Monthly Archives: February 2020

The best things to do in Koh Samui

Are you heading to Koh Samui in Thailand and you’re wondering what it’s like in there? Where to go and what to do? Where to visit, where to dine? Where to see the most beautiful sunset and where to get the most sexiest tan?

Here are some of the best places we think are worth taking a look at or visit during your trip in Koh Samui.

Best place to hang out?

Coco Tam’s. We don’t personally like spending time on night clubs or foam parties filled with egoistic and shallow youngsters, but rather spend the evening in a peaceful atmosphere listening to good music, toes dipped in a beach’s sand. At Coco Tam’s it’s possible. It may not be Samui’s cheapest place to hang out, but as usually: cheap price and good quality doesn’t really go hand in hand. Coco Tam’s is also a very “instagrammable” place, with swings, hammocks and beach chairs. It also has Beer Pong and Pool tables and possibility to smoke shisha for those who’re interested. There’s also amazing fire show every evening at 10pm.

Coco Tam’s also offers excellent cocktails with the price of 230 baht and up. If you get hungry, there’s also a solution for a problem like that as they also have a own restaurant and a newly opened superfood cafe.

Coco Tam’s, the best place to chill

There’s a fireshow in Coco Tam’s every night

Best coffee shop?

The Road Less Travelled

The Road Less Traveled. This is a very European café, where digital nomads and remote workers will enjoy (or would if there were any in Samui). The café also has a very artistic side, as it is full of great paintings and the place is decorated in an antique style. In addition, various art exhibitions and performances are also presented here.

Best attraction?

Secret Buddha Garden / Tanim Magic Garden. We actually visited this place about a week ago, and it really surprised us. There is an entrance fee of 80 baht, but well worth the price. This tranquil garden, eutrophied by nature, was founded in the 1970’s by a durian breeder who wanted to do something in his old days. So he began to carve various animal figures and statues out of the stone. When the man then passed away and moved to the greener Durian lands in the nineties, his garden remained as a tourist destination. The place is perfect for relaxation, although there are also tourists here with their selfie sticks, just like in every tourist spots in Earth. However, getting to this garden isn’t the easiest route and you should definitely get a 125cc motorcycle or maybe even a car. The hills leading to the garden are so steep that we do not recommend cycling here either.

Goblin of Secret Buddha Garden

Fairy of Secret Buddha Garden

Best restaurant(s) (vegan point of view)?

We couldn’t choose just one, so here are the best choices from different cuisines.

If you want pizza, Hungry Wolf is our number one recommendation. Hungry Wolf also have a completely separate vegan menu, with pizzas, burgers and more. In vegan versions, meat is often replaced with “omnipork“, but there are also other alternatives. They also use vegan cheese. Hungry Wolf, however, is not a “vegan restaurant”, so carnivores will also get their tummies stuffed.

Vegan Diavola-pizza at Hungry Wolf

We would say Haveli being our favorite Indian restaurant in Samui, but since we don’t really visit there anymore (since it’s pretty far from us) we have to mention Tandoori Nights, that is located in Lamai. The owner of Tandoori Nights is an extremely friendly Indian man who shook hands with us at the end of our first visit and thanked us personally for visiting his restaurant. And this behaviour hasn’t changed, the friendly and personal service makes us come back here more than once a month. Unfortunately, we don’t have a picture of the dishes in this restaurant, but sure everyone knows how Indian food looks like. If you don’t know, click here.

For Thai food, our top recommendation is the one called Apple. Despite its name (so it’s not related to the super-expensive laptop brand designed only for using Facebook and blogging). Apple offers both Western food and traditional Thai dishes, as well as a variety of smoothies and healthy juices. Dinner for two (food + soda) won’t take more than 250 baht in your wallet.

Noodle soup @ Apple

Best beach?

Lipa Noi or Lamai Beach. There are two to choose from, because depending on your mood, one is better than the other. If you just want to lay down in peace and swim in the ocean, Lipa Noi Beach is a better for that. The beach is also suitable for admiring the sunset as it is located on the western side of the island. But if you’d like to do some activity (like jet skiing) then Lamai Beach is better for you. In Lamai there are also more restaurants, possibilities to rent a beach chairs and get massages. The downside in Lamai Beach are the jewelry sellers, men forcing you to take selfie photos with their iguanas and the old ladies who constantly provide you a foot care even if you say no five times.

Beach of Lipa Noi is an excellent place to swim and watch sunset

You want to lay down in a beach chair, drinkin’ coconut? Them Lamai Beach is the place for you

Best temple?

Wat Plai Laem. This is not actually a single temple, but a temple complex. Built in the middle of a small artificial pond, this modern Buddhist temple is protected by an 18-handed statue of Guanyin and a smiling buddy Budai. Plai Laem also has several smaller statues from Vishnu, Shiva and Ganesha.

Statue of Guanyin with eighteen arms

However, if you prefer the more ancient temple style, check out Wat Sila Ngu (aka Wat Ratcha Thammaram). Built in the 1930s and colored throughout in crimson, this temple is small but still worth a visit.

PS: For some reason everyone always says Samui’s best temple / attraction is the 12-meter-high Big Buddha, but personally, at least on a short trip, we would choose another attraction. Great view from there sure, but that’s all. It is also filled with tourists and it has its own “tourist village” with cafes and boutiques built around the statue.

The crimson colored Wat Sila Ngu / Wat Ratchathammaram

Best area?

Lamai. The Lamai is a green area with high mountains, great beaches and it offers many restaurants and possibilities for shopping. There are no movie theater or a big mall in Lamai, but maybe that’s why it is the best area on the island. Of course there is tourism, but unlike Chaweng (known for its many nightclubs and cabaret restaurants), Lamai is much more laid-back and family friendly and the locals also speak English better than in northern Samui. But sure there are cocktail bars and smaller girl clubs in Lamai (like the one called SexySex), but they’re not as “dirty” as in Chaweng.

Best sunset spot?

B Valley. You will drive by this place if you visit the Secret Buddha Garden. The B Valley is a café and may not be accessible for free, but the viewpoints entry fee is only 20 baht. We ended up here when the cafe was closed. The viewing platform offers a magnificent view over the whole island and the sun can be seen beautifully setting behind the mountains. Even the Khanom beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat can be seen at the clear weather.

The view from B Valley

 

How expensive is Koh Samui?

When planning a trip you always think about your budget and the price level of your destination. That’s why we decided to offer some help, telling about the price level of Koh Samui. How much does beer cost? How expensive is a Thai massage, how much does a rental scooter cost? We will give more detailed answers to these in this post.

We write prices in euros, for ease of understanding (if you use euros). This way you don’t have to think about currency conversion, because we’ve done the work for you.

(Note: 1 € = 34,2thb and 1 $USD is 31thb)

From Big C you can find everything you need and more.

Food and drink

First let’s start with the most important thing – eating. Sure it all depends a lot on where you eat and what you put into your mouth. In a Thai restaurant, a meal with a soda costs about three euros. This means the simplest portions like Pad Thai, Tom Yum, Curry, fried rice, etc. If you want to have fish instead, the price tag depends of a fish that’s used in your dish but generally the price is 6-10 euros. If you’d like to have hamburgers, pizza, pasta or steaks, the prices are about the same as fish dishes. You can get pizza and pasta at the lowest price of 7 euros, but for example pizza with three different meat with a double cheese and jalapenos will cost more than 10 euros.

We have no experience with Samui fine dining restaurants, but the prices are certainly at a fine dine level, so at least double the prices compared to a “normal” restaurants.

You don’t have to pay more than 3€ to get a Red Curry like this.

But what about the drinking? A half-liter bottle of Coca-Cola at a store will cost about 50 cents and 1.25-liter bottle costs 80 cents. In restaurants, a price tag for half-liter bottle is 80 cents. Fresh coconut can be bought for about 0.8 to 2.5 euros. The most expensive coconuts we’ve seen so far are at the restaurants at Chaweng Central Festival Mall. If you want to bring coconuts to the hotel (and figure out how break them) you might want to get them from the Makro. From there you’ll get eight coconuts with the price of 8.3 euros. They will even brand the coconuts for you if you’d like.

A six-bottle pack of water costs something between one or two euros depending on whether you buy it from a large Makro or from a small 7 Eleven. Juice costs two euros, milk canister 2.6€. The amount of milk, though, is not a one-liter carton, but rather a two-liter jar.

How about the most important drink of them all? Yes: Beer. In stores one bottle will cost 0.8€ and if you buy it from the restaurants you’ll have to pay at least an extra euro. If you want to get smashed and get a whole pallet, you will have to pay € 14-20 depending of the brand. Bottle of great vodka costs about 17€. Prices of a cocktails are from 2.3€ up to 9€. Unless you really want to show off you can pay 17€ for one drink. Yes it’s possible to spend all your money on alcohol in here aswell.

A bottle of wine can be bought from the lower shelf at 6 euros and a bottle of whiskey at 11 euros. If you are a “spaddu man or a woman” (means if you are a smoker) you can get a box of Marlboro for a bit less than four euros. If you want to smoke Thai brands they will cost about 1€.

For the youngsters; The best of the SpärdeSbores (energy drinks), the Shark, costs 75 cents, and the small bottle of Red Bull is 28 cents. Same price is for the local M150 bottle, the one that locals chugs more than water. But if you want your daily energy dose from coffee, the 250g pack of coffee beans costs about four euros. In a cafe, a cup of coffee costs three euros.

Other purchases and services

If you are staying in Samui for a longer period of time or you’re staying in a smaller resort or maybe even in a house that doesn’t include room service, you might be interested this next section.

A pack of four rolls of paper towels costs two euros and a pack of sanitary napkins for women from one to two euros. The price of shampoo and soap is three euros per bottle.

What about clothes? Of course, branded clothing costs (and are mostly available at the Central Festival mall) but you can buy much more affordable clothing from night markets, street shelters and near big supermarkets. Locals often buy clothes from these, because they sell clothes with the price of 3€. However the quality isn’t so great with these and those comfortable and colorful “elephant pants” will most likely rip apart before the first wash. The shirts seems to be a bit better quality but the pants are just waste of money. You can also buy “genuine fake” clothes that has four Adidas stripes, Nike’s logo upside down and with the text “YOU R IMAGINATION IS YOUR IMAGINATINIS” on the side and Gucci’s brand on the washcloth. And if this isn’t enough there are also pants with all of these mixed up.

The “100 baht clothing” might look and feel nice but unfortunately they wont last long.

There are also a number of 20 Baht Shops on the island, where everything costs 20 Baht, equals 60 cents (so pretty much the same thing as in Dollar Stores). These include dishes, cleaning supplies, rugs, toys, and even some electronics. The quality may not be that great but people usually buy brushes, door mats, beach slippers and cheap restaurant dishes from these.

Concerning laundry; Laundry services cost between 0.8€ and 1.5€ per kilo, depending on where you bring your laundry. If you pay a couple more euros, you will also get them ironed.

You can rent a scooter for 4.30€ per day with the monthly price running between 60€ and 90€. This is strongly depending by the season (low or high) and for how long period of time you are renting the scooter. Sure the condition and model of the vehicle also make a difference, but the honest opinion is that no one needs a more powerful one than a 125cc Honda Click. If the guy in a bike shop claims that you won’t get anywhere with the bike less than 150cc, go somewhere else. He’s just trying to fuck you up and get you to pay extra for the things you don’t need.

Note: We were crazy lucky with our scooter rental, as we found a 125cc Click, for which we pay 35€ per month. However, you will not find it that cheap from anywhere, at least not for a short term use.

Refueling your scooter from empty to full costs 4.3€ which gives you a comfortable ride for several days. So the price for a liter of gasoline is about 80 cents. And this is not the environment-friendy NinetyEight, but the NinetyOne that really gives a nice black puff from a pipe. Healthy as f*ck.

Massage services start from 5.8€ for an hour-long foot massage. A full Thai massage costs around 9 euros. Remember that if you see six young and pretty girls (or someone who looks like a girl) in front of the massage place wearing too short shorts you will probably be paying the higher price. Higher prices may include “other services” but usually these places have nothing to do with Thai massage. So you should go to a real massage place or spa where the masseuse is maybe an older lady. You’ll get a better massage and you don’t have to worry about bringing nasty presents back to home.

Cheaper than most places but everything is relative

Here is a little indication of how expensive Koh Samui is and what everything costs. Of course, everything is compensated with the local wage level, so what might be cheap for one might not be cheap for a another. It must also be remembered that “Farangs” always pays more for everything and in some places there are even menus that are different for the locals and for foreigners.

If you want to know more about how much a particular service or product costs, then ask. We’ll find out if we don’t know.

Postcard for you, from us!

We’ve started to write our Finnish blog about nine months ago. And in such a short period of time we have managed to get alot of readers around the world. Sure this blog is kinda new but there’s still alot of you guys reading these posts. We don’t know how you found your way in here but we’re glad you did.

Originally, this was meant to be just a diary for relatives and friends and maybe some random passers-by perhaps as being somekind of inspiration to follow the dreams or even hop off from the rat race. Something similar we did over 6 months ago.

However, the number of visitors to our blog has increased tremendously over the past few months and more followers have started to appear. Thanks to all of you, we hope you visit our blog again and maybe even share your thoughts of our posts or what we do. We would also love to hear what kind of people are reading these texts.

You’ve given us so much in such short period of time, but now it’s our turn to give you something in return. We decided to start a monthly tradition where once a month we send a personalized postcard to one of our readers.

There are three rules:

  1. Post a comment on this post about “Your best travel experience / memory“.
  2. When commenting, make sure your email address is something we can send email to.
  3. You can send your comments until the end of February.

In March, we will look at the comments and personally contact one person selected by WheelOfNames. We don’t choose the “best” comment, but let the Wheel of Fortune decide.