We’re trying something new over here at Michael W Travels. This post is a collaboration with Luxury Retreats written by Emma Grant.
Are you thinking about taking a dream trip and looking for the perfect place to go? If so, consider visiting Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. This small island has endless beaches, secluded spots and an active nightlife with a range of luxurious Koh Samui rentals to choose from. Visitors instantly fall in love with the island and always start thinking about returning next year. If this is your first time to the island, here are a few suggestions on how to have the perfect vacation.
The Beaches and Water Sports:
The number one thing tourists want when they visit Koh Samui is to relax on one of the many white-sand beaches. There are lots to choose from; some are busier than others. Along the main stretch of Chaweng Beach, several bars play endless reggae music and serve cocktails to beachgoers. This is the perfect place for a cold drink as the sun sets over the horizon.
Apart from the beach, you can also take part in water sports including jet skiing, paddleboarding and kayaking. Snorkelling is available too, but the water in Koh Sami isn’t as clear as other parts of Thailand. You could also join a diving tour that takes you out into the sea to experience the marine life more fully.
The Top Attractions in Koh Samui:
Apart from beaches and water sports, you can take part in a range of other exciting activities in this tropical paradise. The top attractions on Koh Samui include the Big Buddha, Wat Khunaram and the Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks.
The Big Buddha is one of the most famous sites on the island. This 12-metre tall statue has an exterior covering of gold depicts an image of Buddha in the seated position. You can find the Big Buddha statue on a small island in the northeast part of Koh Samui.
One of the most unusual things to see is Wat Khunaram, which you should be warned isn’t for the fainthearted. On display for all to see inside a large glass enclosure is, of all things, a mummified monk. Loung Pordaeng, one of Koh Samui’s most famous monks, died in 1973 and requested that his body is kept on display as an inspiration to other Buddhists. The temple was built especially for the body that’s positioned in a meditative state wearing orange robes and sunglasses. A bizarre, but unique, thing to see on Koh Samui.
The Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, or known locally as Hin Ta and Hin Yai, on Lamai Beach, have an extraordinary and particular formation. Caused by the natural erosion of the rocks by the sea and wind, they today resemble what can only be described as male and female body parts. Hence the name grandfather and grandmother. Foreign and local tourists come here in their numbers to photograph this strange and hilarious natural phenomenon.
Visit the Spas:
Spending a holiday on Koh Samui is incomplete without visiting one of the spas and wellness centres. You have the choice from a short massage by women on the beach all the way up to staying at a luxurious retreat. Thai massages are available around the island, and the locals take health seriously. Why not get a day pass to enjoy some of the treatments or just get a full body?
Yoga classes are also popular in some parts of the island attracting tourists from all walks of life and levels of ability. One particular place is Yogarden, in Bo Phut, where experts hold affordable lessons on a daily basis.
Expect Dual Pricing:
Apart from relaxing, enjoying the sights and getting some rest and relaxation, you also need to be careful of the typical scams and dangers. There’s nothing that screams a disappointing trip than being ripped off or having something stolen. For this reason, it’s worth mentioning to help you avoid falling victim on your trip.
Some restaurants have dual pricing where foreigners have to pay more than double, and sometimes even four times higher, than locals. This scam often happens in busy places, the ones with an English menu. Avoiding dual pricing can sometimes be difficult and near impossible. But there are a few ways to protect yourself. Always ask to see the menu and if it’s much higher than you expect, leave. Also, ask the staff at your hotel what the prices should be to give yourself a baseline. Over-enthusiastic tourists often fall victim to this when they first arrive and aren’t sure of the typical costs.
Anywhere tourists go in numbers, people want to take advantage of them. Whereas the vast majority of Thais are warm, hospitable and welcoming to tourists, a few aren’t as nice. You should be especially careful when using public transport as bag snatching and theft isn’t uncommon. It’s also a good idea to be vigilant on the beach after dark as thieves roam the sand in search of valuables.
Chaweng has a reputation for an active nightlife and wild partying. Be extra careful to keep a watchful eye on your drinks to avoid spiking. This is uncommon and is very unlikely to happen to you, but it isn’t unheard of, especially during beach parties.
Make Your Trip Perfect:
Having a perfect trip to Koh Samui doesn’t require much effort. All you need to do is turn up, use a bit of common sense and you’re guaranteed to have the time of your life. Enjoy the beaches and take measures to avoid scams and theft and you’ll be planning your next trip back in no time at all.