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Northern Thailand: What You Need to Know

Where is it?

Northern Thailand with its impressive rivers and valleys sits between mountain ranges that extend from The Daen Lao Range, Shan Hills and Dawna Range, which act as the western border of Thailand between Mae Hong Son and the Salween  River.  This region contains steep river valleys and rivers like the Ping River and Nan River then later unite to form the Chao Phraya River. The Chao Phraya River is one of the countries great rivers,  flowing through Bangkok before entering the Gulf of Thailand.

Northern Thailand has nine provinces:  Chiang Mai,  Lamphun,  Lampang, Uttaradit,  Phrae,  Nan,  Phayao,  Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son.  The biggest of these provinces is Chiang Mai, which is home to Chiang Mai, the largest city in Thailand.

Northern Thailand has three main seasons: the cool season, which runs from November to February, the hot season from March to May and – the rainy season, which takes over the region from June to October.

How do I get there?

The main airport in Northern Thailand is Chiang Mai, which hosts domestic flights that connect with Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Ko Samui, Phuket, Sukhothai and others.

Trains from Bangkok to Chang Mai travel regularly via Phitsanulok. You may also opt to take the bus along the main route between Bangkok and Chang Mai. If your destination is somewhere other than Chang Mai, there are buses that head further north to Chiang Rai or north-west to Mae Hong Son and Pai.

What else is there to do?

Northern Thailand is    where the first Thai kingdoms were established, which means the area has a rich historical and cultural heritage. If you love history, Buddhist temples and nature then look no further than Northern Thailand.

The Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and features ruins of structures that date back to the 14th Nam Tok Thilawsu, which is the largest waterfall in Thailand, measuring 200 metres in height.

Moving to Chiang Mai: 5 things you need to know

Chiang Mai, appropriately called the “rose of the north”, is perhaps the most striking city in Thailand in terms of culture. With a history going back to 700 years, Chiang Mai is the city where you are surrounded by remnants of the past while living in the present. It is located approximately 700 km from the capital city of Bangkok.

Unlike southern and central Thailand,  the climate in Chiang Mai is considerably cooler with low humidity. During its cool season (November to February), warm clothing is a must as the temperature during the evenings drops dramatically, especially during December and January.

If the culture and history of Chiang Mai sounds like it’s for you, here are five essential steps to get you settled down in the city of your dreams:

1.) Where to live

Living in Chiang Mai is a relatively cheap city so finding  accommodation to fit your budget shouldn’t be a problem.Room in the Moon can help you find the best neighbourhood to suit your preferences.

Expensive:

Nimanheimen: Nimanheimen is the place for the beautiful, hip and wealthy. Located Immediately adjacent to Chiang Mai University, the area    hosts some of the city’s trendiestnightclubs,  restaurants and cafés.  Right around the corner from Nimanheimen is a traditional Thai society with ancient temples and spirit houses.

Mid-range:

Chiang Mai Centre: Containing all the tourist venues of the city, Chiang Mai Centre is the temporary home to many young travellers who thrive on the constant flow of parties and the company of newcomers.

Airport Plaza:  Far from the busy nightlife of Chiang Mai Centre,  the Airport Plazacaters to ex-pats and middle-class Thais.  Here you will find reasonably priced restaurants, shops and the best cinema in town. During the holidays, you can expect the Airport Plaza Mall to entertain you with huge parties that include beer stalls and music.

Budget:

Chang Puak: This is considered to be one of the cheapest areas to live in, without the risk of getting robbed.  There are large apartments that can be rented at 4000 Baht a month, including utilities. Although you may be far from the spots frequented by Westerners, you can enjoy the company of university students in Thai restaurants where one can buy a meal for as low as 30 Baht.

2.) Where to work

As a foreigner in Thailand,  becoming an English teacher would be the best bet for you. There are numerous schools in the city that need new English teachers although very few jobs are advertised on the Internet.  Use this website  (http://telecommute/teaching-jobs-in-chiang-mai/) to find out further information on working as an English teacher in Chiang Mai.

3.) How to get around

Getting around Chiang Mai can be done in four different ways: by songthaew, taxi, samlor or tuk-tuk.

Songthaew: This is Chiang Mai’s version of a bus. A songthaew is a covered pick-up truck with two long benches in the back that follows a fixed route around the city. You can tell which route the songthaew is going by its colour. Red songthaewsgenerally do not follow a fixed route and instead,  roam around the main streets.

You can expect to pay 20 Baht within the city and 40-60 Baht when outside. White songsmith travel to Sankampaeng,  which is a suburban city in the east,  yellow songthaews travel to the north towards Mae Rim, blue songthaews follow a general direction to the south while the green ones travel to Mae Jo in the northeast. There isa flat rate of 20 Baht for all.

Tuk-tuk: This is a quick way to get around the city and fares are usually 40-50 Bahtfor a short ride. However, if you are planning to go any distance, the fare may go up as high as 100 Baht. Remember, the ability to bargain comes in handy when you’re in Thailand.

Samlor:  Samlors are three-wheeled bicycles that can take you anywhere for the same price as a tuk-tuk, but are a little.

Taxi: There are metered taxis available in Chiang Mai. The starting prices is30 Baht for the first 2 km and 10 Baht for each succeeding kilometre.

4.) What to see as soon as you arrive

Chiang Mai,  aside from its historical and cultural sites,  is also home to several elephant parks. The Patara Elephant Farm is a Thai-owned farm that offers you the chance for some hands-on experience taking care of the elephants. You will even have the opportunity to ride on the elephants bareback while visiting waterfalls, forests and temples.  If you’d like an unforgettable view of Chiang Mau upon arrival make your way to the beautiful temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. While there take a short ten minute walk over to Queen Sirikrit’s winter palace. For a list of all

the attractions in Chiang Mai, visit this site: http://www.tourismthailand.org/Where-to-Go/Chiang-Mai/Attractions.

5.) How to spend your free time

With so much to see in Chiang Mai, we recommended to spend your days taking all these in one at a time.  During the evening, take a trip to the Chiang Mau Centre or Mannheim to experience the clubs and bars. Keep in mind that most of these close at 1 am.

If you are looking for a view while sipping your cocktail, then head over to the THC Rooftop Bar.  The Chiang Mau Night Bazaar is also very popular among travellers with its wide array of stalls selling designer goods  (real and fake),  shirts, shoes, belts and anything else that you can imagine.  Kalare Night Bazaar and Asunarm Market are also worth visiting.

Northeastern Thailand: What You Need to Know

Where is it?

Northeastern Thailand, or Isan, covers roughly one third of the country. It is located on the Khorat Plateau and is bordered by Laos to the north and east and by Cambodia to the southeast. It is separated from Northern and Central Thailand in the west region by the Phetchabun Mountains down to the Mekong River. Aside from the Mekong River, Chi and Mun are considered to be two important waterways in Isan. Isan is divided into 20 provinces:  Manta Charoen,  Bueng Kan,  Buriram, Chaiyaphum,  Kalasin, Khan Kane,  Lei,  Maha Sarakham,  Mukdahan,  Nakhon, Phanom,  Nakhom Ratchasima  (Korat),  Nong Bua Lamphu,  Nongkhai,  Roi Et, Sakhon Nakhon,  Si Sa Ket,  Surin,  Ubon Ratchathani,  Udon Thani and Yasothon.

Five of these provinces are considered as among the largest in Thailand,  with Nakhom Ratchasima taking the number one spot.

The seasons of Isan are similar to those of Northern Thailand and can be classified into three: cool and dry from November to February, hot and dry from March to May and rainy from June to October. During the dry season, the temperature may go up into 40s (degrees Celsius) whereas the mountainous regions may experience extremely low winter temperatures.

How do I get there?

Flights to Khon Kaen,  Nakhon Phanom,  Sakon Nakhon,  Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani from Bangkok are available via Thai Airways and Air Asia. The Nakhon Ratchasima airport was reopened in 2010 for daily flights around Thailand. However, if Nong Khai is your destination, then we recommend to taking a plane to Udon Thani,  where there is a minibus service that can take you toNong Khai in an hour. There are also regular train services from Bangkok that connect with Ubon Ratchathani and Nong Khai.

What else is there to do?

As it is the agricultural heartland of Thailand, Isan, is often overlooked by tourists. But there is a great deal more to it than that. Isan is home to fascinating Khmer ruins,  such as Phimai and Phanom Rung,  and is currently the location of Thailand’s biggest national park,  Khao Yai.  There are also several waterfalls, caves,  dams and mountains that are certainly worth visiting.

Moving to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat): 5 things you need to know

Although it is the administrative,  economic and logistical centre of the whole Northeastern region, Korat’s residents are still largely employed in agriculture. As a result of this the economy is far from stable and tends to suffer when droughts occur. Isan is the poorest region of Thailand and some of its inhabitants have moved on to wealthier parts of the country. However, if you like the idea of settling there Room in the Moon can help you.

1.) Where to live

The cost of living in Korat is the lowest in Thailand, so expect excellent value for money even in thee most expensive parts of the region.

Expensive:

Pak Thong Chai: This is a district outside Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Despite this, there are still restaurants, parks, temples and a broad range of sports facilities in the area.

The rule of thumb regards real estate in Korat is that the farther you are from the city, the more expensive it is.

Mid-range:

Maung: This district is a few minutes drive from the city centre but is still close enough to enjoy Korat’s shopping and nightlife.

Budget:

City Centre: Although it may be tempting to buy a house outside the city with a view of the rice fields we suggest first renting an apartment in the city to get a feel of Korat. Places such as Crystal Palace are cheap and ideal for a stay of 6 months or longer.

2.) Where to work

As the economy is based on agriculture and there are relatively few westerners finding a job in Korat may be more challenging compared with Chiang Mai or Bangkok. Most of the foreigners  (or farangs) in the area are mainly retired or own a holiday home in the province. Becoming an English teacher might prove to be an adequate source of income, considering the ever increasing importance of English as a business language in Thailand.

3.) How to get around

As in the rest of Thailand, the easiest way to get around Korat is in a tuk-tuk. Fares usually start at 40 Baht and go up by 20s. Although, if you are coming from the main bus station and going towards the city centre, you can expect the flat rate to be 60 Baht. Another option would be to get on the songthaew. With their fixed routes, they are the best choice if you have a specific destination in mind.

You may also opt to take a taxi. There aren’t so many taxis in Korat so if you are lucky enough to get one, keep in mind that you will be charged 30 Baht for the first kilometre and 4 Baht for each succeeding one.

4.) What to see as soon as you arrive

If you like culture and history, then we recommend you visit the ruins that were left by the Khmer Empire. These ruins, Phimai and Phanom Rung, are located just an hour or so drive away from the city and although smaller than Angkor Wat, they are definitely well worth a visit. Another attraction is Wat Phra Narai Maharat. This is one of the most famous temples in Korat, Take a walk around the island and try keep an eye open for the Water Monitor Lizards that are as big as crocodiles but are perfectly harmless.

5.) How to spend your free time

When you are not basking in the nature or discovering the history of Korat immerse yourself in the city’s interesting mix of department stores, malls, night markets and small street markets. Public transport will get you around these areas although there are some street markets that are harder to find but definitely worth the effort for it. Most shops close at 8pm which is about when the night markets open up.

Nakhon Ratchasima Mall is the biggest mall in the whole Northeastern region.

Recognised as the “Pride of Korat,” the mall is located in the city centre on Mitraphap Road. Another impressive mall is the Big C. This superstore has everything you would expect: restaurants, banks, clothes shops, jewellery shops, a supermarket and so on. Outside the mall, you will find tuk-tuks, taxis and songthaews waiting to take you to your next destination. If you’re heading back to the city centre, be sure to take songthaews 7 and 15, for a direct route.

Central Thailand: What You Need to Know

Where is it?

Central Thailand covers the broad alluvial plain of the Chao Phraya River. It is separated from the Northeastern region by the Petchabun mountain ranges whereas the Tenasserim Hills act as a border between the area and Myanmar in the west. PhiPha Nam, one of the hilly systems of Thailand, bound it in the north. Central Thailand was once the centre of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and remains today as the most dominant, and most populated, area of the country.

Central Thailand is divided into nine provinces: Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi, Lopburi, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Phetchaburi and Samut Songkhram. Bangkok is the largest area in this region, and the capital city of the country. As in North and North-east, Central Thailand’s seasons may be divided into the dry season, from March to May, the rainy season from June to October and the cooler season of November to February. The only thing that remains constant in this region throughout the whole year is the humidity.

How do I get there?

Thailand’s  largest  airport  is  Suvarnabhumi  Airport  which is  located  15  km  west  of Bangkok.  This  airport  caters  to  both  international  and  domestic  flights,  except  for those that use Nok Air, Orient Thai and Air Asia. Flights for these airlines are to and from Don Muang Airport, which used to be Thailand’s main airport until 2006 and is 30 km north of Bangkok. To get to the city take the Airport Express Bus with a flat rate of 150 Baht. This will take you to the four major districts of the city: Siam, Sukhumvit, Old City and Riverside. If you would prefer to be dropped off at an exact location then taking a taxi would be a better option. This will set you back

200-400 Baht, although it may be more depending on the traffic.

What else is there to do?

Central  Thailand  is the region with the most  attractions for tourists and expats. In Bangkok alone there aremany high profile attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the famous floating markets. Most of the provinces in Central Thailand may already be familiar as they have gained  in popularity  over  the  years  as the country has opened up to tourism.  Ayutthaya city is a great place to take in the  history  of Thailand. It is located 86 km north of Bangkok. Hau Hin, to the southwest of Bangkok, is a good place to  go  for  some  sun  and  sand.  Kanchanaburi,

to the west of Bangkok, features a cemetary for the notorious WWII death railway. Nearby is the Erawan National Park, where you can enjoy a rafting trip along the Mae Khlong River.

Moving to Bangkok: 5 things you need to know

Considered to be one of the trendiest cities in Asia, Bangkok entices travellers and expats with  its  history, culture and nightlife.  The city’s ability to combine tradition with the contemporary attracts tourist from all over the world.

As the political and financial centre of Thailand, you can expect that living in Bangkok would be more expensive compared to Chang Mai, Ko Samui or other cities. Room in the Moon is a guide to the city’s best neighbourhoods in while keeping within a budget range.

1.) Where to live

For a better idea of the cost of living in Bangkok, visit this site (http://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/bangkok) for a general breakdown.

Expensive:

Soi Langsuan:  This is one of the most fashionable and affluent neighbourhoods in Bangkok,  though it is quite a distance from the city centre.

However, the Chidlom sky train station is just down the street, enabling you to get to the busy centre in less than 10 minutes. Here expect to find high-end apartment buildings,  restaurants and nearby the Central World Plaza. Expect rent prices to start at 70,000 Baht per month.

Sukhumvit: Living in this area you will be close to all the best hotels, restaurants and

tourist attractions in Bangkok. This is a great area to live in, hence the high rent prices. An apartment typically costs 9,000 Baht per month and can go up to 18,000.

Mid-range:

Ari: This is the preferred neighbourhood for western expats. The Ari sky train station is  just  a few minutes  away, taking you to  downtown Bangkok  in  less than  10 minutes. There are a lot of  trendy  areas  and major  businesses  to  be found in the area.

Pahonyothin/Ladprao: This is  another  popular  area for western  expats who choose to keep a little distance from Bangkok’s nightlife. There is a sky train station nearby and the journey to downtown Bangkok takes  approximately 15 minutes.  There are a majority of families here due to the proximity of schools and universities.

Budget:

Victory Monument: If you are  on a cheaper budget then this is the area for you. This  neighbourhood  is  popular  with  university  students  and  is  only  10 minutes’  ride away from the city centre.

2.) Where to work

As  a foreigner, there are likely to more career opportunities in Bangkok  due to the presence of large companies. However, Thai  nationals  are favoured  over foreigners.  Unless  you find  work with an  international company you may find yourself teaching English.

Thailand’s government   is  very  fussy  about  handing  jobs out to foreigners and prefer to see them go to to Thai nationals. If you wish find a position as an English teacher take a look at these sites:

  • Ajarn (http://ajarn.com/)
  • Dragonfly English Camp (http://www.dragonfly-english-camps.com/)
  • Internations  (http://www.internations.org/bangkok-expats/guide/working-in-

bangkok-15523/teaching-english-in-bangkok-3)

3.) How to get around

The traffic in Bangkok is notorious  so  if  you  are  planning  to  travel  within  the  city, then public  transport  is  the  most affordable and straight forward option. The skytrain (BTS) andunderground  (MRT)  connect  with  every  major  shopping  centre,  entertainment and business district in Bangkok On the other hand, taxis and express boats are the best methods when going to more historical sites. Tuk-tuks are not as popular in Bangkok, but

still worth taking if you’re  only going  a short distance.

4.) What to see as soon as you arrive

The Grand Palace has been the home of the  royal family for more than 150 years. It  is  one  of  the  city’s major  attractions, impressing  visitors  with its  beauty and  grandeur.  Wat  Phra  Kaew,  or  the  Temple  of  Emerald  Buddha,  can  be  found within the grounds of the Grand Palace and it is the most  visited temple in Bangkok. Here you will find the 66cm tall Buddha carved out of jade, as well as a long gallery with more than 200 mural paintings that depict 178 scenes from the epic story of  Ramayana.  Another  popular  temple  is Wat  Pho,  or  the  Temple  of  the  Reclining Buddha. This is the largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok and houses a 15m high 43m long  image of Buddha covered  in  gold  and  encrusted  with  mother-of-pearl decorations.

5.) How to spend your free time

Once you have seen some of  Bangkok’s exquisite temples, take some time  to  experience  how  people  in  Bangkok  used  to  live.

The Khlong  Tour  is a great way to see  the  stilted  shacks  and  wooden  townhouses  while traveling in a colourful painted long-tail boat called aHang Yao. Then head over to Chinatown for  some    rare delicacies. You can taste  bird’s nest soup, Peking duck, roasted chestnuts and many other oriental delights.

End your day with  a cocktail at a rooftop bar overlooking Bangkok’s skyline or discover Bangkok’s famous or infamous nightlife (depending on your attitude) at Soi Cowboy, the city’s red light district.

Eastern Thailand: What You Need to Know

Where is it?

Eastern  Thailand  lies  between  Central  Thailand and  Cambodia  with  the Sankamphaeng  Range forming  the  natural  border  between  the  two  regions, .  The  region  is distinguished  by  mountain  ranges  and  numerous  river  systems  that  drain  into  the Gulf of Thailand in the south. The coastal region of Eastern Thailand has helped boost its industrial development as well as tourism and agriculture. Eastern  Thailand  is  divided  into  seven  provinces:  Chachoengsao,  Chanthaburi, Chonburi, Prachinburi, Rayong, Sa Kaeo and Trat. The seasons in Eastern Thailand can be divided into the cool season, which from  November toFebruary,  the  hot  season  from  March toJune  and  the rainy  season,   from  July  to  October. In the  Eastern  region  the  highest  rainfall  is  during  September  and December.

How do I get there?

To get to Eastern Thailand, there are two main modes of transportation: by bus and by plane. The most visited spot by tourists and  expats is Pattaya, a beach resort located  in  the  province  of  Chonburi.  To  get  to  Pattaya,  Tour  Rabbit  offers  shuttle buses from Bangkok that run every two hours. From Suvarnabhumi Airport, there is an excellent bus service that connects  directly to Trat. If you’re travelling by plane the Trat’s small airport is only served by Bangkok Airways.

What else is there to do?

Eastern Thailand is all about sun, sand and…  sex! Pattaya  and  Rayong  are  known  for  their  coral islands,  clear blue water, excellent  sports facilities and an abundance of attractions for tourists. Going farther  along the  coast,  you’ll  come  across  Trat  and  Chanthaburi, which  are    exceptional  if  you  prefer  more secluded  beaches.

Moving to Pattaya: 5 Things You Need to Know

Pattaya  is  known,  not  just  for  its  picturesque  beaches  its  sexual tourism. But don’t let this deter you from moving there. The city is looking forward and leaving its old reputation behind. If you’ve always dreamt of living by the beach while being surrounded by the nightlife then let Room in the Moon  be your guide in Pattaya.

1.) Where to live

Real estate in Pattaya can be quite expensive due to its prime location in the country.

Being the second most visited city in Thailand means it can be pricey, as can be living there. As a rule of thumb, the nearer you are to the coast, the higher the rent.

Expensive:

Jomtien Beach: This is located 3 km from South Pattaya and is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods. It is popular with affluent Bangkok residents with holiday homes and a lot of expats,  particularly Russians and Scandinavians. The complex consists of many condominium buildings, high-end restaurants, bars and shops. It is notable for its excellent water sports facilities and festivals.

Mid-range:

Pratumnak  Hill:  This  is  the area if you fancy living close to the beach,  but with a little peace and seclusion.  Several  hotel  and  and  condominium resorts are under development due to the overwhelming demand.

Budget:

Pattaya Beach:  This area is parallel to the city centre and runs from the south to the Walking Street.  Here you’ll find affordable restaurants, shopping areas and Pattaya’s characteristic nightlife.

2.) Where to work

In a tourist area like Pattaya, foreigners face strong competition when it comes to jobs. One of the best ways to compete in such a market is to start your own business, but look into the legal aspects first.

Once again, English teaching is the most obvious solution, although with the high number  of  expats living in the area, this might be more difficult than in other parts of the country.  Visit this  site (http://www.pattaya-funtown.com/teach_english.html) for more information on how to go about it.

3.) How to get around

You might be surprised to find out that tuk-tuks do not exist at all in Pattaya, except for those that are owned for commercial purposes. The main mode of transportation in this city is the songthaew with a flat rate of 10 Baht for short distances and 20 Baht for longer ones. The  local  bus  service  only  covers  three routes:  Pattaya,  Nuklua  and  Jomtien,  which are  represented  by  the  colours  green, red and yellow.

4.) What to see as soon as you arrive

If  you  are  a water  sports  enthusiast, then Chomtian Beach should  be  your first  stop.

It  is  located  3  km  from  the  more  crowded  Pattaya  Beach  and  is  popular  among windsurfers. Another place that might be of interest is the Underwater World Pattaya, the largest and most modern ocean aquarium in all of Asia. It is currently the home of more than 4,000 marine animals, with  species from all over the world including the  rare  shovelnose  ray – a hybrid between a shark and a  stingray. Take some time to  visit Mimosa Pattaya, or The City of Love. It is a new  style of attraction which  offers  a  combination  of French  style  architecture, Broadway musical and

Cabaret Show.

5.) How to spend your free time

When  you  are  not  frequenting  the  beautiful  beaches  of  Pattaya there offers great shopping . Although it may not  be  as  large  as  Bangkok,  Pattaya  provides  visitors  with  a  vast  choice  of  items, ranging from the riddiculously cheap to the extremely expensive. Then there is Pattaya’s version of the traditional  Thai  market,  the  Pattaya  Floating  Market.  If  you  are  not  doing  either  of those  things,  then  you really should be making the most of the nightlife: Go-go  bars, nightclubs, beer bars gay clubs and much more are in abundance in this bustling city.

Southern Thailand: What You Need to Know

Where is it?

Southern  Thailand  is  situated  on  the  Malay  Peninsula  and  is  connected  with Central Thailand by the Kra Isthmus. It is the narrowest area of the peninsula and is dominated to the west by steep coasts and covered to the east with river plains Plenty of Thailand’s most popular  resorts are to be found here, both on the  coastlines of Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

Southern  Thailand  is  comprised  of  14  provinces:  Chumphon,  Krabi,  Nakhon  Si, Thammarat, Narathiwat,  Pattani,  Phang  Nga,  Patthalung,  Phuket,  Ranong,  Satun, Songkhla,  Surat Thani,  Trang and  Yala.  Among  the  most  frequented  cities here  are Ko Samui, Ko Pha  Ngan  (origin of the famous full moon  parties), Patongand Hat Yai, which is also the largest city of Southern Thailand. The seasons in this  region are different to the  rest of the country. There is no cool season, considering that there is only a difference of 10 degrees Celsius between the coldest and hottest months of the year. The rainy season varies  depending  on   the side of the peninsula.  If  you’re  on  the west side, you can expect the  rainfall to occur in April and  last until October. On the east side the  rainfall occurs between October and January.

How do I get there?

There are  international  airports in Phuket, Krabi,  Hat Yai  and Ko  Samui. However,  the  preferred means  of  transportation  for  most  people  is  by flying to Bangkok before  taking a connecting flight to the these airports. In order to get to most islands in this region take a boat from one of the cities above. You could even take  a  long  distance  boat from Bangkok.

What else is there to do?

Out of all the islands in Southern Thailand, the Samui archipelago is the most famed and  frequented  by travellers.  Another  popular  destination  is Ko Pha Ngan, best  known  for its full  moon  parties.  A  full moon  party  normally lasts a week and the entrance ticket for those arriving by boat from Ko Samui is 100 Baht. This is a must-go for all the party animals and its main attractions are alcoholic drinks  served in buckets  (per person!) and firey  skipping  ropes. If  partying   isn’t your thing take a trip trip to the beach.  Rai Leh would be an ideal stop, a  rock climbing hot spot with  towering, majestic limestone cliffs.

Moving to Ko Samui: 5 Things You Need to Know

Ko  Samui  is  one of the most  beautiful of all the islands in  Southern Thailand and has often been called “the coconut and paradise island.” It acquired this nickname due to its many picturesque miles of white-sand beaches and arched palm trees.

But living here comes at a cost… and a  very high one!  Room in the Moon can help you find the best deal from inside.

1.) Where to live

Expensive:

Choeng Mon Beach: This area consists of a series of bays on the north western tip of the  island.  It  has predominantly  five-star  hotels  and  luxurious  restaurants.  Residents enjoy  panoramic  sea  views,  as well  as  spectacular   views  of the  lush tropical  landscape. The sophisticated  villas  and  condominiums   here  are  the  highest  in  the  rental market.  Thee beach  is  only  a  few  minutes  away  from  the  airport, nightlife,  shopping  and entertainment of Choeng Mon.

Mid-range:

Chaweng Beach: This is the nightlife central of Ko Samui, with bars, restaurants and beachside institutions catering to every predilection.

Budget:

Lamai  Beach:  The  second  largest  resort  next  to  Chaweng  Beach,  Lamai  Beach  is acknowledged  to  be  quieter  yet  still  offers plenty for the  tourist. The  ambience  here  is one  of  older  and  cheaper  facilities  compared  to  those  of Chaweng, although it is  showing signs of an upgrade.

2.) Where to work

Like in any other city in Thailand, finding work in Ko Samui that doesn’t involve being an English teacher is tricky. The abundance of westerners already living in the area makes it extremely difficult to find a job as an English teacher.

Check out these links to get a step up on the rest:

  • Ajarn (http://www.ajarn.com/help-and-guides/region-guides/koh-samui/)
  • TEFL (http://www.tefl360.com/tefl-cities/ko-samui/)
  • Ko Samui Tutor and Vocational School (http://www.kstvs.com/)

3.) How to get around

One of the best ways to get around the island is with songathaews. Destinations are usually marked in English, but it is also best to clarify.  Rides usually cost 20-60 Baht.  Taxis in Ko Samui do not normally turn the meter on so you should bargain with the driver before getting in, or else you might find yourself With a rather steep bill.

4.) What to see as soon as you arrive

If you want to take a break from the beaches and get a feel of traditional Thailand, then take a trip to Wat Laem Sor. The temple is built like a boat and features Srivijaya-style  architecture.  It  can  be  found  at  the southern  end  of  the  island  near  Ban Phang Ka. For water sports enthusiasts, sea kayaking at Ang Thong National Marine Park is a must.

5.) How to spend your free time

If you are looking for an establishment in Ko Samui where you will be able to enjoy excellent  food  as  well as  a  scenic  view  of  the  area,  Jungle  Club  is  a  place  unlike any  other. Set  on top  of  a  hill overlooking Chaweng Beach, the  restaurant  offers  a combination of Thai and French  cuisine and is the place for an early morning breakfast  or  romantic  dinner.  During the  day,  however,  you  can  enjoy  an elephant ride  at the Ko Samui Island Safari  and Elephant  Ride  centre.  For the  health  buffs, there are numerous yoga and health spas scattered around the area.