Koh Samui on a budget

by Sheena Salmon

Koh Samui has long been a favourite beach holiday destination for myself and Mr Salmon so when our friends announced it as their chosen venue for their wedding we knew we simply had to be there. With very little notice we had an amazing time and still managed to spend less than our friends. Here’s how we did it.

Getting there

We sourced our flights from the website http://www.gotogate.co.uk/ Remember this website and burn it into your brain! It’s my go to website whenever I’m travelling.  They have some great deals and unusual routes. We flew from London Heathrow to Phuket via Moscow, then took a domestic flight to Koh Samui.

Direct flight = £972

Flight via Moscow = £672

Saving = £300

Remember the site uses cookies, so if you are watching a certain flight the price will automatically go up. Before booking clear your cookies or book from another device. Tuesday tends to be the cheapest day.

My top tip for Phuket airport is the Thai airlines cafeteria situated upstairs. It’s used mainly by staff but is open to everyone. It’s cheap and the food is delicious, well worth a trip.

Staying there

We opted to stay in the Ban Tai area, it’s beautiful and a little more quiet than Lamai the main party area. We stayed in the resort of Ban Tai river gardens. The resort is a collection of around ten cottages of different sizes and some with self catering facilities. At the time of booking everyone is offered a free transfer from the airport. We made use of this and it was well worth it. They use a local taxi firm and take you straight to your door. It was lovely to arrive after such a long flight and not have to haggle!

We found our accomodation by googling Belmond Napasai hotel (pictured) which was the wedding venue and looking at the residences around it. This is a good tip when it comes to accomodation as there are some real gems to be found which are cheap, beautiful and may not have much of an online presence. Once you’ve sourced accomadation this way I promise you you’ll always do it. The Belmond Napasai has some gorgeously luxurious facilities and they allowed wedding guests full use of them for the week of the wedding. If you’re not there for a wedding you can still use it daily for a small fee and it’s well worth doing. Our accomadation at Ban Thai river gardens was one hundred pounds per week. The staff really couldn’t do enough for us and it’s managed by a lovely London lady called Jill, she’ll give you all the low down on what to see and where to go and she’s incredbily good fun too!

Things to do

There’s many excursions to do in Koh Samui and it’s worth it to do at least one. We chose snorkelling off the coast of Koh Mudsom. We chose to go midweek as it was cheaper and less crowded. The coral reef is beautiful but do remember not to stand on it, It’s fragile and sharp too. Our excurtion cost us twenty eight pounds and included meals and transfers.

Eating out in Koh Samui is a real pleasure, it’s almost impossible to pick a favourite restaurant. Many of the locals in Ban Thai turn their front gardens into makeshift restaurants and these were by far our favourite places to eat. They’re fantastic hosts and if you want something they don’t have, they’ll jump on a scooter and track it down for you.

Local costs

Meal = £1.50

Beer = £1.20

Spirit = £4

Tobacco = £2

The local taxis are very cheap too but watch out for suncream, take more than you think you’ll need as you can easily find yourself paying London prices. And finally…

Craft beer in Koh Samui!

Never have I seen a man so thrilled, as Mr Salmon when he discovered the Bee’s Knees Brewpub. This is the only craft beer pub in Koh Samui and a popular tourist destination. For those regular beer lovers the local beer ‘Leo’ is just as good as the ‘Singha’ and cheaper too.

So there you have it, my top tips on how to party in paradise without breaking the bank. If you follow these tips remember, when you’re watching a stunning Koh Samui sunset whilst sipping a craft beer, don’t forget to drop us a line and let us know how you got on!

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