Koh Samui (2)

Safety & Well Being

Road Safety Easily the single most dangerous activity on Koh Samui is driving or riding on the back of a motor bike. If you choose to rent one (and especially if you are inexperienced), take precautions to minimize the risk of injury or worse. (See Getting Around for important tips that may save your life.)

Beach and Water Safety

Many people's holidays are ruined from too much sun. Samui's hospitals see many cases of heat stroke and severe burn caused by poor judgement. Limit your time in the sun, especially when you first arrive, and use sunblock. If you think there may a chance you will fall asleep on the beach, choose a shady spot under a palm. Don't swim in the sea alone, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT swimming in the sea if you have been drinking alcohol. WARNING: During the months of January through April, extremely dangerous rip currents come and go, especially at Chaweng beaches. People lose their lives every year on the worst days. Look for the flags that responsible hotels display when conditions are dangerous. If they are red, use EXTREME CAUTION or better yet, do not swim

Food and Beverage Hygiene
All restaurants and nearly every food vendor serve safe bottled drinking water and clean factory-made ice cubes. Vegetables are washed in tap water but safe when cooked. You may want to avoid eating raw ones. However in spite of your best efforts to avoid it, you may develop intestinal discomfort. This may be painful, but probably not serious. A visit to a doctor, clinic or pharmacy is likely to provide quick relief in the form of medication that will work within hours.
Nighttime Activities
The atmosphere is so relaxed, and the people are so warm and friendly, that it's easy to let down your guard on Samui. This is especially true if you have had a few drinks. Though exceptionally safe by world standards, like any tourist area, Samui has its petty criminals. These individuals are most often present late at night, especially in some of the entertainment areas. This is not to say these places are unsafe, simply remember your common sense, exercise the same caution you would at home, and it is very unlikely you will be victimized. If a friendly and attractive stranger pulls up beside you on a motor bike while you are out walking at night, and offers you a ride, DON'T GO.Many people - men especially - may find it is very easy to make attractive new friends in the bars and discotheques. Bear in mind that some of these people will expect you to pay them for their company if you go out for the evening. The majority of them do not have criminal intentions of any kind, however there are occasional incidents and misunderstandings. If you choose to take a new friend (whether a local or a tourist) back to your hotel, no matter how kind-hearted she or he may seem, safeguard your valuables! Finally, women especially, should not accept an invitation from a stranger to walk on the beach at night, no matter how attractive he or she may be.

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