Before I begin I must admit that I had a rocky start here with prebooking possibly the worst place ever, and so could be a little bias towards the place, however, what made it even worse was that there were hardly any hostels and the few ones that were here were all fully booked. Luckily, however I only booked 2 nights and the room was fairly cheap which made it an acceptable loss. I refused to sleep in a room that was blood-stained, smelled of smoke and had bed bugs and cockroaches.
As I heard time and time again in China, ” the more unique/odd/strange a country you visit is the more interesting are the people you’ll meet”. That quote couldn’t be more correct. Thailand now recieves millions of tourists each year and I feel its deffintley lost its unique factor. Koh Samui is smothered with middle aged pot belly men, late 20’s lad groups and wealthy families staying in overpriced resorts making it very hard indeed to meet people! Obviously, I’m seriously generalising so please don’t take offense if you’ve been here.
Prepare to spend a little to a lot more compared to other parts of Thailand with prices for 1 meal starting at £5 however easily reaching over £10. Resort and hotel prices are not much better with 3 Star Beach Hotels starting from £40 a night which is a huge amount if you are on a budget. I ended up staying in a guesthouse costing me £14. I had obviously been given some very wrong information by many people or was just extremely unlucky as I was told I wouldn’t need to book. I was lucky to even get a room at this place. If you don’t book prepare to stay in a cockroach infested backstreet room!
The pictures that you see on the Internet definitely over-exaggerate the beaches and its picturesque views of Koh Samui. I could suggest plenty of nicer beaches in Europe to go to. The beach in Chaweng is covered in rubbish and you can’t relax because you’re constantly hassled by water lilo and beach ball sellers. Being a white 19 year old male I guess I must come under there stereotypical person that would also buy drugs, and so I constantly have people coming up to me saying “Hashish, Marijuana, Cocaine?”. Not really a place you want to bring your family to. You also have boats and jet-skis zooming around disturbing the water creating lots of noise and making it so you can only swim in designated areas. It was full of English pubs and was literally the ‘Benidorm’ of Thailand.
Final Note: Don’t come to Koh Samui on your own. Even with a family consider other parts of Thailand were you find resorts that are better value for money and without the constant fouling smell of sewage as you walk down the street.