Koh Samui Insurance

When travelling to any foreign country you never know what unexpected events might happen. That is why when it comes to travelling to Thailand, you should make sure that you do not leave your home without purchasing suitable travel insurance.

There is somewhat of perception amongst many visitors to Thailand that the country’s health and safety standards are much improved in the last decade or so and that the most basic of medical facilities are generally pretty cheap when compared to the cost of health care in the west. This is true to a certain extent and some of Thailand’s private hospitals and other medical facilities are amongst the best in the world.

However, if it is fair to say that some of the regular hospitals in Thailand offer facilities and standards that are much lower than what you would expect to find back home. And although these facilities will certainly be cheaper, they might not have the medical expertise and equipment to be able to assist you should you require urgent medical attention.

It is certainly true that Thailand has some excellent medical facilities, so much so that the country is currently experiencing large numbers of ‘medical tourists’ who travel to the country to take use these facilities, which isn’t a problem when you have a cheque from your medical insurance to cover the bill. However, if you don’t have the security of medical insurance then staying more than a couple of nights in a good hospital in Bangkok, Phuket or Koh Samui is likely to be quite expensive for the average person and could result in thousands upon thousands of Euros, Dollars of Pounds worth of medical bills.

Travel Insurance on Koh Samui

That is why travel insurance is so important because it covers you in the event of you having an accident or injury or getting sick where you will need to have some form of medical treatment. Travel insurance will also cover you should you lose your luggage or if any other of your personal belongings are stolen or damaged. It will also cover you for any flights or transfers that might get delayed or cancelled and will help to give you peace of mind whilst travelling around a foreign land.

As mentioned above, you never know what could be around the corner and although Thailand has improved in terms of safety of the past decade or so, travelling to or staying in the country without adequate insurance could be considered to be more than a little unwise.

More for people who stay in Thailand for the long term, rather than just as holiday makers, the different insurance policies that are available in Thailand will undoubtedly be very similar to the ones you that are available overseas.

As with insurance policies back home, there are various different levels of cover available depending on what your budget is or how much you are willing to spend. You might want to look into the possibility of purchasing several policies with one company as they might be able to offer you some form of discount across the board.

Koh Samui Medical Insurance

If and when you plan to visit Koh Samui on holiday it is more than advisable to make sure that you purchase sufficient travel and/or health insurance prior to your visit. Expats and other long term residents of Koh Samui might be required to purchase special insurance with regards to finding a policy that is better suited to their own situation or circumstances. Thankfully there are plenty of plenty of insurance brokers that operate online, as well as having several that are located on the island itself, most notably in the towns of Chaweng, Lamai and Nathon.

If you happen to have a serious accident or require urgent medical attention for some other reason, many private hospitals or medical facilities in Thailand could be reluctant to provide medical care unless you are able to prove that you are either adequately insured or that you can pay any medical fees prior to receiving treatment. Those people that do have suitable medical insurance will probably be expected to pay any initial expenses but will be able to claim for a full reimbursement at a later date.

Sometimes, what seems like a fairly minor of innocuous injury or ailment can soon become a fairly expensive visit to a Koh Samui hospital, depending on the level of care and medical attention you require. The islands main hospital, which is called Samui International Hospital and is located in Chaweng, is likely to be the best and most equipped medical facility on the island, if not in the whole of the province. There is a government hospital that is located in the town of Nathon, which will be able to offer much cheaper medical care. However, the standards, level of expertise and equipment are not likely to be as good as the standards found in the islands private hospitals.

From the medical and health insurance policies that are available in Thailand, some can be purchased that will pay out the full amount of any medical bills, whereas others can be purchased that have limits on the amount that can be claimed for things such as surgical procedures or hospital accommodation. The prices of these different types of policies will usually depend on a series of factors, most notably age and the type of medical cover which is required for each individual.

There are a large number of policies available that will cover near enough every possible scenario you can think of including, accidental death, broken bones, hospitalisation and even repatriation back to the country in which you reside, if this is required.

Car and Motorbike Insurance on Koh Samui

The general road safety on Koh Samui is definitely a major concern and it has been claimed that, on average, one person per day dies after being involved in an accident on the islands road. Therefore, the likelihood of being involved in some sort of road traffic accident on Koh Samui is almost inevitable and this is largely the result of 3 main factors.

The first factor is due to the poor standards of many of the roads on the island, which can often make driving conditions very difficult, particularly in wet conditions. Pot holes, cracks in the road and roads even without tarmac or cement make for a testing driving experience. Koh Samui is also very hilly and has a large mountain right in the centre of the island. Because of this some of the islands roads can get quite steep, which also doesn’t help to make driving any easier.

The second contributory factor in the poor road safety on Koh Samui is down to the driving habits of many of the locals who live on the island. As with other parts of Thailand road safety rules or some sort of Highway Code just doesn’t seem to exist. On Koh Samui expect to see plenty of speeding, undertaking and tailgating, as these are generally considered to be normal ways drive a car or motor bike throughout Thailand. Also, expect to see many vehicles overloaded with cargo and passengers too.

The third and final factor that often results in a large amount of accidents on Koh Samui is down to the inexperience of foreign visitors to the island who rent motor vehicles, particularly motorbikes, without having a motorcycle license or even any experience of driving a vehicle of this kind. Many visitors simply turn up on the island, hire a motorbike and are let loose on the islands road, often without a helmet and sometimes with fatal consequences.

Many of the locals will at some stage or another have been involved in or at least witnessed a road traffic accident on the island.

Therefore, before your visit to the island, particularly if you intend to hire a motor vehicle of some kind you really should make sure that you have adequate insurance to cover you in the event of you being involved in some form of road traffic accident.

If you do plan to hire a car or motorbike then hiring one from a legitimate or reputable hire company is probably your best option as they should already provide you with motor insurance. However, it is always wise to double check and make sure that this is definitely the case.

If you plan to hire a motorbike or car from another outlet on the island, then the chances are that the vehicle in question will probably be provided by a local who is just trying to make an extra bit of money by renting out their spare vehicle to foreign tourists. Because of this it is highly unlikely that any insurance cover what so ever will be provided and if you happen to have an accident or damage the motorbike or vehicle in any way you will not be covered. Not only that but you will probably end up paying well over the odds for any repairs that might be needed.

When it comes to renting a vehicle, it is possible to arrange short term insurance to cover you for the duration of the rental period. However, as there is usually a considerable risk of having an accident, this type of insurance can often be very costly and sometimes difficult to find.

If you are staying on Koh Samui for a long period of time it might be the case that you look to purchase a vehicle in order to get around the island. If you do end up owning a vehicle then there will be no problem when it comes to purchasing insurance. However, you do need to be aware of the different levels of insurance that are available on different policies. For example, since 1993 it has been a legal requirement in Thailand to have basic compulsory insurance, which you will need to show proof of when it comes to taxing you vehicle. As in other countries, you can also purchase more comprehensive policies that will not only cover all of our own costs should you be involved in an accident, but also the costs of any third parties that may also be involved.

Also bear in mind that many Thai people on Koh Samui and throughout other areas of the country, take to the road without any insurance at all and sometimes they do not even have a driving license; whereas other will have only the very basic compulsory insurance cover.

As a foreigner or ‘farang’ it is generally assumed amongst many Thai’s that you will be relatively wealthy and even if this is not the case, the chances are that you will be expected to pay if and when you are involved in a road traffic accident, even if it was not your fault. Also, if you happen to be a victim of vehicle theft, you might be required to pay a fee to the local police in order for them to fully investigate the crime.

The most basic insurance policies are very cheap in Thailand but they are considered to be fairly inadequate when compared to some of the similar policies that you would get back home, and considering the likelihood of being involved in an accident the cost is considerably greater. Fully comprehensive insurance premiums are likely to set you back somewhere in the region of several thousand baht per year, maybe even more. However, this cost is more than justified when you consider that you will be sufficiently covered in the event of you having an accident whilst driving.

When it comes to vehicle theft many companies will actually reimburse approximately 80% of the vehicles total value should it be stolen, so it is worthwhile thoroughly checking the details of any policies you look at to make sure that vehicle theft is included.

Koh Samui Home Insurance

In the large part, there is only a small amount of crime on Koh Samui, and aside from the road safety, the island itself is quite a safe place to live. However, even with this in mind, if you happen to live on Koh Samui or you have chosen to buy property there, it is important that you are fully covered in the event of a break in, burglary or theft from your property.

If you purchase property on Koh Samui, whether it as you permanent residence or as a second property or holiday home then it is likely that you will have made a significant investment in what is generally considered to be a large asset. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you have adequate insurance that will cover you should anything happen to your property.

Whilst violent crime is very rare on Koh Samui, some properties are considered to be easy targets by would-be thieves due to their poor or inadequate security. In some eyes, a foreigner’s home could well be seen as a particularly worthwhile target if it is perceived that they have a lot of expensive electronic equipment and other goods inside. In the past there have been occasional reports of thieves breaking into properties in the middle of the night, whilst the people inside them sleep, in order to try and steal cash or jewellery.

Home insurance doesn’t just protect you in the event of a break in or theft, it also is essential to help cover you for damage to the structure of the property, as well as any problems you might have with any of the fixtures, fittings and other contents.

If you do own a holiday home on Koh Samui, there is a fair chance that it might be empty for large parts of the year, which could make it more susceptible to damage. For example, a small leak that starts when the property is empty could quickly end up causing a significant amount of damage to your home.

If you happen to rent out your property in Koh Samui then you might want to look at taking out liability insurance that will cover you when you rent the property to a third party.

No matter how often your property is used or by whom, it is important that you insure you home for at least all if not more of its full value so that you can ensure that you are fully covered should something particularly bad happen to the property.

If you are thinking of renting a property on the island it will probably be the case that you will responsible should the property become damaged in any way, although you will probably want to check this with your landlord first. If you are responsible, you might want to look into taking out an insurance policy that will cover you for the property and its contents.

Koh Samui Insurance Companies

Here are the details of a number of different insurance companies and agents that are available on Koh Samui. Many of these companies will have experience in dealing with foreigners who own property on the island or who are looking for insurance cover for personal accidents, travel, health and motoring, as well as property. Because these companies deal with foreigners on a fairly regular basis they are well suited to meet their needs and requirements and may even have special insurance policies that are aimed foreigners or expats.

As well as the many local brokers, it is always worthwhile looking online for a greater selection of insurance companies and a great starting point is Thaivisa.com’s insurance section (LINK).

American International Assurance (AIA Thailand)
Providers of life, health and accident insurance. The branch at Koh Samui has English speaking staff and deal with foreigners on a regular basis

Address: Samui Ring Road, Chaweng, 151/37 Moo 1, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320
Telephone: +66 (0) 815 369 136
Email: suvitwong.aia@hotmail.com
Website: www.aiathailand.com

AXA Insurance – Samui Sub Branch
Specialists in motor, home, accident and travel insurance.

Address: 108/30 Moo 1, Tambon Bo Phut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320
Telephone: +66 (0) 77 256 093
Email: ajchara.buachoo@axa-insurance.co.th
Website: www.axa.co.th

Ayudhya Allianz CP Life Plc
One of Thailand’s leading providers of life accident and health insurance.

Address: 173/29 Moo 3, Lamai, Koh Samui, 84320, Surat Thani
Telephone: +66 (0)77 458 225 / Customer Call Centre 1373
Email: onanong.pa@aacpagency.com
Website: www.aacp.co.th

Bupa Health Insurance
Bupa provide comprehensive health insurance, personal accident insurance, business medical insurance and worldwide travel insurance, with English speaking staff at their branch in Koh Samui

Address: 26/12 Moo 3, Bo Phut, Koh Samui, 84320
Telephone: +66 (0)77 239 022
Email: samui@bupa.co.th
Website: www.bupa.co.th

Ensure Insurance Services Ltd
Aimed at expats and foreigners, Ensure Insurance are brokers who provide health, home, travel, business and car insurance in Thailand and throughout South East Asia.

Address: Choeng Mon, 10/22 Moo 5, Bo Phut, Koh Samui, 84320
Telephone: +66 (0)77 417 015
Email: info@ensureasia.com
Website: www.ensureasia.com

QBE Insurance Thailand Ltd
Insurance brokers specialising in life, travel, home and car insurance, with English speaking representatives at their Koh Samui branch.

Address: 12/48 Moo 1, Mae Nam, Koh Samui, 84320, Surat Thani
Telephone: +66 (0)81 978 8422
Email: vasantaia@yahoo.com
Website: www.vasantinsure.com

Sinmunkong Insurance Co. Ltd
Address: 6/6 Moo 2, Angthong, Koh Samui, 84320, Surat Thani
Telephone: +66 (0)77 420 986
Website: www.smk.co.th

Thai Zurich Insurance
Address: Thaveeradpakdee Road, 21/2 Moo 2, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320
Telephone: +66 (0)77 234 307
Website: www.thaisri.com

Viriyah Insurance Ltd
Address: Thaweeratphakdee Road, Nathon, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320
Telephone: +66 (0)77 421 555
Website: www.viriyah.co.th

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Koh Samui Muay Thai Training

As well as Koh Samui having a number of venues where you can watch live Muay Thai fights, the island also has a growing reputation as a destination for specialist training camps and gyms for those who want try the sport for themselves.

The largest selection of Muay Thai gyms on Koh Samui can be found in Lamai and Chaweng. No matter if you are complete novice to the sport or an experience fighter who wants to take his skills to the next level, then the Muay Thai gyms and training camps on Koh Samui will help you to achieve your goals.

koh-samui-muay-thai-trainingWith Muay Thai putting a lot of emphasis on many offensive and defensive moves, as well as the need for a great level of stamina, Thai boxing is something that anyone can learn and is a great way of getting fit, healthy and lean.

As well as the health benefits of taking part in Muay Thai training, the sport’s popularity has grown around the world thanks to such events as the Ultimate Fighting Championships, where Muay Thai features heavily.

This has led to a growing number of Muay Thai gyms and training camps opening around the world. Where better to learn the art of this intricate, skilful and demanding sport than in the country of its origin? Not to mention on a tropical island paradise!

As mentioned, many of the Muay Thai gyms on the island are suitable for a wide variety of people who might just be looking to get in shape. Often they will run daily sessions or classes and can even design personalised training programs based on a person’s own fitness levels and experience.

However, if you take your Muay Thai a little more seriously, many of the islands gyms will teach you all the right manoeuvres and techniques, often being taught by former Muay Thai champions or experienced instructors. They will also teach you that Muay isn’t just about throwing a lot of punches or kicks and will educate you in the sports history, roots and origins.

Many people travel from all over the world to learn the art of Muay Thai on Koh Samui. Many of the islands training facilities even can even provide accommodation so people can combine intense training with a relaxing holiday on Samui.

Muay Thai Gyms on Koh Samui

Here is information on some of the Muay Thai gyms that can be found throughout Koh Samui:

Superpro Samui
Located in Chaweng Beach, Superpro Samui is a Muay Thai and MMA gym that also offers quality modern accommodation. No matter if you just want to get into shape, learn some basic Muay Thai techniques or fine tune your fighting style, Superpro Samui will almost certainly be able to help.

Inside the Superpro training facility you will find a modern Muay Thai, MMA and European Kickboxing training facility, that also includes a cardio, weights and fitness gym.  There are also Muay Thai lessons and MMA classes twice a day, which are taken by professional MMA and Muay Thai trainers. Superpro Samui can also provide private training sessions in both MMA and Muay Thai.

Offering short term stays and long term holidays, Superpro Samui is a popular choice for many people that want to train and learn about Muay Thai.

Contact Details
Address: Superpro Samui, 48/10 Moo 3, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
Tel: 077 414 393
Web: www.superprosamui.com

Lamai Muay Thai Camp
Lamai Muay Thai Camp is one of the most popular and renowned Muay Thai training camps on Koh Samui. Sanctioned by the World Muay Thai Council, Lamai Muay Thai has welcomed people from all over the world to train at their Muay Thai camp.

Complete with a modern and newly refurbished gym, the facilities at Lamai Muay Thai are very good; so good in fact, that the Philippine national Muay Thai team used the facilities here as a training base before going to compete in the International Muay Thai Federation World Championships, which were held in September 2011.

Inside the camp you will find 3 boxing rings, punches bags and a weight gym.

As well as the great facilities, Lamai Muay Thai Camp also offers specialist Muay Thai training for women, as well as public classes and private one on one training sessions.

For people who want to train at Lamai Muay Thai whilst they are on their holiday, then the camp also has up to 30 bungalows available and is only 5 minutes from the beach.

Lamai Muay Thai Camp welcome people of all abilities and fitness levels and have trained everyone from absolute beginners through to some of the world’s best Muay Thai fighters.

Contact Details
Address: Lamai Muay Thai Camp, 82/2 Moo 3, Lamai Beach, Koh Samui
Tel: 077 418 430
Email: muaythaitour@hotmail.com
Web: www.lamaimuaythaicamp.com

Pinyo Muay Thai Gym
Another of Lamai’s popular Muay Thai gyms, Pinyo Muay Thai has a good reputation both nationally and internationally for training all levels of fighters and is considered by many to be one of the best gyms on Samui.

All of the trainers and instructors are Pinyo are well respected in the world of Mauy Thai, with many of them being ex stadium fighters and Muay Thai champions.

Pinyo also has accommodation available just minutes down the road from the gym itself. Open Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm, Pinyo offers morning and evening training sessions from 7am and 4.40pm, respectively.

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Muay Thai on Koh Samui

Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) is Thailand’s national sport. As well as being very popular throughout Thailand and South East Asia, its popularity is now growing worldwide, where it is more popular than ever before.

Many visitors to Thailand are eager to witness a live Muay Thai fight and it is something that is often on their list of things to see and do whilst staying in the country. It is fair to say that the largest selection of Muay Thai arenas can be found in Bangkok. However, every town or city in Thailand will have some sort of stadium or arena where you can watch a live bout.

muay-thai-on-koh-samuiKoh Samui is certainly no exception when it comes to the popularity of Thai Boxing. The island is home to a couple of boxing stadiums and arenas, which are well worth visiting and that can make for a fantastic night of entertainment.

In the days in the lead up to these fights, pickup trucks drive around the island blasting out the details of the fights via a loudspeaker, often at deafening volumes, whilst other promoters hand out flyers in main streets of Chaweng and Lamai.

Witnessing a Muay Thai fight in Samui is something you should experience at least once during your stay on the island. Even people who are not regular boxing fans are often fascinated by this intricate, highly skilled and energetic sport, which plays such an important role in Thai culture and society.

The Popularity of Thai Boxing

As well as football (soccer), Mauy Thai is probably the most followed sport in Thailand. Many of the Thai television stations will broadcast live fights up to 5 times per week and all the of the country’s major newspapers will print results and information on the leading Muay Thai fighters and events.

With Thailand being the home of Muay Thai, it is not surprising that the country has produced dozens of world championship fighters. Often, boys as young as eight or nine, sometimes even younger, will start to train seriously, in order to try and follow their dreams to becoming a professional fighter and maybe even a world champion.

As mentioned, fights of all different standards and importance are held throughout Thailand. Normally, a Muay Thai fight takes place in five, 3 minute rounds, with a two minute rest break in between. Before the fight starts each of the boxers will pay homage to his teachers or instructors by performing a dance, known as ‘wai khru’. If you go to watch a Muay Thai event, you will also notice that each boxer will be wearing a headband, which is known as a ‘mongkhol’ and some armbands.

The mongkhol is worn to bring good luck to the boxer as it is normally blessed by a monk or the boxer’s teacher. It is then removed before the fight, after the wai khru. The armbands, which are believed to protect the boxer are worn during the fight and only removed once the fight has ended.

Upon witnessing a Muay Thai boxing fight, you will also notice that next to the ring there will be a traditional Thai band, which normally comprises of drums, cymbals and a Javanese clarinet. The band plays constantly during the fight, from when the boxers are performing the wai khru to when the when the fight has finished, raising and lowering their tempo as the fight between the boxers intensifies. It is said that the band’s music is like a siren song, which a true devotee to Muay Thai will find impossible to resist.

All of this makes for a great atmosphere and an evening spent watching a live Muay Thai fight in Thailand is one that you will surely remember for many years to come.

Muay Thai Boxing Stadiums and Events on Koh Samui

Chaweng Boxing Stadiums
Despite the crushing elbows, furious punches, powerful grappling and lethal kicks, Muay Thai is actually incredibly gracious to watch and Koh Samui has two great places where you can watch some of the islands fighters in action.

Arguably Samui’s most popular boxing stadium is the Chaweng Stadium, which is located close to the Reggae Pub and Chaweng Lake and is home to many of the islands major Muay Thai fights. Fights at Chaweng Stadium are normally held on Monday and Friday nights. However, it is always best to check locally for when the fights are on as during the peak season there can often be additional fights held during the week.

Fights at the Chaweng Stadium start around 9pm and will normally last for about 3 hours. During these 3 hours there are normally a number of small bouts (sometimes as many as 10) before the actual main fight.

These earlier bouts will often include fights between younger boxers, who can sometimes be as young as nine or ten. Admittedly, whilst these fights might not be the main attraction, they can still be worth watching. However, if you are only interested in the night’s main event then you might want to visit the boxing stadium from around 10.30pm.

Chaweng is also home to the Phetch Buncha Stadium, which is newer than the Chaweng Stadium and can be found close to the Laem Din Market.

The atmosphere at both of these stadiums can be electric and with traditional Thai music playing throughout, it certainly helps to create a truly memorable experience. Fights include both Thai and foreign boxers, many of whom are professionals, with the standard of fighting, generally being very good.

Tickets for a Muay Thai fight at one of the boxing stadiums in Chaweng can cost anywhere between 1000 and 2500 Baht, depending on the event and if you have a ringside seat or a seat in the stands. For the latest ticket information it is probably best to check locally before purchasing your ticket.

Many of the Muay Thai events which are held in Chaweng are advertised by a pickup truck that drives around the area blasting out details about the fight from a loud speaker. In the run up to an event there are also normally plenty of flyers and posters dotted all around Chaweng.

For more information, please contact:
Chaweng Boxing Stadium
Address: 3/7 Moo 2, Chaweng Lake Side, Tambon Bophut, Koh Samui
Tel: 077 413 504 or 081 719 6503

Or visit the Phetch Buncha Stadium website http://www.samuistadium.com/ or visit their Facebook page.

Lamai Lady Boxing

As well as the different Thai boxing events which are on offer in Chaweng, Lamai has weekly bouts of lady boxing, which has been popular with locals, expat and tourists for a number of years. Whilst this might be less traditional than the other Muay Thai, it can still be just as entertaining.

Every Saturday night, the main street in Lamai becomes home to an outdoor boxing event mainly featuring local bar girls who fight it out against each other for the prize of a couple of thousand Baht. The boxing starts from about 9.30pm and entry is free. However, you are expected to purchase a drink from one of the one of the surrounding bars.

Now, whilst the lady boxing in Lamai is a popular event, genuine fans of the sport might be a little disappointed, as you certainly won’t be seeing any future world champions here!

That said, others would describe the lady boxing as one of the bet nights out to be had on the island and certainly the place to go for a good laugh.

You might also be surprised by the large and varied crowd that attends this event, with everyone from families, expats, locals and other tourists out to have a good time. The atmosphere around the ring is good too and as the night progresses the crowd can get more and more vocal in their support.

Some people do complain that many of the bars which are located close to the lady boxing raise their prices whenever there is a boxing event. Whilst this may well be the case, generally drink prices should still be pretty reasonable, although you might find the odd bar that tries to charge you silly money for a beer.

If you want to go to a lady boxing fight in Lamai then just head to the main street on a Saturday night, you can’t miss it! If you want to get ring side seats then make sure you get there within in plenty of time as the whole area can get pretty busy.

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Kayaking on Koh Samui

Kayaking is one of the most popular water sports on Koh Samui and gives people the perfect opportunity to explore the surrounding waters, islands and coves. With incredible over hanging coves, secluded beaches and pristine waters, hiring a kayak can be a great way of finding some of Samui’s natural hidden treasures.

You can hire kayaks on many of the islands major beaches or in the popular destinations of Chaweng and Lamai. Some resorts even offer free kayak hire to guests.

Once you have rented your kayak, you are all set to go and explore the waters around Koh Samui. However, whilst this can be great fun, one of the best ways to see some of the most beautiful spots around the island is to book an organised kayaking tour that visits some of the most picturesque islands and reefs around Koh Samui.

kayaking-on-koh-samuiKayaking trips to the nearby islands of Koh Tan and Koh Mudsum are very popular and highly recommended. Kayaking trips to these islands normally includes an opportunity to do some snorkelling, for those that are interested and both of these sites are crammed with exotic marine life and offer some of the best conditions for snorkelling off Samui.

If, after all that kayaking, you haven’t got the energy for snorkelling then don’t worry as you can always find a quite spot on one of the islands white sandy beaches in order to relax and make sure that your energy levels are well and truly recharged!

Also included in many kayaking tours to Koh Tan and Koh Mudsum are transfers to and from your hotel, snorkelling equipment and lunch, snacks and refreshments. The price of a sea kayaking tour to Koh Tan and Koh Mudsom costs approximately 1300 Baht for adults and around 750 Baht for children. The majority of these types of tours are full day trips, although there are some half day trips and even overnight kayaking tours available off Koh Samui.

Sea Kayaking Around the Ang Thong National Marine Park

As well as exploring Koh Tan and Koh Mudsom by kayak, it is also highly recommended to take a kayaking tour to the incredible Ang Thong National Marine Park, which is located to the north west of Koh Samui.

Ang Thong Marine Park contains approximately 40 unusually shaped, yet stunningly beautiful islands which form a mini-archipelago and are amongst some of the most amazing sights to be found in the Gulf of Thailand.

The park itself encompasses some 250 square kilometres, with each of the green luscious islands seeming to almost appear from nowhere above the surface of the beautiful turquoise sea.

The best way to explore these incredible rock formations is to tour the area by sea kayak, which will certainly make for a breathtaking and memorable experience that will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your stay on Koh Samui.

It is said that the Ang Thong Marine Park was the inspiration behind Alex Garland’s international bestselling novel, The Beach and after visiting the area, you will see why!

Particular highlights of the park include Koh Mae Ko, which is renowned for its amazing golden beach and stunning saltwater lagoon, which is called Thale Noi. As well as golden beaches and lagoons, Sam Sai boasts a thriving coral reef, teeming with wildlife and snorkelling around this area is nothing short of exceptional. The island of Phai Luak contains several spectacular caves and caverns that have an array of unusual stalactites and limestone formations.

Travel to the Ang Thong Marine Park from Koh Samui is normally provided by speed boat or larger boat, depending on what type of tour you are booked on.

During the journey from Samui to the marine park the boat will cruise between overhanging rocks, whilst taking in some of the Thailand’s most magnificent beaches. A light breakfast will also be included in the journey.

Once you arrive at the marine park, you will be free to go in your kayak and explore the area, before paddling back to the boat for a well earned and delicious Thai style lunch. After lunch the tour will move onto another area of the park, with Tai Plao a popular afternoon destination for many of the tour operators. Here you will be able to board your kayak once more, navigating your way into mysterious tunnels and caves and around unusual rock formations.

It is likely that you will then visit the island’s beach where you will able to relax or go for a spot of snorkelling, which is definitely recommended.

Another popular stop for many tour operators is Talay Nai, which is an amazing saltwater lagoon, situated in a huge cave. Talay Nai’s waters have an amazing array of wildlife, which offers another great opportunity for snorkelling. If you are lucky, you might even see dolphins or sea turtles.

Ang Thong Kayaking Tour

The majority of kayaking tours and packages from Koh Samui to the Ang Thong Marine Park will include hotel/accommodation transfers, breakfast, lunch, soft drinks, fruit, snorkelling equipment, kayaks, life jackets, admission fee to the Marine Park and an English speaking tour guide.

It is normally the case that tours of this kind will leave Samui at approximately 8am, with you returning to your accommodation no later than 5.30pm. The price of tours vary between operators but you should expect to pay somewhere in the region of 2000 Baht for adults and 1300 Baht for children.

Here are details of some of the kayaking tour operators on Koh Samui:

Blue Star Divers
Address: 82/83 Moo2 Chaweng Lake Road, Chaweng, 84320
Tel: 077 413 231
Web: www.bluestars.info

TK Tour Samui
Address: 30/5 Moo 5 Taling Ngam, Koh Samui, 84310
Tel: 077 334 052
Email: tk.tour@hotmail.com
Web: www.tktoursamui.com

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Fishing on Koh Samui

Fishing in the waters off Koh Samui can be a great activity for the all the family. From experienced anglers to absolute beginners, the waters off Samui are absolutely teeming with a wide variety of fish so you should have no problem in catching a bite or two!

Due to the large number of water sports and activities that are available on the island, fishing might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you are thinking about having a fun day out. However, because of the variety of fishing tours that are available from operators on the island, it means that everyone is catered for and you don’t have to be a keen angler to enjoy a day of fishing on Koh Samui.

fishing-on-koh-samuiIt wasn’t all that long ago when the only way of going on a decent fishing trip from Samui was to negotiate with a local fisherman, trying to convince him to let you aboard his boat for the day. Today, things are quite different when it comes to fishing tours on Koh Samui, as there are now a number of tour operators that offer a range of fishing tours on a variety of different boats, with very much tourists and holiday makers in mind.

Many of these fishing tours take to the sea in traditional fishing boats which have been specially converted to carry groups of passengers. Tour operators normally provide all fishing equipment too, with experienced fishermen or guides on hand to offer help and advice during the trip.

Ultimately, as with any of the organised fishing trips, the captain of the boat will have the final say on where the best spots are to go fishing, after he has taken into account sea conditions and weather forecast.  The most common policy by many of the fishing boat captains is to stay relatively close to the coastline for a couple of hours before changing to a different location during the day.

By doing this, it gives passengers the best possible change to catch some fish, whilst also offering them different views of the surrounding areas.

Long Tail Boat Fishing Tour

The two areas closest to Samui that are popular with many fishing tours are the waters around Koh Mudsum and Koh Tan. The close proximity of these islands to Samui means passengers are able to travel by traditional long tail boat and even fish by a Thai style hand line.

These types of tours are great for people who might not have all that much previous fishing experience. Even if you have never really fished before, there is still a good chance you will be able to catch a variety of fish including squid, snapper, mackerel, barracuda and even shark. Lunch is often included in these tours, as well as soft drinks and fruit. The cost of a long tail boat fishing trip to Koh Tan and Koh Mudsum will vary from one tour operator to another. However, you can normally expect to pay about 1200 Baht for adults and 500 Baht for children, which includes transfer from your hotel. Tours normally depart around 9am and usually return about 3pm.

Big Game Fishing Tour

If you have a little more experience of fishing or you fancy trying to catch some real whoppers, then you might consider booking yourself on one of the big game fishing trips that depart from Koh Samui. These tours normally visit areas off Samui such as Koh Mudsoom, Koh Rarh, Koh Taen and Wang Bay, which are some of the best locations to catch big game fish.

Included as part of the tour are all the equipment, baits and lures you will need, as well as live bait, which is stored in a holding tank about the boat. There are also English speaking guides on hand to provide help and assistance to ensure that you land that all important catch. A traditional Thai style lunch, complete with free refreshments and soft drinks will also be available.

Big game fishing tours will normally last for a full day, normally departing Samui around 10am and returning at approximately 5pm.

The cost of a big game fishing tour on Koh Samui can vary but you should expect to pay somewhere in the region to 1500 Baht for adults and around 800 Baht for children.

It is not always wise to simply choose the cheapest tour as this is unlikely to include some, if any of the big game fishing equipment and bait that is available with the more expensive tours. Also, as over fishing by large trawlers in the area is a problem, make sure that the boat captain has plenty of experience and knows where the best spots are in order to catch some fish.

If you do manage to catch some fish, and there is a good chance that you will, some operators include a BBQ as part of the tour where the on board chef will be able to cook any fish you catch.

Koh Samui Fishing Tour Operators

Sweeney Todd’s Tour and Travel Agency
Address: 33/2 Moo Bophut, Koh Samui
Tel: 088 448 0546, 087 003 7022
Open: 9am to 7pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 9am to 4pm (Sundays), Closed Mondays.

TK Tours Samui
Address: 30/5 Moo 5, Taling Ngam
Tel: 081 895 1178
Email: tk.tour@hotmail.com
Web: www.tktoursamui.com

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Koh Samui Golf

In recent years, Koh Samui has really started to establish itself as a popular golf destination. The golf scene in Thailand is thriving and the country now boasts a large number of world class golf courses, which people travel from all over the world to play on.

Koh Samui is now as highly regarded as other areas of Thailand which are synonymous with golf, such as Bangkok, Phuket and Hua Hin.

koh-samui-golfA number of quality golf courses can be found on Koh Samui and combined with the stunning location and natural beauty of the island, as well as Samui’s popularity as one of Thailand’s leading tourist destinations, it is easy to see why more and more people are choosing to visit Koh Samui in order to play golf.

Just imagine, playing a couple of rounds of golf surrounded by stunning panoramas of Samui’s beautiful turquoise seas and golden beaches, doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Regardless of whether you are a golfing enthusiast or just want to visit a driving range as a way of escaping from the beach for an afternoon then there are more than enough courses to keep you occupied during you stay on the island. All of the courses on Koh Samui are kept to a good standard and are sure to be challenging for everyone from novice golfers to experienced pros.

Koh Samui’s golf courses tend to be popular all year round, particularly with expats that live on the island.

However, arguably the busiest time on Koh Samui’s golf courses is during the high season, which is normally from the end of December to April. During this time, the islands courses are not only popular with expats and Thai’s but also with many foreign visitors and at times this can cause play to be slower than normal.

During the low season, it could be the case that you might not even see another person on the course, apart from your golfing partner or caddie.

If there is a hold up in play, it is important to try and be patient as there are always places to stop and take on board refreshment to sit and admire the spectacular views and scenery of the surrounding area.

Koh Samui Golf Useful Info

Dress Code
Before you take to any of the golf courses on Koh Samui, you should be aware, as with many golf clubs, there is a dress code for both men and women.

Men are expected wear to golf shoes, socks, tailored long trousers or smart shorts and a short sleeved shirt with a collar. Items of clothing/footwear that are not permitted include denim jeans or shorts, gym shorts, running shorts, football shirts and shorts, vests, round neck t-shirts, flip flops, sandals or any other non-golfing shoes.

Women are also expected to wear golf shoes, smart shorts or trousers, a blouse or a short sleeved shirt with a collar. Clothing such as football shirts, mini-skirts, leggings, denims and non golfing shoes are not permitted.

Caddies
Certain golf courses on the island insist that each golfer must be accompanied by a caddie. The main role of the caddie is to drive the golf cart, assist with club selection, filling in divots and raking bunkers.

Some of the caddies on Samui speak English to a fairly good level. However, many do not, so it is important that you are patient in order for them to be able to assist you during your game. Above all, your caddie will be polite and friendly, therefore you should treat him or her as such.

With regards to paying for the caddie, a fee is paid directly to the golf course. However, the caddie may only actually receive a small percentage of this. Therefore, it is customary to tip your caddie about 300 Baht after you have finished playing a round of golf.

Golf Club Rental
All of the golf clubs on the island provide golf club rental, which can cost anywhere between 800 and 2000 Baht per set, for 18 holes, depending on the golf course. If you are a serious golfer then it is highly recommended that you bring your own clubs as some of the rental clubs might not be up to the same standards as you are normally used to. Also, some golf clubs will only have a limited selection of clubs for rent and on busy days, there might not be any spare clubs available.

Santiburi Samui Country Club

The Course
Arguably Koh Samui’s finest golf course, this 18 hole, 6930 yard, par 72 championship course is located in the hills of Maenam and has been beautifully designed to be in harmony with its natural surroundings. Due to the location of the course, golfers are presented with a number of different challenges from tricky uphill and downhill slopes to long, winding fairways, where mountain creeks, cliffs and even coconut trees all come into play.

The views from the course are nothing short of magnificent, making the Santiburi one of the most picturesque courses in Thailand.

The Santiburi Samui Golf Course also has a driving range that has capacity for 25 people and a practice green to help you sharpen your skills before teeing off.

The club house at the Santiburi is also very impressive and provides all the comfort and luxury you will need after a long day on the golf course. Inside you will find a fully equipped locker room, banqueting facilities as well as luxurious restaurant, complete with stunning panoramic views.

The Santiburi Golf Course has previously been chosen to host a number of major tournaments including the 2006 Bangkok Airways Open, as well as the Queens Cup in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The course has also featured in the Asia Tour of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

It should also be noted that children under 12 years of age are not allowed on the course.

Course Fees
Green Fee: 1700 Baht (9 holes), 3350 Baht (18 holes)
Caddie Fee: 150 Baht (9 holes), 250 Baht (18 holes)
Golf Cart: 400 Baht (9 holes), 750 Baht (18 holes)
Club Rental: 700-2000 Baht
Driving Range Balls: 100 Baht (30 Balls)
Shoe Rental: 200 Baht

Contact Details
Address: Santiburi Samui Country Club, 12/15, Moo 4, Maenam, 84330
Tel: 077 421 700
Email: golfreservation@santiburi.com
Web: www.santiburi.com/GolfOverview.asp

The Royal Samui Golf and Country Club

The Course
The Royal Samui Golf and Country Club is located on the mountainside between Chaweng and Lamai and is home to two spectacular 9 hole courses, which offers stunning views of the island. The course itself is one which players of all abilities will enjoy, with its breathtaking drops in elevation; there is little or no opportunity for error here.

No caddies are currently available at the Royal Samui, therefore, you will need to be careful when it comes to club selection, particularly on those tricky changes of elevation. Because there are no caddies available, you are responsible for driving the golf car yourself, but that is half of the fun, right?

The course here tends to be very popular amongst local and touring golfers as the club is normally a little more laid back in its rules and regulations compared to other courses on the island. For example, providing you are wearing the appropriate shoes, the dress code at the Royal Samui isn’t quite as strict as it at other courses. There is also more of a family atmosphere here and children of all ages are welcome.

Whilst this course might be lacking in some of the extra facilities that are on offer at the Santiburi, the Royal Samui can be an excellent choice if you just fancy a relaxed game of golf with your friends.

Course Fees
Green Fee: 1300 Baht (2 x 9 holes)
Caddie Fee:  N/A
Golf Cart: 800 Baht (2×9 holes) – cart hire is highly recommended

Contact Details
Address: The Royal Samui Golf and Country Club, Lamai, Koh Samui, 84310
Tel: 077 458 4499
Email: bookings@rsgcc.co.th
Web: www.rsgcc.co.th

Bophut Hills Golf Club

The Course
The course at Bophut Hills Golf Club is relatively small when compared to the other courses that can be found on Koh Samui, most notably the The Santiburi Golf Club and The Royal Samui Golf Club. The longest hole at Bophut Hills is approximately 163 yards. However, the greens of this 9 hole course are kept to championship quality and should still be challenging for players of all levels.

Bophut Hills also provide caddies to assist you during your game and there is also a reasonable selection of quality clubs available to rent. The clubhouse at Bophut Hills is complete with a well stocked bar and a good restaurant, which is the perfect place to have a couple of drinks and something to eat after you have finished your game.

Course Fees
It is advisable to contact the club directly for the latest information on green fees. However, at Bophut Hills, you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of 1500 Baht, which includes caddie fees and club hire.

Contact Details
Address: Bophut Hills Golf Club, C/O Canopy Adventure Co Ltd, PO Box 28, Maenam
Tel: 087 267 1042
Email: info@boputhillsgolf.com
Web: www.bophuthillsgolf.com

Samui Golf Club and Driving Range

Located high up in the hills overlooking Bophut, the Samui Golf Club offers great views in an unspoilt tropical setting. However, the name ‘Samui Golf Club’ is actually somewhat misleading as all you will find here is a driving range and putting green and not an actual course.

The driving range itself covers some 250 yards and the putting green is a good place to practice if you have a couple of hours spare in the afternoon. Golf tuition is also available in English and German and normally costs about 1000 Baht for one hour. There is also a relatively good golf shop on site too.

Fees
Club Rental: 700 Baht (Including 100 balls)
Balls: 100 Baht (for 100)
Glove Rental: Free

Contact Details
Address: Samui Golf Club and Driving Range 123 Moo 1, Bophut
Tel: 077 245 236

Lamai Driving Range

Located on the main Samui ring road, just past the post office, Lamai Driving Range offers a good location for you to get some practice in. Club rental starts from 50 Baht and 50 balls can also be hired for 50 Baht.

Contact Details
Address: Lamai Driving Range, 22/6 Moo 6, Lamai
Tel: 081 090 7213

Mini Golf International

If you are looking for something that is a little more fun, less competitive and something that the whole family can enjoy, there are 3 ‘fun’ golf courses/sites which can be found on Koh Samui.

Mini Golf International, which is located in Choeng Mon is officially Thailand’s only professional mini golf course, as recognised by the World Mini Golf Federation. The course itself has 18, 12 metre concrete tracks, which are fully flood lit, enabling you to play at night.

For those that visit Mini Golf International you will also find a bar and cafe that serves a wide range of beers, soft drinks and snacks.

Contact Details
Address: Mini Golf International, 79/53 Moo, Ban Plai Laem, Bophut
Tel: 081 797 9148
Email: j.schnurr@minigolfsamui.com
Web: www.minigolfsamui.com

9 Hole Crazy Golf

A great way to spend a couple of hours is to visit the crazy golf course in Chaweng, which is located next to Gringos Cantina, just behind The Islander pub. Fun for all the family, the course is open from 11am to midnight, with discounts available for children between the hours of 11am and 6pm.

There is also a full bar service and lunch available from 1pm. Ice cream and soft drinks are served all day.

The great thing about crazy golf is that no experience is required and it is something that all the family can take part in and have some fun!

In order to find 9 Hole Crazy Golf, look out for the signs in central Chaweng, across the road from Pizza Hut.

Contact Details
Address: 166/79 Moo 2, Central Chaweng
Tel: 081 892 1416
Email: gringoscantina@gmail.com
Web: www.gringoscantinasamui.com

Samui Football Golf

If you are looking for a completely different take on the game of golf then you should check out Samui Football Golf over in Choeng Mon.

Open daily from 9am to 6.30pm, this challenging, yet fun course combines football and golf and is suitable for all ages.  Instead of using regular golf clubs and balls, the course has much larger holes and uses footballs instead of golf balls.

A unique experience, you are sure to be laughing out loud when playing a round at Samui Football Golf. The first of its kind in Asia, this 18 hole course is set amongst one of many of the islands coconut plantations where you can enjoy the swaying palms, relaxing shade and cool breeze.

No experience is necessary to play this game, just make sure you are ready to have fun and come with a smile!

Previously recommended on the Lonely Planet website, Samui Football Golf will provide you with a golfing experience like no other.

Contact Details
Address: Samui Football Golf, 24/119 Moo 5, Bo Phut (near the near the Imperial Boathouse Hotel in Choeng Mon)
Tel: 077 248 084 or 089 771 7498 (mobile)
Email: samuifootballgolf@hotmail.com
Web: www.samuifootballgolf.com

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Fitness Centres on Koh Samui

If you are looking to get fit and lean or want to lose some excess body weight and become healthier and more active then there are a plenty of gyms and fitness centres that can be found on Koh Samui, with new ones seemingly being built all the time.

With the amount of time you’ll be spending sunbathing by the pool or on the beach, it is understandable that you might want to work out so you can continue to look your best. A little extra around the waist line might be OK when you are back in the office, but when you are on the beach, it is not such a great look!

Whilst there are many outdoor activities on Koh Samui that will help to keep you healthy and toned, such as swimming, Muay Thai, scuba diving and mountain biking, for some people, the best place to train in order to stay in shape is inside a gym.

Right across the island you’ll find a number of specialised fitness centres and gyms that can help you to exercise on a regular basis, even whilst you are on holiday. If you happen to live on Koh Samui then using the air conditioned facilities of many gyms on the island offers a more comfortable environment in which to workout, especially during the day when the sun is at its hottest.

Many of the islands gyms offer monthly, weekly and daily membership rates. Some even offer big discounts if you pay for a 6 month or 12 month membership up front. Signing up for membership is normally fairly straightforward but they may ask to take a photocopy of your passport.

If you need some help and advice with your training or feel that you could benefit from a specialist workout program, then a number of gyms have personal trainers and gym instructors available (extra charges apply) to help assist you with your fitness regime.

As well as specialist gyms and fitness centres, many of the islands leading hotels and resorts all have fitness facilities, which will be free to use for guests of the hotel. Some resorts, such as the Four Seasons Resort and the Centara Grand Beach Resort, even let non residents use their excellent gym facilities, for a fee.

Koh Samui Gyms and Fitness Centres

Here are details on some of the fitness centres and gyms that can be found on Koh Samui:

Samui Fitness
Samui Fitness claims to be ‘the best and most professional gym on Koh Samui’ and this might just be true.

Located in Lamai Beach, Samui Fitness opened in 2006 and has been popular with its increasing number of members ever since. The gym itself is well equipped with all the latest weight training machines and a large number of free weights. They also have a large selection of cardiovascular equipment, all of which are regularly cleaned and maintained.

The wide range of equipment that is available here means that just about everyone is catered for; from professional body builders to people who just want to get fit and healthy or look good on the beach.

Also, the staff at Samui Fitness are always on hand to provide you with assistance and advice with regards to training. They can even offer you nutritional advice or help to create a dietary program especially for you, which can give you a major advantage in helping you to achieve your fitness goals.

With regards to membership there are a range of different packages available. For the latest information on membership it is probably best to contact Samui Fitness directly.

Samui Fitness is located in the centre of Lamai, on the Soi which is opposite the PTT Petrol Station, on the main ring road.

Contact Details
Address: Samui Fitness, 136/74 Moo 4, Lamai, Koh Samui
Tel: 080 148 5266
Email: samuifitness@hotmail.com
Web: www.samuifitness.health.officelive.com

Ultra Bodies Gym – Koh Samui
Located at the heart of Lamai Beach, Ultra Bodies is set over two storeys and offers a fantastic range of quality weight training machines and fitness equipment. The ground floor is also home to a large selection of free weights, all of which are in very good condition.

Ultra Bodies also has much of the equipment you would find in a regular gym. In addition to this equipment, Ultra Bodies also have an assisted chin and dip machine, squat rack, cable cross over, triceps dip machine and a Smith machine. There are also some pre assembled EZ bars and barbells.

Located on the second floor of Ultra Bodies is a large cardiovascular studio, which has air conditioning throughout and is complete with a number of treadmills, cross trainers, exercise bikes and a rowing machine. There is also an area specifically for warming up and stretching. The second floor is also where you will find the male and female changing and shower rooms.

Ultra Bodies is open daily from 8am to 9pm and offers a wide range of membership packages from 1 day to 1 year. Corporate discounts are also available. Contact Ultra Bodies direct for the latest information on prices.

Contact Details
Address: Ultra Bodies Samui, Lamai Beach Road, Tambon Maret, 84320
Tel: 089 589 6356 or 089 209 0604
Email: ultrabodiessamui@gmail.com
Web: www.ultrabodiessamui.com

Worlds Gym
Worlds Gym might be a little older and a bit rougher around the edges than some of the other gyms on the island. However, don’t let this put you off as it is still a great place to work out and popular with many of the expats that live on the island. Worlds Gym is also popular with a large number of foreign tourists who choose to return here each time they visit Koh Samui

Admittedly Worlds Gym tends to be where Samui’s more serious bodybuilders and weight trainers go workout but it still offers a good range of fitness equipment for people who are just looking to stay in shape.

Worlds Gym is home to all the standard fitness equipment you would normally find in a gym and also has an impressive selection of free weights, as well as a handful of cardio machines.

The gym also serves up a variety of protein shakes and energy drinks that will help your body recover after a strenuous training session!

Open from 9am to 9pm daily, Worlds Gym offer a variety of different memberships including daily, weekly and monthly packages. Contact the gym direct for more information.

Contact Details
Address: Worlds Gym, 107/5 Moo 6, Samui Ring Road, Chaweng South, Bophut
Tel: 077 231 174

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Koh Samui Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one activity that is certainly suitable for everyone. If you don’t fancy the idea of scuba diving then snorkeling off Koh Samui can provide you with the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the exotic marine life that inhabits the islands surrounding waters.

On days when visibility is good, you could be surprised just how many different types of fish and other marine life you can see, even when you are fairly close to the shore.

koh-samui-snorkelingSnorkeling is not only much cheaper than scuba diving but it is also much easier and providing you can swim you will be able to get to grips with snorkeling in no time at all.

The necessary equipment you need to be able snorkel on Koh Samui is readily available from any of the islands diving shops. The snorkeling equipment that can be found at a specialist dive shop will probably be more expensive than what you can purchase elsewhere.

However, the quality is likely to be greater and the equipment safer to use. For example, a mask that is made from reinforced silicon is likely to be more expensive but will last much longer than one made from flimsy plastic.

If you are looking for something a little cheaper, most of the islands supermarkets and many independent stores will also sell basic snorkeling equipment. Some snorkeling gear can even be rented for around 100 Baht on any of the islands busiest beaches.

Once you have your snorkeling equipment, you are good to go and if you plan to head out on your own then some of the best sites for snorkeling, which are within close proximity of the shore, can be found around the rocks and coastal areas between Lamai Beach and Chaweng Noi. The rocks around Hin Ta and Hin Yai in Lamai are also good spots for snorkeling.

Samui Snorkeling Trip

If you want to take your snorkeling experience on Koh Samui to the next level then it is highly recommended to book a snorkeling trip at one of the islands dive schools or through a specialist tour operator.

Many of the islands diving schools take snorkeling tours to the same sites as their scuba divers, which for many, are amongst some of the best locations in Asia to see exotic marine wildlife. A snorkeling trip around the Ang Thong National Marine Park, for example, is highly recommended, especially if scuba diving is a little out of your budget.

A number of specialist tour operators on Samui also organise their own snorkeling tours and day trips, which can be a better option for people who might not want to travel a long distance by boat, as can sometimes be the case when travelling to scuba diving specific site.

A tour organised by a private operator can also include hotel transfers, lunch and refreshments. Some of the popular, smaller snorkeling trips on the island involve travelling by long tail boat to different sites located close to Koh Samui.

Koh Tan is one such location and this largely unspoilt small island is well known for the abundance of coral and exotic marine life that live in its waters.

Koh Matsum, which is located to the south of Koh Tan, is another popular site for snorkeling. Here you will find a beautiful long sandy beach, as well as plenty more options for snorkeling.

For those who wish to venture a little a further from Samui then there are also a number of snorkeling tours available travelling by speed boat to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan. These offer the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse at some of Thailand’s most beautiful coral reefs, in warm, crystal clear waters.

Snorkeling Tour Operators

Here are details of some of the tour operators that can organise snorkeling trips from Koh Samui:

TK Tour Samui
Address: 30/5 Moo 5, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
Tel: 077 334 052, 081 895 1178
Email: tk.tour@hotmail.com
Web: www.tktoursamui.com

Tours Koh Samui
Address: 24/3 Moo 5, Bophut
Tel: 077 961 911, 081 396 8383
Email: info@tourskohsamui.com
Web: www.tourskohsamui.com

Grand Sea Discovery
Address: 187 Moo 1, Maenam, Koh Samui
Tel: 077 427 001, 077 247 668
Email: info@grandseatours.com
Web: www.grandseatours.com

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Diving on Koh Samui

The waters around the islands in the Thai Gulf have a number of incredible underwater reefs, rocks, and caves that are absolutely teeming with colourful marine life. Because of this, scuba diving is one of Samui’s main attractions when it comes to water sports.

The relatively shallow, calm and warm waters off Samui and the nearby island of Koh Tao, offer the perfect location and conditions for beginners to try scuba diving for the very first time.  For more advanced divers, there are also a number of more challenging dive sites located in this area; some of which are considered by many to be amongst the best in Asia.

diving-on-koh-samuiOn Koh Samui you will find a wide range of dive schools and instructors all offering different courses and trips to a number of dive sites that are within close proximity to the island. As competition amongst the dive schools is fierce, it is possible to negotiate a reasonable price with a school or instructor for a place on scuba diving course.

However, whilst seeking out the best prices, it is important that you do not compromise on health and safety standards and you should always make sure that any dive operators, schools or instructors are properly certified.

Generally speaking, many of the Samui’s dive schools adhere to international standards when it comes to scuba diving instruction and health safety. This is particularly true with many of the islands foreign owned dive schools, but it is important to be aware that some will offer better, more experienced scuba instructors, as well as more modern and higher quality equipment than others.

PADI Courses on Koh Samui

If you are new to scuba diving then a PADI course is what you will need to complete in order to become properly certified and is the best option for people who might be planning to a lot more scuba diving in the future. The course normally takes about 3 or 4 days to complete and will include specialist practical training for beginners, which normally takes place in a swimming pool, as well as classroom lessons on scuba diving theory.

To take a PADI course in Thailand is generally much cheaper than in other countries and once you become fully certified you can go to other destinations throughout the world and dive freely with other dive schools or operators.  After completing your PADI course you can even go onto study scuba diving further and take part in courses specialised in dive rescue or as a dive master, both of which can take up to a couple of months to complete.

Many dive shops and operators on the island offer courses in a wide variety of languages including English, German, Italian, French, Dutch, Japanese and Thai.

As well as the affordable prices, the other important factor as to why Samui and the surrounding area is so popular for scuba diving is due to the stunning locations and sites at which the dives are conducted.

Many of the dive sites in the area can be visited all year round. However, optimum dive conditions are normally found from the months of March to August. Between September and November, visibility can be reduced due to monsoon winds; strong swells can also be present. However, diving during these months is still generally quite good. November to February is probably the worst time to dive in the waters around Samui as there can be very strong wind and rain in the Gulf of Thailand during that time of year.

Koh Samui Dive Sites

Here is some information on the dive sites off Koh Samui, Koh Tao and the surrounding area:

Koh Yippon
The area around the Koh Yippon islands is considered by many to the number 1 dive sites in the Ang Thong Marine Park. Perfect for novice divers, the waters around the islands are noted for their magnificent array of marine life, soft corals and shallow caves, which can reach depths or between 15 and 20 metres. Some of the marine life that can be found in this area includes stingrays, yellow tailed barracudas and angel fish. A trip to Koh Yippon is made even more enjoyable by the stunning natural scenery that is found above the water, as well as below it.

Koh Wao
Only a short distance from Koh Yippon, in the Ang Thong National Marine Park is Koh Wao. Another popular dive site, this sheltered bay offers depth ranges between 10 and 20 metres and suitable for divers of all levels. The waters around Koh Wao are also really good for snorkelling. The marine life that is often found here includes turtles, stingrays, squirrel fish and fusiliers.

Sail Rock
Located approximately 45kms from Koh Samui, between the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, Sail Rock is widely acknowledged as the best dive site in the Thai Gulf. The site consists of a single 40m pinnacle, which rises approximately 15m above sea level. The waters around the rock are home to thousands of fish and other beautiful marine life. Sail rock also offers divers stunning underwater rock formations and tunnels that are large enough for you to swim through. There are also a number of incredible coral gardens that are well worth exploring. A casual swim around the rock will take approximately 45 minutes depending on conditions. During this time you will come into contact with an amazing array of fish including moray eels, bat fish, barracuda, parrot fish and, if you are lucky, maybe even a whale shark or two.

Chumpon Pinnacle
What is arguably one of Koh Tao’s most famous and spectacular dive site, Chumpon Pinnacle is a regular part of the itinerary for many of the diving operators on Koh Samui. Located 11kms north of Koh Tao, the dive consists of one large granite rock which starts approximately 12 metres under the surface of the water and goes down to a depth of around 35 metres. There are also several other smaller rocks located close by. In these waters it is common to see whale sharks, clown fish (Nemo fish) and even leopard sharks. The depths and strong currents around these areas mean that this site might not be suitable for absolute beginners but is certainly worth checking out for more experienced divers.

Koh Samui Diving Summary

Good Points: Good for beginners, offers value for money, with a wide range of dives sites.

Bad Points: Not too good for diving of exploring wrecks or drift diving.

Depth: Between 5 and 40m

Currents: Can sometimes be strong.

Visibility: Between 5 and 25m

Water Temperature: Around 27 to 29c

Diver Level: Beginner to advanced.

Koh Samui Dive Operators

Here is a selection of some of the scuba dive operators that can be found on Koh Samui:

Discovery Dive Centre
Address: 14/3 Moo2 North Chaweng Koh Samui Surat Thani 84320 Thailand
Tel: +66 77 300 656
Email: info@discoverydivers.com
Website: www.discoverydivers.com
Open: 10am to 6pm daily

Samui Easy Divers
Address: 80/34 Moo 3, Chaweng Beach Road, Bophut
Tel: 077 413 372
Email: info@easydivers-thailand.com
Web: www.easydivers-thailand.com

Blue Planet Dive Centre
Address: 119 Moo 2, Chaweng (near the Samui Int. Hospital)
Tel: 077 413 106
Email: info@blueplanetdivecentre.com
Web: www.blueplanetdivecentre.com

Silent Divers
Address: 101/7 Moo 2 Bophut
Tel: 081 933 6641 (German/English)
Email: info@silentdivers.com
Web: www.silentdivers.com

Planet Scuba
Address: Opposite Coyote Bar, Chaweng
Tel: 077 413 050
Email: sam@planetscuba.net
Web: www.planetscuba.net

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Outdoor Activities on Koh Samui

As well as the great number of sports that are available on Koh Samui, there are also a number of activities for thrill seekers or people who are looking for an adventure.

From bungy jumping and mountain biking to go cart racing and zorbing, these are only a few of the activities available on Koh Samui. As of August 2011, it is rumoured that there are even plans to build one of the world’s largest indoor ski slopes! One thing for certain is that there are always things for you to do on Koh Samui!

Here are some of the activities you can participate in during you stay on the island:

Samui Bungy Jumping

This certainly isn’t for the faint hearted! Located next to the Reggae Pub in Chaweng, the 50 metre high bungy is held over a specially designed plunge pool. As well as jumping solo, you can even choose between Rocket Man jumps, tandem jumps or submersion jumps that makes sure you get thoroughly soaked as you a dunked in and out of the pool below. This one is definitely for the real thrill seekers but is available for all ages and can be great fun for all the family.

The members of staff here are experienced and fully trained. There is also music playing throughout and ice cold drinks served all day, which is useful as you might need a beer or two to settle your nerves!

For booking and more information:

Tel: 077 414 252
Email: jump@samuibungy.com
Web: www.samuibungy.com
Open: daily from 10:30am to 7pm

Samui Shooting Range

Samui Shooting Range is located on the main Samui Ring Road in Bophut, just outside Chaweng and offers a fun, legal and safe way to shoot a wide variety of pistols, rifles and revolvers. If you’ve always wanted to be let loose with an AK47, then this is the place for you! Safety is of the upmost importance, as all the ammunition is live. Therefore, the whole thing is very strictly supervised. If you do visit the shooting range, you will be expected to follow a series of written and verbal protocols to ensure that safety is maintained throughout.

Although visiting the shooting range can be a great experience, a session doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at around 400 Baht for 10 shorts, which you will quickly find out doesn’t last very long at all!

This particular shooting range is fully licensed but be wary of anyone offering you anyone offering you any alternatives as it could well be a scam and end up costing you a lot more money.

Tel: 077 962 488
Open: 9am to 8pm

Samui Go Kart

Another one of Samui’s high speed, adrenaline fuelled activities, which provides excellent fun for people of all ages. Samui Go Kart is located in Bophut, just outside Chaweng and has up to 3 different karts to choose from, ranging from ‘Fun’, which is mainly for kids, ‘Pro’ and ‘Sport’. The ‘Sport’ karts are powered by gasoline and are able to reach speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour. The actual track is relatively large and offers drivers a challenging, yet entertaining circuit, with plenty of opportunity to reach high speeds.

Safety is also of paramount importance, with the circuit having extensive padding and safety barriers throughout. All of the karts are well made and regularly maintained. It is also compulsory for drivers to wear a safety helmet when driving the kart. Prices start from around 300 Baht for 12 minutes but discounts are in place if you pay up front for longer periods of driving time.

For booking and more information:

Address: 101/2 Moo, Samui Ring Road, Bophut, Koh Samui
Tel: 077 425 097

Samui Bowling

Major Bowl is Samui’s popular ten pin bowling alley and is located next door to the cinema at the Tesco-Lotus shopping plaza in Chaweng. Inside you’ll find eight bowling lanes, two of which are complete with side stoppers, making them suitable for children. There is also restaurant and even a handful of karaoke booths! Well, you never know when you might want to belt out your favourite song!

In the evening, which is peak time, it can get quite busy so if there is a large party of you it is recommended that you book in advance. Games cost from approximately 100 Baht per person, with bowling shoes rental setting you back 40 Baht per session.

When it comes to renting bowling shoes, it is worth bearing in mind that generally bowling shoes are quite a small fit. Even though Thai feet tend to be quite a bit smaller than Western feet, Thai bowling shoes take small fitting to a whole new level!

Major Bowl Samui can be a fun night out for all the family. For booking and more information, please contact:

Tel: 077 427 315
Address: Tesco Lotus Plaza, Moo 6, Samui Ring Road, Bophut

Samui Water Ball – Zorbing

For those of you that might not be familiar with zorbing, imagine a hamster in a plastic ball, only instead of a hamster, imagine what it would be like if YOU were inside the ball!

Zorbing usually involves rolling down a hill, or some other slope in a round orb or large inflatable ball, made from transparent plastic and occasionally filled with a small amount of water. Once you are bundled into the orb, you are given a gentle push and away you go. There are no breaks and no real way of slowing down!

Samui Water Ball in Maenam is the island’s very own take on zorbing, where you can get your adrenaline fix and roll effortlessly, at speed, down the hills of Maenam!

There is great fun to be had here and this is definitely another activity for the adrenaline junkies, although this is suitable for all ages.

For booking and more information please contact:

Tel: 087 267 1042
Email: info@samuiwaterball.com
Web: www.samuiwaterball.com

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