So a quick post on Koh Samui for those who are thinking of training there.
Some basic facts for the people who did not bother to google Koh Samui. Koh Samui is the second biggest Island in Thailand and is off the eastern coast. You can get there via air (quite expensive) or by Bus/Train and then take a ferry. The island is getting quite developed but it is not quite developed as Phuket although it is quickly catching up.
I found the weather during my one week stay there to be better than the weather on the west coast. There were no perpetual dark days, where you would not see sun for up to a week and none of the days where it would just rain and rain and rain all day and night in a slow depressing drizzle. But that was just my experience over a week and it’s really nothing to base your decision on because as we all know there is nothing quite so unpredictable as the weather.
The beaches are very nice here, even during rainy season the water was a clear blue and there was more coral to be seen. A lot of that probably has to do with the damage the reefs took on the west coast in the 2005 Tsumani.
There are 4 different gyms on the island, that I know of. I have a review of each of them on the site. They are WMC Lamai Muay Thai, SuperPro Samui, Pinyo Gym and Yuthpan Gym.
The caliber of the Muay Thai overall is very good and all the gyms except for Yuth Pan are very active in the local fight scene. You probably have a good 3-5 fights per week on the island which is quite a lot considering how small and isolated it is relative to other spots.
The two main spots are Chaweng and Lamai. Chaweng is the bigger beach with far more development Lamai is smaller but still quite long with less development relative to Chaweng. I personally liked Lamai beach more than I did Chaweng in terms of quality of the water and amount of hassle and people around.
A couple of tips, definitely get a motor bike. The public transportation is a rip off. A songtaew, which is one of those red truck/buses that Thai’s use is typically 10-20 baht per ride, however the drivers will charge foreigners 100-200 baht at times, sometimes for distances less than 2 km! Just get a bike, and a map and you will be fine.
Final opinion, initially I did not like Koh Samui too much because since I was unfamiliar with the place I would have to deal with people trying to rip me off and at the same time convincing me that I wasn’t being ripped off. However after a few days of getting to know the system and how to avoid the annoying touts, I really liked Koh Samui. Laid back place and not as touristy as it seems on the surface once you get to know it a bit. Good Muay Thai AND MMA, so it’s definetely a place I will be returning to in the future.