Not for rookies
So first of all, if you read this you are probably already a frequent traveler, so I won’t go in debt with anything in particular in this post, but what I will do is give you a great idea of what there is to do on Samui island, without breaking your budget and having to save on your next adventure!
By far my favorite thing on this island is the beaches, there are several very good beaches on the island, all with their own pros and cons. We drove around the island on a scooter and saw them all. Funnily enough the beach in Lamai is my number one pick. Why? Well because it has everything on it, the eastern part is very quiet, with soft white sand and cheap accommodation, there is still a few restaurants and it is an easy walk up to the main road where you can find yourself a cheap beer at any 7eleven or Family Mart.
The beach gets busier the more you walk towards the west, the resorts get bigger, the parties go on longer and are more crazy and the cities gogo bars are in that end also. Don’t be scared to chat up other people lying on the beach, it’s fun to meet new people and hear some new stories. Who knows, you might make a few new friends and have a great time!
Rent a bike.
A cruise around the island on a scooter is great fun, and you can see all the major attractions on the way. We had great success renting one from ‘easy divers’ on the main road in Lamai. The woman there was nice and helpful giving us a few pointers on what to see. She did take our passport though but since a couple of guys we met had used them before and didn’t get any trouble, we felt quite safe using them. The price was 150 Baht for 24 hours and the only rule is that you have to return the bike with the same amount of petrol in it as when you took it. Fair enough in my book.
Feel free to use any old bike shop in the city to rent from, but do yourself a favor and check their name on trip adviser or google them, just to be safe. You do hear stories about bike shops, not wanting to give you back your passport or ID before paying for some stupid scratch that was there when you got it already. We always take out our phones and make a video of any scratches and the bikes condition when we rent one, no matter where in the world. If you do happen to make a scratch, take it by a mechanic and let them give you an estimated cost, before going back to the rental place, then you are up to par on what the prices are for a repair. If only a flat tire, then just get it fixed before you return the bike, only takes 10 minutes and you can watch the pros in action:)
Go up in the mountains in the middle of the island, it is amazing and the views are crazy beautiful. If you take the shortcut road there is also a 850 meter long cable ride down and over the mountainside, if you are brave enough. In the mountains there is forest, waterfalls and in general a very quiet and beautiful nature. It is a bit of a hike, so maybe do it when you have the motorbike!?
On the western side of the mountain there is a monkey show, personally I am not a big fan of monkeys in chains and neither should you be, so please don’t support this place and stay away!
Again, make up your own mind, it’s not as bad as the monkey show, and the crocodiles are healthy and big, they do some shows with them, but mostly it’s just a massive crocodile zoo. A great little place to visit.
I did not go, but I imagine it is a bit like the crocodiles or monkeys, I did read somewhere that they are not super nice to the cobras and pull out their fangs, so they can dance with them without getting bitten. Make up your own mind if you wanna support them with a visit.
Muay Thai fighting.
Finally something where animals are not involved! Genuine human cockfighting in the home of kickboxing, it is super authentic, and the music takes you back to the old Jean Claude Van Damme movie ‘Kickboxer’ where he fights in the Thai arenas. There are expensive ones going on, on a weekly basis in the Chaweng arena, it’s about 1500 baht a person, but there are also local arenas where all you have to do is by a slightly overpriced beer, and you get a front row seat.
There are several very nice restaurants on the island, personally I am mostly into health food stuff, but don’t be scare to check out the web for your favorite eats, but keep in mind, they use a lot of MSG in the local stuff, so be sure to tell them that if they use it, please don’t put any in your food! To mention a few places, we loved Lamphu in Lamai, they both had vegan/vegetarian options and also meat dishes, all tasty and clean. Spa Resort in Lamai also had a nice selection of food, shakes and breakfast, we went there a bunch of times. On the other side of the island in ‘fisherman’s village’ we enjoyed some great meals at the greenlight café, very tasty and clean food, mostly vegan and vegetarian.
Yes it’s called Big Buddha, and guess why? Because it is a big Buddha statue, it’s easy to find if you just follow the signs. It is not really that impressive if you have been a lot in Asia as there are many ‘bigger’ and more beautiful, but if you never saw a big statue of Buddha, then go check it out, there is also a little market where you can get ripped of if you feel like buying a new Singha tank top:)
Around the island there are markets everywhere, and they are really not that interesting, but the Sunday markets are much more fun. They have food options and other stuff you won’t typically find on the everyday markets, so check them out, the one in Lamai is very nice and we had a nice evening there. Google around and find out if there are any near you.
There is a great nightlife all over the island, I am not a big drinker or party guy anymore, but I used to be and I know a great party when I see one. Get out and get crazy, there is not really any rules here, so don’t be scared to go a little nuts. You can even take the boat out to the neighboring island for the full moon party and drink bucket loads of cheap moonshine with soda in it:)
All in all it’s not easy to find something to do once you get bored of acting like a beach bum, and I am sure there is plenty more to do than what I described, but there is a limit to how long I wanna make this post, so stay put. The next one will be about fitness and yoga on the Samui.
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