Koh Samui, Thailand
Last updated on Jul 02, 2023
Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Koh Samui, Thailand. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.
What do I need to know about living in Koh Samui?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Koh Samui, they said:
"Before retiring in Koh Samui, expats should be aware that they will need a retirement visa, which requires them to meet certain financial requirements and be at least 50 years old. They should also know that the cost of living can be higher than in other parts of Thailand, although it is still generally lower than in Western countries. Expats should be prepared for a tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity year-round, and a rainy season that lasts from September to December. They should also be aware that English is not widely spoken outside of tourist areas, so learning some basic Thai can be very beneficial. Healthcare in Koh Samui is generally good, with several international hospitals on the island, but expats may want to consider getting health insurance to cover any potential medical costs. Expats should also know that while Koh Samui is a popular tourist destination, it also has a strong local culture and traditions that should be respected. This includes dressing modestly, especially when visiting temples and other religious sites, and being mindful of local customs and etiquette. Finally, expats should be aware that while Koh Samui has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty and leisure activities, it can also be quite crowded and busy, especially during the peak tourist season. Therefore, those looking for a quiet, peaceful retirement may want to consider other locations in Thailand," commented one expat who made the move to Koh Samui.
What do I need to know before moving to Koh Samui?
About the Author
Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.
Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.
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