About Koh Samui
Koh Samui is the second-largest island in Thailand, spanning over 247 square kilometers. The island is overflowing with charming attractions, from stunning beaches, tropical jungles, to impressive waterfalls, tourists are welcome to immerse in its nature. It was once known as a backpacker’s paradise, but today, it is also known as a medical tourist destination. The island boasts astonishing spa retreats along with sophisticated international hospitals. Some of the more popular hospitals are Bangkok Hospital Samui, Bandon International Hospital, and Samui International Hospital. Most of the hospitals attract medical tourists from all over the world for its affordable procedures. The hospitals continue to improve their medical procedures, and the most sought after are cosmetic surgeries, dental aesthetic, and sex reassignment surgeries.
Koh Samui is famous for its beaches and tourists who wish to enjoy the island’s nightlife can visit Chaweng Beach, located on the east coast of the island. However, those who are looking for a more laid-back atmosphere to relax can visit Lamai Beach. Although it is quieter than Chaweng, tourists can still find numerous dining choices, accommodation, and luxurious spas. Beyond the beaches is Ang Thong Marine Park, which is a group of 42 tiny lush green islands offering limestone cliffs, mangroves, waterfalls, and hidden coves. The culture of Koh Samui is also fascinating and intriguing. See the golden-colored Big Buddha statue from up close or from distance and it is often the first thing people see when arriving at the airport by air.
Tourists usually arrive at Samui International Airport that mainly serves domestic flights. Nevertheless, it also serves several international flights to and from China, Malaysia, and Singapore. Reaching Koh Samui from Bangkok is really easy since there are over twenty flights a day from Bangkok to the island. Tourists can also reach the island from the sea by taking a ferry service.
Two of the most common transport option in Koh Samui are tuk-tuks and songthaew. Tuk-tuks are very affordable, and since they are small, they can take tourists up narrow streets. A songthaew is nice and operates on a designated route. Taxis are available, but they do not use meters, so always make sure to agree on a price.
Under a bilateral agreement, citizens of 76 countries including Australia, Singapore, and the UK can stay in Thailand for up to 90 days without a visa. Visa on arrival is available for citizens of China, India, and Saudi Arabia. It is best to always check at the nearest Thai embassy and consulates before applying for a visa.
The island enjoys three seasons. March to September is the hot season and the average temperatures can soar to 30 °C in the month of March and April. The dry season is from December to February, with light cool winds; the weather during this season is very pleasant and attracts many tourists to the island. The rainy season is from September to November and expect unpredictable weather, rough seas, and rainy days.
- Local Currency: Thai Baht is the official currency and 1 USD is worth approximately 30.8 THB.
- Money & Payments: ATMs can be found everywhere. Credit cards are accepted in many restaurants, shops, and hotels. Tipping is not mandatory but will be greatly appreciated.
- Local Language: The official language is Thai. However, many people will speak and understand English.
- Local Culture and Religion: The local culture is highly influenced by Buddhism and the monarchy. The majority of the population are Buddhist, but there is also a traditional Muslim fishermen community.
- Public holidays: Chinese New Year, Songkran, and Christmas are some of the major public holidays in Koh Samui.