Getting excited about your December Koh Samui trip? Ready to eat? And eat and eat?
In recent years, flights to Koh Samui in December have been increasingly hard to come by. This suggests a very merry month on the island. Here’s exactly what to expect on Koh Samui this December, plus what to pack at this time of year, weather details, things to do and more. Enjoy!
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Top photo: SALA Samui Resort Choeng Mon Beach at Christmas
Koh Samui in December
- Where to stay in December?
- December 2018 events
- What to pack in December?
- Koh Samui weather in December
- Things to do in December
Where to stay on Koh Samui in December?
If you’re lucky, your long list of things to do this month (between Christmas shopping, sending cards, dressing your dog in reindeer antlers…) will include packing for Koh Samui. From celebratory meals to afternoon adventures and fantastic shopping, The Koh Samui Guide will help you to plan your entire trip.
Compelling reasons to be decisive: The December holiday period is peak-peak-peak season on Koh Samui. Villas tend to book out months in advance, and many resorts require a 7-night minimum. As such, if you’re booking last minute and find availability at somewhere you think looks nice – book it. It won’t be there when you return after “thinking about it”. By October, many resorts only have availability in their most expensive room categories. (But a 176 m² villa with a private pool doesn’t sound like the worst news, right?)
Views vs beachfront accommodation
Why prioritise good views over beach access: December is the tail-end of Koh Samui’s rainy season and perfect blue-sky weather isn’t guaranteed. The ocean can be rough and, on many beaches, the tide comes up quite high at this time of year. As such, you might favour properties with ocean views over beachfront accommodation. This way you get to enjoy the ocean in any weather, without paying premium prices for a beach you might not be able to use every day.
Example hotel rates (December 25, 2018)
- High-end (villa): Banyan Tree Samui (US$1,235/night)
- High-end (room): Hansar Samui (US$400/night)
- Mid-range: Smile House (US$117/night)
- Budget option: By Beach Resort (US$24/night)
Rates from Booking.com
December 2018 events on Koh Samui
If you’re coming to Koh Samui for Christmas, rest assured: just about every restaurant on the island will have a Christmas dinner of some description (at every price point). If you have your heart set on a table with a particular view, do book as early as possible! While Christmas is very much an adopted holiday in Thailand, the decorations are nothing short of delightful.
New Year’s Eve
Plan to celebrate New Year on Koh Samui? Expect to repeat much the same as above (an enjoyable process), hopefully with yet more champagne and a lot of fireworks.
Champagne for New Year’s Eve? Note that import taxes make champagne cra-zy expensive in Thailand. Compare a 75cl bottle of Moët:
- Koh Samui supermarket price: £109 (4,655 THB)
- Amazon UK price: £40
Yikes. Just a cool 272% markup. Bring your own, but pack it in your suitcase rather than buying duty-free and hand-carrying it with you into Thailand. If you’re connecting in Bangkok they will confiscate duty-free liquids over 100ml … no matter how officially it’s sealed. Don’t blame the messenger. The same price disparity applies to any imported alcohol – wine, port, etc.
What to pack for Samui in December?
Packing lists and dress code advice
It’s a hectic time of year, but packing is the final step before nothing but gluttony and lazy days. For a massive head-start, see:
If you’re going to forget anything in your pre-departure frenzy, let it be a small blonde child named Kevin and not your mosquito repellent. Given Koh Samui’s high humidity in December (as rainy season wanes) – mosquitoes get very greedy for their Christmas dinner. The bits above are my tried-and-tested favourites for completely avoiding mosquito bites in Thailand. All three are DEET-free and totally natural.
If you’re coming from the UK, note that you will need a travel adapter for Thailand. Thai plugs come in two shapes and sizes (two flat pin, like the U.S., and two round pin – pictured here). I always recommend the adapter below as it’s (A) earthed and (B) comes with a metre-long lead … so you can charge your stuff on a table rather than on the floor/behind a bedside table/wherever the hell your hotel has put a plug.
Koh Samui weather in December
The good news
Does it rain on Koh Samui in December?
Yes. But I’ll sugar-coat it. You’re far likelier to see heavy, consistent rain in early December than towards the Christmas/New Year period. In fact, the chance of rain in a day falls by half from Dec 1 to Dec 31. December is by no means the hottest point of the year, nor the sunniest, but the tropics have a fairly liberal rain policy year-round.
Your rainy day contingency plan
Given the likelihood of seeing some rain in December, I really recommend bringing some fun stuff to bust out on rainy days. Especially if you’re coming with kids (or men-children).
Whether games, books – even colouring books – it’s great to bring back-up for anyone in your group who gets bored easily. And then whinges about it. More games for them = more uninterrupted cocktail time for you.
Should you spot rain on the forecast, don’t worry. Thailand has fantastic rainstorms; enjoy them best with a good book or a family travel game (and a Singha or coconut shake sourced nearby).
Things to do on Koh Samui in December?
In no particular order, my favourite things to do on Samui in December are:
- eat and drink a lot
- watch Love Actually
- laze around and look at Pinterest read quality literature
- and – most of all – enjoy time with family
On Koh Samui, I like a mixture of about 20% scheduled activities to 80% “let’s see what happens today”. If it involves something alcoholic happening in a coconut, so much the better.
Activities to book now
If you’ve already read The Koh Samui Guide and have some particular activities on your must-do list: book them now! Spas, restaurants and popular classes book out through the Christmas/New Year period. There’s no First World Problem like calling for a massage and being told: “you can come in three days’ time”.
Now – Let’s plan the good stuff!
Happy travels, and Merry Christmas!
Weather data c/o World Weather