About The Koh Samui Guide

The Koh Samui Guide is your comprehensive travel guide for Koh Samui, Thailand. Since its first edition in 2012, it has helped people in 83 countries plan and enjoy incredible Samui vacations. For more details ...

Guide to Koh Samui: Indispensable Advice From 13 Years of Samui Travel. Become an instant Koh Samui expert:  Improve your trip with the only guide to Koh Samui packed with 13 years of expertise. Here's everything you need to know... Click through to read more: https://www.thekohsamuiguide.com

What is 'The Koh Samui Guide'?

Call it a blueprint for your dream vacation.

Inside, you get 174 pages and 14 years of Koh Samui expertise!

*Please note!* The Koh Samui Guide is a digital download (PDF file): It’s ideal to use on your phone, iPad or computer. You can also print any or all of its 174 pages for your own use.

Who will it help?

Over 5 editions of The Koh Samui Guide, I’ve tried to find the right balance of content so that’s it’s useful for any Koh Samui visitor: whether it’s your first time to Asia and you’re coming with an infant in arms, or you’re an old Asia hand who’s seen it all.

Here are some emails from a typically diverse group of readers:

First time to Thailand

“You have no idea how much you have helped me – Thailand is my dream holiday and I just cannot wait to go but was always apprehensive but you have taken all those fears away and I am eternally grateful.” – Jenna, UK

Fifth time to Koh Samui

“I’ve been to Koh Samui 5 times now and this is definitely the best guide I have ever used ... I discovered loads of great new places including amazing much cheaper fantastic Thai Massages and some great new beaches.” – K, via Amazon


“My husband and I downloaded this to use on our honeymoon in Koh Samui this February. Gives great advice about local restaurants, bugs, drinking the water, grocery stores, etc. Even if you're staying at a resort this will still come in handy for you.” – Tang Tang, via Amazon

Retired couple

“Very entertaining! I am sure we will refer to all the practical details once we arrive but for now, on a rainy wet November Sunday in Wales, the Guide is a really great ‘spirit lifter’!” – Barry & Melanie

Mothers with young children

“Great guide: we will finally beach able to choose our beach for what we need (family with 18 months and 7 year old)” – Dominique

“If we didn’t have this download I really don’t think we would have such a great time. We have booked again next year on the back of a fantastic holiday which would not have been so great without your book.” – Karen, UK

3 things to know

1. Instant download

No waiting for shipping and totally portable – The Koh Samui Guide is an instant download: 3 steps, in under 3 minutes!

2. No ads, no sponsorship

I’m totally independent and always anonymous. I don’t accept perks or freebies of any sort in my guide to Koh Samui. Every recommendation in The Koh Samui Guide is there because it’s genuinely worth your vacation time – there’s nothing in it for me. I pay for everything myself as a normal, totally incognito customer.

I don't accept any perks, compensation or advertising of any sort – ever.

3. Lots of animal love

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). If you talk to your dog as much as I do mine ... you’ll understand.

How did 'The Koh Samui Guide' get started?

More or less by total fluke

My blog, Koh Samui Sunset, preceded The Koh Samui Guide by four years. In 2008 I had no idea how to make a website, but had a new Macbook and – web designers will cringe – iWeb looked interesting.

The blog started with two posts: What to pack for Thailand and what to wear in Thailand. I had got this horribly wrong on my first visit, and thought it might help other travellers.

... And a naked grandma

The blog really took off a year or so later, after writing a story about a naked grandmother changing in a Samui restaurant. I thought I could offer some cross­cultural survival tips to keep granny­-bits out of all future lunches.

You can’t un­-see stuff like that.

The Koh Samui Guide followed in 2012. My brother and I realised we could offer an island guide book to save other travellers from that overwhelming cycle of travel research and stressful prep. We’d often see visitors looking miserable on Samui – perhaps walking somewhere on a dangerous piece of road, or realising they’d arrived in rainy season – and we thought, “but this could be the best vacation you’ve ever had!”

We commandeered our parents’ dining table for about two months and put the first draft of The Koh Samui Guide together from about 5,000 pieces of scribbled notes and torn­-out magazine articles. With 5 editions since, it’s doubled in size and has a really comprehensive safety section. I never imagined it would become my full­-time job.

About the author

Short answer

I’m Alex – I talk to my dog.

In 2012, my brother Charlie and I wrote The Koh Samui Guide we wished we’d had on our first few visits to Thailand. To our surprise, the guide became “a thing” … and it’s been an ongoing labour of love ever since.

Long answer


I first visited Koh Samui in 2003 on a family holiday. I packed all the wrong things, got badly sunburned and wondered about everything from 'is the water safe to drink', to 'where can I buy champagne?’.


In 2008, after many subsequent visits, I started a Thailand travel blog – Koh Samui Sunset – to help other travellers avoid common Thailand travel mistakes.


Eventually, the blog gave birth to a guide to Koh Samui – a rum-induced flash of genius meant as “just a quick weekend project”. Combine an obsessive streak with fantastic reader feedback, and that weekend has spanned 5+ years of updates and refinement.


Today, The Koh Samui Guide has been downloaded in 83 countries – including islands I had to Google – feeds me and my dog, and continues to receive amazing feedback from the loveliest people worldwide (here are 58 examples).

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