Why Koh Samui? Why are we traveling to that island that is so well known for package tourism? For big hotel bunkers and drunk nights? Well, our pragmatic answer is: because of the weather. June is the rainy season on Thailand’s west coast, so the choice fell on the east coast.
But the truth is also: We just wanted to meet get a picture of Koh Samui for yourself. We wanted to know what was wrong with the prejudice that Koh Samui faces among many backpackers.
Our conclusion? Koh Samui is like one big mix of everything Thailand has to offer: there are crowded sunbather beaches as well as deserted bays. There are seedy, seedy bars and there are bars so great you want to stay forever. There are mediocre tourist restaurants on one corner and great street food on the next. In short: there is something for everyone and no matter what you are looking for – you can find it on Koh Samui. You just have to know where! We’ll tell you our insider tips for Koh Samui.
Our hotel tip: Amari Koh Samui We spent the first four nights at Hotel Amari Koh Samui. The hotel is located on East Coast on Chaweng Yai Beach in the very quiet northern section. In contrast to the center of Chaweng, there is no party noise here, but it is very tranquil.
The location of the hotel is perfect for exploring the island: You can get to the north of Fisherman’s Village and the Big Buddha pretty quickly with a scooter (more on that later), and at the same time it’s not that far south (e.g. to Lamai Beach).
We really saw a lot of beaches on Koh Samui, but the stretch of beach in front of the Amari Hotel was one of our favorites until the very end! The sand there is fine and white like nowhere else on the island. The downside: when the tide is out (especially in May and June), the beaches on the east coast are not very suitable for swimming. That didn’t bother us personally, but you have to know it.
The Rooms at Amari Koh Samui were renovated just last year (2017) newly renovated. Although they are furnished in a modern style, they still have a certain traditional charm. We think that’s great and we felt very comfortable in our little kingdom from the very first moment. We found the bed incredibly comfortable, the bathroom was very spacious and we even had a coffee maker in the room (yay!).
The breakfast is above average for Asian standards. The selection is large, but not too large. And the quality is definitely right. We always looked forward to the delicious, fresh fruit and bread pudding the night before – you must know, we love hotel breakfasts! By the way, we also found the Amaya Café, that belongs to the hotel to be pretty cool. There you can get really good coffee and also cakes or pâtisserie.
You can book the hotel here: Amari Koh Samui
The most beautiful spots and insider tips: 1. Jungle Club You have to go here! The Jungle Club is tucked away in the hilly hinterland of Koh Samui. The journey by scooter is adventurous (you should be reasonably experienced in driving), but every drop of sweat is worth it.
At the top you have a great view on the Bay of Chaweng. The coconut tastes twice, no, three times as good! You can also stay overnight in the Jungle Club, but most people only come for a drink.
Info to the Jungle Club Arrival: Am best with the scooter. Along the ring road, coming from the north, there is a right turn (just after the Sheraton Hotel sign). Then you just keep following the signs. Attention: You should be reasonably experienced in riding a scooter, because the road gets quite steep towards the end.
Prices: 350 Baht for a fresh coconut, an iced tea and a serving of Thai spring rolls
2. Beryl Bar Probably the coolest bar for the sunset throughout Koh Samui is located on the northwestern tip of Koh Samui. The owners of the Beryl Bar are extremely relaxed – hectic is a foreign word here. We simply got two Chang beers at the bar and sat down on the stones with them – the journey was worth it just for this moment.
Information about the Beryl Bar Arrival: Coming from the east (Chaweng) on the ring road, there is a right-hand turnoff to the Beryl Bar. The short path is bumpy and sandy, but easily doable with a scooter. Altogether you need from Chaweng about 42 minutes by scooter.
Prices: 80 Baht for a small beer
3. Excursion to Ang Thong Marine National Park Our day trip to Ang Thong Marine National Park was one of the highlights during our time on Koh Samui. The archipelago is located west of Koh Samui and consists of a total of 50 Islands, only one of which is inhabited.
You can discover the pristine beaches in Ang Thong Marine National Park as part of a boat tour. We were traveling with the crew of Boutique Yachting (highly recommended).
You can find our detailed report about our tour here: Ang Thong Marine National Park
4. Big Buddha and Wat Plai Laem Of course, the Big Buddha is not an insider tip, because it is one of the most important sights on Koh Samui. And rightly so: we can definitely recommend a visit. If you have a little more than 70 Steps once covered, then you are greeted with a beautiful view the beach of Bo Phut.
In the evening, when the sun isn’t so hot, a visit is particularly recommended. Another tip: If you are already in the area, then take a look at the nearby Wat Plai Laem.
Information about visiting the Big Buddha Arrival: The Big Buddha is located on a small offshore island in the northeast of Koh Samui, to which a road leads. The Big Buddha is easy to reach by scooter, otherwise you can also take a shared taxi (= “Songthaew”).
5. Fisherman’s Village Walking Street The weekly Walking Street at Fisherman’s is also very touristy, but definitely worth a visit Village. It takes place every Friday from approx. 07 until 23 o’clock.
Mostly will be sold Souvenirs, clothing and accessories. Walking Street is not a classic food market, but you can also find one or the other stand selling Pad Thai, Pancakes or Thai Sweets.
More tips for your trip to Koh Samui Travel Guide If you primarily travel to the south of Thailand, then we can provide you with the Highly recommend the Stefan Loosen travel guide “Thailand – The South”. We had the travel guide with us on this trip and were very satisfied.
The travel guide concentrates – as the name suggests – on the south of Thailand . But there is also a very detailed chapter about Bangkok and one about northern Malaysia.
You can buy the travel guide here: Stefan Loose “Thailand – The South“
Arrival The most convenient and also the most expensive is to travel by plane. The airport is located in the east of the island and is really the most idyllic we have ever seen. Attention: The taxi prices from the airport are really exorbitant. For the 10-minute drive to our hotel in Chaweng 801 Baht we have to pay with oh and nosh on 400.
Alternatively, you can also arrive by boat from the mainland (Chumpon or Surat Thani). We almost always use the Lomprayah boats here and can’t report anything negative so far.
Restaurants We ate very well on Koh Samui. Highly recommended is the small Thai restaurant Khaw Glong, which is within walking distance of the Amari Hotel. Anyone longing for healthy “hipster” dishes is in good hands at the Vikasa Life Café. It belongs to the yoga studio of the same name and, in addition to a wonderful view of the coast, offers very tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Rent a Scooter on Koh Samui: Helpful Tips To be honest: We have already explored countless places in Thailand by scooter. Koh Samui is everyone Also in our eyes one of the most dangerous places for it. Especially the ring road, that leads around the island is quite uncomfortable to drive in some places. You are constantly being overtaken by trucks and there is generally a lot of traffic on the roads.
We also spoke to an expat on one of our last days, who confirmed our impression. In his five years on Koh Samui he lost an incredible three friends (!) in traffic. That gave us a lot to think about. He recommended that we rent a car in the future – it’s a bit more expensive, but worlds safer. So if you rent a scooter, then be careful, especially in the evenings. Many tourists and locals then drive drunk.
By the way, you are legally obliged to wear a helmet, which very, very many (both tourists and locals) ignore. Since the helmets that you get from scooter rentals are mostly a joke, this time we bought some at the big Tesco/Lotus supermarket (near Chaweng). The 300 or. 500 Baht are well invested, we think.
Despite all the negative things: there is still nothing like the feeling of freedom when you roar down an empty street on a scooter. And: you are just so flexible: no time-consuming waiting for taxis, no negotiating, just drive off! That’s why we jumped on the scooter again with a bit of stomach ache.
For 24 hours a scooter costs between 250 and 300 Baht. A bet required (we always leave Kathi’s driver’s license there, she doesn’t need it because Romeo drives anyway).
Remember that in Thailand drive on the left reigns. So it takes a bit to get used to at first. Refuel you can easily at the gas station (approx. 40 Baht per liter) or on the way at small shops that sell petrol in liter bottles at about 40 until 50 Offer Baht.
Transparency: Invitation & Affiliate Links 9568We were invited by the wonderful Hotel Amari Koh Samui for four nights. Thanks very much! We would come back anytime! Thanks also to Boutique Yachting for inviting me to the really great day trip to the Marine National Park. This blog article contains affiliate links. If you buy or book something through the link, we get a small commission. Nothing will change for you. 9554
Have any of you ever been to Koh Samui? We look forward to further tips or reports! 9568