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.

Packing for Koh Samui - Vendor Selling Beach Wear

Packing for Koh Samui – Vendor Selling Beach Wear

Know Before You Go

Thailand is a very modest country and although the locals are used to the casual dress of tourists, it may be a good idea keep your knees and shoulders covered. Using the ‘knees and shoulders’ rule as a guide, stick to packing long shorts and light cotton or linen shirts. Sundresses are acceptable day wear but leave your jeans behind as it will be far too hot to walk comfortably in these. The typical Thai may dress modestly but the rules are bent for tourists around the beaches and resorts, where shorts and t shirts are the norm.

What to Wear When Sightseeing in Koh Samui?

When sightseeing and walking around the island, everyone should opt for day wear rather than beach wear. Comfy sandals are great for wandering around, as they don’t require socks and are easy to slip on and off. Just make sure they have a good grip for safety. Remember to pack running shoes if you plan on taking part in any tours or keeping fit in the Koh Samui villas gymnasiums. During rainy season, a light sweater or cardigan will be enough to keep out the chill. Ponchos and umbrellas are also readily available around the island.

Packing for the Beach

At the beach, bikinis and swim trunks are fine but women should be aware that breast exposure is not the norm in Thailand. This also applies to breast-feeding in public. Once you’ve left the beach, be sure to remove your beachwear in a restroom cubicle or somewhere private and slip back into your day wear. Local vendors are often seen selling beach wear along Koh Samui’s beaches.

What to Wear in the Evening

Sometimes you will want to party so don’t be afraid of dressing to impress. Women can wear anything in the bars and clubs, including shorts, t shirts and evening dresses. Men should consider wearing long trousers and collared shirts to restaurants however visitors often wear shorts in nice venues.

Dressing for Koh Samui Temples?

Modest clothing that abides by the ‘knee and shoulder’ rule is a strict dress code in the temples in Koh Samui. Women may want to consider knee length or long skirts, long shorts or trousers and preferably closed-toed shoes. A pashmina or long scarf is your best friend here as it can either cover your shoulders or function as a longer skirt. The same rule applies to men. Keep it modest with covered torsos, sleeves and legs.

Pack light!

Villas in Koh Samui come equipped with laundry facilities and villa staff so pack light as you can wear the same thing twice.

Extra Essentials

Koh Samui boasts year round sun so be sure to bring hats and sun cream and after sun. Items such as tampons, deodorant and razors are not easy to find on Koh Samui so make sure you are well stocked for your trip.

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The Koh Samui Archipelago

The Koh Samui Archipelago is probably the nearest you’ll ever get to paradise. This 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.

Koh Samui Archipelago - Angthong Marine Park

Koh Samui Archipelago – Angthong Marine Park

Koh Samui

The boutique island of Koh Samui is known as one of Thailand’s most popular vacation destinations. Boasting its own airport, a wide variety of bars and restaurants and an array of excellent villas, Koh Samui is sure to fulfil all your vacation dreams. The beaches here are some of the best in the world offering visitors warm water, powder white sand and plenty of palm trees. Samui’s rich rainforest interior consists of mostly mountains and jungle, offering excellent opportunities to explore.

Koh Phangan

Famed for its unspoilt beaches, full moon parties and mini beach raves, Koh Phangan has earned its reputation as a place to let loose and go wild. The second largest island in the Koh Samui Archipelago, Koh Phangan may be known for its parties but there are plenty of beaches and resorts where you can relax away from the weekend action. There is songthaew service from the main pier in Thongsala to the island’s most popular beaches. Visitors can also rent a motorbike or jeep to get around. There are no direct flights to Koh Phangan, but you can fly into Samui from Bangkok then take a short ferry trip over. Haad Rin beach is party central but there are plenty of other beaches in Koh Phangan for those in search of more seclusion.

Koh Tao

Beachgoers, divers and explorers will simply love this charming rugged island. The popular beach areas are on the west side whilst the interior is less developed and perfect for some serious exploring. Sairee Beach is Koh Tao’s largest and most popular beach. Stretching for about a mile long, Sairee is home to plenty of restaurants, bars and resorts. Koh Tao is just three miles from top to bottom and can be a challenge to get around due to its rugged roads. Songthaews and boats are available from Mae Haad Beach to most other parts of the island for around 50-200 Baht. Visitors can also rent a motorbike to get around. Getting to Koh Tao is easy either by ferry from the mainland or from Koh Samui. Or take a direct flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui, then take a ferry from Samui to Koh Tao in less than 2 hours.

Angthong Marine Park

The Koh Samui Archipelago consists of three island’s which are actually part of the Angthong National Marine Park. Known as one of Thailand’s most beautiful protected areas there are around 42 separate islands and cays that make up the park. Most are very small and can only be visited on day trips, although a few offer visitors the opportunity to camp or stay over in designated bungalows. The best way to see the national park is to arrange a day trip from Koh Samui which can be easily arranged all over the island. Easily accessed by speedboat or slow boat from Koh Samui, the Angthong National Marine Park is a great place to explore both on land and by water with snorkelling, kayaking, walking and hiking tours.

 

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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.

Koh Samui Culture - Festival Dancers

Koh Samui Culture – Festival Dancers

The very first settlers that landed in Koh Samui were Chinese traders and Muslim fishermen – both groups still inhabit the island living peacefully alongside their friendly Thai neighbours. In the early 1970s, Samui became popular with the hippie backpacking community as an unspoiled hideaway in the gulf of Thailand. This was the start of tourism in Samui and with impressive investment in its infrastructure, the island has since evolved into the popular vacation destination it is today.

A great place to get an authentic taste of Koh Samui life is at the local markets like the Nathon fresh food market, the Lam Din market and the Hua Thanon fishing village. Here you will find a proud and vibrant local culture without the hubbub of too many tourists.

Another important part of daily life on Koh Samui are traditional Thai festivals. The larger celebrations are Chinese New Year which takes place in February, Songkran, the Thai New Year, in April and Loi Krathong, which is also known as the festival of light, which takes place in November. These lively festivals involve parties, processions, food fairs, temple festivals and live performances all over the island. There are also regular food and cultural events staged by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in the island’s capital Nathon.

Passing from village to village throughout the year are Koh Samui’s renowned temple fairs. Popular with locals and visitors of all ages these fairs combine live entertainment, local food, market stalls and plenty of fun. Expect to find flip flops galore, plenty of Kung Fu films on show lots of local delicacies including crispy deep-fried grasshoppers!

Buffalo fighting is still a big local sport in Koh Samui, with champion buffaloes being worth more than one million baht. The fighting season varies according to customs and ceremonies so it’s impossible to predict when to watch a fight, but if you visit at the right time they usually take place at stadiums in Ban Makham near Nathon and Ban Saket. Unlike Spanish bull fighting, the animals fight one another, locking horns in a lively display of power and play.

As Thailand’s national sport Thai boxing is another part of Koh Samui life. The sport developed from the ancient Muay Thai martial art and fighters are faced with rigorous training before stepping into the ring. Visitors can see traditional Thai fights Mon, Wed and Sat nights at Phetch Buncha Stadium on in Chaweng or at Lamai Beach on Saturday nights for lady boxing.

Local bars or ‘country’ bars are the venue of choice for local people and are a perfect way to enjoy a typical Samui tradition. Local bars offer live local music, great food and plenty of drinks with the friendly local people. Visitors are just as welcome to join the party so come alone or bring Thai friends if you have them, to fully appreciate the local revelry. Country bars are mostly located around the main island ring road and are easy to spot with cowboy style logos and small stages by the bar.

Koh Samui is a stunning vacation destination with some of the friendliest local people in the world. With its culture of lively festivals, ancient temples and historic sites to sports, spas, restaurants and some of the best beaches in the world, there’s plenty to lure you to discover Koh Samui culture for yourself.

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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. Also on the nightlife map are each of the main resort towns in Koh Samui; Lamai, Bophut, and Maenam. Have a browse through our guide to the best nightlife in Koh Samui.

Nightlife in Koh Samui

Nightlife in Koh Samui

 Moulin Rouge

No trip to Thailand would be complete without meeting a lady boy or two and Koh Samui’s Moulin Rouge cabaret bar is without doubt the place to do it. Boasting three lively shows per night, expect to see throngs of performers strutting their stuff in their glitziest gear. The early shows are family-friendly while the later shows are adults only. Entrance is free however guests are expected to buy a drink. A drink starts at around 200 baht but you get the show thrown in for free! The first show starts at 8pm with plenty of sparkle, song and dance. Moulin Rouge is located in Chaweng along Choengmon Road, Chaweng Beach. Show times are 8pm, 9.30pm and 11pm.

Swing Bar

This big beachside bar is located right on one of the best beaches in Koh Samui – Lamai. Here you sit back and relax on a rope-suspended swing chair watching the areas renowned sunsets and you swig on a cocktail or three.  Swing Bar is known for its nightly fire dances as well as the Monday and Friday night parties. There are also a three pool tables to help you pass the time. The house music here plays at the perfect volume to stir your inner party animal. Swing is also a great dining venue in Koh Samui with a selection of Thai food and delicious burgers, baguettes and sandwiches on the menu, served at beautiful bamboo tables by the beach. Swing can be found at 109/12 Moo, Maret, Lamai Beach.

Lava Lounge

The Lava Lounge in Koh Samui is the ideal venue for those in search of a more relaxing evening. This simple yet sophisticated venue serves up cool cocktail creations, wines and beers with plenty of comfortable seating, great music and friendly faces. Choose from a list of more than 40 of the island’s best cocktails, served in an inviting atmosphere with mesmerising lava lamps dotted all around. The Lava Lounge is one of the most relaxing bars in Koh Samui, perfectly located on Lamai Beach.

Moon Parties

Thailand is famed around the world for its moon parties, when the sun goes down and the party crowd comes out to dance on the beach. Koh Samui and its surrounding islands are the most popular spots for moon parties, with the full moon version hosted at Koh Phangan’s Haad Rin Nok Beach, just a short boat ride from Koh Samui. Expect loud music playing out to as many as 30,000 partygoers. Koh Samui itself holds similar black moon parties in various locations across the island including Samrong Bay and Chaweng beach. For more information see the full moon party schedule.

Green Mango

This legendary super club is located in the centre of Chaweng and spans across the entire street. Chaweng is the best nightlife destination in Koh Samui and this club lives up the area’s reputation, boasting all night entertainment sure to impress even the most avid party goers. The club is famed for its iconic tree house design, and vast open air spaces featuring multiple bars and spacious dance floors connected via wooden bridges passing over the Mango River. Green Mango offers an array of facilities including big screens, pool tables, live shows and plenty to keep you entertained plus a range of house cocktails and drinks to fuel you to the dance floor. Green Mango is located on Chaweng Beach Road and is also home to sister clubs Sweet Soul and Mambo.

Luxury villas in Koh Samui are ideally located across the island offering easy access to Koh Samui’s exciting nightlife options.

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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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Koh Samui Weather

Koh Samui weather

The Koh Samui weather is known for its gorgeous climate with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C throughout the year.

The island has its own hot, dry and rainy seasons which may affect when you’ll want to visit and what you’ll want to do. Be sure to read our handy guide to the weather in Koh Samui before you book your trip.

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Things to Do in Koh Samui – Part 2

Things to Do in Koh Samui - PART 2

Our second installment of our “Things to Do in Koh Samui” feature shows further examples of just how this boutique holiday destination offers an endless array of activities and entertainment for all the family.

Fom elephant trekking to football golf, here’s part two of our guide to the best things to do in Koh Samui…

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Things to Do in Koh Samui – Part 1

best-beaches-in-koh-samui

With miles of stunning scenery, year-round sun and endless cultural sites you’d be forgiven for wondering where to start when you explore Koh Samui.

Here’s part one of our selection of the best things to do in Koh Samui

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Weddings in Koh Samui

weddings-in-koh-samui

For couples in search of the picture perfect wedding destination – look no further than the tropical island of Koh Samui. Weddings in Koh Samui are renowned for being idyllic.

This boutique vacation destination in the Gulf of Thailand offers idyllic beach backdrops, luxury wedding accommodation, a whole host of professional wedding planners and superb value for money.

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Best Golf Courses in Koh Samui

Golf courses in Koh Samui

With its year-round sun, exquisite natural beauty and cultural allure it’s no wonder Thailand is one of the best golf destinations in the world. Golf in Thailand became popular with nobles during the reign of King Rama V one hundred years ago – today the game is enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike.

Thailand boasts more than 200 courses, designed by some of the best players in the world, so whether you’re in search of a pro game or a beginners round, Thailand is the perfect golf vacation destination. Take a look at the best golf courses in Koh Samui below – we have everything you need to help you plan your golf trip… Continue reading

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Best Beach in Koh Samui

Best Beach in Koh Samui

Boasting sun, sea and miles of powder-white sands, Koh Samui is every beach lover’s dream. This picture-perfect island is fringed with some of the best beaches in the world, with each offering something slightly different from the next.

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Thailand Money – The Baht

koh-samui-money

Koh Samui may be best known for its sun, sea, sand and sights, but this stunning tropical island is also known for its currency – the Thai Baht.

Issued by the Bank of Thailand, the Thai Baht is Koh Samui’s official tender, rated as one of the strongest currencies in Southeast Asia.

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Diving in Koh Samui

Diving in Kph Samui

Nestled in a sheltered spot in the clear blue Thai Gulf, Koh Samui is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world.

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Thailand’s Stunning Spirit Houses

Spirit Houses in Koh Samui

Among the endless stunning sights in Thailand are the fabulous spirit houses found across the country.

These ornate dwellings are believed to attract guardian spirits to protect local people and land, often found outside homes, schools, and Buddhist temples. Spirit houses are even seen outside caves, mountains, forests, valleys and rice fields – and even in the grounds of Koh Samui villa rentals.

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10 of the Best Restaurants in Koh Samui

Best Restaurants in Koh Samui

The island of Koh Samui is a hugely popular tourist destination, home to plenty of luxury resorts and a wide range of traditional and international restaurants.

Here we’ve chosen the top 10 restaurants in Koh Samui to help to decide where to dine during your luxury villa break.

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Top Tips for Booking a Holiday to Koh Samui


Top Tips for Booking a Holiday to Koh Samui

If you are setting off on holiday to Thailand you may be quick to pick the regular destinations like Bangkok and Phuket, but nestled in the gulf of Thailand is the island gem of Koh Samui.

A holiday in Koh Samui has the best Thai offerings wrapped in a small island feel and topped with untouched natural beauty and tranquillity that may be lacking in other Thai destinations.

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Koh Samui Airport – The Most Beautiful Airport in the World

Koh Samui Airport

When you arrive in Koh Samui you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve arrived in paradise.

This tranquil tropical island is the stuff of dreams with miles of powder white sands, crystal clear waters, a rich rainforest interior and a selection of stunning luxury Samui villas.

Read on to find out more about Koh Samui Aiport…

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Luxury Holidays with Young Children

Kph Samui for young children?

It can be tricky trying to decide where to take the kids on holiday. Some people may think that once they have kids their days of long distance travelling and seeing the world are over but that needn’t be the case.

Koh Samui is a great place for children with its sandy beaches and numerous activities to keep them occupied.

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