The Passport: Is the most important document you will take with you. It is the only document you can be identified by in Thailand. You might want to leave the passport in the safe at the hotel, but at least have a photo copy of picture and name page + entry stamp page on you at all time. Do “not” let car and motorbike rental companies or hotels keep your passport as “security”.
TAXI: There are yellow, metered, air-con taxis available, but as drivers are not particularly keen to turn on their metres, prices can be very high. Negotiation of fare is possible and please make sure that the final price negotiated is for the vehicle only and not per person. During the last several months there has been a crackdown by the government in Koh Samui regarding the taximetre not using their metres, but this cannot be monitered regularly.
SONG THAEOS: Samui has an excellent public transport network of songthaews – basically, converted pick-up trucks with bench seats. Dozens of them circle the island on various fixed routes all day and fares start at around 20 baht baht for a short trip (Lamai to Chaweng is 30 Baht). Regular prices rise after 6pm. where many Songthaews start to operate as private taxis. Make sure you agree the fare in advance, which is paid at the end of the journey. There are no fixed stops, so flag one down anywhere and ring the bell or bang on the roof to get off.
Motorbike taxis: Is private and anyone can be the driver. You can recognize them by their numbered extra shirts. Prices range from 20 – 150 baht. If you trust the driver to bring you safely to your destination, this is a very effective transportation.
Renting a motorbike: Is a good idea if you can handle driving it and on the right side. A motorbike is the most effective transportation in Thailand due to small roads, trafic and parking. It’s also the most dangerus, so be sure to take all safty precausions while driving it. A semiautomatic (Honda wave 100 cc.) cost from 150 baht per day and an automatic (Honda click, Yamaha Mio) range from 180-250 baht per day. Prices are negotiable and cheaper for long term rentals. Insurance does not exist in Thailand for motorbikes, so riders are liable for any damage and it’s almost always “the foreigner’s” fault.
Car rentals: Starts at about 800 baht per day for a Suzuki Jeep which is an excellent choice for Samui Roads. Luxurious cars range from 1200 – 3000 baht per day. You can negotiate discounts for long term rentals. “NOTE” – be sure to check the contract and that the car has a fully covered insuarance. If not and you have an accident, you pay!
Local and long distance Call’s: If you have a mobile phone, you can buy a “starter kit” at most phone shops from 100 baht+, swap the sim card and use your mobile for local and international calls. Prepaid call cards are sold at grocery stores and minimarts through out Samui and easy to use. Make sure you buy the right service operator to your sim card. It’s either DTAC or 1 2 CALL. Other option is public phones at any 7/11. You can use Thai coins or buy an international call card inside.
Sawas dee ka