Stay Safe – Advice & Useful Contacts
Samui, for the most part, is a safe place for travellers. There are certain things to keep in mind especially for those that are not seasoned, travellers. To stay safe and healthy during your trip in Samui take 5 minutes to read our guidance. The advice and guidance have been compiled from experts living on and visiting Koh Samui.
Stay Safe on the Road
Samui has the highest motorbike accident rate in Thailand. Scooters are a great way to explore the island. Unfortunately too many inexperienced tourists without any road sense or knowledge take to the roads because they can. Add to inexperienced drivers sand, water, stray dogs, drunk tourists and riding a scooter becomes chaos. Wear a helmet it is law despite many locals and tourists ignoring it. Police do regular spot checks and you will be fined 500 baht to 2000 baht. Drink and driving are illegal although tourists and locals alike appear to ignore the fact. Don’t drink and drive make use of the alternative transport on the Island. Remember in Thailand to drive on the LEFT. Be aware of getting ‘Samui Tattoo’ a tell-tale burn on the calf caused by a hot scooter exhaust.
When renting a kayak or jet-ski always wear a life jacket. Snorkelling is aware of coral and broken glass. Samui’s waters may look calm but underlying rip currents exist. Lifeguards do not patrol the beaches of Koh Samui. Don’t venture too far if you are not a strong swimmer particularly in monsoon season when the sea is churned up.
Sunstroke & Sunburn
The tropical sun is strong use a high SPF sunscreen especially when you first arrive. No matter how much you’re looking forward to topping up your tan use protective creams and lotions. Don’t be fooled by cloud cover it’s just as easy to burn through the cloud. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the back of the neck and ears when snorkelling. Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day drink plenty of water. Alcohol and caffeine drinks do not help with hydration.
Should you get any type of wound clean it immediately. If a mosquito bite becomes infected find a pharmacy and get an antibacterial cream. In a tropical climate, wounds get infected quickly. Keep wounds clean and change dressings on a regular basis. If you have any doubts at all seek advice from one of the many pharmacies on the main streets. Serious wounds and cuts go straight to the Bangkok hospital on the Island.
Tap water in Thailand should not be swallowed it is fine for brushing your teeth and washing. Boiled tap water is fine for hot beverages and cooking. Bottled water is cheaply available at shops, restaurants and resorts. Restaurants and bars have ice delivered daily made from purified water so ice in drinks is safe.
Never leave your passport as security for vehicle rental. Reputable companies will not expect to keep your passport they will take a photocopy. Leave your passport and other travel documents in your hotel safe but keep a copy of your passport with you at all times.
Thai food is spicier than most Westerners may be used to. Restaurants in tourist areas cater to the more delicate palate so ask for ‘Mai pet’ not spicy. Buy street food from market stands that appear busy the food is likely to be fresh. Beware of food that looks as if it’s been standing a while. Street food is generally fine it comes straight from the fire or the soup pot. Wash fruit well before eating. Should you get an upset stomach go to the pharmacy for rehydrating fluids. Dehydrate in the heat can be life threatening. Choose vendors carefully and have a great time enjoying gastronomic adventures in Koh Samui.
Stay Safe – Say NO to Drugs
Be smart a short-lived high is not worth a lifetime in a Thai jail or worse dead. Thailand as with most Asian countries has strict drug laws and foreigners are treated no differently to locals when it comes to breaking them. In tourist areas drugs are readily available and places such as the Full Moon Party are patrolled by undercover police officers. Don’t accept cigarettes or drinks from strangers and never leave your drink at the bar when dancing at nightclubs as you stand the risk of having it spiked.
ATM’s & Money
Thai ATMs deliver the cash before ejecting the card which means that absent-minded tourists often forget to take their card. Don’t leave the machine until you have doubled checked you have your card nobody wants to be stranded without access to cash. It costs 180 baht to withdraw from a foreign card besides what your own bank charges. Larger withdrawals make it cheaper but leave excess cash in your hotel safe with your other valuables.
When renting any vehicle be it a car scooter or jet ski, inspect it well it thoroughly for any marks or defects. Take time and dated photos or video as proof of condition at the start of the hire. Highlight any marks or defects on the rental agreement. Many an unsuspecting tourist has been fooled and bullied into paying for damages caused by previous customers. Renting directly from your hotel is often a safer option or use the reputable companies on our site who we have personally used and is recommended. Be observant and drive carefully. Stay Safe.
Emergency call: 191 (no need using an area code)
Tourist police emergency hotline: 1155 (no need using an area code)
24 hours emergency service (Bangkok Samui Hospital ): 0 774 295 00
Samui International Hospital: 0 772 307 81/2
Samui Rescue: 0 774 214 44
Marine Police: 0 774 212 45