A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Koh Samui
Are you looking for an adventure that combines luxury with culture for a unique experience as a solo traveler ? Many in the same situation as your’s, choose Thailand as their first international destination, especially Indians. And Koh Samui is always ranked as one of the favourite places to visit, after Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. Koh Samui is the third largest island in Thailand, with exemplary natural beauty, things to do and awesome places to stay in, including along side the beautiful beaches, a variety of Koh Samui rentals are available to choose from and the number of beach-side bars and restaurants.
Here’s the ultimate guide to travelling to Koh Samui on your own.
Why Visit Koh Samui ?
The first reason is that the island mimics most people’s idea of what a tropical paradise looks like. White-sand beaches stretch around the island with warm seawater to one side and a line of coconut trees behind. You can relax on the beach or go for a swim. Beach bars serve cold beers and cocktails to the background of endless Bob Marley. Oh, and not to mention the weather is guaranteed to be warm, and the views are always incredible. This together makes Koh Samui one of the best destinations in Thailand for any tourist.
And when I say the views are always incredible, I am not necessarily referring to this… 🙂
Where are the Best Places to Go ?
If you’re here on your own and want to make a few new friends, head down to Chaweng. This area and beach are where all the young tourists go to spend their time. You’ll find bars, cafes and restaurants in this area full of other backpackers, tourists and solo travelers. The beach is usually packed, and the nightlife is some of the best and most active in all of Thailand. So, if you want a good time and are looking to meet other tourists, you may think of heading down to Chaweng.
However, I understand that not every traveler wants to spend all night drinking and dancing away the hours. Some of you may want to come for a tropical retreat to escape the stresses of day-to-day life. If this is the case, consider the spa resorts or relaxing on the quieter beaches such as Bang Po and Baan Tai.
The Must-Do Things on Koh Samui
The first thing many solo travelers want is to have some kind of unique experience. And Koh Samui will give you plenty of opportunities to experience Thai culture. Let’s take a look at a few of the must-do activities to satisfy your thirst for culture.
- Big Buddha is probably the most iconic attraction on Koh Samui, a 12-metre statue of Buddha on the northeast part of the island. The appeal is that the exterior is covered in gold.
- Another fascinating and somewhat macabre attraction is the mummified monk at Wat Khunaram. This, as the name suggests, is a monk who is on display in his mummified state inside a glass enclosure. Bizarre but true.
- You should also consider visiting the Secret Buddha Garden, which is located on the top of the central mountains. You’ll follow a steep road through the lush mountains until you get to a large garden. Inside, there are several statues of varying sizes of Buddha and other animals. Back in the 1970s, a local resident decided to dedicate his land to the religious icon and began his collection of statues.
- The final must-do activity on Koh Samui is to join one of the regular cooking classes. Here, you’re taught by a local how to cook Thai food, which you can then replicate when you return home. Lessons typically last for three hours and range from a single lesson up to several weeks of intensive training to turn you into a Thai chef. Most people will choose a short lesson, which gives you both new skills and the chance to meet other tourists.
How to Meet Other Tourists
As you’re probably aware by now, Koh Samui attracts a wide range of tourists from backpackers looking to party to those looking for a health retreat. Finding the best place to meet others all depends on your own interests. You won’t see a drinking buddy on one of the secluded beaches with a thick book in their hands. Likewise, it’s highly unlikely you’ll bump into someone who wants to share a day at the spa in the late night bars. Making friends with other travelers is easy if you know the best place to find people who share a similar interest to you.
Other Things to Know About Koh Samui
- Koh Samui is connected by air through Bangkok Airways majorly, since the airport at Koh Samui itself was constructed by Bangkok Airways team. There are multiple flights by them, and some by Air Asia etc. Apart from flights, there are ferries that also connect the island with mainland Thailand.
- If you know how to ride a motorbike, renting one on the island will be a lifesaver. Koh Samui Rentals across all motorbikes are available for as little as $15 per day, and it gives you the freedom to explore the island on your own terms. Some like to ride around the ring road and see all the different parts of the island. Others will use it as a convenient way to get from A to B instead of relying on taxis.
- As a solo traveler, especially a female, you should also take care to protect yourself if you’re out and about after dark. Drunk tourists and dodgy locals may give you unwanted attention or see you as an easy target. It’s unlikely that you’ll fall victim to a crime, well other than petty theft if you’re careless, but it never hurts to stay alert.
- On New Year day, there is a Buffalo festival being carried out here, that isn’t as harmful as the Spain one (although I have not personally seen the Spain festival, just saw some of the dreadful photos). Same with the International Sailing Competition that is also conducted once a year.
People Love Koh Samui
After reading this article, I am sure you’re probably itching to start your solo adventure to this beautiful Thai Island. Making friends is easy and you should have no problem immersing yourself in the local culture. Get a motorbike and make sure you take care to protect yourself. Follow these suggestions, and you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time in Koh Samui. But I might as well repeat again that your hotel stay actually defines your trip, whether you enjoy it or get it ruined. So please choose extremely wisely from the available Koh Samui Rentals options.