Koh Samui is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world. However, like many sought after holiday spots, during peak periods, beaches can be crowded and streets jammed with traffic. The island is considered a very safe destination which is why people flock there every year to enjoy the glorious weather and luxury villa rentals. Nevertheless, even the most experienced tourist can be caught out by ocean currents or unscrupulous taxi drivers. Here are six things to avoid during your holiday in Koh Samui.
Sun burn and heat exhaustion
For many Europeans the quest for sunshine and a glorious tan are top of their list when planning a holiday. For some that quest comes at a price. Sunburn is not only painful it can cause short term pain and long term illness. Avoid sunbathing for long periods and make sure you always apply a high factor water proof sun screen. Remember too that temperatures in this area of the world can reach up to 30 degrees or more in the high season. If you plan on visiting famous attractions beware of heat exhaustion. Do not stand in the sun too long and always wear a hat. Sunburn and heat exhaustion can wreck your holiday.
There are many fabulous temples and iconic buildings to see in Thailand. Avoid the mistake of dressing inappropriately. Thailand has a more demure dress code than western cultures. When visiting temples, conservative dress is best: shirts on for men and no skimpy off the shoulder designs for women. Make sure your ‘cut off shorts’ are not too short. You will be turned away. Shoes must be removed before entering temples. Use your common sense and respect the culturally norms of the country you are in.
There is nothing like the calm aqua blue waters of Samui. Who doesn’t want to run into the ocean on a scorching hot day? However, avoid swimming out too far if you are not a strong swimmer. These calm waters belie the truth. Strong rip currents beneath the ocean can easily sweep you away. If you hire a boat or jet skis remember to always wear a life jacket. Remember, safety first when swimming or playing in the ocean.
Taxi scams are the most common problem for tourists in any country. To avoid being scammed, use taxis with meters and make sure that they are turned on when your journey begins. It is easy to find out the average price of a taxi in Koh Samui by looking on the internet. Metered taxis are not always the cheapest way to travel to your destination. Songthaews are less expensive, but avoid these taxis if they are not going directly your way as they have a fixed route and may drop you some way from your destination. There are unscrupulous taxi drivers who will charge you double for your journey. Do not avoid paying, as arguments can escalate. It is better to pay up, take the driver’s number and inform the police.
Thailand is renowned for its night life and thousands of young people dance the nights away in the discos and beach clubs. It goes without saying that you should avoid drugs. Whilst they are readily available at events such as moon parties, Asian rules about drugs are as strict with holiday makers as they are with locals. You could end up in prison for possession of drugs. Moon parties attract thousands of visitors onto the beaches. Do not take valuables to these parties and don’t take lots of money. Revellers can easily be distracted giving pick pockets amble opportunity to steal their cash.
The islands are considered to be the most romantic of holiday destinations. The glistening white beaches and warm balmy nights are just made for love. However, it is considered rude to be excessively affectionate in public. Whilst even Asia is now more tolerant of public displays of affection, romantic gestures such as kissing and cuddling in public are often frowned upon by the older generation. Also avoid showing the soles of your feet in public. This is considered very rude. Don’t rest bare feet on tables. Remove your shoes if invited into someone’s home.
Have a great holiday
Koh Samui is considered safe for singles, couples and families. Avoid the pitfalls mentioned above. Respect cultural norms and your holiday will be everything you dreamed it would be.