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“We did one of those paid tours of Samui and it absolutely sucked. You were right.”
“I know I was right. But did you at least hike up the waterfalls or see the Big Budda?”
“No, we didn’t even get that far. It sucked so bad we just took a taxi back after two hours.”
“Next time this is what you should see…”
Above is a conversation I recently had with a friend who was running a tour from North America. After two days in Samui he wanted to take his group on one of those paid excursions throughout the island. I told him not to waste his money on the tour. Just rent a private car and stop at a few places.
He didn’t listen and after two hours of the paid tour, his group took a taxi back to their hotel. Two days later they did what I originally recommended and his group was able to see the island in an enjoyable way.
(Also, there is also a very popular Martial Arts camp that is based on Samui. Before every 2 month training phase, all the new students take a very similar tour to get familiar with the island.)
If you’ve never been to Samui before and want to explore, stop by a few of these places or follow the tour. Rent a car, or use a moped. You’re on vacation, why not treat yourself to a little adventure and sight seeing.
Samui has two main waterfalls, Waterfall 1 and 2. Stop by each of them and make a little adventure out of it. Hike to the top of the falls. If you are a climber, scramble up along the falls. If you don’t like to hike, no problem. There is a popular swimming place at the base of the waterfalls
Start at the waterfalls first because it is out of the way from all the other stops. And if you go there in the afternoon, it will be full of unhappy tourists who are on one of those paid guided tours.
Stop and look around Lamai for an hour and get some lunch. Park at the McDonalds and walk to the beach. This is where you can find the best swimming in Samui.
Right on the beach there is a restaurant call, Bikini Bar. They are known for having excellent hamburgers.
Jungle Club is a resort located on top of a mountain that over looks the island with an incredible view. If you’re not hungry, get a drink and take in the sights.
This is where the grocery store, bowling alley, and movie theater is located. Great place for a little indoor fun.
This is a very popular walking street which is full of different restaurants and shopping. If you don’t like Thai food, this place will have the food you love.
Welcome to the mobile office of the “New Rich.” This is a little restaurant / coffee bar right on the beach in Bo Phut. Set up your laptop anytime during the day and work out of a hammock right on the beach with free high speed internet.
Time for a little Thai culture. Stop by Big Budda and see what the fuss is about. Normally I’m not up for Thai temples, but this one always catches my attention.
This is your last stop. Go to Ark Bar in Chaweng. Ark Bar is one of the most well known bars in Samui and is the place tourists from all over the world go to relax. Have a drink and make some friends.
Although there are many other places worth seeing in Samui, these are the top places that most new comers should see.
Posted on Gods of Thailand March 7, 2011 in Koh Samui