NEW! The Koh Samui Guide now has its own store at its own domain – same great travel guide, fancier website, easier checkout process and brand new pics! Have a look!

The Koh Samui Guide (Your expert Thailand travel guide, 2016 edition)

Koh Samui Guide

The Koh Samui Guide

  • An Amazon best-seller!
  • 174 A4 pages (56,000+ words!)
  • Instant PDF download
  • 13 years’ Koh Samui experience
  • 5 years of non-stop guide book updates

Koh Samui Guide reviews

The Koh Samui Guide: 5-star reviews
Koh Samui Travel Guide
Koh Samui Guide: 2015 reviews and update

Highlights and behind the scenes

The Koh Samui Guide: Review

Koh Samui Guide Kindle

We have no shame – we’ll set the scene. A recent email took us from sitting like zombies in front of a computer … to dancing, screeching and even high-fiving the dog. If you picture tweens at a One Direction concert, you’re on the right track. It was a totally out-of-the-blue, unsolicited email from a Kindle customer of The Koh Samui Guide. Here’s what she had to say:

The Koh Samui Guide: Reader review

Dear Alex and Charlie,

I just wanted to send an email to say thanks for creating such a fabulous guide book. I downloaded it to my Kindle and loved every page. My only wish was that it was longer, as I felt rather sad when I’d finished it!

Anyway, thanks for all the wonderful info. Awesome guide book. We’re looking forward to putting it to good use in July.

Any chance you’re going to write a few pages in the future about arriving in Bangkok as a farang? Or a few days in Bangkok as a stop-over before arriving in Koh Samui? The writing style you both have is so refreshing and unique!

Kind regards,

Koh Samui Guide Kindle

Koh Samui Guide Kindle

You can imagine it made our day week month. We thanked her profusely (stopping just short of offering to clean her gutters) and will definitely add a few Bangkok notes and tips to our next update. (For the mean time, here are our best suggestions for Bangkok attractions and the Jim Thompson House specifically, plus tips for flying Bangkok Airways out of BKK, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi).

Whether you love using your Kindle, Kobo, or prefer the flexibility of a PDF, you’ll find a version of The Koh Samui Guide to suit:

It doesn’t take much to make us happy but our Tor-euphoria (um, eu-tor-ia) will be lasting for some time. Back to dancing….

Koh Samui Guide

The Koh Samui Guide: 4th edition updates

The Koh Samui Guide

August, 2015

Our massive overhaul is complete: The Koh Samui Guide is bigger, better and more helpful than ever. The past month has been a blur of spreadsheets, checklists and Photoshop. We can’t wait for you to enjoy the result – an even better Samui vacation. See what’s new in the very first sneak-peek of the August 2015 edition…

The Koh Samui Guide

So what’s new?

While The Koh Samui Guide remains the same length as its January 2015 version – 177 pages is a long read and a big download! – a clever new layout has helped us to fit so much more into the same space. Result? Easier to read, prettier to look at and – we think – even more helpful.

The Koh Samui Guide

NEW! Extra maps make it easier than ever to find the best restaurants and bars, wherever you are on Koh Samui.

NEW! Better beach-by-beach comparisons mean even less stress to choose your base, with brand new hotel recommendations.

NEW! Photos throughout. The new PDF version has a whopping 305 recent photos (all of which we took ourselves). That’s 70% more photos than the January 2015 edition – it’s a colour explosion.

NEW! Helpful tips, FAQs and how-to boxes mean you can easily skim need-to-know details.

NEW! Things to do checklists: Got a rainy day? See the new checklist of wet-weather things to do (equally useful when you’re trying to stay out of the sun). Plus, an even longer checklist of things to do as a family.

NEW! Totally updated and expanded ‘Koh Samui for Kids’ supplement, with recommended activities listed by children’s ages.

NEW! Photos are captioned, so it’s easy to find the same views, beaches and desserts for yourself.

The Koh Samui Guide 2015

Why the need for a mid-year update? While we routinely sneak in updates throughout the year (if a restaurant closes or major details change), 2015 has been an especially busy year on Samui. After just six months there was so much more you needed to know about (and eat!). We didn’t plan to inflict a month’s computer-zombie-dom on ourselves, but what followed was a total re-do and the results are really exciting.

See more photos and content details:

The Koh Samui Guide, instant PDF download, $12


The Koh Samui Guide: 4th edition best-seller

March, 2015

It’s been nearly two months since we published The Koh Samui Guide’s 2015 edition (its 4th edition!) and feedback has been incredible. Thank you! Our excitement reached fever pitch when we happened to look at Amazon one night last month: there was our little book-baby, sitting at #3 on Amazon’s best-seller list for Asia travel. That’s the top row!!!


While screenshots like this are major causes for celebration, it’s out-of-the-blue emails from our lovely readers that make all the hard work worthwhile. Two in particular we read again and again –

I just bought your book (The Koh Samui Guide 2015) and really enjoyed it. The first thing I thought, once I really started getting into it was, “These folks have really spent time here.” It’s hard to find good, reliable, well-written, well-thought-out, easy-to-read travel guides like this one… and I now consider it a wise investment. Great job!


I just want to say Thank You for all the information in your book. I really enjoyed reading it. We (my Partner and I) are going to Koh Samui in March and now I cannot wait to go. It was a great read with great tips and everything you need to know. Kindest regards,


Lest you picture us lounging idly in hammocks for the rest of the year – here’s the truth: in barely two months since its release we’ve already updated The Koh Samui Guide, in secret, twice. The current change of pace on Samui is astonishing and a recent visit proved why we can’t take our eyes off things for a minute. We released the 2015 version on January 9th, and by late February we’d made changes to 4 pages – shops closing, hotels changing – no laurel-resting here!

More questions about The Koh Samui Guide? Here’s a thorough behind-the-scenes into the making of the 2015 version. No coffee left behind!

The Koh Samui Guide: 4th edition reveal

The Koh Samui Guide

January, 2015

After months of top-secret updating, we can finally reveal: our brand new, 4th edition, 2015 version of The Koh Samui Guide is ready for its debut. It’s…

  • 181% longer than last year’s version;
  • 8% as long as War and Peace – but much more readable;
  • Why we currently have a 4-cup-a-day coffee habit.

We had every intention of a Christmas finish. Instead?

Style sheets, semi-colons and Photoshop danced in our heads....

Style sheets, semi-colons and Photoshop danced in our heads….


We started with the 2014 edition, printing both PDF and Kindle versions on what became a very heavy stack of A3 paper. Like any pushy stage-parent, we loved our baby… but it had such potential. A painstaking dissection began…


Across nearly three dozen rounds of edits, we cut the dross (places that got a little too laurel-resty), then conducted an Official Research Eating Tour to add new temptation per mile. To this, we added answers to every new question we’ve been asked by customers, parents, honeymooners and return visitors. Throughout, we kept in mind the mum whose boys loved Samui last year – but what were they going to do for fun this year?

To be sure we’d really covered all angles and interests we spent a miserable few days with a 76-page spreadsheet, poring over the 8,640 who-what-where-when-why-how-should-would-could-does- and ‘Can I’ questions ever asked in our blog’s 6+ year history. (A truly masochistic exercise that made us swear we hated Samui and everything on it).

Once our eyesight (and will to live) recovered, we had the bones of the brand new Koh Samui Guide. And they were meaty bones! At 177 pages (to last year’s 91), it’s nearly twice as long. Indeed, we poured our hearts, souls, carpals and tunnels into this brand new book.

We’re emerging into bright sunlight today after weeks of fact-checking, editing and harassing friends and family into “just one more” proof-read. We can’t wait for you to enjoy the finished product!

About The Koh Samui Guide 2015

“Thanks for creating such a fabulous guide book. I downloaded it to my Kindle and loved every page. My only wish was that it was longer, as I felt rather sad when I’d finished it!”  – Tor

Wish granted, the 2015 Koh Samui Guide is 181% longer than last year: over 48,000 words across 177 pages.


What you’ll find inside:

15 chapters:

  • When to visit
  • Where to stay
  • How to get around
  • What to know in advance
  • What to bring
  • Your arrival and departure
  • Food and drink
  • Exploring Koh Samui
  • Activities and excursions
  • Nightlife options
  • Shopping
  • Rainy days
  • Island events
  • Koh Samui with kids
  • Special interests

Every chapter offers associated tips, maps, ‘buyer bewares’, charts, price guidelines, lists, packing suggestions and further reading.

You’ll find advice and answers (like which beaches are best barefoot, where to get the island’s best eggs Benedict, how to stretch your Samui budget, what to triple-check on your travel insurance, how to avoid eating shark fin), and more!

We beefed up our rainy day suggestions, as well as offering more ideas for long-stay visitors and families returning for the second or third time.

Around 178 photos (all of which we took ourselves – so you know they’re an honest representation of what you’ll actually find).

How to download it?
If you’d like a copy of the book, you can download it in either PDF format or to your Kindle via Amazon. The price is the same for both (US$10, approximately GBP6/AUD12), though the PDF option gives you the flexibility of printing it (and has more photos).

We really appreciate all of you, our blog readers and guidebook customers,  who have reached out with feedback and questions over the past few months. You’ve added new direction and great insight to this – our best ever – 2015 Koh Samui Guide.

The Koh Samui Guide: 3rd edition reviews

July, 2014

A sunny Sunday, made 3 times as good! How so? An idle click on Amazon led us to discover that The Koh Samui Guide had received 3 more five-star reviews on Amazon! Add that to the very kind comments of our previous reviews and, truly, we were dancing on the ceiling yesterday (we’re making a habit of high-fiving the dog, too).

koh-samui-guide-reviews-2A huge thank you to Amazon reviewers ‘AOoo’, Ruth and Alan. You’ve made a busy month of work on The Koh Samui Guide completely worthwhile.

The Koh Samui Guide: 3rd edition best-seller

The Koh Samui Guide

March, 2014

A rather nice start to the month and a great Monday surprise. We’re thrilled to see the updated, 2014 edition of The Koh Samui Guide hit the Asia travel books best-seller list on Amazon UK today (#5!).


It’s sitting amongst some fairly big names – Seven Years in Tibet, anybody? Lonely Planet Southeast Asia? – a really exciting start for our 3rd edition (published just two weeks ago).

Thanks to all of you who’ve helped to put it there, cheers!

The Koh Samui Guide: 3rd edition reveal

The Koh Samui Guide

January, 2014

Look what’s in our hot little hands: The Koh Samui Guide 2014 edition! We’ve put away the New Year’s champagne, turned down our Thai language podcasts and have been hard at work totally updating The Koh Samui Guide for a fresh, 2014 start.

What’s inside?

  • Tons of new photos
  • New restaurant recommendations (replacing a few that didn’t live up to repeat visits)
  • Updated island maps (helping you find your way from Day 1)
  • More tips (with times of day) to avoid tour buses and enjoy Samui on your terms
  • The same honest advice with new insight and a little more straight-talking

This is our 3rd edition (!!!) and our best yet. Tremendous thanks to all of our 2012 and 2013 Koh Samui Guide readers – especially those who’ve emailed with questions, tips and tons of exciting wildlife sightings. We never expected The Koh Samui Guide to remain a living, breathing thing and your constant feedback and endorsement make us very proud (very-proud-indeed) of our tropical baby.

The Koh Samui Guide: 2nd edition infographic


October, 2013

What do Belgians, pies and pins have in common? As our website approaches its 5th birthday, we’re taking a better look at the social stuff – that’s Pinterest, Twitter and a weekly email newsletter for you cool kids. Kicking off this achievement? Why, a travel infographic, of course.

This one mushes together all our favourite things:

  • a Koh Samui sunset (yep, pretty into sunsets)
  • The Koh Samui Guide
  • pie charts (ok, just pie really)
  • … and Belgians!

Got a Pinterest board for your Thailand travel plans? It’ll look mighty handsome when pinned there, ready for adventure at a moment’s notice. (Here it sits on ours – we’d love if you re-pinned it!)

The Koh Samui Guide: 2nd edition reveal

The Koh Samui Guide

February, 2013

It’s here! The Koh Samui Guide 2013 edition.

Are we good to you or what? While the rest of the world exercises off the holidays (and other noble resolutions), we’ve been eating and eating… “island research” to totally update The Koh Samui Guide for 2013. Our shorts don’t fit – but we’re certain it’s worth it. New for 2013: Our second-edition Samui guide book now clocks in at 91 pages – 15% longer than last year – and it’s more colourful than ever. What’s changed?

New in The Koh Samui Guide for 2013

#1. Even more research!
Seat-belted and with a suitable soundtrack, we’ve explored Samui even further; filled an entire notebook, 2 SD cards and the glovebox with new discoveries, brochures, polarised photos and sticky fingerprints (‘nam prik pao’ sauce will do that to you).

#2. Island maps
5 new Samui maps: get from A to B with easy navigation markers (“Turn at the 7-11!”).  A total labour of love – we slogged it out with PhotoShop to bring you 5 new and totally original island maps.

#3. 15% more content, 0% filler
We’ve given you two times as many restaurant recommendations as in the 2012 edition – plus new tips and packing notes, updated hotels and beach detail, a totally overhauled nightlife section, and even more things to do (with your spouse, children, friends or family). You’ll learn – at long last – where to buy Berocca and brownies, and what to put in your pockets when you go out Friday night.

#4. New photos
Showing you Samui exactly as you’ll find it.

#5. What’s still the same?
Of course, there’s all the good stuff from last year too – and it’s still exactly the same price at US$10 or approximately £6. Instantly download The Koh Samui Guide to your iPad, Kindle, phone, tablet or computer (even print it off!).

The Koh Samui Guide: 1st edition highlights

December, 2012

Full of good cheer, hope, optimism – all that – we want to thank everyone who’s bought The Koh Samui Guide this year. (A majority Australian – cheers, guys!) A particular thank you to our Amazon reviewer – it was great to see this the other day:

We set our guide book loose into the universe in late February 2012, and couldn’t believe its climb through Amazon 2 months later:

We’ve never been 13,471th at anything before – and it felt gooood. Your feedback has been resoundingly positive & we’ve loved hearing your holiday highlights on your return. (Rick’s monitor lizard story in particular).

What’s next?
Elder sibling has issued younger sibling a long homework list for version 2.0, and we can’t wait to start our updates and additions for the 2013 edition. (So – if you’ve got suggestions, let’s hear them! A very nice man wants bird-watching tips, how about you?

Thanks again – all the best for a Merry Christmas, and happy holidays!

Koh Samui Guide

The Koh Samui Guide: *The most helpful thing we've found on Koh Samui* – Koh Samui Thailand travel guide with 13 years’ island expertise: Everything you need to know, see, eat and do on Samui