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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 7 First-timer tips for Koh Samui – Explore paradise safely and with zero-hassle
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 First-timer tips for Koh Samui – Explore paradise safely and with zero-hassle

A heavenly island, offering the very best of Thailand, Koh Samui is routinely touted as one of the premier travel destinations in Southeast Asia. Are you currently planning your first-ever visit there? Then here are some top tips that will ensure, you have a safe and fun holiday in Thailand.


Know when to visit

When visiting this island paradise, it is important to consider the weather. For perfect beach weather with plenty of swimming sessions, tanning and fun activities, consider visiting Koh Samui anywhere between the months of December and April, where rain is minimal. The monsoon season comes to the island between October and November. Do keep in mind that Christmas and New Years' time tends to get extremely busy so it's best to make your booking well in advance. Many a resort in Koh Samui including the likes of Avani+ Samui Resort tend to offer some great seasonal rates as well.


Pack with consideration

With its enchanting beaches, there is no doubt that the majority of your time in Koh Samui will be spent by the beach, so taking along comfortable swimwear is a must along with plenty of sunscreens with a high SPF is essential. Quality footwear either in the form of flip-flops or sand will be required as well, which are easy to kick off when visiting the beach or when entering a temple. Sunglasses and a wide-brim hat to ward off the harsh rays of the sun are other must-take items!


Getting around

If you are keen on travelling like Koh Samui locals, then the Songthaew pick-up trucks are the way to go. Most luxury hotels as well as mid-range ones offer complementary airport pick-ups and drops. Alternatively, elect to take a taxi to get to your hotel and for other sightseeing activities. However, this can be on the expensive side. If you wish to arrange for a rental, it's best to do so through your hotel, to avoid handing out your driving license to vehicle rental companies.


Where to stay in Koh Samui

Koh Samui offers a wide range of accommodation options to choose from. Some main areas to consider include Bophut, which is the cultural core of Koh Samui. Here one can check out a range of eclectic bars and restaurants, along with authentic Thai-Chinese culture. Chaweng and Choneg Mon are two other great spots to make your base. If you are after cheaper accommodation and dining options, opt for Bang Rak, Lamai Beach and Mae Nam Beach, all of which are backpacker hubs and are known for their fantastic Thai street food.


Currency and other documents

Thai Baht is the prevalent currency here, but if you plan on carrying cash, opting to get it in USD is a sound idea. Traveller's cheques on the other hand present a safe option commanding better rates. Do make sure to always carry your travel insurance along with your passport and other recent documents. As renting your own vehicle is the best way to explore this island, you will need to carry your international driving licence.