It seemed like a great idea after some Samui rum. After five years’ exploring Koh Samui, I decided to write The Koh Samui Guide. The travel guide I wish I’d had when I packed the wrong things, got sunburned and wondered about everything from ‘is the water safe to drink’, to ‘where can I buy champagne?’.
The original plan? “Just a quick weekend project”… Instead? It’s been:
- 19 years of Koh Samui exploration
- 14 years of Thailand travel advice
- 8 editions of The Koh Samui Guide
Hello! I’m Alex.
Since 2008, my Koh Samui travel blog and its companion travel guide – The Koh Samui Guide – has helped travellers like you discover the region’s very best.
As farangs (foreigners) from cold climates, Koh Samui won my family over on our first visit in 2003. Since then, I’ve been lucky to return often with family and friends – for all sorts of big and little occasions. I hope this means a wide range of ideas and suggestions, helpful to whatever your Thailand travel might involve. Much of what I write today for The Koh Samui Guide is the result of seventeen years’ trial-and-error – mosquito warfare especially.
Helpful tips, honest advice
To quickly find your own favourites, both The Koh Samui Guide and this corollary travel blog offer recommendations, helpful tips and honest advice for your explorations throughout Thailand – with a frequent Koh Samui focus. Together, they offer you everything you need to know to enjoy your time in Thailand thoroughly, safely (and as caffeinated as can be).
100% ethical travel and cruelty-free products – I only promote ethical travel and cruelty-free products. I do my absolute best to steer you towards ethical companies and travel products that aren’t tested on animals (like my favourite mosquito repellent).
97 countries – From the Aland Islands (Google it), to Curaçao, Guam to Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia to Samoa, The Koh Samui Guide has been downloaded in 97 countries, territories and islandy places
50 U.S. states – Someone in every U.S. State has purchased The Koh Samui Guide … even South Dakota.
3 minutes – No waiting for shipping and totally portable – The Koh Samui Guide is an instant PDF download. Downloading the guide takes just 3 steps and less than 3 minutes (even if your computer hates you). Find out how to download your copy.
0 sponsors – I don’t accept any perks, compensation or advertising for anything on Samui. I pay for everything myself as normal, totally incognito guest or customer.
14% as long as War and Peace – What’s The Koh Samui Guide? Call it a blueprint for your dream vacation. It’s 14% as long as War and Peace (but much more readable).
How did The Koh Samui Guide get started?
Short answer: More or less by total fluke (and a naked grandma).
2003 – First visited Koh Samui in 2003 on a family holiday. Discover the various Bad Tourist in Thailand crimes I unwittingly committed (it was 2003 … so you know it involves an Avril Lavigne tube top, J Lo sunglasses and worse).
2008 – In 2008, after many subsequent visits, I started a Koh Samui travel blog to help other travellers avoid common Thailand travel mistakes. I had no idea how to make a website, but I had a new Macbook and it came with – cringe – iWeb… The blog started with two posts:
I had got this horribly wrong on my first visit, and thought it might help other travellers.
The blog really took off a year, after writing about a naked grandma enjoying Koh Samui a little too much. You can’t un-see stuff like that.
2012 – Eventually, the blog gave birth to The Koh Samui Guide – a rum-induced flash of genius meant as “just a quick weekend project”. Combine an obsessive streak with superb reader response, and that “weekend” has spanned eight years of updates and refinement.
2023 – Never did I imagine this ‘little PDF’ would become ‘my baby’; that people in 97 countries would download it, and that I’d be working on it non-stop ever since. Now in its 8th edition, The Koh Samui Guide continues to receive fantastic feedback from people all over the world. I’m confident it will make your holiday even better – ongoing research leaves no plate of Pad Thai behind.Get your guide