Safety Tips When Traveling to Koh Samui
When asked for tips on what to watch out for in Koh Samui, road safety (or lack of it) usually comes at the top of the list. Reckless driving abounds – from both tourists and locals alike. Those who choose to hire a motorbike must ensure they wear a helmet, keep speeds low, drive on the left and never drive under the influence of alcohol.
In a tourist mecca such as Koh Samui, theft is occasionally inevitable. Tourist Police patrol the busiest beaches but it is the responsibility of the individual to take sensible precautions. Store any non-essential valuables in a safety deposit box and avoid carrying a lot of cash around with you.
Other areas to be vigilant about – especially at night - include hustlers at tourist stalls, taxi drivers and pushy girls in bars. Decline lifts from strangers in the evenings and avoid walking on empty beaches. In bars and discotheques, be aware that people who may sidle up to you and appear to enjoy your company may want payment if you spend any extended period of time with them.
Koh Samui has been free of serious disease for years. However, to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis, visitors should always engage in safe sex.
Should an accident happen that requires medical treatment, there are several hospitals on the island that can assist. Anyone not able to speak Thai would be advised to try and make it to one of the two hospitals in the Chaweng area that employ English-speaking staff. Holidaymakers with less serious issues can visit one of the pharmacies and smaller clinics that can be found in virtually every village.
In a paradise like Koh Samui it is easy to forget that the sun is an enemy of the flesh. Don’t join in with the hordes of visitors who suffer heat stroke and severe sun burn every year. Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, always wear sun block and keep hydrated.
Don’t venture out into the sea if the waves are too high or there have been sightings of jellyfish. Weak swimmers should avoid venturing out alone and should be especially wary of rip currents. These flow perpendicular to the beach and can carry out even the strongest swimmer. Tourists wanting to know what to watch out for/ safety in Koh Samui should therefore keep an eye out for beachfront warnings related to dangerous currents. The best advice is: if in doubt, don’t go out.
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