Essential Tips for Vegan Travellers to Koh Samui

Koh Samui is famous for Thai cuisine making most vegans wonder if they can get a decent meal during their holiday. Luckily not every dish has seafood and it’s not as difficult as you may think to find suitable food.

There are so many beautiful Koh Samui beachfront villas for tourists to fully experience the beach life that a trip to this island is a must. Here are a few useful tips for vegan travellers to Koh Samui.


Do Your Research:
Many people want to travel to the island paradise of Koh Samui but are afraid they won’t survive because of their diet. Almost every traveller knows the island’s reputation for fresh seafood, which may suggest it’s a big no-no for vegan travellers.

However, this just isn’t true. If you do a little research, you’ll be relieved to see Koh Samui has many vegan restaurants that cater to both luxury and budget travellers. Researching in advance will help you plan where to stay, so you’re always close to these restaurants. Some hotels and resorts can prepare vegan meals on-site too.

Don’t hesitate to drop them a message if you’re in doubt. Famous spots like Chaweng and Lamai Beach have lots of vegetarian and vegan restaurants along the streets.


Find an Online Group:
Another thing you can do before or during your trip is to join different groups on social media. You’ll find vegans around the world who have travelled to Koh Samui.

Ask for suggestions on the best places or get tips on how they found food and still managed to have a great time. Read vegan travel blogs too for insights on how to plan and execute your trip.



Visit the Markets:
Don’t be afraid to visit the markets in Koh Samui. South East Asia is famous for tropical fruits and vegetables.

You can find fresh fruits such as bananas, papayas, pineapples, mangoes and even more exotic ones like jackfruit and rambutan. Other organic products including tomatoes and cucumbers are widely available in the vegetable sections at very affordable prices.

You can try Lamai fresh food market or head to Tesco-Lotus supermarket.


Bring Vegan Snacks with You:
Before you pack, stock up on your favourite vegan treats at home. You can then keep the snacks handy for the flight and to eat when you first arrive.

Don’t assume you’ll immediately find vegan-friendly shops or restaurants. Prepare just in case they’re out of stock or are closed when you get there. Stock extra in your luggage if you’re worried about not being able to find suitable meals on your trip.



Make Sure You Pack Enough Vegan Products:
Being vegan isn’t just about the food that you eat. It’s also about the products you use. Even though food might be relatively easy to find, you may have some trouble finding the right hygiene products and toiletries.

Again prepare yourself before you go on the trip and have a list of everything you need. Simply bring it with you. Make sure you pack enough to avoid the horrors of wasting your hours searching all the shops in search of a specific beauty product!

Another great reason to do this is that many products are overpriced in Koh Samui, and it’s probably going to be cheaper to just bring them along with you.


Learn a Few Useful Phrases and Words:
Communication will always be a barrier when you travel. Don’t expect perfect English. If you dine in the cheaper restaurants or buy snacks from street vendors, be prepared to use gestures.

This makes it challenging to explain specific dietary requirements.

The most obvious solution is to learn a few essential phrases in Thai. You can ask a local contact or the receptionist at the hotel to help you out.

Learn to pronounce the phrase and also write it down in Thai on a piece of paper, which you can pull out to show someone in the blink of an eye.

Familiarise yourself with typical words such as vegetables, vegetarian, vegan, and how much for shopping. This is especially helpful if the food labels aren’t in English allowing you to ask the shop assistant (or show them a translated phrase).

Making friends with the locals is inevitable if you plan to spend more than a few days on the island. Some will invite you to their house for dinner. If you do end up in this situation, tell them or whoever is preparing the food what you can and cannot eat.


Use Couchsurfing or Airbnb to Get a Kitchen:
The two best options to give you the freedom to prepare your meals without relying on others is by having access to your own kitchen with either Airbnb or CouchSurfing.

With Couchsurfing, you’ll probably find vegan hosts that are more than happy to accommodate you. Likewise, if you book a whole apartment on Airbnb, you’ll have the kitchen to yourself.

Go to the markets and supermarkets to get the ingredients for your meals and prepare a packed lunch for when you’re on the go.



Vegan Travel is Straightforward if You Know How:
Don’t worry about being a vegan traveller in Koh Samui. With a little careful planning and preparation, you’ll be able to eat at the best restaurants and have a suitcase full of snacks for emergencies.

Make the most of the wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables sold in the markets and take the time to learn and write down a few essentials phrases, which will be invaluable.

Follow these tips and make a daunting holiday into a smooth and unforgettable experience.


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