Koh Samui Water Sports
On Chaweng beach you can find jet skis, water-skiing and parasailing. The same goes for Bo Phut beach. These are usually available on a half-hourly basis.
Reefs off Chaweng and Lamai beaches are good for snorkeling and shallow beach diving (around 7m deep). However the visibility is limited here.
Avid snorkelers will find a much better array of fish and coral off the nearby island of Koh Tao where the water is crystal clear and teeming with life. Snorkeling off most of the beaches on Koh Tao is spectacular.
Any travel agent on Samui will book you a ticket on a snorkeling trip. If you want to go with friends make sure you book at the same place as there are numerous boats leaving for Koh Tao every day.
Boats leave from Bo Phut (on the North side of the island) at around 8am. Your tour operator will usually pick you up at your hotel and drop you back afterwards, but its better to check this when booking.
The ride to Koh Tao takes about 90 minutes on a speedboat. There are drinks on board and lunch is provided at a restaurant on Koh Tao.
First stop is on beautiful Koh Nang Yuan - a very unusual formation of three islands linked together in a triangle by coral beaches, with a natural swimming pool in the middle. This is the only place in the world where you will find this phenomenon.
Snorkeling is great at Koh Nang Yuan and you have plenty of beach for sunbathing. The boat then takes you to Koh Tao for lunch followed by a second snorkeling session off one of Koh Tao's beaches. At around 3pm the boat goes back to Samui.
Dive trips to Koh Tao are also available through travel agents, but its better to go to a dive shop - there are plenty on Samui. They all offer dive courses and trips for certified divers at around the same price, and it's a good idea to go in for a chat before booking.
Ask to see the equipment .. is it in good shape? Ask about group sizes. A maximum of 4 per divemaster / instructor is a good ratio.
If you're thinking of taking a course its better to do PADI - its recognized in more places than other organizations. Typically the course should last 4 days. 1 day in the classroom, 1 day in the pool and then 2 days diving in the ocean. You can cut the cost of the course by doing the dives off the beach on Samui, but you'll see much more if you go for the boat diving option.
Dive trips will take students and certified divers to Sail Rock, Koh Tao or Angthong National Marine Park. The trips leaves at 8am and includes 2 dives, lunch and drinks on the boat and transfers to / from your hotel.
Guided dives are with a divemaster and last up to an hour each (depending on your air consumption!). If you travel by speedboat it usually arrives back on Samui between 2 and 4pm. The bigger boats arrive back between 6 and 8pm
For more information on diving see @ dive sites of Koh Tao.
In bad weather the ride over can be very bumpy, and it's a good idea to take a seasickness pill before getting on the boat. Even the hardiest of sailors have been known to get seasick on these journeys, especially during the monsoon!
Remember its prevention rather than cure - you have to take the tablet before you start the journey. If you get seasick its too late - the tablet will have no effect!
Fishing trips can be arranged off Koh Samui, but there's no formal way of booking. It involves speaking to a few locals to see if they know anybody with a boat!
If you are lucky enough to find anyone, they will take you out on a traditional wooden fishing boat (longtail). The best way to find a boat is to go down to the fishing villages on the south of the island and talk to some locals. Night fishing trips can also be arranged.