Thai Island Living on Koh Samui

From our elevated position, the lush green jungle tumbled down the hillside to the ocean below, and the neighboring island of Phangnan loomed large on the horizon.

It was time for a cold Chang beer ($2.80). We stopped at the 2-Bay-Friendly Restaurant to make the most of the view.

With a compact earth floor and palm-leaf thatched roof, it was simple—and authentic Koh Samui at its best.

Expats report living here on Samui for as little as $1,250 a month. In my favorite spot, Bophut, one-bedroom apartments rent from around $456 a month; two-bedroom apartments and villas perched on the hills behind rent from $760 a month.

If you’re after an authentic local experience, Nathon Town, on the west of the island, offers a mixture of old and new. Rental prices here are even lower. Old timber “shophouses” sell an eclectic range of goods, but they have been joined by modern grocery stores and international restaurants and resorts. There’s also an excellent public hospital.

Stay tuned for Michael’s full story in an upcoming issue.