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Frequently asked questions, part 2

"Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1" is here.
There we have highlighted the topics: Weather, The trip to Koh Samui, The sea and beaches, Rent.

Quick links to the remaining sections:

5. Transport for rent
6. Money
7. Internet and Telephony
8. Food

9. Miscellaneous

Can we rent a bicycle?

Yes you can. Unfortunately we do not provide such services.
Normal price - 100 baht per day. For a long-term lease you will get a good discount.
There used to be wide range of bicycles for rent close to the GYM on Lamai, at the intersection of the beach road and the sea-road market.
In other moto-rental companies there might be bicycles available but the choice is not that big.
Therefore, it is best to ask the owners of the house. If they don't have it available, they can find someone who rents out.

If you are planning a long stay, its cheaper to buy a bicycle.
The most common options are sold in supermarkets at a price of 1,500 baht, more serious bikes are sold at the big sporting goods store opposite the residential and office complex Samui Center, which is located on the ring road, before you reach the Big-C if you are going from the north of the island.
Good bikes, but a bit used, are sold in Nathon.
Where, when and how can we rent a motor bike for a month?

Contact us by phone when you are on Koh Samui.
Important note: Please don't  call using "skype", "tourist", "enterprise" and other anonymous SIM cards. This ends up throwing the keys at the hotel reception, and the bike - in the parking lot. Sorry, but it happened.

You can come and pick the bike by yourself, or we can bring it to you. Free delivery is only at Lamai, or in case of a long term rent. All this can be discussed in the order. Available bikes can be found here.

Passport as a deposit is not required.

What is the procedure of booking a car?

You can rent a car at a similar to the bike scheme: an application via the website or call / email to the specified contacts. We are partners with Santa Company. Their advantage is the fact that their cars can be used even to travel to the neighboring Malaysia (informing the owner beforehand). But the insurance will be with the franchise, like in other private firms on Samui.
If you need a full insurance, then you have to go to the car rental companies.
Car rental companies on Samui are here.

Please note:
The insurance from all private firms in Samui will be with the franchise, no matter what the Thais have told you in the preliminary bargaining!

What license is needed to drive a bike / car?

For driving in Thailand you need international driving license, category A (to ride a motobike) or Category B (car).

This is critical in case of accidents.

In reality the driving license is not needed on Samui, at least at the time of writing this article. However, for your own safety, before you sit on the bike get you license ready, and not just because "in my childhood I used to have a bicycle" and "all Thais drive, even the kids"

By the way, there is a driving schoolon Koh Samui, you can go there and pass all the required tests to get a local driving license for a bike and a car.

If you already have an international driving license you can get Thai driving license without passing exams and driving (only a few physiological tests). If you are here on a tourist visa or a month's stamp on the visa-free entry keep in mind that the driving license is issued for one year. Later on it can be extended.

Do I need to wear a helmet when riding a bike?

Yes, but most people do not wear it. But having seen how helmets saved lives of our friends, we advise you to wear it for your own safety.
Periodically, police conducts raids, catching and fining on the road on both sides everyone who rides without a helmet.
If more than three Thais are traveling on the road wearing the helmet it's time to put on your own or get ready to pay 300 baht fine.

6. Money

Please give me some advice where to exchange currency?

Upon arrival at the airport (Bangkok), change the amount needed for the next few hours until you get to the bank branch. There are many exchange offices at bank branches or simple standalone exchange points (on wheels). Note that for the U.S. Dollars exchange rate sometimes depends on the denomination of the banknotes.

In our experience, the best rate is offered at Kasikorn Bank (the "green" one), but everything changes, so check at the spot. Typically, rates in different banks differ slightly, so the difference will be noticeable only in the exchange of very large amounts. Passport for such operations is usually not required.

If you have exchanged too much currency to the Thai baht, and in the end of the holiday still have something left, then changing it back to your currency on Samui will not work. This can be done only by the regular customers of the banks. You can do it in Bangkok, but it's better to keep it until you get back to the airport and just change it back there. If the amount is large, to confirm that you have not earned the money here, working illegally while on vacation, but had it imported in the form of currency, keep the receipt for the exchange of the bank where you had exchanged your currency for Thai Baht .

Where is it better to withdraw money from a credit card?

Hopefully, everyone already knows that Thai ATMs charge a fee of 150 baht for a single operation with a card issued by the bank that is not Thai.
So, to avoid paying commission at the Thai ATMs do it the following way: withdraw the money in the bank. This will require a passport and a white lie that you have forgotten your PIN code.
The department will make a copy of your passport, you will be asked to sign it, use the card and you will be given the money. Restriction on the withdrawal is different at the different banks, from 20 to 50 thousand baht. Be careful with the "yellow" bank, a limit of 100,000 baht is reached by five withdrawals of 20 thousand baht. With all the commissions. Yes, the ATM has a limit - 20 bills, but they do not always have thousand baht bills. And each operation takes the commission.

Where can I pay by a credit card?

There are not many of such places on Koh Samui . They are: at the reception of zny large hotel or a resort, big restaurants, supermarkets Tesco (all three) and Big-C.
Makro takes cash only.
You can also pay by card in some dental offices, hospitals, travel agencies (with a small bank fee - 3-5%).

Is there a safe in the house?

Less than 5% of houses for rent are equipped with safe boxes. The situation is better in the villas - each villa has a safe box at least in one bedroom (usually in the "master" one).

Is there a security guard?

Less than 2% of houses are guarded.
Theft happens with 3% of the tourists. No robbery.
Since the situation is better with the villas - many have at least some staff who is there 24/7.

Is it possible to rent a box (cell) in a bank?

Yes it is. To do so you need to contact the central office of any bank on the island (all of them are located in Nathon).

7. Internet and Telephony

In Bangkok we are going to buy a local sim card - which one is better?

We have gathered all the information about the operators and their tariffs, which you might find useful in choosing and using local SIM cards in a special article.
We use the services of DTAC and 1-2 Call. Second one is cheaper.

What is the Internet service provider that is serving the villa / house? I would like to see the rates. What is the standard speed of Internet and whether I can get a package with a faster broadband?

All the information we have about the Internet in Thailand, particularly on Koh Samui, we have gathered in the article. We can not ask each villa for detailed information on the internet speed. In case of a short-term lease the owners will not bother to change anything. For a long-term lease (from six months and above) we can discuss this issue with the owners.

8. Food

Can you organize a cook (snack and light dinner)?

Generally speaking, it is hard to organize the chefs - they are all creative individuals and strive to do something out of the schedule :)
But speaking seriously, many of the villas for rent have the option of "Thai chefs." Usually this service is charged separately, and if you need it, you should inform us in advance when booking accommodation.
Some luxury villas offer the cook with the rest of servants, you only pay the bill for food.

Can we rent an outdoor grill?

Most likely a barbecue is kept by the host somewhere in the back yard, just ask for it.

What we used to call a "barbecue grill" can be purchased at Home Pro Tesco Lotus (Chaweng). You can find options ranging from 500 to 5,000 baht.

As for the clay bucket grill, which you can use for a barbecue in the yard, it is possible to buy it in Thai store "everything for 10 baht" or in any camping store, standing along the ring road. Grids and coals for grilling are also bought there. The price depends on the capacity of the bucket and greed of the seller.

What is the situation with the food - are there shops and restaurants with more European meals (for children)?

The menu of the majority of Thai Cafe have simple European dishes. Such as sandwiches, omelets, steaks, french fries, and some variants of spaghetti. Also there is a lot of cafes and restaurants offering a big variety of European cuisine.

The supermarkets sell almost everything that is familiar to foreigners. But some products are not typical for shopping lists of local residents, such as beef, sour-milk products, sausages, tea and everything that is imported and not made here.
Baby food, juice, yogurt, bread, all kinds of buns, pasta and hot dogs are sold even at 7-eleven and similar stores along the ring road every 500 meters and are available 24 hours a day.

9. Miscellaneous (some of the questions are specifically submitted in the same form in which they were sent to us)

Where can I buy a straw bedding for the beach?

A folding cover for the beach can be bought in any supermarket. There are different options, from cheap plastic "straws" to large ones made of natural materials, as well as options with a soft pillow and a thin mattress.
Plastic "straws" are sold in small Thai shops, in some of 7-elevens and in the "tent stores" along the ring road. Price ranges from 120 baht.

We would like a modest wedding in a chapel, is it possible?

Alas, there is no Orthodox church on Samui so far (there is a Catholic church), but they promised to have it built soon.

If you are interested in a wedding ceremony in a Buddhist style, or a beautiful symbolic ceremony on the beach, with a yacht on a deserted island - our partners will be happy to help. The available options are here

Do you provide any visa support?

Of course! See how much information about visas, we have covered on this website!

There are plenty of options to extend your stay in Thailand. We know everything about it and are happy to share the information with you.

Is it possible for a reasonable price to rent a boat / yacht for trips to neighboring islands?

The concept of "reasonable price" is different for every one. Have a look at the options here.
If you want something more simple, like a speed boat - contact us - we shall arrange it on an individual basis.

Well, if you really want something exotic, here is what we can do: come up in the morning on a beach and try to negotiate with local fishermen on a trip to the island (a few hours, with no overnight stay). Renting a boat for the same travel over longer distances is not recommend.

Is there a playground on the island?

Yes, there is. For example, in Tesco Lotus Chaweng.
There is also a small children's water park in Lamai, and children's entertainment center, near the airport.
But in general, have a look here and here, there are options that will help diversify the leisure time of your children.

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