|Discover Koh Samui by Yourself|
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|FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)|
Q. When is the rainy season ?
A: Generally speaking, October through December
Q. How do I Know the correct taxi fare and what should I do if I think I'm being over-charged ?
A: Normally you have to ask the driver before you go. And then prepare the exact amount in advance and give it to the driver when you get out. If you feel that the driver tell you the price quite expensive you should have to ask for reduce the price.
Q. Is the drinking water safe? What about the ice?
A: All restaurants, even little roadside ones serve bottled water and clean factory-made-ice cubes. Vegetables are usually washed in tap water, but are safe when cooked. You may want to avoid eating raw foods.
Q. How much should we tip restaurant service staff?
A: Many employees receive some or all of the service charge that hotels and restaurants may add to you bill. However most locals when eating out, leave a small additional amount if the service was good.
Q. I have a severe case of diarrhoea. Could it be serious?
A: Probably not, however a visit to a doctor or a clinic is a good idea. They can prescribe effective medication that will ease your discomfort within hours.
Q. How do I avoid overpaying when souvenir shopping?
A: Competition amongst merchants is high. Shop around and compare prices. Try to negotiate a discount (maybe 20-30%). Always bargain with a smile!!
Q. I see storm drains in the streets, so why the floods ?
A: The drain pipes do not yet have excess to the sea. The final phase for this project is still being resolved.
Q. What should I do if I have a serious problem ?
A: Contact the Tourist Police. Their number is 077- 421- 281. or 1155
Q. Until what time do the public (red) taxis operate ?
A: Until quite late in Chaweng and Lamui, but not much past dusk in the smaller villages and in Nathon, where the last ones leave with arrival of the last ferry about 6:00 pm.
Q. The rental company say my jeep is insured. Really ?
A: Ask for specific information. If you are sceptical, you may want to rent from one of the international agencies. You will pay substantially more, but receive the most complete coverage available.
Q. Is anyone doing anything about the pitiful condition of so many of the wild dogs roaming the streets and beaches ?
A: Yes. For more information about the effective efforts underway. PLEASE do not feed the dogs on the beaches. Their presence there is a nuisance and creates unhygenic conditions.
|Getting Around Safely|
If you rent a jeep or especially a motor scooter, be aware that many local drivers have not received proper instruction in traffic safety, and tourists are often quite inexperienced, especially at operating scooters. The frequency of serious accidents and deaths on Samui roads is alarming.
Before renting a vehicle, check the treads on the tires, the horn,the lights, brakes and turn signals
Don't rent a scooter unless a helmet is provided. Wear it, its use is required by law and it may save your life. Be aware that cars often pull out without warning and dogs pop out into the street. So watch the road, use the turn signals and don't speed!
Do not stop in the middle of the roadway to chat, enjoy the view or read the map. Pull over and get safely off to the side. When driving, keep pace with the traffic.
Don't even think about driving while intoxicated. It is by far the easiest way to lose your life on Samui.
|Exchanging Money & Using Credit Cards|
But the booths of the hotels are daily opened during 9:00a.m. untill 8:00 p.m. in Chweng, Lamai and Bophut.
|Cultural Dos & Don'ts|
14) Politeness is highly appreciated in Thailand.
15) The royal family is highly honored by the Thai people, so any impolite statement or behavior against them may not be tolerated by them. In cinema halls you must stand before the start of any movie to pay respect to the king, when the message pops up on the screen.
16) Wear decent attire when visiting the temples, no sleeveless, shorts, skirts and shoes inside the temples. One can wear shoes around the compound but not inside the chapel where the Buddha statues are kept. Monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by women, so while walking if you come across a monk please make way for him to pass by untouched.
Wherever you go and whatever you want, do it with smile and you shall
be liked by all.
Thailand is an extraordinarily safe country for travelers. Use your common sense and it is very unlikely any harm will come to you on Koh Samui.
1) Do not accept rides from strangers.
2) Safeguard your valuables at all times.
3) Do not accept food or beverages from strangers, especially in nighttime entertainment areas.
4) If in an isolated area, avoid people ( especially groups ) who appear to have been drinking a lot of alcohol.
5) If you take a new friend back to your hotel room,be sure to hide your money and valuables.
6) Do not open your hotel room door to a knock if you are not expecting anyone.
7) Don't go alone to the beach at night with strangers.
8) If you have a serious disagreement, stay calm and contact the nearest tourist police.
9) If you are caught with marijuana,hashish, ecstasy or any other illegal drugs,you will go to jail. Your release will be very costly, you will be deported, and your future re-entry into Thailand will be difficult or impossible. Don't take the risk.
|Beach and Water Safety|
It is easy to overdo it on Samui's glorious beaches. Unfortunately sunstroke and sunburn ruin many holidays every year. So wear sun block and never fall asleep in the sun.
During the months of October through December, very strong rip currents come and go on certain days at the beaches of Chaweng. Every year people lose their lives. Even strong swimmers can be at risk. Encourage your hotel to monitor sea conditions during these months. If you see red flags displayed, swimming is DANGEROUS !
If you rent a jetski, bear in mind that their use is almost totally uncontrolled. Many accidents happen,and some result in serious injuries. They can also prove very costly.Moreover,the majority of sea bathers deplore the noise and the odor these machined produce, and find their presence a nuisance.
are several hospitals and a number of chinics on the island. The medical
professionals speak English, and are well qualified to treat most common
ailments and minor injuries. Be aware that doctors in Thailand often prescribe
antibiotics more freely than their western counterparts.
The growth of tourism is out pacing the island's infrastructure, and the ability of our eco-system to sustain it. We cannot turn back the clock, but we can speed up our conservation efforts. It is expected that tourist arrivals on Samui will soon reach 1 million annually,much more than our municipal services with their very limited budget can handle. Organized community efforts however, are helping. If you wish to contribute to such efforts,please donate just 1 baht upon departure, in the TAKS boxes at the ferry terminal and airport.
In the meantime:
Don't leave your trash behind. If you see another person litter, tell him or her how sad it makes you.
If you dive or snorkel, don't touch the coral you see.
Avoid using plastic and other non bio-gegradables when you can, and encourage others to do so.
|Visa Extensions and Overstays|
Many direct flights leave daily. Bangkok Airways now also flies to Phuket,Krabi and Singapore. Don't forget that there is a 400 baht departure surcharge payable in baht before you board. If purchase one in advance at the airport or Bangkok Airways' sales office.
By Train and Bus
Those returning home or going elsewhere on a budget,can visit one of the island's many travel agencies to book a combination boat/bus/rail or boat/overnight-bus ticket to their next destination. You will depart from the Nathon ferry pier in midafternoon and ( those Bangkok - bound ) will arrive in the city early the next morning.
|Other Useful Information|
Local and national calls can be made from coin-operated phone boxes or those accepting prepaid phone cards, sold in shops and at the post office. International calls can be made from the post office, most hotels, and many travel agencies. Prepaid international phone cards can now also be purchased and used in the yellow phones installed in some locations for this purpose. For international direct dialing (IDD) out of Thailand, dial 001 and then the number.
Every village has a post office, open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. For important documents use the EMS express services
Shipping Souvenirs Home
You can avoid overloading your baggage by using the sea freight services of the Thai Postal Service You may be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive it can be to ship even heavy objects this way. Every village has a depot, and quality shipping boxes are sold in many sizes.