10 Things to Love and Hate About Koh Samui, Thailand


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).

thai massage

doctor fish

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.

food cart

thai food cart

koh samui food

koh samui food

thai food

thai curry

thai food

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.

thai rentals

thai tuk tuk

4) Beaches galore. One island with so many beaches! Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, Big Buddha or Maenam beach, take your pick or explore them all.

koh samui

chaweng beach

Bophut Beach

5. Natural erotic stones. Yep, the Hin Ta/Hin Yai or Grandpa/Grandma rocks are a must see. There’s a tale behind the rocks too. Who knew there were so many erotic landscapes on earth.

grandpa grandma

hin yai

hin ta hin yai

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.

chaweng beach

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.

w hotel bathroom

9. Stray dogs. They seem to be pretty friendly but who knows for sure.

stray dogs

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).



One thought on “10 Things to Love and Hate About Koh Samui, Thailand

  1. Living here in Thailand? A wise move? the answer…. for me yes! The answer is I made a good move retiring here in Thailand. I have a big house, a great and (loyal wife), my money goes further, and the climate is just great for my arthritis.

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