Ko Samui is a big island and, therefore, it's easy to find a convenient way to get around, day or night. Songthaews (open-air pick-up-trucks) and taxis are expensive but plentiful. But, if you prefer to make your own way around – and can deal with reckless drivers – you can hire a car, motorbike or bicycle and make your own way.
Hiring your own songthaew to take you exactly where you want to go can get pricey. But, others work like buses, where you hail them down, hop on, get taken along the main drag, stop near where you want to go, hop off and pay around THB20-60 per journey.
On the Thai islands, songthaews and taxis tend to charge whatever they want. There's little in the way of competition so, for the time being, all you can do is try and haggle for a sensible rate. Taxis will rarely use their meter, so for the most part all you can do is grin and bear the extortionate rates or snub them completely and hire a motorbike
Taking a motorbike or scooter around the island is the perfect way to explore a few of the more remote nooks and crannies. But, be warned; accidents do happen and no matter how good a rider you are, others may not be so careful. Drinking and driving is a big problem.
Thailand is famous for its Lady Boy cabaret shows, and Chaweng Beach at Starz or Christy's. Both offer a great show, and, if you're sitting close enough to the front, the chance to be involved in the show – whether you like it or not! Shows are free, but drinks are a little pricier than other bars, and tipping is expected.
12km high on the rocks is Samui's Big Buddha and its adjoining temple. If you need a party come down, this tranquil spot will do the trick, and remind you you're in a country steeped in Buddhist history. You'll also find several market stalls selling food and souvenirs nearby.
Around 30km off Ko Samui is Angthong Marine Park, a mass of 42 islands covered in tropical rainforest, coves and beaches. Book in for a day-long snorkeling trip from Samui to spend the day exploring the marine life and swimming, walking and kayaking around the islands before heading back to Samui for sunset.
Take a break from the stresses and strains of lazing on the beach by opting for a massage. Though there are dubious massage parlours dotted around the island, there are also plenty of mid-range and high-end spas offering the works; from sea salt scrubs to oil massage and, of course, rigorous Thai massages. Head to any of the luxury resorts for a bit of TLC or, if you can't face wandering too far from the white sand beaches, there are masseuses offering treatments of varying quality for next to nothing up and down the beach.
Get your beach on with a relaxing day spent soaking up the sun on one of Ko Samui's numerous beaches. Try Lipa Noi for a quieter spot than Chaweng. It offers white sands and a few high-end bars and restaurants in which to chill in.
Get up early enough to book a trip to Angthong Marine Park, for an action packed day of snorkelling and kayaking 30km off Ko Samui. Expect to see langurs (long-tailed monkeys), otters and a colourful array of fish in the 100 square km of land and sea the park covers. Head back to Samui for a well-deserved sundowner on the beach.
If you're feeling brave, head out on a motorbike to explore the island's Big Buddha and the amusing-looking rock formations of Hin Ta and Hin Yai on Lamai beach, before heading back for an evening of entertainment in the form of a Lady Boy show at Chaweng Beach; the perfect start to the night before you explore some of Chaweng's legendary nightlife.
Ko Samui's waters are chock-full of fish, large and small. Make the most of it with a Big Game Fishing tour. Travel agents around the island will be able to set you up with a captain and a crew well-versed in finding and catching mackerel, shark, barracuda and grouper around the island. As the sun sets, your haul will be barbecued up so you can enjoy tucking into it as night falls.
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