Koh Samui is the third largest island in Thailand.
Thailand runs on Indochina Time (ICT). It’s 11 hours ahead of New York and six hours ahead of London.
If you are a U.S. Passport Holder, you are allowed to stay in Thailand for a period of 30 days without a visa.
Here are a list of countries that contain varying visa requirements for entering Thailand.
Tourists are prohibited from working or conducting business in Thailand. You will need a tourist visa for a period of 15 to 30 days. Visas can be stamped on your passport upon arrival, or it can be sent to your home through the Thai embassy in your country. In order to obtain a tourist visa, you will need:
- A passport.
- A visa application form that you must fill out.
- A current picture of your face.
- Your plane ticket.
- Evidence of your financial means (a traveler’s cheque or cash equivalent to 10,000 Baht will suffice.)
Visas will cost USD $30.00 per entry. A tourist visa can last from 3 to 6 months, each period varying on which country made a bilateral agreement on visa exemption with Thailand. However, if you enter Thailand via land border, you will be allowed a 15-day stay. You can extend your stay by filling out an application at the Office of Immigration Bureau.
Just landed at Samui Airport? Here are a few ways to get to and from your destination:
Luckily the airport is just 2km from the main city! Making it a quick and easy trip.
The airports arrival section will have transport counters where you can grab a taxi or taxi minivan.
Another great option for transport in Koh Samui is a car rental. The arrivals section of the airport has Hertz, Sixt, Budget, and Avis.
Koh Samui doesn’t have a metro system but other great options for transportation are taxis, rental cars and walking!
Koh Samui is a relatively safe place for female solo travelers. As always make sure to keep your eyes open and if you are able avoid going out alone at night. Solo female travelers aren’t a target in Koh Samui but always be street smart and trust your instincts!
Throughout much of the year, Koh Samui maintains its scorchingly hot and dry temperatures. Between March and May, high temperatures rise to an average of 33 Celsius (92 Fahrenheit), along with the city’s extreme levels of humidity. Fortunately, temperatures cool down to 24 Celsius (early 70s Fahrenheit) by the evening.
Much of the city’s rainy season peaks in the summer and fall months (May-November). During this time, each month has 13-16 days of showers. Peak traveling season spans between November and December, with rain showers dwindling to two and a half days per month.
The official language of Thailand is Thai. Here are a few phrases and words to help you get by:
Kappunka: Thank you
Aaj ja: Maybe
Khor thoad khrup/ka: Sorry
Hong nam yoo tee nai khrup/ka?: Where is the restroom?
Phom dong gaan hai mor maa raak sa khrup/ka: I need a doctor
Kun pood paassaa angrrit dai mai: Can you speak English?
Known as the “Land of Smiles,” Thai people are generally polite and welcoming, assuming the same from others. They are not known to openly voice their irritation. Here are a few tips to avoid inner-scowling from the locals:
- Women should bring an extra scarf to cover yourselves with when entering temples, if not they also have ones available on site.
- Try not to raise your voice or show aggression when irritated. This may result in losing face, which is the act of losing respect from those around you.
- Public displays of affection are seldom practiced here, as Thailand is still a conservative country.
- At temples, women should wear clothing that cover your shoulders and knees. Expect to take off your shoes inside temples, so wear shoes that are easy to take on and off.
The baht ฿ is the official currency of Thailand. Though U.S. dollars are accepted in some countries, they’re not used in Thailand. You can exchange your U.S. dollars for Baht at the airport.
The standard voltage is 220 volts. You will need a voltage convert if bringing electronics with 110 voltage. Your converter should look like this:
It’s advised to drink boiled or bottled water. Due to Thailand’s hot and humid temperatures, it’s not recommended to drink water from the tap. The ice, however, is safe, as most ice factories use purified water. Keep a look out for tubular-shaped ice.
Koh Samui has some free WiFi spots but if you are looking for a more reliable option buy a SIM card from the airport for your unlocked phone. This way you can use the WiFi off your phone to hotspot.
It’s recommended to travel via tuk tuk or the phone app Grab. Tuk tuks are used to travel to popular tourist sights such as the night market. Grab costs around the same price as a tuk tuk and is the Thai equivalent to an Uber.
Thailand is still a conservative country when it comes the LGBT rights. Though it hosts the largest Transgender beauty pageant in the world, the Land of Smiles doesn’t allow same-sex unions, nor public displays of affection. PDA in Thailand is considered taboo in general, so keep holding hands and embracing to a minimum.
Bangkok boasts a series of eco-centered restaurants, markets and hotels around the city’s far-reaching areas. The most notable include Deesawat, Shades of Retro, (Un)Fashion Vintage and Green Net Cooperative, a store known for selling plant and kid-friendly items like organic-based fabrics and rice products.
Also, the rise of recycling and reuse in Bangkok, a city previously known for its “seedy” reputation, has grown exponentially. There are four different colored bins to place waste. Yellow bins are for general waste, while green ones are for wet items and red bins are for hazardous waste. Blue bins are for recyclables such as plastics and glass.