Thursday, 29 November 2012

Getting Around Koh Samui

This a view from the back of a Thai Tuk Tuk, one of the many types of transportation available in Koh Samui (photo courtesy of
A few decades ago, the Koh Samui beaches were visited only by a limited number of backpackers craving for a quiet and relaxing getaway. Now, Koh Samui has seen an influx of tourists, attracting all types of travelers from the posh, luxury vacationists to budget travelers staying in simple beach-side bungalows. What's unique about the Koh Samui travel experience is the way it offers comfort and privacy to its visitors through the relaxed atmosphere, which can be felt all throughout the area. 

Getting around Koh Samui is very easy. You can navigate around either by car, motorbike, boat or on foot. Koh Samui is just a small, simple place it's just 25 kilometers long and 21 kilometers wide. A circular road sits around the entire island connecting the beach to the other note-worthy Koh Samui attractions.

So if you're trying to get to a certain place, chances are you can easily reach your destination by motorbike. The good thing about this is that most of the Koh Samui local people are truly nice and hospitable people. You can always ask around if you're unsure of where you're headed.

If you want to drive around the island, there are two options available – you can either rent a car or hail a taxi. Renting a car is one good way of making the most out of your trip, offering flexibility and allowing you to visit as many Koh Samui attractions as possible. On the other hand, taxis are a good alternative when you simply want to hop from one spot to another such as to a restaurant from your hotel. However, make sure to negotiate the rates first, especially at night when rates are usually higher.

The Koh Samui travel experience will never be complete without riding a songthaew – the island's public bus system. It looks nothing like a bus, it's merely a pick-up truck with converted seats but it's your cheapest alternative to get around the island. It has a fixed route around the ring road and fares normally start at 20 baht. During the night, several songthaews also double as private taxis that tourists can rent to get from one beach to another. The fare depends on distance but it usually costs a hundred baht.

Lastly, traveling by boat is also common in Koh Samui. Some beaches cannot be reached by car or motorbike, they can only be reached by taking a boat. Depending on the location and the amount of people you are travelling with, you will probably have to pay anywhere from 200 baht to 500 baht per boat ride.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Shopping: Tailors On The Island

Don't forget to get your own tailor made suit while in Koh Samui  (photo courtesy of

Going to a distant island such as the beautiful island is an once-in-a-lifetime experience to many. Though a lot of good memories can be preserved through photographs and video documentaries, actually purchasing something from one of the Koh Samui shopping establishments to take back home, as a memento that’d last forever, would be even better.

Plenty of tourists who spent some time looking for neat stuff to buy have almost certainly stumbled upon a wide range of tailors. Designer clothing, or even garments of any sort, serve as great reminders of the tropical getaway experience – though no apparel is actually designed to last an entire lifetime, keeping it locked up in the cabinet (upon turning scruffy of course) is always an option.

Since the majority of these shops can be found in town, along popular streets, and even at the beaches, visitors of the islet are given convenient access to outstanding designs and fabrics from the leading brands in fashion today. To make things even better, establishments bearing some of fashion’s biggest names can be found throughout the island as well, including Armani and Zara.

A good thing about suits here is that the price is substantially cheaper within this country than other places around the world, therefore customers get more bang for their buck. Despite the fact that a vacationer will save large amounts of cash from whichever store he or she buys from, doing a little Koh Samui shopping before ultimately making a purchase is advised.

The prices charged by tailors will vary from one another, so canvasing is important – that is of course if the customer intends to save as much cash as he or she possibly can. Also, while plenty of shops have built good reputations amongst the various clients they had from foreign countries, there are some, which have managed to achieve the exact opposite. Some businesses are popular amongst the locals for all the wrong reasons – getting a custom suit or dress from these establishments is often a mistake.

Travellers who were unfortunate enough to hire the wrong tailor for the job complained about the delivery of goods, which for them went several days beyond the deadline. In addition to this, others nagged about the use of unbranded material in their outfits, when they specifically ordered designer fabrics only.

With all that said, a tourist can easily eliminate the risks associated with Koh Samui shopping by asking for references from previous customers and by doing some research online first. Again, only some of these shops are well-known for bad reasons, there’s a whole lot more known for the excellent service they give to their clients.   

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Delectable Exotic Fruits in Samui

Depicted above is some of the delicious fruit that can be found in Koh Samui (photo courtesy of
Thailand is not only the land of smiles, but the land of delicious fruits as well. A traveller’s list of things to do in Koh Samui should include buying a sample of all the fruits found on the island. As a starter, try the fruits after you enjoy your breakfast.

Jackfruit is an exotic fruit available during summer and even rainy months. The fruit is exotic and is tasty in ice cream, while its massive seeds are used in cooking. Tamarind, on the other hand can be found during the winter. Its taste is tart and tangy when fresh, but it is sweet when dried. Open the shell and chew pieces of the fruit inside! Mangosteen is a spring or autumn fruit. These fruits are like little presents, as one has to cut through the thick red skin to find a bite-sized treat waiting within.

During the summer season, things to do in Koh Samui include sampling Thai fruits like: Salak fruit or snake fruit, which is available in the late spring or summer. Open the scaly skin and enjoy the neat white cloves of this fruit inside. It is truly a brand new experience for travellers looking for exotic and interesting things to eat. Rose apples can also be bought in the summer. This fruit is crunchy and bitter, with a texture resembling a very moist apple. Rambutan is another summer fruit, and it really looks like a tropical fruit because of its spikes. It’s also one of the cheapest fruits in Thailand. It is very tasty and can be eaten in large quantities. Custard apple or sugar apple is sold during summer, too. Open the fruit and scoop the inside with a spoon.

Durian is a summer fruit. It is known as the king of fruits, but its bad scent is offensive for some people. The skin is so tough that it makes a formidable weapon. It’s very hard to open especially for people who have never done it before.

Sapodilla is out in the autumn. Just remove the skin and eat it like a pear. This is the best fruit to use for fruit carving practice. Pomelo is another autumn fruit, and it’s actually the biggest citrus fruit. It is really like an improved grapefruit, but sweeter and easier to eat. For convenience, travellers should buy one that’s already been cut and prepared.

People who eat lots of fruit live longer and lead healthier lives. Thailand is also a paradise of fruits; it reminds visitors of the Garden of Eden. There are fruits of different sizes, shapes and colour everywhere. And they are not only cheap, but fresh too! So many of these fruits are home grown, so a lot of vendors just pluck them out from its source. Include indulging in a fruit holiday as part of your things to do in Koh Samui.

Friday, 23 November 2012

When Is The Koh Samui Weather At Its Best?

View of the ShaSa hotel in Koh Samui (photo courtesy
Anyone traveling from countries, which experience cold weather throughout most of the year, should take a break from that weather and visit the island, Koh Samui weather is mostly hot and sunny during most months, making this getaway attractive in the eyes of travellers from around the world.

As mentioned earlier, the majority of the months are hot and sunny, but not all every month has great weather – there are certain times of the year where the island experiences torrential rain showers. In some instances, this can last several days up to a week, which in turn can lead to flash floods, and ultimately ruin any vacationer’s carefully planned holiday.

However, it should be noted that tropical storms hitting the islet relentlessly is a rare occurrence. Moreover, while the months October to December are the usual times of year when the rain keeps coming, it usually pours during the late afternoons only. Furthermore, the rain typically last for five to thirty minutes only, making it hardly a nuisance to a tourist’s plans.

Regardless, traveling during the other months would be a wiser choice – why risk the rain when the can be avoided in the first place? With that being said, seasoned travellers like to come to this tropical paradise during January, February and March, mainly because the Koh Samui weather is expected to be hot and sunny.

During April, the temperature is at its highest. This sudden spike of heat is appreciated by the majority of foreign visitors, but may be a little too uncomfortable for people coming from colder climates. Luckily, Songkran (which is the Thai version of New Year) is celebrated between April 13 and 15. During this time, locals and tourists cool themselves off by engaging a variety of water-related activities.

From May to September, the temperature drops a few degrees, which generally is a more comfortable temperature than the month of April. Throughout the year except during the raining season, tourists are able to go to this tropical island to do tons of outdoor activities within the island. This may include kayaking, playing volleyball; going on cruises to adjacent islands, or having a little party with friend on the beach!

Nevertheless, the weather in Thailand is great for most of the year – the duration in which the rain pours usually isn’t that long, so there’s basically no bad time to go to this tourist hotspot!

Monday, 19 November 2012

What Kind Of Clothes Should You Wear On the Island

What type of clothes should wear when you come to the island of Koh Samui? (photo courtesy of

Don't know what to wear in Koh Samui? Well, it's just a matter of two factors – one is the cultural consideration while the other is the yearlong tropical climate. Here, we'll discuss how to combine the two and feel at home while exploring what this beautiful island has to offer.

For starters, you should be aware that your shoulders and knees must be covered at the minimum, when visiting various temples and shrines. Flip-flops are also taboo when dropping by these sacred places. The key here is to be observant and sensitive to your environment. In Thailand, most women dress modestly and you'll never see any Thai guy walking shirtless on the streets. When taking a trip to the gorgeous beaches such as those in Koh Samui, topless sunbathing and swimming is a big no-no. In addition, avoid dangling in your bikinis when strolling outside the vicinity of the shorelines. Put some tank top or sarong on.

To cope with the tropical climate, avoid wearing jeans and anything polyester unless you want to combust right on the spot. The locals have acclimatized to the weather that's why they can pull-off wearing those outfits even on a bright sunny day but for the average Joe, who's used to moderate temperature and cold winter days, walking in jeans and polyester under direct sunlight is like being baked alive. Shoes and socks are also a hassle to wear if you're planning to visit multiple tourist spots and shops that require you to leave your footwear outside. Therefore, your best bet is nice sandals or slippers, which you can easily wear and remove.

Adapting to Koh Samui weather is easy as long as you don't wear any white dresses, skirts or shirts especially during the rainy season. There's no cultural reason to it, just the fact that Koh Samui's roads can be a bit rocky and dusty. And it's the kind of reddish dust that's hard to remove on white clothes. Of course, it's much worse when it's raining hard as the puddle of mud could really ruin that white dress of yours. Generally, you should opt to wear light cotton when traveling here.

No matter how tempting it is to wear your bikini everywhere when you are away from the Koh Samui beaches, you should always remember to wear appropriate attire when going to nearby shops, restaurants, and other establishments. During formal occasions such as having dinner in a fancy restaurant, you can show respect by wearing a modest dress for women and collared shirt for men. Moreover, you can add a cardigan or a light windbreaker if it happens to be a rainy day.