If it is your first time in Koh Samui, know that it would take a while for your body to get used to the warmer weather especially if you live in a place that has a cool climate. For the first few days, you will feel hot and you will be sweating more than usual. That’s normal and it will get better as you stay longer on the island. For the mean time, follow these tips to help you cool down.
Visit the waterfalls.
If you haven’t tried swimming in a waterfall, make sure you do when you visit Samui. The water is usually cool and perfect for a day swim. We recommend Hin Lat Waterfall in Angthong. The view there is great and the water is so refreshing. You will love it.
Elevation is key.
An accommodation set somewhere the elevation is high will help you stay cool during your stay. A villa on top of a hill is ideal since there will be plenty of breeze coming in and out, lowering the ambient temperature, thus making you feel cool.
Timing is everything.
If you are heat sensitive and would prefer visiting Koh Samui when the weather is not that overwhelmingly hot, come to the island at the month of January. This is the coolest time on the island. Spending New Year here is actually a good idea since the weather is most pleasant. February is also okay. It is a little warmer than January but still is better and cooler than the coming months.
Layers of fabric won’t do you good in Koh Samui. Dress for the weather and stick to natural fabrics like cotton, rayon, and linen. Avoid wearing thick and dense clothing as well as anything made from synthetic fabrics. Silk, patent leather, wool—these are absolutely no-nos.
Avoid dark colored outfits.
Dark colored fabrics, especially black will make you feel warmer. Also black absorbs UV rays so unless you want to be a walking radiator, avoid black. Stick to light colored clothing and wear lots of white. White fabrics behave the opposite way of black. They are cooling and easy on the eyes. White also make you look fresher and cleaner.
Dehydration is a sin in a tropical destination. Unless you want to feel sick and see spots at noon, or worse pass out when the sun is unforgiving and high, drink lots of water. Gatorade is good too especially if you are sweating a lot. Another drink that will help you stay hydrated is pure coconut water. You can find this all around the island. Drink lots of it. It is high in electrolytes, which helps in maintaining the body’s fluid balance.
Turn on the AC unit.
The most obvious way to stay cool in hot weather is to turn on the air conditioning unit. This will help you feel more comfortable and allow you to sleep better at night. If you will be going out, go somewhere that is air conditioned such as the mall or a cafe.
Have lots of ice.
Ice is cool so you definitely should have it in your cooling arsenal. Put ice in your drinks. Make fruit shakes, chill your beer or add ice in your glass of water. You can also have ice cream, sorbets, sherbets—anything that is frozen. Have iced latte or frappuccino instead of hot coffee. You may also want to to try some local desserts made from shaved ice, milk, and syrup. They are yummy and will refresh you quickly.
Take a shower.
Frequent baths is the norm in the tropics. A bath is an instant way to cool down when nothing else is working. Skip the hot water, the cooler the water the better. If you have a pool in your rented space or resort, you can take dips in the swimming pool.
Swim at night.
For those who burn quickly, then just skip the daytime swim at the beach. Have a night swim in a pool instead. This way, you avoid sunburn and you prevent yourself from getting a tan if you don’t like one.
Get out early or late in the afternoon.
It is best to avoid going out when the sun is at its peak if you can’t take direct heat. Take early morning strolls as exercise, visit the fresh market first thing in the morning and night markets if you need to buy stuff. At noon, stay indoors or somewhere that has abundant shade.
Stay in the shade.
Unless you have to, avoid staying in open areas especially from 10 am to 3 pm. Stay indoors if you have nothing important to do outside. Soaking direct sunlight for a long period of time can cause your body’s thermal functions to go crazy. Also, don’t enter an air-conditioned room right after you’ve been out on the sun. Rest for a while and allow your body to naturally cool down a bit. The sudden change in temperature can cause shock to the body and can cause a stroke in some extreme cases.
Watch a movie.
The cinemas on the island are pretty cool, thanks to multiple air conditioning units blasting inside. If the weather becomes unbearably hot for you, head out and see a movie or two.
Go to the mall.
Central Festival Samui has air conditioning units installed in key areas such as the department store and food court.
Central Festival Samui
Address: Chaweng, Bophut, Ko Samui, Thailand
Phone: 077 962 777
Eat spicy food.
Spicy anything is a hit in the tropics because it helps one sweat. Sweating is the body’s main cooling mechanism. So while it may seem like the last thing you want to eat, spicy food can actually help you beat the heat effectively.
Carry a hand fan.
A foldable fan can give you a cooling breeze when there is no electric fan or air conditioning available. Put one in your bag and whip it out when you feel hot.
Take a nap in a hammock.
If you feel like sleeping at noon, ditch the bed and sleep on a hammock instead. A hammock is open weave and allows great air circulation, making you sleep better.
Visit Bar Ice.
When the sun is at its peak you might start dreaming about winters and subzero temperatures. There’s actually a place where you can enjoy the frozen feeling of your dreams. Bar Ice will make you feel cool with its unique concept. Here ice is everywhere and heat is a thing of the past. The temperature here is -7 degrees Celsius, which is literally and metaphorically cool.
Open: 5:30pm to 2am
Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Go fragrance free.
Strong perfumes particularly those with spices and vanilla can be really amplified in the heat. Heavy florals and those that smell musky can also be cloying in the tropical weather. Wear citrus based colognes if you need to put on fragrances. Better yet, don’t wear any. Just put on some antiperspirant, take frequent showers and you should smell fine.
Put on some powder.
Baby powder or talcum powder is effective in keeping the skin dry and free from irritation. You can find body powders in all major drugstores and supermarkets. They are affordable and are effective. They feel great after shower too