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BANGKOK 22 July 2019 18:42

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So I’m moving to Ko samui next month. A few questions.. would greatly appreciate if you can answer any of the following... 

 

1. What essentials should I bring with me? What is hard to get on the island?  

 

2. Is it safe? Will my place likely be broken into? 

 

3. Is a budget of 45,000 a month realistic? I will be living alone. 

 

4. What is there to do in the rainy season?

 

5. Is it easy to make friends with other expats in their 20s, 30s?

 

6. What is the health care like? How much is basic health insurance? 

 

7. What are the benefits of Ko samui over Phuket for example?

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for your reply. Nope never visited. It’s not practical for me to do that.

 

I can always leave if I don’t like it. Nothing is permanent. But sometimes you have to take a risk and go for it... 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Jigglypuff said:

Thanks for your reply. Nope never visited. It’s not practical for me to do that.

 

I can always leave if I don’t like it. Nothing is permanent. But sometimes you have to take a risk and go for it... 

Samui is a tourist island and more expensive than many other places in Thailand. Phuket is also expensive. Probable almost anywhere in Thailand (except even smaller islands) is cheaper than these two places. You will survive on 45k but you will get a lot more value for it in other places. I.e. Pattaya and surrounding is a lot cheaper and has more options (not only for the nightlife).

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7 hours ago, Jigglypuff said:

Thanks for your reply. Nope never visited. It’s not practical for me to do that.

 

I can always leave if I don’t like it. Nothing is permanent. But sometimes you have to take a risk and go for it... 

 

 

 

 

As you said just go for it. Come over and visit, don't get a long term rental at first. Try out the different parts of the island to see what suits you best. Markets and shops have all you need so don't worry about that. Lots of ways to meet others your age, just like back home, at the gym, bar, etc. Rainy season is fairly short where it rains long enough to keep you inside. But with internet not an issue. 

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2 hours ago, wilcopops said:

1 - nothing really..probably better to huy what you need as and when you realise you need it. Personal electronic stuff...computer phone etc...there is not a great range on the island although most of the main chain stores are here.

 

2 - The place is in general very safe and burglaries are much rarer than in the West. Don't lose all sense of responsibility though.

 

3 - You can rent a nice 1 or 2 b/r house from 8 to 12 thousand baht. So 45 k will allow you to live quite well if you have a reasonably frugal lifestyle and eat local foods.

 

4 - life goes on in the wet, which is patchy from May to October but you lose have of the cool dry season with a really wet November and December. Samui is a lot wetter than much of Thailand and flooding is common as are the concomitant power outages at that time of year.

 

5 - Samui is not really Thailand, the island has a massive resident and semi-resident foreigner population. There are loads of bars clubs and organisations that cater for their needs...... it should be easy to make friends, however superficial.

 

6 - OK there are several large hospitals on the island offering healthcare at various price levels and competency. In fact regardless of how much insurance you have, you are unlikely ever to be fully covered and even the most expensive healthcare can end up as little more than a lottery. Don't be beguiled by flashy furniture, uniforms and machinery....its all face like a lot of Thailand. The occasional patch on a cut or basic antibiotic is very cheap from a local clinic or pharmacy........ but once in the clutches of somewhere like Bangkok Samui, your bank account will hemorrhage like a stuck pig.

 

7 - Samui is in general still more rural than Phuket, which is nowadays little more than a city. Samui is an hour or more from the mainland so it is truly an island life. That said, it is still very developed and quite without planning or infrastructure........ unregulated building has all but obscured the very best beaches. The rubbish tip fiasco has been an island sore point for over 8 years and only now are measures been taken to clear it....lord knows what pollution will be left behind. Roads on Samui are dreadfully engineered and as a result quite dangerous. Phuket has a much more sophisticated network based on European ideas.

The main conurbation on Samui, Chaweng, has gone from island paradise to beach city in 2 decades.

But depending on where you settle there are still some more rural patches.... for the time being.....where groups of foreigners huddle round a bamboo bar by a small beach, hoping no one will find them.

Nathon is the only remnant of a real Thai town on the island. The rest are just centres for holidaymakers.

All the main supermarkets have a presence on the island..... Tescos, Big C and Tops.

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to type all this- very helpful.

 

Healthcare is a worry. Particularly with the bad roads and risk of traffic accidents. 

 

Yeah the pollution/rubbish thing does concern me. Hmm. 

 

Do people cycle around the island? I’m a bit concerned about getting a scooter as I have not got experience and don’t have the best balance or co-ordination at the best of times. I guess renting a car would be out of my budget.. 

 

 

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I know a lot of people are saying Samui is over developed, touristy, etc etc but unfortunately I still need to work. I’m not able to retire to a quiet beach town with nothing going on.

 

Bangkok doesn’t appeal. I don’t like cities and love beaches. Living near to the sea has always been my dream. Pattaya seems a bit seedy for me, but maybe that just what I’ve heard. 

 

Ko Samui sounds like a good mix of developed and Tropical Thailand but i am a little worried about feeling “trapped” on an island due to expensive over priced flights.  

 

Also how often do you get spiders and other large creepy crawlies in your house? May seem a silly question but I’m not a huge fan of sharing my space with giant six or eight legged friends. Well I don’t mind if they stay hidden away. 

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Jigglypuff said:

I know a lot of people are saying Samui is over developed, touristy, etc etc but unfortunately I still need to work. I’m not able to retire to a quiet beach town with nothing going on.

I hope you realise you wont be able to work legally. And given your age (I presume 20s-30s as per OP) will need to be doing border runs for visa etc. Being on an island will add to the travel/expense.

Day to day life would/could be similar in Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin. 

 

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2 hours ago, Jigglypuff said:

often do you get spiders and other large creepy crawlies in your house?

I live in a wooden house in a relatively rural area and gat far less creepy-crawlies than I did in Oz or even UK. ... almost none in fact

However there are scorpions centipedes and snakes (even King Cobras) that can be dangerous. This isn't really much different from any other part of Thailand.Fortunately, Samui has its own self appointed snake rescue man....a Brit who really knows his stuff.

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2 hours ago, Jigglypuff said:

i am a little worried about feeling “trapped” on an island due to expensive over priced flights.  

Flights aren't the only way on and off the island. There are many ferries to the mainland(1.5 hours) and other islands and Chumphon.

However it is an expense and an inconvenience at times putting hours on any trip you may plan. I for one definitely get stir crazy from time to time.

PS flights from mainland Suratthani are considerably cheaper than direct flights to/from Samui.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jigglypuff said:

Do people cycle around the island? I’m a bit concerned about getting a scooter as I have not got experience and don’t have the best balance or co-ordination at the best of times. I guess renting a car would be out of my budget.. 

People cycle but the main roads are narrow and very hilly. Motorists on Samui seem to have scant respect for cyclists.

You need to be a proficient scooter/motorcyclist to be safe anywhere on Thailand and in particular on Samui. Quite part from the unusual ways Thai people drive there is a whole army of idiot tourists on Samui that seem to have left their road safety manuals along with there brains at home. .... and what brains they have left, they seem determined to spread over the asphalt on Samui.

You can rent a motorbike for less than 100 baht a day, hut you probably wont have any insurance. Yiu also need a valid motorcycle licence from your home country and probably an IDP...... not that half the population bothers...... yiu will aldo need to buy a decent crash helmet.

Car rental can be about 10 to 12k per month..... some DO have good insurance. Even on 45 k per month it could be a possibility.

 

Whatever you rent, DON'T give them your passport, it's the hallmark of a dodgy company

Edited by wilcopops

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5 hours ago, hoxman said:

Rainy season is fairly short

Rainy season us one of the longest in Thailand....it gets a double whammy in November and December, when the rest of the country is enjoying the cool dry season.

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3 hours ago, Peterw42 said:

I still need to work

Work for foreigners in Thailand is pretty restricted to industry experts and English teachers.

On Samui it is the tourist, hotel and catering industry and some schools colleges that employ the most. Occasionally some have their own businesses. You are unlikely to be able to pick up casual work, least of all legally.

I suspect looking at your "salary", you've been offered a teaching job? In which case they will sort out your visa and work permit.

 

Digital nomads seem to go largely undetected.

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11 minutes ago, wilcopops said:
3 hours ago, Peterw42 said:

I still need to work

Work for foreigners in Thailand is pretty restricted to industry experts and English teachers.

On Samui it is the tourist, hotel and catering industry and some schools colleges that employ the most. Occasionally some have their own businesses. You are unlikely to be able to pick up casual work, least of all legally.

I suspect looking at your "salary", you've been offered a teaching job? In which case they will sort out your visa and work permit.

 

Digital nomads seem to go largely undetected.

You have misquoted, I didnt say "I still need to work" or quote a salary, the OP said that.

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