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“Definately worth a visit.”
Review of Ko Samui

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Newton Aycliffe, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
288 helpful votes
“Definately worth a visit.”
Reviewed January 24, 2007

We loved Samui. We stayed on Chaweng beach at the Iyara (see separate reports) and once you get over the crazy electrics (see pic) it really is a great place. Our hotel was located right on the beach and the road which runs parallel with the beach has the most activity going on.

Samui Airport is the cutest ever, just some nice wood huts and flowery trams! We flew from Bangkok and even though the flight was less then an hour we managed to get drinks and a meal which is a refreshing change for a short haul flight.

This was by far the best beach we saw, pure white sand and clear sea, most hotels were right on the beach and all had massage salas outside. Lovely.

Fake bags, surf shorts, fake watches, woodcraft was the flavour of the day. Shop owners very pushy and you do get sick of them trying to get you into their shops. This aside the shopping in Samui for watches and bags was much better than Phuket where everything is kept in back rooms (see Phuket report). In Samui everything in on display apart from the over eager shop assistants, it’s much less stressful to shop in Samui. We bought shorts, belts and shoes in Samui but in hindsight wish I had bought bags and watches there rather than Phuket.

We ate at a couple of restaurants but discovered that the night market and stalls on the beach and in the street were much better both in value for money and in actual food quality. Don’t be put off by the lack of hygiene, we ate everything and were not ill once.

e.g. Pad Thai at our hotel was 200 baht. At a Thai local restaurant it was 100 baht, at the night market it was 20 baht and by far the best.

A must is to get a pineapple from the man on the beach and a pancake from the guy that comes out at night.

Drinking/Ladyboys/Thai Girls
From what we saw there were 2 main drinking areas, one off the beach road which we which ran in a U shape, the Green Mango and Sweet Soul Café were both great for people just looking for great music and drinks, mainly straight with a few gay western couples, not to many guys with Thai escorts. The Green Mango corner attracts the lady boys making both the Green Mango and Sweet Soul Café great places to people watch. Further round the bend you find the bars with the female Thai hostess, we spent several hours in these bars just people watching.

In the centre of Chaweng around the lake there is another area which comes alive at night, we nick named this Dusk Til Dawn after the film and it was a real eye opener. Girls heckling and each bar playing different music it is all a bit overwhelming. We had read a things about the Reggae Bar so went to have a look but was deserted and so far out that even if it had been great I would not have gone again.

If you like western music and a good drink head for the Green Mango corner, if you want something quieter and more refined most restaurants on the beach road serve drinks and are much quieter and have a more up market, older clientele.

Note for Guys looking for Thai escorts – from what we saw it looks pretty simple and plenty of girls to chose from.

We went to Cristobles Ladyboy Show which was great. It was quite slap stick and light hearted. It was free to get in and the drinks where cheap, costumes were fantastic and a lot of thought has obviously been put in.

We had numerous massages both on the beach and in salons, all were great though not for the faint hearted as the foot massage can be brutal!!

We went on Mr Ungs Magical Safari which was a disaster as part of the trip takes you to a safari park where to be blunt they abuse the animals. I have written a separate report please do not encourage this by booking this trip. The rest of the trip was great but as this park formed most of it I would have to say please don’t do it.

We went to the boxing which cost around 800 baht each for the cheap seats. Was worth a look but I would say when it starts at 9pm don’t go until about 10 as its al build up and kids to start off with. We had a English guy fighting the night we went and it was really good.

After Samui we went to Phuket – please see separate report.

11 Thank zedtwed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
13 helpful votes
“Shopping in Koh Samui - Chaweng Beach”
Reviewed April 17, 2006

T&Y Shop in Chaweng - Do not go there!

My other half and I went to Koh Samui for a relaxing holiday during the Easter break. Everything was great i.e. hotel, weather, food, etc except for our shopping experience in Chaweng. We realise that this stretch in Chaweng was very commercialised, targeted at tourists who want relatively cheap t-shirts, skirts, souvenirs, etc. My other half bought a few t-shirts, all in the region of 100 baht. When we went into T&Y Shop, I saw a top and a skirt I quite liked so I asked the sales guy how much. He said 1100 baht. I thought that was totally unreasonable so I said 600 baht (this is the price a local shop in Hong Kong would charge for a simple cotton top and skirt with little fabric and handywork, similar to the two items I like in this shop). Finally, after quite abit of haggling, we got to 750.

The sales guy, quite young with heavily gelled hair and earrings said to me that I was very mean for pressing him to sell me the two items for such a low price, etc. To be honest, I thought if a proper shop in Hong Kong would sell these items for the Hong Kong equivalent of 600 baht, then by my offering the same price I was really doing him a favour. I knew I was overpaying (even at the price of 600 baht which I didn't get) but didn't want to come across as stingy or mean. Despite this, I got insulted instead by this sales guy. The final insult came after I handed over the 750, as we were walking out of the door with my purchases. This sales guy actually had the audacity to say to me, with a huge smirk on his face, that he had sold these two items before for only 400 baht.

I was shocked, not at the fact that I overpaid by 350 baht (which is around 70 bucks Hong Kong, and is peanuts to be honest) but at the fact that he could be so mean-spirited. I know I cannot generalise but I always had the impression that the Thai people are gentle and kind. This experience has really changed my perspective of the place and I will certainly not go back to that shop ever again.

FYI, T&Y Shop is around Seven Eleven, on the same side. I am definitely telling all my friends not to patronise T&Y Shop when they go to Koh Samui.

13 Thank Worldclasstraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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