Koh Samui (Samui Island) is a famous island situating in the Gulf of Thailand, attracting backpackers staying for a week or two in traditional beach bungalows, to wealthy holiday-goers staying for a weekend in one of the most lavish resorts or villas on the island.
But safety in Koh Samui can be a concern – the risk of scams, traffic accidents, and creepy crawlies is undoubtedly real. If you add drunken holidaymakers into the mix, you could be asking yourself, “is Koh Samui safe?”.
That is why we have written this guide – to arm you with all the information required for staying safe in Koh Samui.
In this article, we will be talking about a range of topics: from the risks of being scammed, to whether it’s safe for a solo female traveller in Koh Samui – and just about everything in-between. We’ll be discussing Koh Samui in its totality.
Perhaps you’re a lone female traveller who is worried about her safety and the idea of travelling alone, or maybe you’re just questioning if Koh Samui is a family-friendly place. No matter your concern, we have created this guide to answer all of your questions.
Is Koh Samui Safe? (Our Take)
On the whole, Koh Samui is perfectly safe. Respectfully, there is an element of risk (just like with any destination in the world) – but typically speaking, Koh Samui is undoubtedly a safe place to travel.
Situated in the Gulf of Thailand is Thailand’s second-largest island, Koh Samui. If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, then you can’t miss seeing this majestic Thai island.
Koh Samui is known for its idyllic beaches, stunning landscape, and friendly locals, making it a popular destination for travellers. While visitors should typically feel safe, you should always keep an eye out for potential threats and dangers.
Petty crime is one of the biggest problems the island faces, ranging from theft to tourist scams. Here are a few scams that you should look out for in particular:
Overpriced Taxis – while most of the Taxies have meters, few ever actually use them. Instead, drivers will try and negotiate a fixed price, usually costing you more. If you are taking a taxi, confirm that you want to use the meter before getting in. If you are paying a fixed price, try to have an idea of what it should cost beforehand.
Jet Skis / Motorbike Scam – a common scam to look out for on Koh Samui is the Jet Ski or motorbike scam (or really anything that you’re hiring). The way this works is by you hiring something of value, and then on return, the vendor claims it has been damaged (usually resulting in you paying an extortionate amount of money for the damages). The way to avoid this is by always taking photos of what you are hiring beforehand.
Combine these scams with theft, drunken tourists, and road accidents, and you can see why safety in Koh Samui may be a worry.
However, even after taking into consideration all the different threats in Koh Samui, the chances of you experiencing any of these situations are incredibly rare – and that is why we no issue in declaring that Koh Samui is very safe.
Is Koh Samui Safe? (The Facts)
Koh Samui is undoubtedly safe to travel. The island welcomes over 2.5 million tourists a year – and this number is rising.
The most significant threat in Koh Samui is road traffic accidents. There is reported to be over 30 road traffic deaths per month on the island, mainly consisting of motorbike accidents.
Most victims are found not only not to be wearing a helmet, but also not wearing adequate protection in terms of clothing.
The mixture of drunk-tourists, lack of motorbike skills, unlicensed drivers, and not to mention the young chaps that drive like maniacs, make Koh Samui a dangerous place when it comes to road safety.
It’s safe to visit Koh Samui in 2019, but apply common sense when visiting the island.
Koh Samui Travel Insurance
Enjoy your time in Koh Samui, but always ensure you get travel insurance! No matter if you’re only going for a short period, you should always take out travel cover. Take our word: travel insurance can save you thousands of pounds – so make sure to purchase it before you leave.
We highly recommend using World Nomads, but there are many insurance providers to choose from, so make sure to shop around to find the best deal.
Important Safety Tips for Visiting Koh Samui
Despite Koh Samui being reasonably safe, it is still essential to have a few smart travel tips in mind for keeping safe in Koh Samui:
- STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS – getting caught with possession of drugs in Thailand is a SEVERE offence. Do not partake in the use of any illegal substances, no matter what you have previously heard.
- Always wear a helmet – if you are riding a motorbike, always make sure to wear a helmet. Road accidents are a common occurrence in Koh Samui.
- Protect yourself from mosquitoes – always make sure to wear durable insect repellent. Although Dengue fever and Malaria are low threats in Koh Samui, it is still best to stay protected against mosquitos.
- Respect the smoking ban – smoking is banned in most public places. Respect the prohibition to avoid being charged a fine of up to 100,000 baht, or worse, up to one year in prison.
- Do not leave your drink unattended – pretty obvious, but worth mentioning. Do not leave your drinks unattended as you run the risk of having your drink spiked.
- Keep your valuables secure – don’t carry your valuables on you. Keep your valuables locked away in a safety deposit box at your hotel.
- Always wear sunscreen – don’t underestimate the sun in Thailand. Overexposure can severely burn you or cause long-lasting damage to your skin. Make sure to apply suncream regularly.
- Only use secure ATM’s – if possible, try only to use ATM’s that are inside of a secure building. When using an ATM on the high street, make sure always to cover your PIN.
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