Though many visiting Koh Samui do so to visit the sand, sun and fun in the late night party scene, there are also some cultural treasures to enjoy in and around he island as well as Chaweng Beach. Though Chaweng Beach is full of loud and busy signs pointing out the nearest McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, there is still a hint of Thai society an ideal spread throughout the area.
One great place to visit close to the Chaweng Beach area is Wat Khao Hua Jook. It is a good 90-meter high hike up to the top and offers some stunning views of the entire island. The Wat is particularly important and special to the Thai people because it is said to contain on of Buddha’s own footprints.
There are a number if ways to get to the Wat though it is not in walking distance nor is it on any planed tour. You can rent a car if you wish, but a better option may be renting a motorbike. Renting a motorbike is quite easy though carelessness whilst driving in a foreign country could cause with some negative consequences.
To rent a motorbike simply ask in Chaweng Beach hotels or head to the nearest rental operator located on the bust Chaweng Beach walking street. Most of the rental shops offer bright and shiny new automatic motorbikes for rent on the main tourist area. You might want to be particularly careful of shops with bikes that are too pristine. Accidents in Thailand are quite common so an occasional scratch or several can often be found on the side and fronts of the bikes. A brand new bike might mean that you could find yourself n more financial trouble should something occur. There have been tales of tourists having to pay thousands of baht for a small scratch that may or may not have been the drivers doing. Small scratches to the bikes front commonly occur from gravel or small rocks on the road, it is absurd to think that a short time user should pay for average wear and tear. Rental operators get away with it however as tourists feel powerless with their passport in the hands of someone else ad very little knowledge of procedures with the tourist police.
If you do find yourself in a spot of trouble or a confusing situation in Thailand, then you it is a good idea to call the tourist police. The tourist police are generally quite helpful and speak decent enough English to help visitors out in sticky situations. In some cases, there is not a lot the tourist police can do to enforce justice. They mostly act as guides and translators when a foreigner gets in trouble. If there is a financial dispute between yourself and a Thai, the tourist police will most likely recommend a settlement of some kind.
That said, if you do find yourself in an accident, be expected to pay out of pocket for the damages. Most damages that occur from simply bump or fall are on the front protection piece, which costs about 2,500 baht to replace. The most kind of injuries that you see on tourists walking around in Koh Samui are usually from minor motorbike accidents. The most common injuries are on the feet and lower legs where some nasty scrapes can leave the foot swollen and bruised. To be safe, it is best to head to the hospital for a proper cleaning and antibiotics from a burse or doctor. Medical expenses are quite inexpensive in Thailand and give that things can become infected quickly there it is best to take precautions. Probably the most expensive part about your medical visit will be the antibiotics, so ask your doctor about buying generic versions at a local pharmacy if you are on a tight budget.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Chaweng Beach Hotels content.