Koh Samui is surely one of Asia’s most beautiful destinations. Planning to spend a lot of time outdoors and get to know this lovely island better? Make sure you have these with you before you head out to ensure a safe and hassle free day.
While there are some establishments on the island that accept credit cards, it is recommended that you always have enough local currency on hand especially if you are anticipating stopping on a number of Koh Samui’s walking streets. Have enough baht with you so you can easily buy souvenirs, snacks, and entrance tickets. Also, have plenty of loose change. Huge bills aren’t advisable especially if you are planning to haggle with small amounts. Sellers won’t take your offers seriously given that you have a huge amount of money with you.
The tropical sun may seem to connote fun holidays at the beach but it can also cause painful burns on photosensitive individuals. Folks who are used to a cooler climate and don’t have a lot of melanin on their skin won’t be able to take prolonged sun exposure. If you are of this type,it is better if you slather on some sun protection particularly one with broad spectrum. Reapply after a few hours. Also,wear protective clothing and hat to protect your eyes, face, and arms.
While images of ladies in bikinis and tanned men with rock hard bare abs come to mind when visiting a tropical place, Koh Samui is a conservative destination. Dressing provocatively in public is frowned upon. Dress conservatively. Wear shirts with sleeves and don’t wear skirts that expose the legs. To be always ready, have a nice sarong with you when you go on a tour. Temples and other conservative shops expect visitors to dress accordingly. If you have a sarong, you can just whip it out and use it to cover up before entering such places then take it off as you proceed with your tour.
If you want to explore the many parts of Koh Samui by walking, you definitely need comfortable footwear, preferably one that is okay to get wet but has good traction. Some surfaces can be slippery especially when it is raining. A no-slip pair can help prevent accidents and will allow you to move around easily regardless of the surface and weather conditions. A good pair of flip flops is a popular footwear on the island. You can wear this at the beach and is comfortable to walk around with. Plus, since you will be taking them off when you visit a temple you won’t have to worry about them getting lost because they don’t stand out that much and they are not that pricey to replace. Some fancier establishments however will require you to wear closed shoes. Still the old saying goes, dress for the occasion.
When the weather’s hot and you will be outdoors for a long period of time, staying hydrated is important. Always have a bottle of water with you and drink plenty of fluids during your snack stops. Refreshments also can help you cool down after being exposed to the heat. Drink coconut water, which is rich in minerals to help keep your electrolyte balance in check. Fresh fruit shakes made from mango, watermelon, and coconut meat are equally refreshing too. If you feel a little lightheaded, you may be dehydrated. Quickly replenish your fluids and electrolytes with a bottle of Gatorade or any sports drink especially if you sweat a lot.
Most tour packages include snacks and at least one main meal. Even so, eat before your tour. Walking around with an empty stomach will just make you feel grumpy and unable to enjoy the trip. Better yet, pack some snacks that are easy to eat on the go such as crackers,energy bars, or some candy. A piece of local banana is a popular on-the-go snack too.
Mosquitoes thrive in the tropics especially in the cooler months so expect to see them and be ready with some mosquito patches or lotions. While mosquito bites aren’t painful, there is a bigger reason why you should avoid being bitten. Dengue fever is a common illness in Southeast Asia and is fatal when not addressed quickly. To be on the safe side, always have some form of product to deter these pests. A bottle of mosquito lotion is cheaper than hospital bills.
Thai Green Herbal Balm
This, tiger balm, or any medicated balm with camphor and eucalyptus is a must for every travellers. This is in solid form and it melts a little when you rub your fingers on it. This is a nice instant remedy for headache, seasickness, and migraine. It is a good alternative when analgesic pills aren’t around or you simply want to skip oral medication. You can buy Thai Green Herbal Balm almost everywhere, even in 7-11 outlets. It is pretty cheap too and a little goes a long way—a true bang for your buck.
If you have special medications or maintenance, bring enough for your stay. Also it is a good idea to always have a copy of your prescription with you so you can buy easily when you run out. The brand names will probably be different but most major pharmacies will be able to find you a suitable counterpart in case your brand isn’t available. If someone is diabetic in your group, make sure that they have their medicines too. Diabetic individuals especially those who depend on insulin shots need to have their doses at specific times and if you don’t have enough, it can be stressful running around the island looking for some. Just a reminder.
There are many beautiful sights and vistas all around the island and if you want to capture breathtaking pictures, don’t forget to bring your camera with you. Of course you can always use your smartphone for pictures but if impeccable shots are what you are aiming for, a DSLR camera would still be your best pal.
Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
When you are touring, you will be exposed to dirt and grime. A pack of wet wipes come in handy when you need to freshen up, wipe some stains off, and clean your hands before eating. A small bottle of hand sanitizer is also great especially if you have little kids with you.
If you have long hair and you will be heading to the beach or just outside, keep it off your face by using pins and ponytails. You will be sweating a great deal in Samui while you are touring so it’s best to tidy up your mane so it is not all over the place. This is highly suggested if your hair tends to get poofy when it is humid. Headbands and stylish turbans would work too.
People have different definitions of essentials. Others can use the bathroom without toilet paper, some would not even dream of it. If it is small enough and it is important to you, bring it when you tour Koh Samui. Also, always bring your passport and copies of it with you.
Open mind and a good appetite
Koh Samui, like most parts of Thailand is a hub of many interesting experiences. So when you visit key places, keep an open mind and appreciate the culture and the locals’ way of life. Also,a good appetite is a good thing as you will run into a lot of great food on the island.