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A Trip to an Exotic Island– Koh Samui, Thailand

Anupam Srivastava Tuesday, November 5, 2019
A Trip to an Exotic Island– Koh Samui, Thailand

Can you think of a place that offers secluded white sandy palm-fringed beaches, dense rainforests, lush green mountains, luxury resorts, cheap street markets, infinite activities and endless opportunities for relaxation?

I think we had found that place, hidden somewhere in gulf of Thailand, commonly known as Koh-Samui Island.

Do you know that Koh Samui is known as the second largest island in Thailand after Phuket?

Yes, that’s true, we got an opportunity to visit this place and I would say that it became one of my favorite travel destinations.

Although Thailand is full of touristy places like Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Krabi etc. but Samui is very different among all. This place is serene, away from the bustling crowd and most family friendly in Thailand.

So, what are you waiting for, come with us and be an integral part of our majestic & cherished moment?

Koh Samui – At a Glance

Location – Thailand, 35 Km from Surat Thani Province

Best Season to Visit – December to April, October and November are the rainiest months

How to Reach – We can reach Koh Samui by three ways:

• All Flight - Take a flight to Bangkok and from there take any regional flight to Koh Samui

• Flight + Train + Ferry – Fly to Bangkok and then take a train to Surat Thani. From Surat Thani take a ferry to Koh Samui (Most enjoyable experience)

• Flight + Bus + Ferry – This is the cheapest option. Fly to Bangkok and then take a bus to Surat Thani. From Surat Thani take a ferry to Koh Samui

Travel Theme – Beaches, Trekking, Water Sports, Shopping, Nightlife, Boating and Fun filled family holidays

No of days recommended – 5-7 days

Planning a Thailand Trip | 5 tips you must consider

1.Thailand offers Visa on arrival for Indians. It is better to apply for an e-visa before reaching there to save your precious time. You can apply online via Hotel and flights to be booked before applying.

2.Activating an international roaming on your existing number may not be a good idea. Taking a travelers SIM at the airport (DTAC, True Move or AIS are the carriers) is the best and cheapest option. You can also pre-book your SIM via and pick it at the airport counter.

3.You may be asked to show proof that you have funds of at least 10,000 THB per person (or 20,000 THB per family) during your stay in Thailand. So, make necessary arrangements before coming to Thailand. Do not forget to bring extra photographs with you, as it may be required during VISA processing.

4.USD is widely accepted here. In order to save huge transaction charges at ATM, it is advisable to carry them along with Thai baht. As the denominations are reduced, your wallet will become lighter too.

5.At Bangkok airport, public taxi stand is located on Level 1 (Ground Level) at the airport. You can receive a ticket from the taxi queue machine and proceed to the lane number printed on your ticket. Total taxi fare would be metered taxi fare plus 50 Baht airport surcharge, and expressway fees.

Why Koh Samui should be on top of your Thailand’s travel itinerary?

This genuine question came in our mind initially. All of our friends and relatives are talking much about the blue waters of Phuket, Pattaya and Krabi but wait…. Aren’t these places over touristy and you will hardly find any tranquil place for relaxation.

Koh Samui is well known as one of the best family friendly destination so it would be the perfect choice for us.

It looks like bachelors are getting disheartened, don’t worry…. there are many activities such as water sports, hiking and beach parties where you people can enjoy a lot. Chaweng area in Koh Samui is the perfect place for bachelors.

Why we included Bangkok in our itinerary

There are no direct flights to Koh Samui from Kuwait/India so we have to break our journey in Bangkok. Considering our flight timing and number of day’s availability, we decided to cover major Bangkok attractions in 03 days.

Most of our trips are pre-booked online so we did not face much problem but the only concern in Bangkok is heavy traffic. Please make sure to leave early so that you can reach your destination in time.

In my opinion BTS sky train and MRT subway is the best option to travel within city limits if you want to dodge the never-ending traffic. Avoid taking normal taxi and Tuk-Tuk as they will charge you heavily. For best and affordable call taxi service, you can download ‘GRAB” application.

When you are in Bangkok, do not forget to visit the major attractions like Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Asiatique Riverfront, Chao Pharya dinner Cruise and Safari World.

Choose Train + Ferry option for maximum enjoyment

If time is your main concern then you can travel by air from Bangkok to Koh Samui. As already discussed, there are three modes to go to Samui Island. For a new experience, we had chosen Train + Ferry combination and we really enjoyed it.

Our Train # 85 departed from Bangkok, Hua Lamphong railway Station and took about 12 hrs. to reach Surat Thani. We had taken the overnight train so that we can utilize next day in Koh Samui. You can also opt for day trains and enjoy the picturesque views coming enroute.

There are more than 10 trains departing from Bangkok to Surat Thani. Like India, Thai railways has several types of trains, classes and tickets that passengers can choose. Out of several classes, First AC sleeper is most comfortable and costs around THB 1200 per passenger.

You will also get an option to choose your lunch/dinner onboard from a preset menu. We made our advance booking (train + ferry) through ‘123goasia’ and they managed it very well.

On reaching Surat Thani, we were escorted to the boat operator ‘Lomprayah’ office near the jetty. The ferry took around two hrs. to reach Koh Samui. Sailing across the blue ocean, watching small island clusters on the way seems very enticing.

Hotels in Koh Samui – How we chosen the best location?

If you want the best family and pocket friendly hotel in Samui, nothing can beat Hotel IBIS situated in Bhoput area. Our hotel has a private beach and several swimming pools including kid’s area.

We really loved the ambience and calm, shallow water of Bhoput beach. Numerous hotels and resorts are situated across Bhoput and Mae Nam coastline offering pleasant family friendly environment.

If you prefer action, party and nightlife then you must choose to stay near Chaweng Beach. It is the liveliest area in Koh Samui where you will enjoy wide variety of restaurants, bars and shops.

Top 10 Places to Visit in Koh Samui

There are many places in Samui so it is very difficult to cover them all even if you are staying here for a week also. Apart from Koh Samui you can also stay at Koh Tao and Koh Phangan which is nearby.

During our 5 days stay we managed to cover all major attractions, did ample street shopping, drove quad bikes and enjoyed several boat rides.

Scooters are the best option to explore every bit of Koh Samui but if you want to opt for a taxi service, then downloading the ‘NaviGo’ taxi application is highly recommended.

Following were the major attractions we visited during our stay:

1.Angthong Marine National Park

This is a beautiful archipelago of 42 tropical islands and should be on the top of your ‘to-do’ list. We booked full day trip to Angthong Marine Park with ‘Koh Samui Tours’ and it was awesome.

Our tour plan includes snorkeling, trekking, kayaking and lunch at different locations. Trekking on the hilltop to see the emerald lake was an unforgettable experience. Full day tour would cost THB 2000-3500 depending on the type of boat and duration.

2.Wat Plai Laem/Big Buddha

Wat Plai Laem is a Buddhist temple compound located on the Samui's north-east coast. It features a striking white 18-arm image of ‘Guanyin’ known the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. There are many Thai, Chinese and Hindu styled temples in this compound. A must visit place for everyone.
Within a Km radius there is a Big Buddha temple locally known as Wat Phra Yai. The main attraction is 12-metre seated Buddha statue in golden color. Do visit this place in the evening to witness an astounding sunset.

3.Secret Buddha Garden

The Secret Buddha Garden is on a hilltop, which displays statues of animals, deities, and humans. You can go by yourself either on a hired scooter, 4X4, or else you can join a tour group. Entrance ticket is THB 80 and you can enjoy breathtaking view of the waterfalls along the way.

4.Paradise Park Far

As the name suggest this place is really a paradise offering an amazing swimming pool with the mind-blowing panoramic views of the Gulf of Five Islands. In this farm, you can see many animals such as parrot, rabbit, goat, dear, horse sheep etc.
Children will definitely enjoy feeding the animals here. This farm opens from 9:00 to 17:00 hrs. and entrance fees is THB 400/200 for adults/kids respectively.

5.Lad Koh View Point

This place offers a panoramic view of the Chaweng Bay. You will be mesmerized to see the cyan skies and sapphire blue waters that looks like a painting.
You can find this place on the way to Chaweng beach when you are coming from Paradise Park farm/Secret Buddha garden.

6.Na Mueang Waterfall & Jungle Safari

This beautiful waterfall can be easily accessed after a short walk through the jungle, which makes it a perfect place to visit. You can jump off the rocks and take a dip in the nice swimming pool formed at the foot of the waterfall.

Entry to waterfall is 100 THB and there is a 4X4 service costing an additional 100 THB that will save your 15-minute walk to the base of this waterfall. Elephant safari and photo opportunity with tiger (extra cost) are the additional activities to enjoy.

7.Bhoput Night Market

Bhoput is a nice, tranquil and family friendly area having ample hotels and beach resorts. There is a small night market known as elephant walk that opens every night in Fisherman’s Village.

It is a good place to opt for some interesting souvenirs and fun filled shopping experience. Some Indian restaurants are also located in this area if you want to taste Indian cuisine in Thailand. Do not forget to visit the amazing street market, every Friday evening.

8.Sunday Market at Lamai Beach

You will definitely miss something if you had not seen the Sunday street market at Lamai beach. The market is full of lively colors and there are endless varieties of souvenirs, clothing, electronics and street foods. Frequent street performances and vast selection of local and international specialties make Lamai night market a great place for a perfect Sunday evening.

This market operates between 17:00 to 22:00 hrs. and becomes overcrowded in late evening. It is advisable to arrive early, at least 2 hrs. before the market opens. In the meantime, you can take a stroll along Lamai beach (2 Km away) while the stalls are being set up.

9.Aquapark Samui

Kids will definitely have a blast at Aqua park Samui, located around Chaweng beach. Aquapark provide wide range of fun and challenging water activities for the whole family in a safe environment under the expert supervision.

This park is only operable when sea and weather conditions are favorable. Rates are same for adults and children: 300 THB per hour, 500 THB for half-day, and 700 THB for full day.

10.Quad Bike Tour

Two hours, action packed, full off-road trip to a secret waterfall across the mountains. After a brief training session, take your quad bike on the dirt track sandwiched between green rubber plantations, lush coconut groves, rivers and mountains. The cost of this two-hour trip is THB 2800 and Children under 12 years can ride free as a co passenger.

Four Best Beaches in Koh Samui

Although there are many big & small beaches in Samui but your trip will not complete unless you visit these four major beaches:

1.Chaweng Beach
Most famous, clean and white sandy beach with lots of restaurants, bars and massage parlors around the shore. The seashore is quite shallow so kids can enjoy here.
You can hang out on the beach by renting an umbrella/chair (with change room access) that cost you around 200 THB for a day. Wide variety of watersport activities are available here but overcrowded.

2.Lamai Beach

A rocky beach with lot of watersport activities and restaurants to enjoy with families. Lamai beach is calmer and cleaner as compared to Chaweng beach. You can walk along the beach to see the special rock formations at other side.

3.Bhoput Beach

It is a nice and clean beach, less busy than other beaches in Koh Samui. It is very close to the fisherman’s village and you can find some water sports activities here.

4.Choeng Mon Beach

A fantastic beach with all the amenities like water sports, restaurants and bars. It is a pristine beach ideal for couples and families. The views are awesome and this place is definitely worth for great sunsets.

In the end…

Koh Samui offered us breathtaking picture-perfect beaches, awesome attractions, infinite fun activities and endless opportunities for relaxation. This place is a perfect retreat from the stress of our daily lives.

Whether you are a peace seeker, a party animal, a shopaholic or an avid foodie, you will get everything in Koh Samui.
So, what are you waiting for, just plan a trip to Koh Samui this year?

- Happy Journey -

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Express your comment on this article

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Very detailed and informative. Good enough to work as a Guide Book for people visiting Thailand on their own without any travel agency. Thank you for taking your time to pen down the details in detail.

Anupam Srivastava
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Thanks for your comments

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Very well written ,very informative ,covering the major attractions ,
keep up the good work .

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