After spending nine weeks in Koh Samui studying programming at Tortuga Coders, I would like to share some tips about Thailand, so you are totally prepared before starting this new experience.
Cash or credit card?
The Thai Baht is the currency of Thailand and its exchange rate usually raises in summer due to the increment of tourism in that period of the year
If you have in mind to come with a debit or credit card, take into account that you will be charged 220 baht every time you want to make a withdrawal plus a variable commission depending on your bank. Also watch out for extra charges that some ATMs can add on the final amount.
Best option? Just bring cash. Dollars, Euros, Yens… it does not matter. Bring your own currency and change your money in one of the many Exchange posts that you can find at almost every corner of Koh Samui. They will charge you no much more than a 1% of the total amount that you want to exchange. Fair enough. If you still consider using a card, check out your bank fees before leaving your country.
I present you your new best friend: the motorbike. This vehicle is the main way to travel around the island. You can easily rent one for a cheap price for the amount of time that you prefer. It is highly recommended to come with an International Drivers License, so you can be insured.
You can also use Grab (an app like Uber) to have a slow and expensive taxi, but if you want to feel freedom, just take the bike!
You will really enjoy the most famous dishes of Thailand such as Pad Thai and Tom Kha Gai which can be found in restaurants and markets alike but, be careful! If you are not really used to spiciness, check out if your food will be spicy before ordering it.
On the other hand, they usually add much sugar to all kinds of beverages like tea and coffee. If you are not a sweet-lover, just tell them "no sugar".
Finally, I encourage you to try all types of dishes in the market, you will be surprised by the variety of flavours you can discover in Koh Samui.
Forget elegant clothes. Bring clothes to feel comfortable and that are easy to wear in your weekend trips. Trunks, a pair of flip-flops, sneakers, a towel, two short trousers and a bunch of t-shirts. That’s all what you need to enjoy your experience on the island.
If you are thinking of the night life. Do not worry! Clubs do not usually have a dress code.
Finally, Koh Samui has many places to wash your clothes and have them ready the very same day, so you don’t have to put many clothes in your luggage.
For those ones who like working out, you have the following options:
Gym: you will find some gyms close to Tortuga Coders school to work out after class.
Crossfit: if you want to do exercise in group, you may find interesting to join the crossfit community.
Yoga: you also have some yoga places to stretch your body
Muay Thai: finally, you can also have the chance to train the local martial art and become a great fighter!
If you liked this post or you want to know more about life in Koh Samui, leave a message and I will write more about it.