the taxi Buisiness is like a big mafia.the capes dont have taximeters on samui.thats illegal.
therefore ask for the price at first.make bagaining.because the charge is everytime verry expensive.
from airport to lamai almost 800 bhat.thats crazy.
to take a taxi is the biggest trap on ko samui.the better&cheaper way is to take a truck taxi the day chrarge until6PM 50 bhat. nightcharge 100bhat.but ask the driver although for price and destination at first
I'm really sorry - I know most tourist's do this stuff but I have to say, honestly, it was just about the sickest thing I have ever seen (besides Patpong Rd. in Bangkok). I actually never stopped to try for this form of entertainment, but from the road they appeared to be exploitive and sadistic. There were nasty looking fences and what appeared to be very sparse rations inside. I've never been one to stand up for the "rights" of animals, however, I just can't not say anything here. There is the argument that says the "mahout's" are just trying to eke out a living and using the dollars from this form of entertainment to provide for their familes. I understand this - but there must be a better way!!
Unique Suggestions: Avoid elephant operations that allow the Mahouts (elephant keeper) to use the dreaded metal hook to control the animal. This device is cruel and unnecessary for a well trained and happy elephant, but are legal in Thailand and are frequently used.
The dawn to dusk regime of many elephant camps is unhealthy for the animals. Adult elephants need to graze for 8 to 10 hours a day. Elephants are forest animals and do not like being in the direct sunlight. Avoid camps that have the animals staked outside in the sun all day.
Elephants are nervous around automobiles, and loud noises, and they do not eat properly when in this type of environment. Many of the roadside elephant camps are offering little more than a 'photo opportunity' of you while riding atop an elephant, before it plods slowly down a well worn path for your ten minute elephant trek. If it looks like a fly-by-night operation it probably is one. Avoid the elephant camps that appear to have just opened yesterday.
Fun Alternatives: See the natural wildlife for yourself - monkeys and other animals abound. Find ways to conserve and take advantage of the beautiful scenery.
English speaking and normally on motorbikes you will be approached win a scratchcard and asked to attend a meeting to win your prize
Unique Suggestions: Don't go and try not to enter into a long conversation with them
Fun Alternatives: Be polite and walk off
One of the most frequently asked questions in the many internet forums regarding Koh Samui is "what will the weather be lke at this time".The wet season is Oct to mid to late December so it will rain but for how long , hard & often is anybodies guess. The best weather & beach conditions are April to September even early to mid October on occasions.Good weather conditions are also found in Feburary & March.
The trap here is that when booking accomadation in the high & peak seasons(Nov - Jan ) it is in fact the wet season or at the end of it & beach & water quality will not be as good as say May-June which is the low season for accommodation where most resorts are well priced.
This I believe is a great advantage to those of us in the southern hemisphere ( when it`s cooling down here, it`s perfect there ) as opposed to the Northern hemisphere winter.
Unique Suggestions: Just be aware that because it says high & Peak season it doesn`t mean the weather , only accommodation prices.
Fun Alternatives: The hottest & driest period is May to July but I also recommend any other time besides the October to December period where conditions on Samui are at there worst.
Exhorbident transfer costs to your accommodation.
Unique Suggestions: If you haven`t got transport to your accommodation there are plenty of locals willing to offer you a ride in their mini bus or car. These locals are only trying to make a baht so please don`t be rude to them,but you must barter & barter hard. You should pay between 150B - 200 THB to Chaweng Beach, obviously more if your staying in Lamai or Nathon, roughly the same to Maenam or Bophut but this is only a guide if you are the only one in the vehicle than you will be charged a higher rate then if there is say a group of you in the mini van.There is also a limousine service in the arrivals terminal that you can use but be aware this way can make the journey to your hotel longer depending of course where you are staying as the van will drop off at many hotels.I don`t personally like this option because when I have arrived on Samui I have been travelling a considerable time & I want to get to my room as quick as possible.
Fun Alternatives: The only alternative is to include transfers in your accommodation package but I have found these to also be expensive & thats if they even turn up so at least you can barter with the locals & be assured of a ride to your accommodation just be firm but polite & have some fun when you barter.
At night especially, children are used to seduce tourists into buying their wares( when i was there, it was 20baht for an orchid necklace) they go around, lodging themselves onto the tourist's laps, particularly those who give them the "oh, so cute" looks and coax them till they buy something. sometimes they playfully pummel u and sulk at u until u do. quite enterprising, if not manipulative child labour.
Unique Suggestions: it may be worth it just to make them go away. besides, how long can u stare at their beady pleading eyes?? and they just keep coming back!
Fun Alternatives: just stay away from the beach... like thats gonna happen
Beach vendors, especially the men who offer henna tattoos or bracelets... if u listen carefully, some will start discreetly saying 'thai weed'... not bad if ur up for that kinda thing. they hold it craftily in the same hand that holds whutever else they r legally selling(henna tattoos, bracelets, thai silk...) yes, even those 'licensed' ones with the numbered vests
Unique Suggestions: Well, if you really want them to stay away, which i think is near impossible, pretend to be asleep. that said, a few of them have actually stood over me till i woke up. amusing, but can be quite unnerving.
Fun Alternatives: buy everything somewhere else, have everything u need by ur side so hopefully they wont think u need anymore. that said, its always fun to try their roasted corn, coconuts, fruits, etc. a lil overpriced, but u decide.
If you venture into Chaweng Central by day i must warn you that you may get stopped by someone who rides a bike up and down all day who asks if you are English speaking.
Being a friendly person, i said 'yes'. BAD MISTAKE.
What these guys do is tell you about a hotel they are promoting and ask if you want to have a look. It starts off very friendly until the scratch cards come out.
Strangely ,someone wins a star prize but you are the first person this month to have won it. YEAH RIGHT!!!
Then he tells you that in order to win, you need to come with him to the hotel and listen to a video and take a tour of the hotel. He asks how old you are and checks you are in gainful employment and not a backpacker who has no money.
This is when it gets a bit uncomfortable and i want to tell this bloke to GO AWAY because i am getting annoyed but he is still telling us it will only take a short while.
Eventually i tell him that i'm not doing what i dont want to do and he cant make me. Besides, i'm bigger than him and i dont fancy his chances. We wlk off quickly and he has annoyed me beyond belife.
Unique Suggestions: When these guys come up and ask if you are English speaking or they ask if you want to come and look at a hotel they are promoting just walk away or pretend you are French or something.
Under no circumstances scratch one of their cards and think that you will win anything because its all a scam and from what i have heard from people who have done it, they say that the hard sell really gets going when you reach the resort.
Dont let it ruin your holiday. Good luck.
Fun Alternatives: These guys are like a mossie. Dont get involved.
Don`t go because...
1. It`s out of the way in the middle of nowhere
2. It`s all black & you can`t really see the features of the monk
3. The monk is enclosed in a dirty plastic case so the view is furthur obscured
Unique Suggestions: Take pictures of the Elephant Gate that leads you to the temple & temple grounds.
I must mention that there is more than one mummified monk in Samui so perhaps I didn`t go to the *best* one...but I thought the best one was close to the Elephant Gate...
Fun Alternatives: Go to the Samui Butterfly Garden instead. It`s out of the way too but has a better atmosphere & you can see a bee house as well.
We opted not to go to the monkey farm, but we did go on an elephant ride (2, in fact). Some of these "cultural" activities are pretty cheesy. But, where would the animals be if not for tourists? It's a delicate balance between the good of the animals and the economic well-being of the population.
Treks are usually pretty short (5-15mn) and on a closed circuit.
Unique Suggestions: You should take a package tour (e.g. Island Safari), and see the trek is an added bonus.
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