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Moving to Koh Samui


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I have been back and forth to Thailand since 1997...

Just a quick little first impression report of Koh Samui:

So whilst working in Cyprus, I received a call with a job offer in Thailand, and since I had been looking for an opportunity in Thailand for the last few years, I sort of accepted the offer on the spot. This was right before Christmas, so had a few weeks where the entry requirements changed all the time so it was hard to get things sorted.

Just over Christmas with all the paperwork done, I finally got on a plane... with two ThailandPass - one accepted and one declined, so I just used the approved one... had the usual musical chairs at Swampy and was finally back.

Had my quarantine in Bangkok, a rather soft hotel which allowed me to be outside and pretty much do whatever I wanted, even while awaiting the PCR-test results.

Got my work visa sorted, took me only a couple of hours at The One Stop Service Center (OSSC) located at Chamchuri Building. Thai bank account at SCB was done in half an hour.

Moved about in Bangkok between Airbnb and different hotels for well over ten weeks, before finally deciding it was time to move to an island - which island was the question. I looked at different options, Phuket had too many rules, Koh Lanta was too far away so decided to go for Koh Samui.

In the meantime I had to visit Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok for an emergency operation, good thing the medical cover from my employer was in place! The surgery was a whooping 164k thb! Had some issues with the insurance company sending the necessary "guarantee", though... lessons learned: always contact insurance company first! The hospital wanted me to pay 50k up front even with full coverage. Got it sorted in the end.

After my surgery, had a couple of weeks of recovery. Found an Airbnb, booked a ticket and flew over to Koh Samui.

The airport on Koh Samui is special, open to the elements, very nice island vibe on arrival. Only downside is the Bangkok Airways monopoly with flights to and from... but they do fly almost every hour, which is nice.

Turned out my Airbnb host is Russian (not being political, this is purely business), the apartment was just what I needed, it had the required amenities; fast fiber optic (since I WFH), washing machine and a fridge for my beers... Due to the current situation, I asked if I could rent long term, and managed to settle on a very fair price - from 28k to 13k.

First impressions of Koh Samui:

1) Worst public transport I have ever seen in Thailand - just crap! The taxis are pretty much mafia organized, so forget about taximeter, it is all fixed prices, very expensive fixed prices. Koh Samui have songthaews which seems to be running, but never when you need one. Mototaxis are not very well organized. You need your own transport.
2) Nice beaches all around, shallow and nice ones South, deeper and equally nice ones up North.
3) Seems a bit quiet, even the popular areas in Lamai and Chaweng are barely open, with few tourists. Fisherman's Village is almost like it should be, with plenty of restaurants and bars open. Maenam is pretty much dead...
4) You can get some really good deals at the moment.
5) Despite what people have said about the traffic, it is not bad and the roads are good.

So I am settled down in Bangrak, and so far I am enjoying Koh Samui - not too big, not too small. Got everything you need. Just waiting for this shitty weather to clear, so I can explore some more. It is a good starting point for Koh Phangan parties and Koh Tao diving. It is also just a skip and a jump to Phuket and Phang Nga.

PS! Koh Phangan with Full Moon party combined with Songkran should be an interesting combination.

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Good luck on the move,spent a week in samui last april got a great deal in beach republic apartment for 8000 + bht was great,couldnt believe how dead it was,kinda sad to see it like that some resorts was desolate ,empty shells with homeless people living in tents in some,the thai places for eating were mostly open some good value just need to find them and markets ect.Hired a bike first day so cant comment on public transport,but the roads ,beaches were good,nice place overall and chawang came to life a bit more on the weekend,,hope more has opened up now tho and you enjoy your time there. 

It was easy to get to koh phangan which was good ,didnt think much of khoa tao tho to small,one of the beaches was really nice tho.

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