Staying in Touch - Mobile Phones
There is no need to use expensive global roaming services when you are in Thailand. It is easy (for some operators it is so easy all you need to do is hand over the money) to buy prepaid sim cards at phone shops and convenience stores. True Move, DTAC, Orange, AIS 123-Call are the main players. You may need to call a service number to open your new number to international services. You can buy top up credit just about anywhere staring at THB50. Even mobile phones are cheap should you need to buy one - low end starts at under THB1,000. There are card operated international pay phones here and there but some of the cards have very hard to follow instructions.
If you don't have a fancy i-phone or Blackberry and you simply can't do with out your daily fix of Facebook no worries - there are plenty of internet cafes around the island - often part of travel agencies. Connection speeds are generally pretty good - all cafes have ADSL/Brodband. Rates vary from place to place but the usual is 1 Baht a minute with a 10 to 20 Baht minimum charge. WiFi is increasingly available as value added service in restaurants and many hotels. But who really wants to spend time locked on the computer checking emails when on holiday - especially when there are such fantabulous beaches to enjoy???
If modern communication technology leaves you cold and you would like to go the extra mile to send a postcard. letter or gift - then postage stamps are available from '7 Eleven' and other convenience stores but these places frequently run out of stock. Your hotel should have stamps. Often businesses selling postcards will also have a supply of stamps. The local Post Offices are not so conveniently located and often have long queues, post mail at the Post Office. There are also red post boxs dotted around Samui - these are cleared daily. At least that is what is written on the outside of the boxes
In this world Samui is a laid back, safe holiday destination. But as with anywhere care should be taken to secure valuables such as passports, credit cards, cash and the like in hotel safes. Keep wallets + mobiles close when out - don't place in the open. Watch out for pick pockets (sadly a specialty of Samui ladyboys). Tough economic times have seen an increase in opportunistic petty theft - so lock hotel rooms when sleeping or going out. Listed below are some useful emergency numbers. Of course you won't need these on your wonderful holiday - but just in case....