The electric system is 220 Volt AC, 50Hz.
American and European-style rounded and flat pin plugs can be used
in sockets. Travellers with shavers, tape recorders and other appliances
will require a plug-adapter kit and these can be bought in many supermarkets
here on Samui. Power failures are not uncommon, especially
during the rainy season; so it's a good idea to keep a torch handy.
Thailand time is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich
Mean Time (GMT) and 6 hours ahead of British Summer Time (BST). It
is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and 15 hours ahead
of Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Drink only bottled water, most hotels will
supply at least one or two bottles daily inside your room. Bottled
water is on sale in various sizes in all supermarkets. Nearly all
restaurants use clean factory-made ice cubes.
Thai is the national language. English is
widely understood in Samui however, it is useful to learn a few simple Thai
phrases and Thai's will be delighted that you made the effort.
Banking hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am-3.30pm,
exchange kiosks are open until 7pm in Nathon and 10pm in Chaweng and
Lamai. Shops and stores usually open seven days a week from 10am-6pm
in Nathon and 10am-11pm in Chaweng and Lamai. Office hours are usually
For stays of up to 30 days, most foreign passport
holders automatically get a free non-extendable transit visa, providing
they show proof of a confirmed date return ticket by air, sea or any other means of transport via the Thai/Malaysian border.
If you are planning to stay longer than 30 days, you can apply for
a tourist visa for up to 60 days at a Thai embassy or consulate outside
of Thailand. This visa can be extended in Samui up to a further 30 days
at the discretion of officals; extentions cost 1900 baht and are issued
at the immigration office in Nathon.
If you overstay your visa you will be fined 200 baht per extra
day when you depart Thailand.
Note: A passport valid for 6 months beyond intended length of stay
is required by all.
The price of film is similar to that in western
countries, and can be purchased in most supermarkets around Samui.
Developing is far less expensive, very good quality and ready within
a few hours. Film developing shops are located in most Samui towns
Nearly all hotels and resorts on Samui offer
a laundry services, as well as many small laundry businesses around
the island, it is low in cost and ready usually within 24 hours. Charge
is either by item or by kilo and ironing is included in the price.
The main post office is in Nathon, there are
sub-branches in Chaweng, Lamai and Maenam - all are located on the
main road. Opening hours are from 9am to 4pm, Monday - Saturday.
The Thai postal service is very reliable and Airmail takes around
7 days to reach Europe. A postcard stamp costs 14 baht and goes by
airmail, stamps can be purchased in most hotels or supermakets. Parcels
can be sent by surface mail (cheapest) but take about 3 months, or
by air-mail parcel service which is almost 3 times as expensive and
takes around a week. A Poste Restante service is operated in Nathon.
IDD (International Direct Dialing) is available
from most hotels and travel agents around the island. The outgoing
international code is 001 followed by the relevent country code. The
cheapest way is to phone from a post office or to buy an international
phonecard. These cards can be used at public cardphones - usually
located outside a supermarket where you can buy the cards.
Recently the telephone system on Samui has been upgraded and all local
numbers are now prefixed by 077.
Email and Internet
For those seeking email and internet services
there will be no problem getting connected here on Samui. Most hotels
now offer this service, as well as many internet cafes and travel
shops around the island - in fact you will be spoilt for choice, especially
in the main resorts of Chaweng and Lamai. Most places charge 1 baht
per minute and a small charge for printing out emails. The cheapest
and best value on the island is at the main post office in Nathon,
where there are many terminals that can be used in air-conditioned
Internet and email
Newspapers and Magazines
There are two daily English language newspapers
- the Bangkok Post and the Nation. These are normally a day late,
except in a few top end hotels who have them flown in specially for
The Nation & Bangkok Post newspapers
Foreign national newspapers, magazines and other publications (Time
& Newsweek) can be purchased in some of the bigger supermarkets.