Living in Samui: A guide to life in an island paradise

living in Samui
Flikr/celebrityabc - Samui has grown in the past decade and is now a popular place for expats to live

Clear blue waters, pristine white sands and a tranquil ambiance. Living in Samui lets you enjoy all of these and more. Before you pack your bags, buy a property and make the move, here is a guide to life in one of Thailand’s island paradises. 

Living in Samui 


The island of Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the second biggest island in the Kingdom. Samui was a hub for fishing and coconut plantations and both industries still contribute to the local economy, albeit on a smaller level. Tourism to Samui began in earnest in the 1970s as a backpacker destination.

Roads were eventually built, making travel across the 15-kilometre island a lot more straightforward. Improved accessibility brought the next wave of tourists to the island and it is now home to super luxury resorts and spas as well as a growing number of expats who find living in Samui to be sublime.

Travelling to Samui

The island is served by Samui International Airport. Bangkok Airways offers direct international connections to the island from Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and several cities in mainland China. Domestic connections include Bangkok and Pattaya. Bangkok Airways has codeshare agreements with a handful of airlines to allow passengers from locations in the Middle East and Europe to transfer to Samui via Bangkok.

Budget airlines such as Air Asia fly to the nearby Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat airports. Passengers are then transferred to Samui via minibus and ferry.


Koh Samui has a different weather pattern than Phuket and experiences less rainfall throughout the year. October, November and December have the wettest weather while there is sun in July and August as opposed to the rain seen in other parts of the country. The rest of the year is warm and sometimes humid. 


Ang Thong National Marine Park
Ang Thong National Marine Park

There is no shortage of things to do in Samui. For starters, it’s the launching point for Ang Thong National Marine Park where countless marine adventures can be found. Scuba diving, snorkelling and exploring the beautiful blue waters are just a few of the things you can enjoy.

Golf enthusiasts can head to Santiburi Samui Country Club, Samui’s only 18-hole championship golf course. There is also Royal Samui Golf and Country Club, a nine-hole facility in the hills with ocean views. But the club variety isn’t the only type of golf found on the island. Samui Football Golf has a dedicated course for those who participating in this growing sport, if that’s what you want to call it. 

It is also quite easy to find other fun things to do when living in Samui. These include organised fishing excursions, go-karting, attending an event at the Thai boxing stadium or visiting one of the many other local attractions.

Daily life 

There are now several international schools in Samui including The International School of Samui and PanyaDee British International School of Samui. The island also has world-class medical facilities with Bangkok Hospital Samui and Samui International Hospital both held in high regard.

Shopping options continue to grow throughout Samui. Central Festival Samui has long been the island’s most popular mall with plenty of shops and an international supermarket on-site. The newly-opened The Wharf shopping centre offers an open-air experience near the sea. You’ll find a variety of shops, eateries and cafes here. 

Samui also has Tesco Lotus and Big C hypermarkets along with enough convenience stores to make life pleasant when living in Samui.

3 reasons living in Samui is great

Bird eye view of Angthong national marine park, koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand
Who wouldn’t want to live here in Samui?

1) No crowds

Unlike Phuket or Bali, Samui isn’t overrun by tourists. If you’re looking for a peaceful destination without large crowds, Samui might be perfect for you.

2) Privacy

Samui hasn’t been built up to the level of other tourist destinations in Thailand. Most residential developments are low density with developers focusing on creating private spaces for residents.

3) The beach

The beaches in Samui are some of the best around. Most are picturesque and there are plenty of options around the island for you to choose from.

Ready to make the move to Samui? Click here for more information on a Samui property you can call home