What's The Koh Samui Guide?

1. You get an instant PDF download

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!

2. No ads, no sponsorship

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

We're totally independent and always anonymous. We don’t accept perks or freebies of any sort. Every recommendation in The Koh Samui Guide is there because it’s genuinely worth your vacation time – there’s nothing in it for us. We pay for everything ourselves as normal, totally incognito guests or customers.

3. Lots of animal love

Calling all crazy cat ladies and dedicated dog people! (Fine, and vegans, too).

We do our absolute best to steer you towards ethical companies and travel products that aren’t tested on animals (like our favourite mosquito repellent). You'll also learn dozens of ways to help Koh Samui's animals and environment (if that's your thing).

How did The Koh Samui Guide get started?

Short answer: More or less by total fluke (and a naked grandma).


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


In 2008, after many subsequent visits, we started a Thailand travel blog – Koh Samui Sunset – to help other travellers avoid common Thailand travel mistakes. We had no idea how to make a website, but Alex had a new Macbook and it came with – cringe – iWeb... The blog started with two posts:

What to pack for Thailand
What to wear in Thailand?

We had got this horribly wrong on our first visit, and thought it might help other travellers. The blog really took off a year or so later, after writing a story about a naked grandma enjoying Koh Samui a little too much. You can’t un­-see stuff like that.


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 fantastic reader feedback, and that "weekend" has spanned 7+ years of updates and refinement. We never imagined it would become Alex's full­-time job.


Today, The Koh Samui Guide has been downloaded in 96 countries – including islands we had to Google – feeds Alex and her dog, and continues to receive amazing feedback from the loveliest people worldwide.

From the Aland Islands (Google it), to Curaçao, Guam to Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia to Samoa, The Koh Samui Guide has been downloaded in 96 countries, territories and islandy places (and 49 U.S. states!)


If You Could Change 1 Thing... (Reader Survey Results)
If You Could Change 1 Thing... (Reader Survey Results)

March 09, 2020

A huge thank you to our tremendously generous readers who took the time to answer our survey about The Koh Samui Guide. With the help of a few bar graphs – and a dog emoji – here's what you have to say. How would you rate The Koh Samui Guide out of five? How did The Koh Samui Guide improve your experience on Koh Samui? Would you recommend The Koh Samui Guide to your friends and family? How did The Koh Samui Guide help you to prepare for your trip?

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Can't Miss 2020 Chinese New Year Events on Koh Samui
2020 Chinese New Year Events on Koh Samui

January 23, 2020

Although we're barely into 2020, Chinese New Year is fast approaching. It's a popular time of year on the island and, as such, (because you're clearly an organised person), we recommend making your CNY dinner booking as early as possible. (We'll keep updating the list below as more events are announced, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often). For everything else – you'll find it all inside The Koh Samui Guide. Enjoy!

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The Koh Samui Guide 2020 Updates
Get Your 2020 Updates for The Koh Samui Guide

January 10, 2020

Ready for the New Year? We are! Just before we tuck into our tropical turkey, we wanted to let you know that The Koh Samui Guide is ready with a 2020 refresh. In a hurry? Not to worry – the changes are minor and mostly involve changes to hotels and island businesses (plus an emergency edit to a rather unexpected link click…). Find out what’s changed and how to get your updated guide.

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