Life is always better at the beach!
If you are visiting Thailand for the first time you have to visit one of their luscious islands. Hell if you’re like us and up to you 4th or 5th time visiting, the islands are a must! Not only are the beaches divine, but the weather just seems to be better than anywhere else in Thailand.
Koh Samui, in particular, is great ‘gateway’ island for those visiting Thailand for the first time. Plenty of local experiences to get a nice cultural feel, but also plenty of western influence so you don’t feel like you’re on another planet.
Koh Samui is hugely popular with honeymooners so there is certainly a fair share of luxury on the island where you can enjoy your beach front bungalow, private swimming pool and pretty much anything you wish for. But if you are looking for something to do outside of your hotel grounds, we have a few suggestions for you….
Things to Do on Koh Samui:
Food – The Thai Experience
For a great night out where not only you will eat and drink yourself silly – you will also learn about Thai street food culture and local Thai customs, then we vote for The Thai Experience 100%.
The original concept was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where a group of friends wanted to create a new, unique dining experience. One that showcased the traditional local food, but also allowed travellers from all corners of the globe to meet, eat, and have fun together. The Argentine Experience started 3 years ago and is now #1 on Trip Advisor for Buenos Aires – so they figured why not open a restaurant in Koh Samui?
The Thai Experience has followed in the footsteps of it’s big brother restaurant and has also reached #1 on trip advisor for Koh Samui in just under a year since their debut.
We can tell you – they deserve it! Everything about the night is so well thought out. From the cocktail making class to the silly chefs hats and aprons they make everyone wear. To the entertaining introduction to local customs and faux pa’s, while you await your first taste of their Thai-Fusion street food. It’s all in the name of Fun & Food.
Another great feature of The Thai Experience is the pick up and drop off service that is included in the price. Friends don’t let friends drink and drive – or get ripped off by the local taxi drivers on the island. You can drink as much as you like (all included in the price) and get a lift back to the door step of your hotel. Easy- Peasy!
We really had such a good time at The Thai Experience and can’t wait until they open up a few more around the world – we now want to try them all!
⇒ Click Here to listen and learn about the fascinating (& surprisingly recent) history of Thailand’s National Dish – Pad Thai on our Travel & Food Podcast “The Dish”
Ok. We have to be careful with this one – because YOU need to be careful if you choose to do this.
One of our favourite things to do on Koh Samui is hire a moped and explore the island.
This is great fun because:
- You can explore less touristy beaches and go snorkelling. Or walk, swim, play, whatever, without being surrounded by heaps of other tourists.
- You can discover different parts of the island that you didn’t know existed. (It’s amazing what’s outside of your resort!)
- You can discover amazing markets and street food stalls, and really get a taste of local Thai cuisine.
This is bad because:
- Riding a moped on Koh Samui can be really dangerous. Cars drive too fast and they don’t look out for people on mopeds.
- Westerners seem to think that common sense no longer applies in Thailand, and they ride with no helmets, no shirts, in flip flops!!! Seriously people – think!
- You can hire a moped without showing any evidence that you even know how to ride the damn thing. So some people just hire a bike and think they will be able to master it instantly…..this causes accidents! Lots of accidents!
I don’t want to lecture you on the do’s and don’t of riding a moped in Thailand. I am telling you it is something we enjoy doing, but I don’t recommend it if you have no experience riding a moped, It can be incredibly dangerous! Even deadly! You’ve been warned!
If you are travelling abroad we always recommend you have travel insurance. We personally use World Nomads as they work great for us. But they won’t cover you for riding a moped unlicensed… just saying.
If hiring a moped is not really your style – then make sure you catch one of the night time fire twirling shows. They have them at select bars on the beach, and it’s loads of fun to have a few cocktails (or buckets) and enjoy the show
Where to Stay on Koh Samui
Boutique – OZO Chaweng
OZO is a relatively new brand of hotels from the Onyx hospitality group that has a theme that is near and dear to my heart – Sleep!
Yes everything about this hotel is designed so you get the best nights sleep. From the black out curtains, to the pillow top mattress – they want you to sleep well. And sleep well we did!
Sadly at the time we visited Ozo Chaweng there was a typhoon off the coast of Vietnam that meant that the weather wasn’t great for hitting the beach – which is at the doorstep of the resort by the way! So we spent our time chilling in our fabulous pool view room.
If you do happen to get there when the weather is better, you can hang at the beach, go swimming in the pool, or sit by the bar and enjoy a cocktail or two.
Also if you are missing a little bit of home and really in need of a tasty hamburger the OZO restaurant Stacked will fill your heart and bellies with tasty tasty joy. Don’t feel bad about craving a hamburger in Thailand, it happens to the best of us. You can’t eat Thai day in, day out. No matter how awesome it is.
Anyway back to stacked….
Stacked is run by Chef Matt formerly from the United States, but who has been living and cooking in Thailand for many years. And this man knows how to bring some traditional comfort food to life.
Prepare for the food porn photos!!!
For more information or to book this hotel: Please Click here
Treat Yourself – Nikki Beach
Want to really treat yourself while in Koh Samui? Then look no further than Nikki Beach Resort. Famous for their Sunday brunch sessions, they are the self-proclaimed sexiest place on earth.
Here you barely even need to leave the resort – everything you need is already there. Chic design, specialty dining, and the hottest events in Samui. Pretty much, staying at Nikki beach is the ultimate in chic luxury, delivered on a designer platter.
For more information or to book this hotel: Please Click Here
Budget Friendly – 2W Guest House
As we sat out the front of this hostel enjoying few beers with other guests, we decided to ask a few how they had come to stay at 2W Beach Hostel, and the response was always the same. “we were told by a friend that if we ever come to Koh Samui 2W is the only place to stay, as the owner and her family are so friendly .” And you know what – they were totally right!
2W Beach Hostel is run by Nathathai and her family. When we arrived we were met by her mum and dad, who were playing a game of Mahjong out the front. While they didn’t speak a great deal of English, her mum certainly knew who we were and where we were going, and promptly showed us to our room. We had booked the private double room – and it was huge! It even came with a mini kitchen including a fridge. When we did meet Nathathai we never saw her without a smile on her face – she is every bit as lovely as everyone raves.
As a note: This is a place to stay if you are wanting to avoid the chaos of Chaweng. It is much quieter on this side of the island, but there is still restaurants near by and the beach is directly across the road from the guest house. But you need to decide in advance what you are wanting to get from your Koh Samui experience, serenity – or chaos. If your answer is chaos, then sorry this isn’t the place for you…
The great thing about Koh Samui, is you can do as little or as much as you like during your stay. We personally prefer to do as little as possible, and spend our days swimming in the warm waters and nights enjoying the tasty food on the island. Like this amazing mango sticky rice we had a Galanga in Chaweng.
It’s Koh Samui – just chill and enjoy island life!
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Disclaimer: We did receive the Thai Experience, and our stay at 2W Hostel and Ozo Chaweng complimentary. All opinions remain our own. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – thank you for supporting this blog by using these links.