Samui guide and tourist reviews about the rest

Samui is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, whichIt is part of the province of Suratthani, adjacent to the islands of Phangan, Tao and a scattering of islands of the Angtong National Marine Park. The main value of Samui is considered to be a wide variety of beaches and a well-developed tourist infrastructure. The central part of the island is the hills up to 600 meters high, and the space around the mountains is suitable for building. The island becomes more expensive every year, confidently heading for the title of the island-boutique, but it can not overcome the problem of waste disposal.

The content of the article

Preparing for the trip

Description of the resort and why go to Samui

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are the only major islands inThe southern part of the Gulf of Siam. All the rest are far to the north and are fundamentally different both in climate and in the composition of tourists coming to rest (Koh Chang, Koh Kood). Or located on the back side of the continent, and also differ in climate and geographical features (Koh Lanta, Phi Phi, Phuket). In the presence of transport, on Samui you can always find a cup-beach, even during low tide, and the choice of beaches satisfies savages, swimming fans, and moms with babies.

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On Samui, about forty beaches. The deepest are located in the north (Menam, Bo Phut) and east (Chaweng, Lamai), and smaller, but more beautiful - in the south (Bang Kao) and west (Taling Ngam, Lipa Noi). The southern part of Samui is dominated by flat terrain with sparse hilltops, while the northern and central parts of the island are hilly terrain with even stretches of beaches. The infrastructure of Samui is concentrated in the north-east and east, and the south-west is still considered a stronghold of introverts and pleases with huge areas of palm groves, which are sometimes found at home.

The beaches on Samui are developed, with beach and water attractions, bars, discos and shops. There are quiet, family, with plenty of shade and moderate infrastructure. And there are very wild, deserted and incredibly beautiful. Samui is good because with all the variety of preferences, every tourist here finds “that” place where he will return again and again. Samui is a very different island.

Samui is great for a vacation. If he is bored, then from any pier in the north you can rush to Phangan - the wilder version of Samui. Or go snorkelling in Koh Tao - a wilder version of Phangan. Or take a trip to the islands of Angthong Park - a wilder version of Koh Tao. That is, this resort is so attractive that here you can always increase or decrease the degree of comfort. From deshmanskih bungalows in the west of Phangan, to luxury hotels in the north-west of Samui. From asphalt highways to the furious potholes, from the reggae bar in the rocks to the pathetic restaurant on the roof of the hotel - everything is here.

Samui is one of the best resorts in Thailand

Samui is one of the best resorts in Thailand

Which beach to choose

Choose your beach on Samui - a simple matter, butIt requires clarification on several issues: are you going to rent transport, is civilization important at hand, and the last is how critical is the sea cupability. All questions are relevant only for vacationers, because for wintering approach is another, with an emphasis on longstey and practicality. Immediately I say - if you are planning to rent a scooter or a car, then all the beaches of the island are open to you, and this is a huge plus, because the beaches of Samui can behave differently at the same time of day.

If you plan to walk, it is important to youinfrastructure and daily beaches, then you should first take care of choosing the right month for the trip (see the climate section), and only then choose from the five most popular beaches in Koh Samui. Those where 90% of tourists go: Menam. Bo Phut. Chong Mon. Chaweng and Lamai - All beaches are described in detail in separate articles by me.

Browse all Samui beaches>

In short, Maenam is: deep sea, shady coast and medium infrastructure; considered a family beach. Bo Phut is the Maenam, only with a more developed infrastructure and is considered a hotel beach. Chong Mon is located on the outskirts, there is a lot of shade, it is shallow and therefore it is considered a children's beach.

Chaweng - party, youth, very beautifulthe beach is in the east, and Lamai is a smaller version of Chaweng with a deeper sea. On all five beaches you can live for two weeks without a flight, without renting a transport, without experiencing a shortage of services and services. They are the closest to Samui Airport and shopping centers. All beaches are deep, except for the shallow Chong Mona, which is noticeably subject to ebb.

If infrastructure is not important to you, and you were drivingon Koh Samui for solitude and beach rest, there are also cupola beaches in the wilder parts of the island. Immediately, I note that all the beaches that are not in the top five are not so deep and are subject to ebb. In the west of Samui is Thong Yang and Lipa Noi, uncrowded beaches with a clear bottom, no stones, with sunsets and rare villas on the shore. In the north - the beaches of Bang Po and Ban Tai. Bang Po is an introvert's paradise with a bunch of restaurants on the beach, and Ban Tai is a children's paradise and a beautiful sea with white coral sand on the beach. In the south, Bang Kao, however, is suitable for swimming not along the entire length, but where the bottom is more or less cleared of stones. Charmingly deserted area with sparse buildings and large jungle spots.

The best beach on Koh Samui - Lamai

The best beach on Koh Samui - Lamai

How to choose a hotel or house

Areas around the beaches Chaweng and Lamai - This is a huge selection of hotels of any level, as wellis the best tourist infrastructure of the island. In addition to infrastructure, Chaweng and Lamai themselves are the attraction of the island, and this makes them the most sought-after areas among tourists. After them there are already tourist Chaweng Noi and Lam Nan at the edges of Chaweng. Also popular are Bang Rak and Bo Phut - dense buildings, plenty of entertainment and close to hypermarkets.

With condominiums on Samui is not very thick yet and the main offers are waiting for you at Maenam, Play lame and Chaweng. Large villas are rarely found on the coast. Townhouses can be found only in large settlements, resorts are the same, and at home - this is the most common type of housing on Samui.

All hotels on Samui>

My selection of the best hotels in Samui>

Family winters (arrival time of 1 month andlonger) I would recommend to Maenam, Bo Phut or Lamai. These beaches have excellent infrastructure, a large flat part with a huge choice of accommodation, and these beaches are among the top five on Samui. Chaweng is not recommended because of his uncomfortable and restless. Lots of noise, dust, dense urban buildings.

For the winterers without children, the outskirts of Chaweng, Lamai, Maenam and Chong Mon are suitable - this is if the infrastructure and the beach are important. The villages Bang Kao. Tong Yang. Bang Po. Ban Tai - poor infrastructure, but beautiful beaches. I have a detailed analysis of renting a house in Samui in my article. Features of renting a house on Samui, and a selection of homes for self-rental - in Directory of houses on Samui.

On Samui you have several types of housing available.each of which has its advantages and disadvantages: a hotel, a resort, an apartment, a private house, a townhouse or a villa. If you visit Koh Samui for no longer than two weeks, then it’s easiest for you to book a hotel (it’s more difficult with houses), you just have to understand which beach it is on. But with a period of 30 days already makes sense to think and go through the options.

If you are traveling to Thailand for the first time, thenI recommend to book a house or apartment in advance. This is done only through a realtor. Yes, they are not engaged in the cheapest housing and take a commission, but this allows you to avoid unnecessary trouble in an unfamiliar country. Believe me, independent searches on the site is a difficult task and it is not worth it. You're going to rest.

Send me a request, advise a trusted realtor, whom I myself trust. And then in recent times a lot has become a scam.

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How to get to Samui

Samui is about 700 km from Bangkok and 350 km from Phuket. And Bangkok with Phuket are the only two localities in Thailand where direct flights from Russia fly. Samui also has airportbut it is owned by Bangkok Airways,which are, in fact, monopolists and few people are allowed in there. Therefore, the flight to Samui will always be with a transfer and will always be more expensive than flights to Bangkok or Phuket. Traditionally, it is better to search for such flights on Aviasales, see immediately to Samui with a single ticket.

You can get to Samui by other more complex ways. For example, fly to Thailand by one ticket (to Phuket or Bangkok), and then by land (bus / train + ferry) or again by air (direct flight or transfer). From Bangkok overland trip will be about 1000 baht, by plane with a transfer of 1500 baht, and a direct flight directly to Samui is 3500 baht. Here I have a detailed post about how to get from Bangkok to Samui and from Phuket to Samui.

If we talk about comfortable ways, especiallywhen traveling with children, I recommend buying a ticket from Russia immediately to Samui, or taking a ticket to Bangkok or Phuket, and then another air ticket from Bangkok Airways, which takes you directly to Samui airport. All other ways hemorrhagic.

Climate and weather in Samui

Ignorant people think thatthe small size of the kingdom of Thailand there is no particular need to study the weather features for each resort individually - and in vain. The weather on Koh Samui is different from the all-Thai weather reports, so many tourists are surprised by excessive rainy weather in November and December - and in fact many people come here to wait out the winter or spend New Year holidays at sea.

In the cold months the air temperature dropsto 23-26 degrees, and in hot - reaches 30-32. Such drops cause a smile to people who have just arrived from -20 with knee-deep drifts, but long-livers of the island suffer from the cold. If you come for wintering in September - October, you will have time to more or less acclimatize and experience the full horror of the Thai winter, when it is cold to walk around the tile in the house, you have to wear socks and sleep under a blanket.

The hottest months on Samui are from the end of February toApril. The rainiest is from November to mid-January. Summer is considered the period of monsoon rains in Thailand, but on Samui this is expressed in clear cloudless days and short daily rains in the late afternoon, well, or during the day. More clouds and rains begin at the end of September, October is not particularly happy with good weather, November - peak values ​​of precipitation, December - the amount of precipitation begins to decrease.

In the winter months, almost all the beaches of the island "delight"high wave, and do not listen to local realtors, who write about the November rainstorms “it rains a little more often than usual” and “it's nice to jump on the waves” - no, it is unpleasant. The muddy, agitated sea with foam and some kind of rubbish that washed away from the island with the recent rain is unpleasant. Of course, there is always a chance for changes in the weather, which are increasingly occurring due to global warming. November can be almost dry, and March can be upset by overcast weather, but according to the observations of previous years, I would advise focusing on the climate that I described above.

From me you still have a little life hacking: Pay your attention to Samui during the summer months. This period is not very fond of our travel agencies, which urgently need to push Turkey and other seasonal resorts, which in summer fly like hot cakes. But Koh Samui in the summer months is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand: a large number of sunny days, rare rains, amazing colors of nature, seasonal decline of tourists and, as a result, lower prices for everything.

Upon arrival at the resort

How to get to your hotel

Samui Airport is located in the northeastislands. And although it would seem, Chaweng, Lamai and Bo Phut are right next to him, but you have to either take a taxi / transfer, or get into a minibus, which is usually arranged for flights. And if there is a task to get from the pier (when you are on the ferry), then the distance is already quite decent and you can go to the same Chaweng for an hour.

So, you can get around the island to the hotelin several ways. The cheapest is a mini-bus at the airport, 150-200 baht per person will be released. Taxi at the airport will cost from 500 to 1,200 baht, depending on the mileage. Transfer from the hotel, which is ordered at the time of booking the hotel, the most expensive way, closer to 1500 baht, and little depends on the distance. In detail, all methods are painted in a post. how to get from the airport to the hotel.

There is another option, transfer from the famousKiwitaxi transfer service. A convenient way, you will be met with a sign with your name, carry your luggage to the car and deliver it to the hotel. A minimum of problems on the spot, even the knowledge of English is not necessary, the driver is aware of your route. I have already used them more than once, here my review.

Transfer to the hotel on Samui>

What to see from the sights

If you are an inexperienced person, thenattractions on Koh Samui you will have enough for the whole vacation and even wintering. But if you have already been to the north of Thailand, or if you managed to ride around the world and see the large-scale sights, then you will have to get used to the fact that everything on the island is reduced in size. Waterfalls, lakes, caves, temples, mountains - all this parochial, seasonal and not impressive. Probably, half of the sights on Samui are man-made objects, and they are not always in an interesting performance.

The very places on Samui are included in the overview.excursions of any travel agency, which are not very expensive. If you are new to the island, it is better to take a tour once and see everything at once. It includes a transfer and you do not have to bother with the movements, since everything is bad with public transport. Big buddha. Namuang waterfalls. Play Lam Temple Complex. Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocksone of the elephant safari parks mummified monk in Wat Khunaram. Khao Hua Chok Pagoda. Buddha's Magic Garden - this is an incomplete list of the main and most visited sights on Samui.

If you are with a motorbike "on you" and you are sickjostling with twenty tourists in one minibus, then all these places are easy to visit on your own, and besides them I would recommend more simple, but no less interesting sights: Hin Lad Waterfall, Cultural Center on Taling Ngame, Red and White Temples, Lam So and Little Buddha pagoda. Khun Si waterfall, mangrove forest, the second mummified mummy inWat Kirivongkaram, the embankment in Nathon, and a lot of viewpoints are all marked on my Samui map. If you are friends with Google Maps and Navigator, then you will have something to do on the island.

What to see on Samui>

And when Samui himself gets bored, then at your sidethere is his beautiful brother Phangan, who is not so aggressively built up with houses and bars. Phangan is about 30 beaches and almost two thirds of the island is covered with jungle; wild place, you will love it. And besides Phangan, there is the island of Tao, even more distant from Koh Samui, the Mecca of local divers and snorkers. And if there is a wish to have a “separation of the head” and complete uninhabitability, then around Samui there are several small satellite islands and the National Marine Park of Angthong - there is wilderness and beauty in general there.

Where to eat, in which cafes

Recommend cafes and restaurants is an occupationungrateful and risky. Today I will enjoy their cooking and mental service, and tomorrow the same staff will have a different mood or no one to look after them from the administration, or the owner will change at all - and now the dissenting reviews of my recommendations begin. So, keep in mind the fact that the listed institutions were working and were perfect at the time of the visit, and if you are not lucky with them, then the Buddha’s will.

On Lamai, the best ones are:
- Russian cuisine in a cafe Cucumbers. Tasty, many, inexpensive.
- San Burmese cafe, Thai cuisine. The husband of the Burmese is preparing - Alexander, he cooks very tasty, it is better to come during the day - there are more places and they do it not hurry.
- Thai food, sushi and seafood - Sala Thai Had Lamai
- pizza, seafood, italian cuisine - Antica Locanda
- Thai cuisine - Imchai Thai Food
- Thai cuisine in an unpopular place, so there is always a table - New Hut restaurant, inexpensive.
- Thai cuisine The Bamboo’s Restaurant
- Sabienglae ​​Restaurant, Thai cuisine and seafood.
- Swedish Roestiland, excellent European cooking.
- Ageha Sushi bar, Thai cuisine and seafood.

On Chaweng:
- Thai cuisine, very popular with the locals of Ranong 2, with an open hall and without air conditioning. Seafood, authentic cuisine, inexpensive.
- MK restaurant inside the Tesco Lotus hypermarket
- Black Canyon restaurant in the same Tesco - excellent coffee and selected Isaan dishes.

On Bo Phut:
- Bistro Journal in Bo Phut, European cuisine and coffee
- a small cafe with Thai cuisine The Hut Cafe, it is difficult to find, leave too.
- Gekko bar - Excellent necks, cocktails and Thai food. Stunning views during the day, there is a pool.

On Maenam, the best ones are:
- Thai cuisine cafe Spice - cozy, only five tables, but very tasty and not cheap.
- restaurant of the hotel Maenam Resort - can be reached from the side of the alley that leads to the sea. A large restaurant, wait a long time for ordering, the prices are restaurant, but they prepare Thai cuisine very worthily.
- Indian restaurant Babu’s Indian Hot - expensive, tasty, authentic.
- taykafe Uncle Noi - terribly popular place, in the evenings not crowded. Cooks Thai, smoker and mothershinnitsa, but prepares delicious.
- Breakfast at Angela’s Diner is very popular with farang. European breakfasts and sandwiches, pastries and coffee. Expensive.
- Thai cuisine - Apple’s Kitchen. Tasty, fast, average price tag.
- The best BBQ Buffet on Samui, located near the night market. The most delicious selection of ingredients, reasonable price, authentic, in the evening there is little space.
- amazing Thai food - La Boudoir

On Ban Tae:
- Thai and European cuisine at Kodrayak Cafe. Tables only indoors, European style, a lot of glass furniture, excellent burgers, pizza and Thai dishes. UPD August 2018: already closed.

On Bang Po:
- Italian restaurant and Celli’s best pizza. Tables are indoors only, a classic restaurant with glasses, cloth napkins and excellent wine. Keeps Italian family for many years.
- Thai cuisine, awesome seafood at Krua Bang Por, people come from all over the island to try their food.
- Siripoca on Bang Po, Thai cuisine, floor - sand, walls - no, it works from 7 am to 5 pm
- a new cafe Racha Samui restaurant - opened in September 2017, prepare good curry dishes, but how they will behave further - you need to look.

In the area of ​​Nathon:
- a cafe by the sea Kalasea, with the originaldesign, excellent necks and quite good salads. UPD from August 2018: Closed after a strong storm - everything broke. In its place is a similar institution with a different name.

On Lipa Noah:
- THINK! Retro cafe - the design of the room is made of sea containers. Sunset place, right from the corner - the cape with a military base interferes. Great drinks.

On Taling Ngame:
- Air bar continental - Inter Continental’s rooftop restaurant. Expensive, beautiful, tasty, sunsets.

At Bang Kao:
- Sweet Sisters cafe - a vegetarian cafe. Sudden flavor combinations in salads with different herbs, but the usual food is also present.

List all decent restaurants there is no bigmeaning and place on the page, so choose the nearest one on my map and go to inspect. On Samui you can wonderfully give a lot of money for that hole in the half of a pineapple, sitting at the table of one of the most rated restaurants, and not get any pleasure. But in an inconspicuous cafe on the side of the road, without ads and names on the facade, you can find a crowd of Thais who are eating some Thai grandmother for both cheeks.

If suddenly you are a fan of fast food network, thenSamui has McDonald's (Chaweng and Lamai), Burger King (Chaweng) and Starbucks coffee shop near Big C. But I will immediately put in my five satangs: the Starbucks coffee is disgusting, and the McDuck food is very strange and quite unlike the Moscow McDuck I used to. More or less tasty cooked in Burger King, where I did not notice much difference with the usual snacks in the Russian Federation.

On-site transport

Of course, as elsewhere, the most populartransport is a bike, rented. With motorbikes it is always easier than with the same machines: there is no large deposit, low prices for rent and repairs. In principle, Samui has no problems with divorces, so scooters can be rented almost everywhere, for example, at the reception of the hotel where you stay, or through the owner of the resort / house / villa. The main thing - avoid rentals, where you require a passport as a deposit. The price is about 200-300 baht / day.

Samui bike rental>

Rent a car is more expensive, but also comfortcompletely different - condo, trunk, plenty of space, and so on. It is especially convenient if you have a child, or you will go to the dalnyak (to the mainland). Honestly, a lot of people travel with a child and on a bike around Samui, but I would not risk it, but you yourself are watching. It is best to rent a car from international companies of world renown, in order not to have problems with contracts, insurance and so on. Offices are located at the airport. In addition, you will not have to look for anything and read the reviews. The cost is about 800-1200 baht / day, the more days, the cheaper. Similarly, cars are at private traders, but the risk is higher.

All about renting a car in Thailand>

Rent for a long term of 1-2 months andmore is more interesting (that is, cheaper) from small local companies or private traders, but it is very desirable to choose candidates among them by reviews. There are rentals that rent their own cars, and there are those who work for a percentage of the rent, and when the client contacts them, they simply contact those rentals who have something suitable. It also happens that the car surrenders as if in sublease, despite the fact that this can not be done. How is it then resolved in case of problems, without a clue.

Public transport on Samui is absent as a class. More or less in the steppe work songteo (pick-up minibuses), but they do not go around the whole island. Routes are divided into two main sections: Nathon - Chaweng and chaweng - LamaiThey pass along the northern part of the ring road. There is no tuk-tuks (three-wheeled motor scooters) on the island. There is a motorbike taxi, and mini-shuttles, otherwise, people move on their own or rented transport. That is why I always wonder if a person intends to see the neighborhood, but does not want to rent equipment.

Samui Map

Samui Map

Samui Map:

P.S. Ask questions, add, if something is missing. And leave your reviews about the rest on Samui, whether you like it or not :)

Life hacking 1 - how to buy a good insurance

Choosing insurance is now unrealistically difficult, so to help all travelers, I compile a rating. To do this, I constantly monitor forums, study insurance contracts and use insurance by myself.

Insurance Rating

Life hacking 2 - how to find a hotel 20% cheaper

First, choose a hotel on Booking. They have a good offer base, but the prices are NOT the best! The same hotel can often be found 20% cheaper in other systems through the RoomGuru service.

Discount hotels

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