Koh Samui is one of the best destinations to enjoy a retreat in a tropical paradise. Endless stretches of white-sand beaches, a relaxing atmosphere, cheap drinks, and warm seawater are just some of the reasons why this island is so famous. Tourists have the choice between several Koh Samui rentals that overlook the sea to suit any budget. Everything about this island screams a perfect holiday destination. Here are some essentials you should know before you visit Koh Samui to make sure your dream trip doesn’t turn into a disaster.
This post's overview:
The Best Time to Visit:
The climate in tropical and has three distinctive seasons: the dry, the hot and the wet seasons. The dry season starts in late December until February or early March. Days are sunny, typically cloudless and the islands get relatively little rain. If you want to enjoy sunbathing or escape the winter back at home, this is the best time to visit. But, the dry season is inevitably peak season where the prices of hotels increase, and the island feels crowded.
The hot season is from March until August and as the name suggests, is very hot and sticky. You should expect temperatures to be higher than 30°C with a suffocating level of humidity. Fewer tourists come during this time, but the island still feels busy. September to November is the official wet season. Expect thunderstorms and heavy rain on an almost daily basis. Fewer tourists mean the prices drop. Despite the weather being overcast and wet, rainfall tends to occur in fast downpours rather than being continuous.
However, the weather in tropical countries is highly unpredictable. Rain, sunshine, and thunderstorms should be expected at any time of the year. Just because it’s the wet season, it doesn’t mean it’s going to rain nonstop.
Koh Samui is relatively expensive compared to the rest of Thailand. But, it’s not as expensive as Phuket. The vast majority of resorts, hotels and restaurants charge higher prices because of the sheer number of tourists. And most bars have a good view of the sea or beach, which bumps up the price even further. Despite this, if you’re coming from Europe or North America, you’ll still find the prices to be very affordable on Koh Samui.
Choose Your Location Carefully:
The island has several beaches to suit any kind of atmosphere or vibe that you’re looking for. Chaweng Beach is probably the most popular and is where all the backpackers and tourists tend to hang out. The nightlife is active, and you can expect loud music, partying, and drunken behaviour. Big Buddha Beach is a quieter area to stay. The coastline stretches for several kilometres, and it’s very close to the airport, and one of Koh Samui’s main attractions: The Big Buddha.
If you want to go snorkelling, Crystal Bay is the best spot. The area is relatively secluded and surrounded by steep cliffs giving it a beautiful appearance. Expect the water to be clear, and you can see a range of marine life, including barracuda. Lamai is another common place for tourists to stay on Koh Samui. The beach is beautiful and a night market on Sunday evenings attracts tourists and locals from around the island.
Plan What You’re Going to Bring:
Make sure you pack the right clothes, and it’s advisable to bring certain things along with you too.
If you want to visit any temples or religious areas, you need to cover your arms above the elbow and legs. This means, in most areas, you won’t be allowed to enter if you’re wearing shorts. The next thing to consider with your clothes is that you have to expect mosquitoes. Bring trousers and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself from the biting monsters. This is especially the case if you want to sit on the beach after dark while enjoying a drink or two. If not, you may very well feel like they’re eating you alive!
Sunscreen is an essential in Thailand. The sun’s UV rays are extreme, and you’ll burn in less than 30 minutes of direct exposure. However, the sunscreen in the shops on Koh Samui is overpriced. In fact, expect to pay almost double what you would back at home. And the selection is limited too. A top tip is to order your own sunscreen on Amazon before you visit and just bring it with you.
You Need Your Own Transport:
If you want to explore the island and get away from the resort or your vacation rental, you’re going to need transport. Taxis are convenient and tend to charge a higher than average price, especially to tourists. However, if you really want the flexibility, consider getting a motorbike. A range of automatic and manual bikes are available to rent on a daily basis for as little as $10 to $15. Driving here is comfortable, and the roads aren’t as crazy as Bangkok. You’ll probably find that you have the road to yourself as you cruise around the seafront roads taking in the scenery.
The Dream Holiday in Koh Samui:
If you’re planning your holiday to Koh Samui, make sure you plan the time of the year and location carefully. Don’t just pack your shorts and singlets, and bring your own sunscreen. When you get to Koh Samui, a motorbike will give you the flexibility to explore this tropical paradise on your own terms. Follow the suggestions, and Koh Samui is sure to fulfil all criteria for a perfect holiday.