Date of stay: January 2015
Tour or pre planned: Pre planned
Our first stop in Thailand was Koh Samui, where we arrived after long drive by bus. First, we arrived at the Surat Thani Airport and then we managed to hire a bus just outside of the airport and paid AUD 40 approximately.
At the north coast of Koh Samui, a beach called MaeNam Beach is located. This beach did not impress us. The water was cloudy and seemed dirty. Activities such as snorkeling seemed impossible. Stinging was kind of regular there, We thought that it could have been some jellyfish larvae or fish, but I did not see any. Maybe it was just salt water.
Anyway, back to the beach. It is long with yellow sand, not crowded, only few people there. That is something that I only liked about Koh Samui. There is a sharp descent into the sea, and it is not necessary to walk 100 meters off the shore to swim as it happens in some places.
This beach seemed to Bophut, they are next to each other. It is close to the airport, and obviously closed to the main attraction which is the Big Buddha monument (definitely worth a visit). It is also close to Chaweng Beach if you are looking for some partying. I reckon the Big Buddha Beach is fine, however I wouldn’t book a room in this are if I had the opportunity.
Chaweng Beach is a place for those lovers of the partying scene. In Chaweng, you will find heaps of shops, restaurants and night markets.
The sand is white and the sea water is clear; however, the beach is crowded and therefore you won’t be able to lie down in silence on the sand.
Chaweng is quite noisy at night given that there are lots of drunken tourists, cars and motorbikes. Heaps of ladyboys on the streets – In one word: “Chaos”. I recommend this place only for those party animals.
Be aware of the drugs in your alcoholic drinks, some local bartenders might put methanol in your drinks. As there are heaps of beach parties, you might be able to get in with alcohol bought at 7 eleven.
Try to keep emotional intelligence when dealing with street vendors. In Thailand, they can be rude if they think that you are trying to cheat when bargaining.
If you arrived at the Surat Thani Airport, bring some Bahts (Thai Currency) with you. I couldn’t find an exchange office in the airport so I had to withdraw money and therefore some fees were applied.
You can usually find expats working there so they can give you useful information about where to buy stuff or hire tours.