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The Koh Samui Guide

You can easily purchase The Koh Samui Guide with PayPal and all major credit cards – Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discovery. If you prefer, Apple Pay and Google Pay are available, too (note that Apple Pay is only available in Safari). Never bought an ebook? It's totally painless and takes less than three minutes. See how to buy your guide (with screenshots).

Quick answer: See an A to Z contents list.

Long answer: Amongst other things, you'll get instant answers in The Koh Samui Guide to questions such as:

Where to stay?
How to avoid mosquitoes?
How to rent a private villa?
What to avoid on Koh Samui?
How to drive on the island?
What to do in an emergency?
Which beach has the best sand?
Where to eat?
Jellyfish? Rabies? Snakes? Scams?
How to get around?
How to avoid being rude?
Where to buy your groceries?
Where to find the best views?
How to plan an island road trip?
How to stay safe?
What to do at night?

Weather and Climate: When to Visit?
Beaches and Hotels: Where to Stay?
Transport: How to Get Around?
Safety and Sense: How to Stay Safe?
Thai Culture: Do's and Don'ts
Koh Samui Basics: What to Expect?
Packing: What to Bring?
How to Get Here: Flights and Ferries
Food and Drink: Where's Best?
Nightlife: Sunsets and Starry Nights
Self-catering: Supermarkets and Supplies
Exploring Koh Samui: Day Trips and Excursions
Things to Do on Koh Samui
Shopping: What to Buy
Rainy Days and Strong Sun: What to Do?
Island Events: What's On?
Birds and Island Flora
Koh Samui with Kids: Planning a Family Trip
Plus! Extra Resources

Get your guide!

True story: A reader commented on our 2nd (2013) edition that "the only thing missing was where the good bird viewing spots were (LOL). A bit specialised I know". Challenge accepted. You'll now find bird-watching tips and the thirty-four bird species we've seen on Koh Samui on pages 223-225. Wondering whether The Koh Samui Guide covers your particular questions and concerns? Whether it's Koh Samui beaches, car rental, family hotels, Lamai, nannies, nightlife, travel insurance, what to wear, the weather in a particular month, coffee and cocktails, the answer is – very likely – yes. Here's an inexhaustive A to Z of what you get in the contents.

Your download

Very easily! Three quick steps will take you less than three minutes to download The Koh Samui Guide: (1) purchase your copy, (2) receive your download link and (3) download your PDF guide to your computer, phone or tablet. See the full process (with screenshots): How to Download The Koh Samui Guide.

Your purchase of The Koh Samui Guide comes with ten downloads for your own use – more than enough to put your copy on your laptop/phone/iPad and print it out for yourself. If you get a little click-happy and reach your download limit, just send me a quick email and I’ll reset it for you. No problem! Tip: When downloading your guide, click 'download' – just once! The file is 45mb so it can take a few minutes to fully download. Clicking 'download' repeatedly will reset it back to the start. Step-by-step: How to download The Koh Samui Guide.

No problem! First, search your email for 'The Koh Samui Guide'. If you don't see it, you can easily re-issue your download link. (Enter your email used for purchase and you're immediately reunited!). If you still can’t find it: Not to worry! On rare occasions, customers have made orders with a typo ('gnail.com'). Just send me a note and I’ll send you a new download email.

Very easily! The Koh Samui Guide will work just like any other PDF file you want to save to your phone or iPad. However, it is a large file (about 45mb) so it might take a moment to fully open/download. If you don’t see the ‘save to iBooks’ option, give it a minute to load completely (especially on slower island internet). For more help, see step-by-step guides with screenshots(Please note: Beyond step-by-step download instructions, we're unable to provide tech support for adding the PDF file to specific devices).

After your purchase, complete your download. From then, it's just a normal PDF file to print as you would any other document. It's 242 pages, so you might want to run it on a greyscale or economy print setting to save your ink cartridges. If it only prints 30 pages, it's probably because your printer ran out of paper. (Actual answer to an actual question).


We do our absolute best to keep The Koh Samui Guide current. From 2012 to today – through six editions – we've never stopped updating.

Annual update: First, the guide gets an annual overhaul (stripped to bare text) with every detail checked and re-checked for January publication. Yet island changes are inevitable: hotels shut for renovation, mini golf courses become bungalow resorts ... the usual!

Monthly updates: As such, each month for the calendar year of your purchase, you'll receive an update email with any details that have changed. Find out how to get your updates.

Yes, updates are included! Each month, for the calendar year of your purchase, you'll receive an email with any updates to your edition. When you checkout, make sure to keep the blue box for "Yes! I want my monthly update email" checked. If you uncheck this box we're legally prohibited from emailing you – spam laws and all that.

To get the most value out of The Koh Samui Guide, I recommend using it as your very first step to get to know Koh Samui – as soon as you put the island on your travel list. Many readers share how the guide helped them to get a good 'feel' for the island. If your alternative is 20,498 browser tabs and total confusion – I really recommend starting your planning on page one!

Uncommon problems

To reiterate: The Koh Samui Guide is a strictly digital product. It's a beauty, but it does NOT arrive via mailman. I cannot emphasise enough that I will not be mailing you, or anyone, an actual book. The Koh Samui Guide has but one earthly form: a 242-page, 18-chapter, 45 megabyte PDF file that you can choose to print, and/or put on your computer/iPad/phone/etc. You get the download link immediately after your purchase. Will you love it just as much as a real book? I hope so – see these incredible customer reviews.

The Koh Samui Guide is 45mb so it can take a few minutes to fully download. Clicking 'download' repeatedly will reset your download back to the start – a vicious cycle that will get you nowhere! If you've clicked your download link and it seems like nothing is happening – my main tip is to click the download button (on a desktop) or the file name (on a phone/tablet) just once. Then wait a moment. Your file download will begin (saved to wherever you save your downloads). Please see this tutorial for step-by-step screenshots.

No problem! I too have suffered the hotmail graveyard. Just get in touch with (A) the email address used for your order and (B) the email address you'd prefer to use instead. I'll resend your email receipt with download link.

Wholesale and advertising

Yes! We can arrange volume orders for agencies and group travel. Please get in touch with your anticipated order size.

Thanks for your interest! For the sake of transparency to The Koh Samui Guide readers, I don't accept advertising, sponsors, comps or freebies for any establishments on Koh Samui. All of my Koh Samui research is anonymous and I pay for everything myself as a normal guest or customer. (This Koh Samui-specific policy will mean *zero moral crisis* when Singapore Airlines asks me to review their Crazy Rich Asians suites ... any day now). However – I always welcome information and I'd love to get to know your property. Get in touch! Please send any press packets or particular highlights my way. If you're kind to animals or the environment – I want to know. It will be gratefully received and ensures your business gets on my research list for the next edition. Many thanks!

More questions?

Fancy a little time travel? Here's how it happened (I'm as surprised as you).

Sorry, my expertise is Koh Samui and Koh Samui only! However, I recommend a few other Thailand guides heartily. Find them on my blog: The 29 Best Thailand Travel Guides.

La guía se puede conseguir en español??? In truth, I had to Google Translate this email. Sorry, it’s in English only. Despite that, The Koh Samui Guide been downloaded in 92 countries and counting!

You know it! Stolen directly off the menu from a Thai restaurant in Toronto ... Who won the Bangkok Marathon? [It was a Thai]

Whether you have a question about The Koh Samui Guide or need some help, please get in touch.

The Koh Samui Guide: FAQs and Troubleshooting – Get answers for all your Koh Samui Guide questions: What does The Koh Samui Guide include? Is The Koh Samui Guide up-to-date? What are my payment options? See the full FAQ list!