Ko Samui, Thailand Overview

Koh Samui is Thailand's third largest island. Surrounded by 80 smaller islands, this natural beauty has been relatively undiscovered until recent years. Rumor claims that in 1971 the first tourists to set foot on Koh Samui were hippies who arrived by way of a coconut boat from Bangkok. While Koh Samui still exports up to 2 million coconuts to Bangkok every month, recent urban developments include a no-frills airport and an ostentatious Reggae bar.

8 Ko Samui, Thailand Excursions

An Island 4x4 Safari

An Island 4x4 SafariEnjoy a rugged safari around the island of Ko Samui in a 4x4 vehicle. On the thi...

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A Day at Coral Island

A Day at Coral IslandThis full day excursion to Coral Island will have a lasting effect on your soul...

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A Jungle Adventure


A Jungle AdventureExplore the wild kingdom of Ko Samui on this exciting, 7-hour jungle safari. Set i...

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Riding the Sky Fox


Riding the Sky FoxThe adventure begins once your guide collects you from the port. Similar to zip-li...

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54 Ko Samui, Thailand Port Reviews


by Trochetia

NCL Jewel South East Asia March 4, 2019 March 6, 2019 Ko Samui is the only Port (in our itinerary) that the ship docks close to Port, and you need a boat transfer (free - provided by the ship) to get on land. This is a 20 mins boat ride one way. It was announced that transfer ticket would be distributed on Deck 12 starting at 7.30am on the same day. Passengers could pick up tickets for other members in their party. Already at 6.45am (we were lucky to be walking through this location back to our room) long lineup (about 75) for the transfer tickets. As planned, distribution started at 7.30am. We were in Group 4 for disembarking. We later met some in Group 11 who stayed near the Docks as they disembarked too late, with no time to explore. At 8.00am the ship docked at Nathon Pier right on schedule. 8.30am Passengers were let off ship, starting with privileged members and those who booked excursions through NCL At 9.50am, our group was called, and at 10.15am we were on solid ground on our way to a 7-11 (less than 10 mins walk from where we landed) to buy a data sim card. They sell for 299 Bhat (CAD $13), and a copy of your passport is needed to process purchase. They sell only DTAC. We then pass by a Morya Pharmacy, very close by, which sells AIS, which I read is Thailand's fastest internet. We were happy with the DTAC Internet speed, and able to use the same card the next day in Bangkok. Now equipped with Google map, we started our self tour. I approached a driver who was parked outside that 7-11 and negotiated a reasonable fee to hire him for 4 hours and back to the same spot (10 mins from the docks). I ensured the fee is for our group of three and not for 1 person. On top, with his limited English, I made him repeat, so there is no disagreement later. I stayed away from drivers at the docks, as they seem to be more aggressive. Under my driving directions, Mr Nut Phiphop, our driver (a true gentleman) drove us around the Island starting south, with our first stop at 11.30am at Grandma/Grandpa rocks. At 11.55am we arrived at their famous Chaweng Beach where we had a good swim, as we came fully prepared. The sand is very comparable to that of Varadero, Cuba, with lot less waves. We changed in the hotel outside washroom. 12.30pm stopped at Big Buddha, but first, a bite at a restaurant nearby to taste their famous pad Thai 120B (CAD$5) Visited the Pagoda and the many small souvenir and clothes shops around. Not enough time to pass by the Bophut's fisherman's village and we drove north and west, through the scenic roads back to our starting point and arrived at 3pm. We had time to do a last shopping stop at the numerous souvenir shops around, and walked towards the Pier, where there was a huge line up, with no one from NCL to confirm that we are in the right queue. 25mins later, everyone in the queue was rushing towards another embarkation point, over 100m away. The elderly, and those not physically fit had trouble keeping up with the crowd to retain their place in the new queue. In fact, there were no queue, just a herd who was trying hard to stop people from pushing from the back. Finally at 4pm, we were relieved to be on board. Everyone was just in shock, as no one has ever experienced anything similar. And not one word of explanation or apology on that day. I have later read that NCL had announced some sort of vague apology 2 days later, that we were not aware of. Besides the fiasco of NCL, Ko Samui is a great destination to spend time at, good people and great beaches.

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