Is It Safe in Koh Samui?

Like with any holiday destination, it is important to be aware of the local dangers and to keep yourself and your belongings safe. Koh Samui is just as safe as any European city – the island has some of the friendliest and most helpful locals that you will ever encounter – so no one should feel unsafe during their stay. That said, accidents can happen so visitors should exercise the same caution here as they would at home.

Staying Safe in Koh Samui

Staying Safe in Koh Samui

 Pick-pocketing and Petty Theft

This is not considered a real problem in Koh Samui, but the island is a place where tourists out-number the locals. Theft in busy places such as the full moon parties is more likely to be committed by foreigners than locals. When visiting a busy place such as a nightclub, bar, shopping centre or marketplace it is advised to bring only the money that you intend to spend and nothing else. In general it is not a good idea to walk around with an open handbag. Valuables, passports and other travel documents should be kept in a hotel safe but it is a good idea to keep a copy of your passport on your person.

Road Accidents

Scooters and motorbikes are the most common vehicles on Koh Samui and are the cause of most road accidents. When riding a scooter, be sure to wear a helmet and keep an eye out for dogs running out into the street as well as any other hazards. Be aware of sand on the road, as most accidents occur when the driver loses control in loose sand. Riders should also beware of the ‘Samui Tattoo’ – a burn on the leg calf caused by hot exhaust from the scooter.

Safety When Walking

While most areas are well lit by street lighting, the overall public lighting at night can be sporadic, leaving pedestrians invisible to drivers. In some places this can be exacerbated by potholes and erstwhile traffic. Visitors are advised to wear bright clothing at night and to carry a torch in their bags. Women are especially advised to walk in groups after dark.

Beach Safety

As with any other beach holiday, protection from sun damage is very important. Be sure to stay hydrated, wear a sun cream with a high SPF factor and in particular apply it to the back of the neck and ears when snorkeling. When enjoying water sports such as kayaking, always ask for a water jacket. Remember to pay attention to the flag warnings before stepping into the water. The sea may appear calm, but underlying rip currents do exist. During monsoon season waves can get very high so do not venture out if you are not a strong swimmer.

Scams

Unfortunately this is one of the bigger problems in Thailand, but they are easy to avoid when you take the right precautions. When renting a car, scooter or a jet ski, it is wise to take pictures of their condition before taking them out for a ride. It is not unheard of to be overcharged for damages that were caused by previous users. It may be better to rent these through your luxury villa in Koh Samui instead of with an independent seller. Do not assume that someone is not scamming you because they are not from Thailand; foreigners are just as likely to be scammers as the locals. Never take anyone up on a “great deal” – there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Koh Samui is a wonderful place to visit and is well known as being a very safe and friendly holiday hotspot. Like with any trip abroad the best thing to do is be cautious and exercise common sense.

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Historical Sights in Koh Samui

Koh Samui may be a mecca for swimming, sunbathing, shopping and spas, but it’s also known for its stunning historical sights.

Historic sights in Koh Samui

Historic sights in Koh Samui

The island is home to an array of temples, natural attractions and charming villages such as Bophut Fishing Village which serves as a window to the past. With so many places to explore here are some of the most popular historical sights in Koh Samui.

Big Buddha Temple

Built in 1972, this 12 metre high, golden statue is the first sight most tourists see as they fly into Koh Samui. It remains a popular attraction with both tourists and locals, as both gather together to light incense and make offerings of fruit and flowers to the immense sitting Buddha. The stairs leading up to the Buddha’s elevated platform are decorated with fearsome dragons and the platform itself is adorned in blue and gold. It is a beautiful and impressive feat of architecture.

Around the base of the platform is a courtyard where tourists can buy amulets, religious artefacts and other souvenirs, as well as food and refreshments. All tourists are welcome to observe the daily religious rituals, but it is advised to dress respectfully – cover knees and shoulders – as this is a place of worship. Nearby there is also a beach, which has come to be known as Big Buddha Beach thanks to its proximity to the attraction. This is a much calmer location than Chaweng Beach, which is not too far away but far livelier.

Hin Ta Hin Yai (Grandfather & Grandmother Rocks)

Set along the rocky coastline between Lamai Beach and Hua Thanon are the unique rock formations affectionately known as Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks. While it may seem strange that a rock formation would attract the interest of so many tourists, it is understandable once they are seen in person. Even the most mature of visitors may find themselves giggling like little children at the rocks that look suspiciously like male and female genitalia.

This formation is so famous with the locals that, inevitably, legends have been told about how the rocks came to be shaped this way. The most popular story tells of an old couple, Hin (Grandfather) Kreng and Yai (Grandmother) Kreng, who felt it was time for their son to get married. They sailed to a neighbouring province to find a suitable bride, but their boatt was caught in a terrible storm and the old couple died at sea. It is said that their bodies turned into the suggestive rock formation as proof of their real intentions.

To reach these rocks, tourists pass through a narrow passage lined with small shops and souvenir stalls. The beach at this location is rocky but the water is clear enough to see a multitude of marine life.

Mummified Monk

When the mummified monk Loung Pordaeng was alive, he was a native of Koh Samui. After a prosperous younger life, he left home at the age of 50 and dedicated himself to the life of a Buddhist monk. He practised many meditative techniques in Wat Khunaram and it was believed that he developed the ability to foretell his own death once he mastered these techniques. In 1973, Pordaeng died while seated in a meditative position. Now he is known as Koh Samui’s famous Mummified Monk.

It is said that when Pordaeng predicted his death, he instructed his followers to cremate him if his body decayed. Otherwise, he was to be kept in a glass casket in the temple as an inspiration for future generations to follow the teachings of Buddha. Since his death, the only parts of his body to have dried out are the eyes. This does not make for a pretty picture, which is why the Mummified Monk now wears sunglasses. Wat Khunaram is an active temple since most people come to pray to the Mummified Monk.

Visiting a corpse on display may seem like a strange tourist attraction but to the local Thai people, death is seen as something to be honoured and revered. In Buddhism, death is accepted as a natural part of life and most Buddhist Thais view it as getting a step closer to nirvana, or an opportunity to be reborn into the next life.

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Sports in Koh Samui

Muay Thai boxing

It may be famed for its beautiful beaches and relaxing spas but there are plenty more things to do in Koh Samui than just lazing the days away.

The island boasts a multitude of activities offering something for everyone. Here’s a quick guide to the best activities and sports in Koh Samui… Continue reading

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Ladyboys in Koh Samui

Ladyboys in Koh Samui

Ladyboys (or katoeys) are the famous third sex of Thailand; effeminate men who dress up as beautiful women to entertain locals and visitors alike.

Ladyboys are an accepted part of Thai culture –  and are often so beautiful as girls that it’s hard to imagine otherwise.

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Why Book a Vacation in Koh Samui?

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With year-round sun, stunning beaches and endless activity and entertainment offerings Koh Samui is a dream vacation destination. Why book a vacation in Koh Samui? Read on to find out…

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Top 10 Things to Do in Chaweng

Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Chaweng is the most popular beach on the east coast of Koh Samui boasting 6 kilometres of white sand packed with a variety of activities to suit every kind of traveller. Here’s a guide to the top 10 things to do in Chaweng.

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Top 5 Nightlife Attractions in Koh Samui

Koh Samui Nightlife

Koh Samui is an exciting place to explore during the day, with plenty of beaches, shops, historic villages and temples to see – but at night a whole new side of the island is revealed. Here’s our guide to the top 5 nightlife attractions in Koh Samui.

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Visiting Bophut – Koh Samui

Thong Krut

Bophut Koh Samui is a large and beautiful beach in Koh Samui, spanning over two exquisite locations – here’s a guide to visiting this exquisite area.

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Etiquette in Thailand

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When travelling to any country, there are a number of customs that should be carefully observed. Here’s a short guide to etiquette in Thailand. Continue reading

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Getting Around in Koh Samui

Getting-Around-in-Koh-Samui

Koh Samui is just 25 kilometres long and 21 kilometres wide with a ring road linking its beaches and other attractions.

You can rent a car and drive around in little over an hour – or travel by scooter, taxi, songthaew, bus or boat. Whatever you decide to do and no matter what your budget you’re sure to find an easy way of getting around in Koh Samui Continue reading

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Wildlife in Koh Samui

baby-elephant-and-mother-samui

The wildlife in Koh Samui is as diverse as the island itself – and you needn’t go all the way to a zoo to see it!

You’re sure to spot plenty of native creatures during your Koh Samui vacation, here’s a short guide to making the most of what you see on your travels… Continue reading

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How Big is Koh Samui?

Bophut-travel-guide

Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand just 80 km from the eastern coastline of Southern Thailand. At 25 km long and 21 km wide, Samui is big enough for some serious exploration but can be circumnavigated in just a couple of hours by motorbike or car.

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Top 10 Restaurants in Koh Samui

Top 10 restaurants in Koh Samui

There are a plethora of superb restaurants in Koh Samui, catering for all tastes and budgets. Whether you want a romantic ocean front venue or a BBQ on the beach the island offers something for everyone. Here’s a guide to the top 10 restaurants in Koh Samui to help you find your way around.

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Packing for Koh Samui

Packing for Koh Samui

Before going on Koh Samui villa vacation it’s a good idea to know before you go what to pack and what not to! Here’s a handy guide to packing for Koh Samui to make your departure as easy as possible. Continue reading

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The Koh Samui Archipelago

Koh Samui Archipelago - Angthong Marine Park

The Koh Samui Archipelago is probably the nearest you’ll ever get to paradise. The Archipelago, a phrase used to describe a cluster of islands, includes the ever popular Koh Samui plus two other exotic isles and a national marine park.

Head to this area in the Thai Gulf for exquisite beaches and breath-taking beauty. Continue reading

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Koh Samui Culture

Koh Samui Culture

Koh Samui may be a picture perfect vacation destination but it’s also a living and working island with distinctive local customs and habits. Read on to learn more about Koh Samui culture including its markets, festivals, sports and more. Continue reading

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Nightlife in Koh Samui

Nightlife in Koh Samui

Nightlife in Koh Samui

Known as one of the best holiday destinations in southern Thailand, Koh Samui is home to an impressive choice of nightlife entertainment options. The heart of the night time action takes place in Chaweng with its myriad of beach bars, lounge clubs and discos. Continue reading

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Why Book a Vacation in Koh Samui?

KOHSAMBANNER

The boutique island of Koh Samui is exotic, interesting and unforgettable which is why it’s fast becoming one of the most popular vacation destinations for tourists and travellers all over the world. Here’s a guide to why so many travellers book a vacation in Koh Samui.

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Koh Samui With Family

Koh Samui With Kids

Not only is Koh Samui one of the most beautiful islands on earth – it is also one of the safest.  The culture is friendly and family orientated meaning children of all ages are welcome. Read on for our list of things to do in Koh Samui with family. Continue reading

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Keeping Fit in Koh Samui

KEEPING-FIT-IN-KOH-SAMUI

A Koh Samui vacation is a great way to relax and unwind – but that needn’t mean you pile on the pounds during your trip. From health spas and island activities to great food and stunning scenery, there’s plenty to keep you fit and healthy in Koh Samui. Continue reading

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