Travel Info

Best time to Visit

special offer bannerSamahita Retreat is yoga and wellness retreat open all year round, and as we are located on a stunning tropical island there are no cold and snowy days to avoid! Koh Samui has become a year round holiday destination for visitors from around the globe choosing to enjoy the quieter and cooler seasons outside the classic peak seasons.

  • January – February. Highs of around 30C
  • March – April. Things start to heat up and can reach a steamy 40C – perfect for sun worshippers.
  • May – June. The temp starts to dip again, with a few tropical rainstorms thrown in to clear the air.
  • July – September. Highs of around 35C , with some bouts of rain, usually only lasting a few hours.
  • October – November. The favourite time of the year for many Samui expats , when the temperatures drop to a balmy 25C with some stunning thunderstorms thrown in for good measure.
  • December Highs of around 30C with occasional rain to keep the island lush, green and tropical.

Many of our students come to study with their teachers for specific retreats, and when Paul Dallaghan, Sri O.P Tiwari and Richard Freeman are here the center is at its most vibrant and busy. For smaller group sizes (10-20) join one of our Retreats with senior Samahita teachers. Those joining the YogaCoreCycle Program whether as part of a wellness spa, health or detox program may enjoy joining during the teacher training periods when the YogaCoreCycle class sizes are generally smaller. Our quietest period is September and October when guests can maximize on small class sizes to receive even more attention.

Travel Tips to Bangkok

Thailand is a spiritual, colorful, and peaceful land. Koh Samui, in particular, is lush and beautiful, with tropical jungles and white-sand beaches surrounded by a sapphire-blue sea. An island in the Gulf of Thailand, Samui is situated in a high-energy zone, which directly affects practices like yoga and meditation, and makes it an ideal place for positive transformation and growth.

  • Flights to Bangkok, Thailand

    Many airlines fly to Bangkok, presenting travelers with many choices in getting there. We find that shopping around about three months in advance will usually produce the best option. From the United States we have flown on Korean Airlines, China Airlines, and Cathay Pacific (from Los Angeles or New York). These airlines had the best rates and good service, but its routes included stopovers in either Hong Kong, Seoul, or Taipei.

    If you are in Europe, there are also many choices. Some airlines, like British Airways, fly direct, with daily service. For those based in Australia/New Zealand or Asia, flying over is no more than a hop, skip, and a jump. Best to check prices online before working with your travel agent for promotional fares.

    For those in the United States, check www.orbitz.com or www.expedia.com. You can expect to pay between USD $700 and USD $1000, depending on your location.

  • Visa Requirements

    Passport holders of the United States, Australia, and most European countries do not require a visa if staying less than 30 days. If you are planning on staying longer, you should get a tourist visa from the Thai embassy in your resident country, which will allow you to remain in the Kingdom for a longer period. You can also extend your visa while in Thailand. Visa extensions now cost THB B1,900 for 15 to 30 days on either a 30-day or 60-day visa. Overstaying your visa costs THB B500 per day, with a maximum fine of THB B20,000.

    For visa information, please go to http://www.thaiembdc.org/wp/ for the United States; www.thaivisa.com for all other countries.

    The information we provide on our website is subject to change and we advise at all time to check with the Thai embassy of resident country and relevant websites.

  • Money

    You can check to see the latest exchange rate at www.xe.com. Traveler’s checks are always a safe option, but you can usually get a better exchange rate through your bank by using ATM machines. There are many ATMs and currency exchange places on Samui.

  • Health

    Thailand is a clean, healthy place to visit. No immunization shots are required. With the latest SARs scare in Asia (2003) and Avian Bird Flu (2004, 2005), Thailand has been even more cautious about tourist safety. You can always check the World Health Organization (WHO) for updates.

    Having said that, we recommend you take precautions to keep your immune system strong. Drink bottled water, wash your hands regularly, eat clean, healthy foods (do not eat street food), and take vitamin supplements if necessary.

  • Traveling Around Thailand

    There is an abundance of tourist websites about Thailand. Here are a few to help you get familiar with Thailand:

Getting to Samahita

By Air

Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways fly directly to Koh Samui from Bangkok. They operate flights every hour daily, and you can book your flights directly online. The first flight out is around 6 am and last flight is around 10 pm daily. One-way is around 4000 THB. Travel time is approximately one hour from Bangkok.

There are direct also flights from Phuket, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Hong Kong.

For a more affordable route to Koh Samui fly from Don Muang Airport in Bangkok to Suratthani on the mainland and take the ferry.

  • Lion Air Flights from as low as 500 baht!
  • Air Asia Asia’s low cost airline.
  • Nok Air A small carrier with daily flights.

From Suratthani Airport there are plenty of transfers (approx 1 hour) to bring you by coach to the Ferry (1.5 hours). You arrive in Nathon, Koh Samui.

By Train and Ferry

Bangkok to Samui: Trains for Surathani (which actually stop in Phun Phin, 14 kilometers west of Surathani) leave from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station. The 6:20 pm (rapid) and the 7:15 pm (express) trains are most convenient, as they arrive at 5:28 am and 7 am, allowing you plenty of time to catch an 8 am boat to Koh Samui. The bus/ferry journey will be an additional three hours once you’ve arrived in Surathani. Songserm offers a joint ticket (train + bus + boat) for around THB B1,300, which lands you in Koh Samui by 11 am.

The ferry journey from Donsak pier is 1 1/2 hours. Donsak is 30 minutes from Surathani.

Tickets for the train can be booked at Bangkok Airport, Bangkok Railway Station, and many travel agencies in Bangkok. To purchase your train tickets in advance, Asia Discover Thailand can arrange for the tickets to be mailed or to be picked up at your Bangkok hotel. Allow at least one month before your departure date to arrange for train tickets.

Samui to Bangkok: Take the 2 pm boat from Nathon to the mainland, and a connecting bus will take you from the pier to the train station in Surathani. Tickets purchased from agents in Samui normally include the boat, bus, and train fares. The ticket is cheaper if you go to the station yourself, but there is a good chance the train will be fully booked as much as a week in advance.

Extending Your Stay

Without a visa in advance, foreigners are allowed to stay 30 days in Thailand. If you have a tourist visa, generally you can stay for 60 days, with the opportunity to extend to 90 days. Visa extensions cost about THB B1900. Overstaying your visa costs THB B500 per day, with a maximum fine of THB B20,000. You can extend your visa at the immigration office in Koh Samui. They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to noon and 1 pm to 4:30 pm. Bring one passport photo with you.

Koh Samui Websites:

www.samuiguide.com
www.kohsamui.org
www.1stopsamui.com

Things to Do in Koh Samui

For those who want to venture out from Samahita, we’ve highlighted some of the many Koh Samui attractions, restaurants and places of beauty, which our guests have enjoyed over the years.

What to See?

As well as being a tropical haven of beaches, five star hotels and spas, Samui has a rich Buddhist heritage and is home to many active temples. Only a five minute walk from Samahita Retreat is the Laem Sor Pagoda. With its shining golden tiles and peaceful atmosphere next to the mangroves and the ocean you can also visit the remains of Leung Poo Daeng, a realized monk and climb up to the Khao Chedi, high on the mountain with breathtaking views. Wat Kunaram is home to the preserved body of the revered Lung Padaeng, known as the Mummified Monk as he is still sitting in the meditation position over 20 years after his death. The most iconic Buddha statue on Samui is Wat Phra Yai, or Big Buddha temple not far from the Airport, where you can climb the steps up to see the large majestic Buddha. Only a short drive from here is Wat Ban Plai Leam where you will find is a large selection of intricately designed temples.

Where to Shop?

For holiday trinkets and gifts, visit the peaceful and traditional port town of Nathon, or the busier bustle of Lamai. The island’s largest tourist hub is Chaweng which is home to miles of stalls and stands selling everything from carved elephants to buckets and spades. Feel free to barter and be aware that many of the clothes and handbags are counterfeit – hence the low prices.

From 5pm until late on certain days the towns close off one street to traffic creating ‘Walking Street’.
These colorful market events combine delicious hawker food, fun shopping, live music and performance.

Thursday – Maenam
Friday – Bophut Fisherman’s Village
Saturday – Nathon
Sunday  -Lamai

For beautiful high quality hand crafted Buddha statues from Thailand and Burma visit Double Dutch next to Big Buddha Temple.

On Land and On Sea…

Join an organized tour from Samahita and the long tail boats (with shade) will collect you right in front of the shala and whisk you off to the peaceful tropical islands of Koh Matsum and Koh Tan for snorkeling and relaxing. Enjoy the stunning islands of the Anthong Marine National Park on a fun packed day trip, made famous by Alex Garland as the setting for his novel, ‘The Beach’. Visitors can swim, snorkel and visit the park headquarters on a beautiful white beach and climb to the view point for a breath-taking panorama, before lunch and a visit to the emerald lake. Discover the best dive sites in the region with the award winning 100 Degrees East Samui Dive Team on board their 35 ft dive speed boat. See the sights of Samui with Mr. Ung’s Full day Magical Jungle Safari. From temples to waterfalls, monkey shows to traditional rubber tapping, these highly professional and experienced guides will show you the best of the island from their iconic 4×4 jeeps.For those interested in learning more about Thailand’s martial art MuayThai visit the MuayThai Camp in Lamai, and if you’re a lover not a fighter and you want to see some Thaidancing, it is available at many of the islands hotels and restaurants, however the fine dining and romantic atmosphere at Zazen in Bophut is a lovely setting to enjoy this beloved art form.

Weddings & Special Events

Enjoy a unique Yoga Wedding on Koh Samui at Samahita Retreat. Tie the Knot with a Traditional Thai Buddhist Ceremony in our beautiful beach shala or have a Western wedding Ceremony led by our Multi -Faith Celebrant. Whether you require a Wedding Yoga class for the Bride to be or a peaceful, connected ceremony, our team can help arrange the ceremony, flowers, fresh and healthy food and a wonderful community to help. For special birthdays, family holidays and group gatherings, Samahita makes the perfect venue for a fun, relaxing yoga & wellness break. Contact our team for more details.

Yoga Honeymoon

Many guests join us for healthy, holistic honeymoons, combing yoga, massage, relaxation and healthy food for a unique honeymoon experience.

“Such a wonderful experience during our honeymoon”
We came here during our honeymoon for 5 days. I did the Destress program and my husband the Detox. He lost 4 kilos, fell amazing and I left the place completely relaxed!! Read More
”To be honest, we were both feeling pretty rough when we arrived at Samahita Retreat. Not only were we in need of detox, but our clothes were straining with the effort of all that champagne and wedding cake. Mark and I had put on quite a few extra pounds!”

Helpful Links:

100 Degrees East, Tel: +66 (0) 77 245 936
MrUng’s Magical Safari Tour, Tel: +66(0)77-230 114
Fairways Samui, Tel: +66 (0) 819688181
Muay Thai
Anthong Marine Park trip -High Sea Tour, Tel: +66(0)77-421285
Zazen
Nuch’s Green Talay
Jungle Club

Beaches and Towns

For deep swimming beaches the North and East of Samui have less reef protection, with Chaweng’s powdery sands drawing in vast crowds of tourists from around the globe. A hub of shopping, nightlife and entertainment, this bustling metropolis feels like a million miles from the tranquility of Samahita Retreat’s quiet beach.Silver Beach near Lamai is still reminiscent of old Samui with a few family run resorts and restaurants and is a favorite for swimming beach with the locals.

Fun for the Children

With over 1,000 feet of bouncy castles, tunnels, slides and swings children under eight can burn off steam at Fairways, the islands first soft play center while parents relax in the coffee shop downstairs.100 baht per child, open seven days a week, 10am-7pm.Children and adults can get up close and personal with a range of tropical birds and animals at Paradise Park Farm. High on the mountain of KhaoPom with panoramic views of the ocean and tropical jungle, there’s also a playground, infinity swimming pool and restaurant. (Call to arrange a pick up).

Restaurants

To discover authentic Thai food not far from Samahita take a taxi to Nuch Green Talay in the fishing village of Tong Krut for delicious curries, seafood and friendly service. For lunch with a view there is nowhere more magical than The Jungle Club, with tasty food served in bamboo salas on the mountainside overlooking the ocean. (Arrange a pickup as a 4×4 and experienced driver is essential.)

Feel like Dancing?

Villa Chocolat is only a five minute drive from Samahita, home to ballet classes for adults and children, as well as a tea room serving hand made Belgian truffles cakes and coffee. For a later night and more raucus affair head to Chaweng’s infamous Soi Green Mango, anytime after 10pm. This is Samui’s party capital, home to Sound, Sweet soul and a host of lively bars and clubs. (Not for the faint hearted!) Chaweng’s Warm up bars include the beachfront Ark Bar and the street side Solo or the friendly Australian themed Bondai bar.

Transport

Shared taxis or Songtaews drive around the island for reasonable fare, although they are unlikely to drive all the way to Samahita from the main ring road. Contact our reception to enquire about hiring cars, taxi’s, bicycles and motorcycles and remember- a helmet is essential!

Taxi Rates from Samahita Retreat:

Pangka 280 baht +
Kamalaya 280 baht +
Na Muang 280 baht +
Nathon 550 baht +
Lamai 550 baht +
Taling Ngam 550 baht +
Chaweng 770 baht +
Bang Por 770 baht +
Fisherman Village 880 baht +
Maenam 880 baht +
Bophut 880 baht +
Choeng Mon 950 baht +
Plai Leam 950 baht +
Around Island Trip (4-5 hours) 2,750 baht +
Motorcycle Rental 250 baht +

+Price is subject to 7% government tax(VAT).

Yoga Babymoon

Samahita Retreat is the perfect place for expectant mothers to relax and unwind on that final precious trip before the baby comes! There’s childcare services if you already have young children, and all our classes can be modified to suit the needs of the pregnant mama. You can ensure our wellness therapists will take extra care and there’s delicious healthy food to support the growing bump!

Recommendations of What to Bring

Be Eco-Conscious

To help soften our impact on Mother Nature, please use refillable water bottles, biodegradable products, and cloth shopping bags while conserving, too, on electricity and water

  • Sticky yoga mat
  • Yoga / fitness clothes
  • Yoga / fitness towel
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Insect repellen
  • Open sandals
  • Trainers / running shoes
  • Socks
  • Light rain jacket
  • Swimwear
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Alarm clock
  • Journal for writing
  • Feminine sanitary products
  • Travel documentation: passport with more than 6 months before expiry and visa if needed
  • Many of these items are available at our Eco-Lifestyle shop in case you want to travel light, including a wide range of yoga mats, yoga / fitness clothes, towels, all-natural mosquito repellant, toiletries and refillable water bottles.
  • There is a Government Value Added Tax (VAT) on all items purchased of 7%. This is added on your bill at the end of your stay.
  • Your own personal purchases and services used such as massage and juice bar snacks are an extra charge and added to your bill. There is a full Thai staff team here to help you.
  • It is common practice for guests to leave a tip upon departure though it is a personal choice. 200-300 Thai Baht is typical over a week and it is divided up amongst all the staff. They truly appreciate this kind gesture.
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