1) Massage Heaven. There must have been dozens of massage parlors on the main street of Chaweng beach but I chose the most relaxing of them all…from a hut overlooking the beach. The cheapest massage was 150 baht for one hour (that’s $5 US dollars). I chose a Aloe massage that cost 400 bahts ($13 US dollars) and they actually used real aloe! If you’re a dare devil, you can try Dr. Fish (pictured below).
2) Street Motor Food Vendors. Cheap, fast, delicious food on the go. Noodles cost ~30-50 baht ($1-$1.60). Papaya salad was 40 baht ($1.30). My advice for food would be to go where the locals go. If you’re in chaweng beach, skip the foo foo restaurants on the strip and take a stroll to Mitra Samui Restaurant at the Chaweng Seafood Center.
3) Easy exploring. You can rent a car, motorbike, hop onto a tuk tuk or hire a taxi to take in the island. I felt very safe in koh samui and the people were very friendly.
4) Beaches galore. One island with so many beaches! Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, Big Buddha or Maenam beach, take your pick or explore them all.
Oye, I don’t like talking about the “hate” because I prefer to focus on the positive but there’s good and bad to every destination so I believe it’ll only help people be more prepared if they’re thinking about visiting koh samui.
6. The main street on chaweng beach isn’t the cleanest. Garbage can pile up and many of the streets are still under construction. You really have to watch your step or you’ll trip and fall.
7. Overcharging foreigners. I mean, this is the case at most tourist attractions. Local sellers take one look at you and double up the price. I don’t like bargaining but I’m not willing to overpay either, so I pick my battles. I’ll pay $1 US for a bowl of noodles while the locals pay 50 cents. I don’t like that the items in the stores don’t have price tags. My usual practice with souvenir shopping is to test the waters first by asking different shops the price of the goods (most stores sell the same products). For example a dress may initially cost 300 baht but once you walk away, they’re willing to sell it for 250 baht, then you know that you can get away with offering 200 bahts!
8. What’s that smell? In every bathroom I went to, there was the stench of sewage. In our hotel, it was sewage masked by eau de toilette.
9. Stray dogs. They seem to be pretty friendly but who knows for sure.
10. Exotic islands come with creepy creatures. Geckos! (I so wanted to write “geicos”). No, I’m not a fan. Although this one is nothing compared to the ginormous ones in Boracay (10 Things to love and hate about Boracay, Philippines coming soon).