Koh Samui
June 21, 2023

The Koh Samui Guide: 8th edition reveal

It’s hard to believe that what began as more or less a rainy-day project in February 2012 has turned into this…

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Inside The Koh Samui Guide

The Koh Samui Guide's latest edition is the result of 19 years of Koh Samui experience (including 10 years of non-stop guidebook updates). All told, the guide has had customers in 97 countries (and all 50 U.S states … even Wyoming).

Fast facts for the eighth edition:

The Koh Samui Guide includes 88,410 words, 900 photos and 20 detailed Koh Samui maps in a 434-page instant PDF download. It took over six months to complete the new edition and now? Cannot look at it without squealing. I'm so proud of this travel guide and its evolution from 2012 to today.

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

It’s hard to believe that what began as more or less a rainy-day project in February 2012 has turned into this:

  • 434 A4 pages (88,410 words)
  • 20 detailed Koh Samui maps
  • 1 instant PDF download
  • my full-time job

After months of non-stop updating, I can finally reveal: The Koh Samui Guide's 8th edition is ready for its debut. It’s...

  • 10% longer than the 7th edition;
  • 15% as long as War and Peace – but much more readable;
  • and why I currently have a four-cup-a-day coffee habit. (Matcha doesn't count right?)

Whether you’re a past customer or planning your first-ever trip to Thailand, here’s everything to know. See what's new in the very first sneak peek of The Koh Samui Guide 8th edition…

Massive overhaul = complete

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

The Koh Samui Guide's latest edition is bigger, better and more helpful than ever. The past six months have been a blur of spreadsheets, checklists and every Adobe product on the market. (Want to talk about object styles? Keyboard shortcuts? Baseline grids?

I could discuss ‘stroke styles’ for hours … but that’s probably not something to write on a Thailand travel blog).

First, I stripped the 7th edition down to its bare bones: an 84,000-word plain text document. (Indeed, it received the full post-pandemic Hazmat treatment … bushwhacking back to normal). Then, I reformatted and re-styled the entire book with new photos and so many updates my brain hurts. If the 7th edition was a closet and I was Marie Kondo ... it got gory.

Unsurprisingly the research and fact-checking took longer than any previous edition (something about a pandemic impacting every-single-minute-detail?). I’m emerging into bright sunlight after months of fact-checking, editing and harassing friends and family into “just one more” proofread. I can’t wait for you to enjoy the result – and an even better Samui vacation.

New! Photos, photos, more photos

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

A whopping 900 photos show you Samui exactly as you’ll find it. You asked for more photos and you wanted them big – no problem, wish granted. (You didn’t say “please helpfully caption each and every piece of delicious fried Thai food so I can find it and eat it myself” … but I took the liberty). And, because I'm obsessive, I straightened the horizons in nine hundred photos, too.

All 900 photos are representative of the island today and give you the ideal mix of picture-perfect total honesty.

New! Even more research!

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Seat-belted and with a suitable soundtrack, I’ve explored Samui even further; filled four notebooks, an entire Dropbox of storage (well, the free kind) and a rental car glove box with new discoveries, brochures and sticky fingerprints (‘nam prik pao’ sauce will do that to you).

New! Island maps

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Twenty Koh Samui maps make it easier than ever to find your way from A to B – starting at Koh Samui Airport. Get from here to there with easy navigation markers (“Turn at the 7-Eleven!”) to find the island’s best restaurants, bars and more.

The maps were a total labour of love – I slogged it out with Adobe Illustrator to bring you twenty updated island maps. (Brought to life with a 13-hour Taylor Swift playlist on repeat … let’s call it Lady Beast Mode).

New! Restaurants, bars and cafés

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Am I good to you or what? While the rest of the world exercises off the pandemic (and other festive occasions), I’ve been eating and eating... "island research" to totally update The Koh Samui Guide.

New! Hotel and beach details

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Better beach-by-beach comparisons mean you can choose your base with no stress or confusion, with brand-new hotel recommendations. Want to sleep in a shipping container or enjoy an adults-only resort? You’ll find plenty of options for both (with, of course, tons of super options for families, too).

New! Even more things to do

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Did you think bird-watching tips were as niche as niche could get? Nope. Find even more ways to be as lazy as you like (or a few ways to develop what I can only assume would be some impressive abdominals).

Don’t miss a thing. Ready to start planning your Samui adventures? Use The Koh Samui Guide to discover unexpected things to do, from enormous cocktails and great coffee to spa days, road trips and romantic nights. Activities for everyone ensure you're never bored – even when it rains.

New! More helpful tips

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Helpful tips, FAQs and how-to boxes mean you can easily skim need-to-know details.

New! Updated checklists

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Got a rainy day? See the updated checklist of wet-weather things to do (equally useful when you're trying to stay out of the sun). Plus, an even longer checklist of things to do as a family. My list of birds seen on Koh Samui has jumped by 16%, too … now at a whopping forty-nine feathered friends.

... Can’t make this up

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

One island business recently changed its domain name by a single character. Crucially, they didn’t install a redirect to transfer visitors from the old site to the new site. You know where this is going, right? Indeed. The old domain has since lapsed and is now … a website for grown-ups. As for its brief inclusion linked deep within The Koh Samui Guide’s 7th edition? Well, don’t they say undersell and overdeliver?

My gift to you? A guide that’s once again PG-13.

What hasn’t changed?

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

1. 100% ethical travel and cruelty-free products – Calling all crazy cat ladies and dedicated dog people! (Fine, and vegans, too). I’ll always do my absolute best to steer you towards ethical companies and travel products that aren’t tested on animals (like my favourite mosquito repellent).

2. ‘Dual voltage’ – Whether you work in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit, miles or kilometres, the 8th edition still offers every fact and figure in both systems.

3. No ads, no sponsorship – I’m totally independent and always anonymous. I don’t accept perks or freebies of any sort (and never have).

Get Your Guide

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

So, how to get your copy of The Koh Samui Guide? You get instant access to your download link immediately after purchase. No physical product is shipped to you, so you don't have to wait – you can start reading right now. Enjoy!

Your questions

I bought The Koh Samui Guide in the past, do I get a free update?

Any customers who purchased The Koh Samui Guide’s 7th edition within 3 months (90 days) of the 8th edition’s release date (Oct 31, 2022) are eligible to upgrade their existing guidebook at no further cost. Eligible customers have received a code by email.

Do I get free updates with my purchase of the 8th edition?

As each edition of the guide is a substantially different product they do require a separate purchase. You then receive updates within the "lifespan" of that edition. For instance, the 7th edition was first published in February 2019 and I kept that updated through Covid up to November 2021. When it's *not* a pandemic, each edition typically spans one year or thereabouts.

Normal times or not, I do my absolute best to keep 'my baby' current and my readers informed. Any adjustments are made as needed – even details like "the mini-golf course became a bungalow resort". Rarely are such updates anything of global significance (unless you love mini golf) – but I try to cover them. As mentioned, customers receive these updates by email (should they choose to subscribe) and in periodic supplements available for download from their purchase link.

If you ever lose or misplace your download link you can easily reissue it yourself using the email address you used for your purchase.

What’s the difference between the 7th and 8th editions?

The 7th edition was 84,045 words and 393 A4 pages. For reference, The Koh Samui Guide’s first edition in 2012 was just 71 pages. The new eighth edition is 10% longer and has a brand new layout and design, with hundreds (upon hundreds) of post-pandemic updates and changes that add up to a big difference. As well, if you’ve emailed me a question or filled out my review questionnaire in the last two years – I’ve been listening.

Will you have a paperback book for sale (non-digital) at some point?

For the time being, the guide will be available in digital (PDF) format only. Things are changing so quickly that a paperback book would be out of date before it was even printed. In the distant future (when Covid is a hazy memory), I would love to be able to offer this – but no plans at present.

Will the guide be available on Amazon for Kindle or Rakuten for Kobo?

Not immediately, but let me know if this is of interest. It’s always possible to add your PDF to a Kindle or Kobo (see instructions), but my priority is the PDF guide for now.

Do you have (or will you have) guides for other locations?

Sorry, my expertise is Koh Samui and Koh Samui only. I’d love to tackle a Bangkok guide one day, but The Koh Samui Guide will be my priority for now. However, I can recommend some other Thailand travel guides and corollary reading:

How do I get my hotel or business in The Koh Samui Guide?

Thanks for your interest! For the sake of transparency to my customers, I don't accept advertising, sponsors, comps or any freebies for any establishments on Koh Samui. Ever. 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. Annyyyy day now).

However – I always welcome information and I'd love to get to know your property. Please send any press packets or particular highlights my way. If you're kind to animals or the environment – I want to know. More specifically, any “insider info” like chef specialities, your favourite view/room, how or why you got started, how you make Samui a better place or anything behind-the-scenes that makes your baby “the best of the best”. It will be gratefully received and ensures your business gets on my research list for the next edition. Sound good? Get in touch.

Do you offer the guide in other languages? 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 has been downloaded in 97 countries and counting! (And all fifty U.S. states including – at long last – South Dakota).

Got any good jokes about Thailand?

You know it. Stolen directly off the menu from a Thai restaurant in Toronto:

Who won the Bangkok Marathon?

[It was a Thai]

Get your guide

The Koh Samui Guide 2023 – Updated – 8th Edition Thailand Travel Guide

Whatever your pandemic experience involved … pretty sure you deserve a %#@$&*! vacation. Let’s get planning.