly eight years now & do not miss the UK at all !
Hi Paul, thanks a lot for your kind words! I really appreciate it! I am in Lisbon right now, safe and enjoying myself, thanks! 🙂
I am sure you’ll have an amazing trip to Samui and will love that lovely island!
I’ve been only to Mexico in the Caribbean. I can imagine how wonderful are all of those islands! Would love to visit Barbados one day! 🙂
paul redgrave says
Hi Alyona your welcome ? So looking forward to Koh Samui. If you & your husband ever come to Barbados , I live & work in Holetown , St James. You can always find me frequenting the Surf Side Bar or Zaccios….would be great to exchange our travel stories…lol ??? Enjoy Lisbon!
Hi Paul, Thanks! Enjoy Koh Samui, and who knows maybe one day we will come to Barbados with a visit 😀
Hi there Alyona!
Love your posts, they have been very helpful thank you so much!!! :=)
We have decided to stay on Tongsai Bay Hotel. We will be staying in Samui for 6 nights from August 23rd – 29th . We would be really appreciated if you could advise us any sorts of attractions that we can do, places we can go for eat, any possible events in the island at that time and of course massage saloons! 🙂
* How do we deal with the taxi prices over there, do we bargain with the prices they say?
* Should we bring US dollars with us and find an exchange office there? Also how much do you recommend us carrying with us?
* Is it safe there now days? Heard the bombings lately…
* Weather condition shows rainy everyday for 15 days block! 😀 Is this true or is it just the tropical nature of the island?
Hoping to read from you soon!
Well well put together article.
I write in as i’ve already booked to travel to Kohsa Mui on October 22nd of this year. I overdid the research on hotel and other stuff, leaving out the most critical… WEATHER!!! Given that it is the wet season and a beach destination am unsure what im going to enjoy there… and we are a couple and have an 8 year old to entertain.
Can you recommend best places to stay, maybe with the least rainfall (am not sure this is even a valid request). I’m really confused but cannot cancel at this time. Even if it means a good hotel which is well connected to restaurants etc., and still very beautiful?
Hi Cheryl, thanks for your comment and sorry for getting back to your so late. Since it’s already the 22nd October I guess there is no sense in replying to your questions 🙂 I hope you are enjoying Samui right now! Please let me know if you still need an advice. Thanks!
Khushboo mak says
We are planning to travel in November
With a 2 yr. Old kid for the first time*
And we are a little confused between
Krabi ….and koh samui …….for a 5 day trip keeping in mind the toddler.
Hey, thanks for stopping by! I would say Koh Samui, at least that’s where I would go with a small kid 🙂 Happy travels!
Afzal Zaheer says
I have always wanted to sit on a beach and seeing sun set.
You made me quite tempted visit the place again, even though I have already been here before.
Basically I am from India.
Thanks for sharing
Thank you for your comment Afzal! 🙂
Koh Samui Diving says
Thank you Alyona, for writing such a positive blog post about our beloved island. I like how you really covered all the places that make our Koh Samui so special. I live here for 12 years and I am impressed about how you find some of the secret sweet spots of Koh Samui.
Hi Alyona, Happy New Year! 🙂 Thanks for such an informative post. I and my wife are planning to go for a week this April but we’re looking to stay in ‘luxury’ cabins/villas very close to a beautiful beach (or in some hills directly overlooking a beach). Can you perhaps recommend somewhere?
This would be our first time in Thailand (flying in from the UK), so would you recommend 2 or 3 nights in Bangkok – either at the start or end of the holiday?
Hi Jason, thanks for your comment! I think staying in Bangkok for 3 nights before heading to islands would be a good idea! As for the villas I was going to write an update to this blog post including a few listings of good hotels and luxury villas. You can check out this post in a couple of weeks and find something suitable for yourself. ?
Susan Crossley says
Hi Alyona, what a wonderful post, very informative and I absolutely loved the video! We are visiting Koh Samui in April, just 2 people, no kids, and are looking for a quiet beach, we don’t want to be around the hustle and bustle of Chaweng or Lamai. We want laid back, away from everything, but we also want to stay at a beach where you can just walk out of the resort and go swimming, has clear water, no stones in the water. So many beaches are absolutely beautiful but they don’t seem to be good for swimming for adults, they are either too shallow or rocky. I was looking at staying at Sunset Resort on Taling Ngam but I read a few reviews of people saying it’s not good to swim because of rocks, Lipa Noi I read was too shallow until high tide, and Maenam many people said was murky. I was maybe thinking Ban Tai? What beach would you recommend for quiet, clear water, swimming right from the beach? We don’t mind driving to get there and we don’t mind there not being much around because we’ll drive to whatever we need. Would Virgin Bay be what we are looking for? If so, do you know if there are nice hotels/resorts there? There was a great shot of you guys swimming in the ocean in your video. I was wondering if that was Virgin Bay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Hello Susan, thank you so much for stopping by! While reading your comment I was actually thinking that Virgin Bay would be good for you. It’s very quiet and when we went to swim there, it wasn’t very shallow. Check out InterContinental Taling Ngam Resort. It’s very close to the spot where we did that part of the video you’re talking about and photos for Virgin Bay. It’s a really nice place. I think you will like it 🙂 If you are searching for some peaceful place I would just go for that part of the island. Hope it helped!
Thank you for putting this very comprehensive guide together, Alyona! Bookmarking this for future reference. Safe travels!
Thank you Therie!
Really wonderful and helpful post .
We are planning on going to Koh Samui in December and staying in Chaweng or Lamai ( haven’t decided yet on where ) . We where wondering if it’s a small enough island to walk from area to area say from Chaweng Beach to Lamai Beach or any other beautiful beaches? As we don’t want to hire a scooter or car . Or if not is it quite easy to catch a Tuk-Tuk?
Any chance you have been to Hau Hin before and know if it is worth traveling to ?
Any advice would be appreciated . Thanks so much
Hello Tam, thank you! It would be difficult for you to walk from one area to another and not only because of the distances, but also because there are no pavements as such, only roads. To get from Chaweng to Lamai you’d need a car or a scooter. Songthaews (Tuk-tuks) run in certain times on specific routes. I am sure there is a route between Chaweng and Lamai, but I wouldn’t know the schedule. I think it would be easier to take a taxi if you don’t want to rent a vehicle. I haven’t traveled to Hau Hin, sorry, can’t suggest anything. Have a great stay in Samui! 🙂
Shubham Sahu says
It is a place which has something for everyone. For party lovers, it has a lively nightlife, bars, lounges; for those who want to remain in a peaceful place they can head to anywhere in bungalow amidst palm trees on the beach. Find countless massage parlours and spas to relax. If you want some adventure; go snorkelling, scuba diving or kayaking or hike to Koh Wua Ta Lab Island for some breathtaking views.
To get your accommodations at an affordable price, reserve it online using Hotels.com Voucher Code.
Rose Sek says
Thank you for your write up. This is really very helpful. I am planning to stay in Lamai but will need to take an early morning ferry at 8am from Lipa Noi Pier to Donsak Pier for my departure. Can you advise me how long would the journey take from Lamai To Lipa Noi Pier? And will it be easy to hire a car or taxi early morning to arrive Lipa Noi Pier to catch the 8am ferry?
Rose Sek says
I will be going to Koh Samui for 5 days in Aug and will be staying in Lamai. May I know how long does it take from Lipa Noi Pier to Lamai and vice versa? Reason being, at my departure day, my ferry departs at 8am from Lipa Noi Pier. So, I wonder how long it will take to get to Lipa Noi Pier from Lamai and whether it will be easy to get a taxi or car at that early? Or will it be necessary for us to move to a hotel in Lipa Noi on the last night so it will easier and quicker to get to Lipa Noi Pier on the next morning? Thanks in advance for your reply.
I suggest you take a taxi, you can ask your hotel to order one beforehand. It might take around 30-40 mins depending on the traffic and on the exact location in Lamai. Enjoy your trip!
Matt Hill says
I am going to be travelling to Samui around March/April but I will be travelling solo. I’m not massively into partying but I would still like to meet people and make friends, where would you suggest I stay?
Matt Hill says
Oh and I also like pretty secluded beaches, bit of a difficult one.
Hi Matt, you’re right it’s not an easy question 🙂 I would suggest either Bophut or Lamai.
I’m planning my honeymoon to Koh Samui in December. I will be here for a week. I was wondering if you could suggest to me a hotel if i was to choose between Banyan Tree, Conrad, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton(which is relatively new) or Anantara Bophut? Budget is not an issue. But what I am looking for is great rooms/villas, preferably in villa pool, clean beach( white sand clear water ) and good food. Hope it’s not too much to ask from Koh Samui.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! 🙂
Hi Ozzy, I don’t think I can help you with the choice, sorry. I would just suggest to go through the other travellers’ reviews and see which hotel fits your requirements. The hotels’ names tell me that all of them should be quite good. I am sure you’ll be able to find your dream hotel! Congrats on your wedding and have a great honeymoon in Samui!
Indian Restaurant in koh samui says
Thai Food is my favorite one. I love it so much! So this Thai Red Curry Chicken is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the bold Thai flavors. If you don’t like prawns, you could easily add in some chicken instead!
Ive been visiting koh samui since 2006 when i went for six weeks and reading your forums they are so correct .we prefer choengmon beach and split with chaeweng beach as both different. The crystal bay ive seen but havent swam and a must the next time we go.cheers loved reading your articles regards branko
Thanks, Branko! I am happy that you found my information correct! 🙂
I just wanted to pass on a bit of information for anyone planning to visit Koh Samui. Please please avoid using the restaurant delivery service Hangover Samui. I used them to place an order and not only received the delivery after 2 hours but was also missing an item. Because it was a large order I didn’t realize I was missing an item until a couple hours later. I reached out to the company to try to resolve this and get a refund but was responded by Jason via email who refused to provide a refund and then accused me of lying. He then proceeded to call me an asshole. I am blown away by this level of rudeness and just wanted to share this with anyone who ever considers ordering from them.
You suggestions are pretty much spot on. I have been to Koh Samui many times. Coral cove is my favourite beach, but if you are staying there on Samui for more than a few days, I like the convenience of Lamai and then taking a bike to Coral Cove. There are also some good more exclusive spots to get to in the south of samui – some of the beaches are very beautiful and can only be accessed from private properties or from the sea.
What a fabulous entry! Has anyone actually stayed on this island over Christmas time and, if so, what weather did you experience? Could you go in the water? Sit on the beach and read a book? I read about a lot of experiences but not firsthand during that travel time.
I fully agree with earlier poster that shrimp and chicken are easily swapped in red curry recipes. Note that you can also swap out a sea or land based protein for tofu. Of course, if you have any intenstinal issues, you should reconsider red curry and likely choose a more mild coconut based broth. Thai Jasmine rice is excellent for a sour stomach or gastronintenstinal problems while away on a holiday.
you did a good job in describing Samui. It is a must seen place to visit while in Thailand. I am also a blogger living in Thailand. Will be happy to share with you more about Samui . Find amazing things to do in Samui at this link: http://www.redvantravel.com/thailand/samui/amazing-things-to-do-in-koh-samui-at-night/
Charles Simpson says
Thanks for sharing this informative article. I was planning to make a trip to Koh Samui soon. This guide will help me a lot.
Nice writings, Alyona! Next year I’m going to go to Thailand and planned to do island hopping. I read on some articles that Phuket and Phi Phi are overrated and too comercial. Any advice about it? Actually, I already booked my ferry tickets on duckferries.com (yes, I’m that excited!) but then I reconsider to drop some destinations as I only have 2 weeks. I planned to spend more time in Koh Samui and Koh Tao and surely will check all spot you mentioned. Thanks.