Koh Samui – Review

13 Mar

Koh Samui is a good place for great food and relaxation, while at the same time it is very touristy. The beaches are not very clear, but you can travel to nearby islands for crystal clear waters. I could definitely visit Thailand again, but I would plan better ahead and opt to visit more islands as they seem to differ quite a bit.

The food/cuisine
Lord have mercy. How can nutritious and healthy food taste this good? I ate even when I wasn’t hungry. Thai curry is the best. I loved it.

The beaches
The beaches are OK. They are nice to swim in, and you  do have a lot of choices, but they are not as idyllic as the beaches of the Caribbean. I prefer clear beaches, and Chaweng was the one that came closest to my standards. Please see our Koh Samui beach site for more details. I will say that I later read that Silver beach is supposedly very clear as well, so I regret not visiting it.

The people
We spoke to some locals and they vere very friendly trying to give us advice for how to get more out of our holiday, expecting nothing in return. They are friendly, helpful, and peaceful people, unless they are taxi drivers charging you 5 times more than they charge locals.

Transport
There are not great distances around the island, but big enough for you to need transport to get around. As for the taxi’s; they never use their meters. Ask the taxi driver the price, he gives you a ridiculous fare, and you say you’ll pay half of that. He says no, and you walk away, but then another taxi driver waves you in and accepts your quoted price. The tuk tuk’s are cheaper, but they may take detours. Just get on and pay 60 BHT when you get off. Almost everyone is riding motorbikes, but at own risk. We saw a nasty accident while there, and we would never have rented one to use on the motorway. The locals seem to master this though: with children hanging from one arm, and the other perfectly steering the scooter. Even dogs sit perfectly still on the scooters.

Cost
The food is dirt cheap, even when it’s not. We had planned to cook at our own villa, but with the cheap and delicious food in Koh Samui we hardly cooked at all. The price of clothing is cheap too, but you have to bargain for a better price. A simple cotton dress should be about 100-300 BHT. A good quality leather bag costs about 3000 BHT, and this was at one of the most expensive boutiques in Chaweng. The tuk tuk’s are supposed to charge a flat rate of 60 BHT, but they don’t. Please bargain because this is where your money goes, but do it with a smile. We read that 10 % is way too much tip, somewhere between 20 – 100 BHT is the custom. If you’re staying for two weeks you may not want to tip everyone, even if it is cheap.

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