Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bangkok Airways launches Kuala Lumphur - Koh Samui Daily Flights

Bangkok Airways are to launch daily, direct flights between Koh Samui Island and Kuala Lumphur from 31st March, 2012.

The daily Koh Samui to Kuala Lumphur flight will be operated with an Airbus A-319 airplane offering 138 economy-class seats. The flight, PG951,  will leave Koh Samui at 5.55pm and arrive in Kuala Lumphur at 8.25pm. The returning flight departs Kualar Lumphur at 8.20am, arriving in Samui at 9.00am.

All passengers will be served in-flight meals with up to 20kg of baggage allowance and use of the Bangkok Airways lounge in Samui International Airport.

Find out more with our Koh Samui Flights Guide by Samui Holiday Villa Rental which gives the low down on all domestic and international flights from Koh Samui with information on flying with budget airlines to Surat Thani Airport with bus and boat transfer to Koh Samui.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Big C Supermarket and Supercenter, Koh Samui

The Big C Supercenter offers several restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets, clothes shops, a large food court, children’s play area and the Big C supermarket store itself. The supermarket is located on the 2nd floor of the supercenter adjacent to the Food Park and children’s play area. 

Big C Supercenter, Koh Samui

Big C supermarket sells everything from fresh food to electronic appliances to clothing and whatever you need, you are sure to find here.  Next to the check-out counters in the supermarket you will find the SE-ED book store which stocks a selection of both adult and children’s books in both English and Thai. If you are looking for a Thai SIM card for your mobile, there is a large selection of mobile phone shops here, too.

The Food Park serves various types of both Thai and international dishes at reasonable prices. The children’s play area is equipped with several arcade machines, coin-operated rides for small children and a play room which can keep small children occupied for a small fee while you grab a bite to eat. This area of the supercenter also has free Wi-Fi access enabling you to catch up with friends and family via skype, facebook or email without the need of visiting an internet cafe.

Big C Food Park, Koh Samui

The ground floor of the Supercenter has good shopping with a mixture of clothes shops, accessory shops, restaurants, fast-food outlets, a hair salon and many small, market-type stalls which sell just about everything you could imagine. There is also a Starbucks coffee shop outside, located next to the road in the front car park area.

The Big C Supercenter is located in Bophut, on the island’s main ring road, just next to Bandon Hospital, at the bottom of the hill which takes you to Tesco-Lotus Supermarket. There are many parking spaces in front of the Supercenter with covered parking for cars behind. Motorbike riders collect a card from the attendant when entering the motorbike parking area and this card should be presented to the attendant again when leaving.

Koh Samui villas for rent on idyllic Koh Samui Island, Thailand by Samui Holiday Villa Rental.

Getting Around Koh Samui Guide – Transport, Taxis, Songtaew and Rentals

With Koh Samui’s main ring road measuring a total of only 50km, getting around Koh Samui isn’t much of a problem as you are never more than 40 minutes’ drive from any other point on the island with several transport options for visiting tourists including taxis, public transport in the form of songtaew trucks, minibuses and the rental of cars or motorbikes.

Without a doubt car rental or motorbike rental is recommended as the best option, giving you complete freedom and independence to explore the island on your own terms. Of course, renting a car or motorbike means that you will need to navigate the chaotic roads of Samui which, understandably, is something that many visiting tourists are not willing to do. The roads are dangerous on Koh Samui but by driving slowly and always defensively, driving around should be problem free. Make sure that your car rental is insured and be aware that motorcycle rentals are not insured on Koh Samui. Scooter rentals are generally around the 200-350 THB per day mark, depending on age and model, with available car rentals ranging from around 800-2,300 THB per day. But, if renting a vehicle is not for you, there are several other options to get around.

The infamous taxis of Koh Samui are known for their refusal to use their fare meters with customers and for overcharging. The drivers cite high costs of living as the reason for their refusal to use meters and generally it costs about 200 THB to get into a cab with fares anything from 500-1,000THB for any journey on the island. Just be sure to confirm the cost of the taxi ride with the driver before setting off. There are also motorcycle taxis around in all the busy areas of the island and they will take 1 (or 2!) passengers for 50-150 THB depending on the length of journey.

Motorbike taxi drivers wear colourful vests and are good for short journeys

Songtaew trucks are the closest thing to s public transport bus system on Koh Samui. These converted pickup trucks have been fitted with 2 benches on the back and a roof added, allowing them to sit about 10 passengers. These songtaew trucks drive around the island picking up and dropping off passengers with fares of about 20-50 THB per person, depending on the distance covered. On hailing down a songteaw, speak with the driver to find out where he is going and agree a price. When you want off the truck, just ring the bell on the back and the driver drops you off and asks for your fare.

Songtaew truck

Another option is to rent a minibus with driver for short journeys, by the day or half-day. Several companies offer minibus rental and taxi services with the cost usually working out cheaper than car rental.

However you decide to get around Koh Samui, enjoy the scenery, stay safe and have a great time.

Samui Holiday Villa Rental is your portal to Koh Samui villa rental on Thailand’s definitive island destination.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Plae Leam Temple, Koh Samui

Plai Laem Temple is without a doubt Koh Samui island's most beautiful temple with several brightly coloured Thai-style temple buildings and several impressive Chinese-style Buddha statues built amongst a large pond within beautiful landscaped gardens.
A spectacular Chinese style Buddha image in Plai Laem Temple, Koh Samui

Visitors are free to stroll around the temple grounds, taking photographs and admiring the tropical landcape and you can also take a look inside the temples where you can view wall paintings depicting the life and enlightment of the Buddha.

The temple's impressive statues, which depict characters from Thai mythology and Chinese-style  Buddha images, are a great backdrop for postcard- perfect souvenir shots.

The pagoda buildings in Plai Laem Temple show truly intricate detail

Several years ago, the temples large pond was packed full with large catfish and visitors could buy food to feed the fish, however over-feeding caused many of the fish to die and so visitors are no longer encouraged to do so.

Plai Laem temple is a beautiful Koh Samui tourist attraction, a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the island and well recommended for a 30 minute to 1 hour visit. After exploring the grounds, grab an ice-cream at the ice-cream vendors in the car park area to cool down while admiring the scenery and intricate detail of the temple buildings. 

Plai Laem Temple is located about 1km past Samui's Big Buddha statue as you are driving from Bangrak town. The large buildings and statues can be seen clearly from the main road and there are spaces for parking both cars and motorcyles within the temple grounds.

Visitors should dress politely though casually (shorts and T-shirt or vest is fine) and take care to remove shoes when entering temple buildings. Admittance to the temple is free though visitors are encouraged to make a small donation to support the termple.

Samui Holiday Villa Rental is your portal to Koh Samui villa rental.