To save time, we flew from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui rather than train and bussing it through Thailand. We had been landlocked for long enough (over a month since we had seen the sea) and all we wanted was to be at the beach. Our flights weren’t cheap at 7000 baht / $280NZ / $230US each but if you don’t fancy wasting days on trains or money on accommodation while traveling through a country, it’s a reasonable option.
We were explicitly told by friends not to visit Koh Samui. But there’s nothing quite like disliking a place because you’ve been there. So we spent 2 nights in Koh Samui before heading to Koh Tao.
Koh Samui is the more built up of the islands on the east coast of Thailand. Koh means island so the locals refer to it simply as Samui.
Back in Chiang Mai and in Laos, beers generally cost 40 to 60 baht. The very first beer we had on Koh Samui was a small Singha for a whopping 120 baht / $5NZ / $4US. The main drag of Koh Samui is all chainstores. The main strip is brightly lit and squeaky clean. Why anyone would choose to visit a place like this is beyond me. You may as well stay home and go to a mall.
After walking all day, we let our eyes pick a place for dinner. This pig on a spit enticed us in and it was easy to pick what to have for dinner from the blackboard menus.
1 pork on spit and 1 chicken. Really?!
The array of seafood on ice out the front also looked promising.
Nice big tiger prawns.
I had the BBQ seafood and the Koala had the BBQ meat option. While our dinner was extravagently priced by Thai standards, 499 baht / $20NZ / $16 US is still considered a cheap restaurant dinner back home. The Koala finished his meal pretty quick (he’s an impressive eater) so they offered him more food. I suppose this could be considered all you can eat in the sense that they gave you more if they thought you could manage it. We got extra pork ribs and a tuna steak. They were the highlights of the meal.
Maybe you will be like us and want to make your own decision about Koh Samui, but I hope you will dislike it too. It’s expensive, touristy, shiny and devoid of culture…
Koh Samui Highlights:
- Swimming at the beach for the first time in ages.
- There’s much to be said about Koh Samui if one of the highlights was going to a hotel presentation for the afternoon.
Koh Samui Tips:
- Try the next island.