Koh Samui’s private airport is possibly the nicest airport in the world, at least out of the 50 or so I’ve seen in my life. You don’t feel like you’re in an airport, more like you’re in a really nice hotel resort. It is far better than the airport in Hawaii which people often assume would be tropical and beautiful but obviously they’ve never been to Thailand. One of the gates at Koh Samui Airport The entire island is made up of older, wealthier tourists and honeymoon couples instead of young backpackers. It’s definitely not as much of a party island but, since both Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are so cheap and easy to go to, it’s a good hub to train at.
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The ferry to the neighboring islands of Phangan and Tao will cost 300-500 baht ($10-$16US) and are nice easy boat rides on large comfortable ferries. Even though Koh Samui is the most expensive of the three islands, living costs are still a bit cheaper than Phuket – if you find local places. You can also pitch in with a few friends and rent a luxury villa if you don’t mind spending a bit of cash for something that would be double the price back home. A very nice two bedroom house can be found from 36,000 baht ($1,200US) a month; yet you can still find basic studio apartments for around 5,000 baht ($166US) a month, which what I normally opt for. Koh Samui has some very nice beaches but, unfortunately, because of all of the beach-front development, all of the surrounding coral around the island has been covered with sand and is now dead.
Also, the main port town is quite dirty from the fisherman docking up there. I’ve seen them throw plastic bags full of trash straight into the water off the pier. But, fortunately, most of the rest of the island is really clean and nice. The biggest problem with Koh Samui is the type of tourists that go there. You get a lot of rude, high-end tourists that treat the local Thais like they are below them, which makes the Thais in turn rude back and often see foreigners, then, only as a walking dollar sign. There are a couple Muay Thai gyms in Koh Samui and from what I heard the best is Jun Muay Thai. They also have really good prices for both accommodation and training. You can get a basic fan room to yourself for 5,500 baht a month, and training once-a-day is only 3,000 baht ($100US) per month! Two-a-day training is 5,000 baht ($166US) per month. I’ve always thought that this should be the normal and fair price for Muay Thai in Thailand – but it seems like almost all gyms charge way more. The other gyms in Koh Samui that I would check out are Wech Pinyo Muay Thai, which seems like it might be a good basic Thai-style gym. Superpro Samui also seems decent and is the only one that offers MMA as well. I would also check out Lamai Muay Thai, which is the gym that is affiliated with the World Muay Thai Council and the TV show, ‘The Challenger’. Lamai is the gym a lot of Russians train at.