You’re thinking about getting a job in Koh Samui, but you don’t know anything about the place yet and you have no idea what to expect? We put together this guide to make it easier for. Get ready to start planning!

As the second-largest island in Thailand, the island is brimming with sandy beaches, coconut trees, waterfalls, Buddhist Temples, and an amazing sunset views. Working and living in Koh Samui is a dream for many.

The island has a dynamic economy based primarily on the tourist industry, as
well as exports of coconuts and rubber. Although there aren’t as many job options in Koh Samui as in metropolitan cities like Bangkok, there are several lucrative jobs you can find here such as account manager, property manager, or different teaching jobs.

Unemployment in the island is among the lowest in the world, with only 1.3% in 2018.
The average salary ranges from 14,000 Baht to 50,000 Baht per month.

Living in Koh Samui

The island offers many living options for any budget, from a simple studio apartment to a luxurious spacious house. But the hardest part might be deciding which area to live in. Choosing the wrong area of the island could mean you end up finding yourself in a party zone, crowded tourist’s destination, or too far away from amenities that you need.
Here is a list of some popular areas to consider:

1. Mae Nam

Mae Nam is a quiet area located in the north of the island, not too far away from the city center. It has some restaurants and bars around. The area provides a degree of privacy and several low budget accommodations, as well as a chill vibe which makes it a great area to live and rest after work.

2. Lipa Noi

Located on the western side of the island, this area offers a beautiful view of the sunset. The beach is beautiful and mostly empty. It’s very quiet as it is far from the city center and the tourism sites. There’s not much around this area, you can find the closest supermarket in Nathon. Perfect location for those who wants to live quietly and far from the island’s party scenes.

3. Lamai

Lamai is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the island. It has enough public
facilities around, close to beautiful beaches, provides vast food options, and not overly busy. You can choose practically anything you want to eat in this area, from restaurants, street food vendors to Lamai Fresh Market.  If you want to cook, you can grocery shop in Tesco and Makro. You can also find around many shopping malls.

4. Choeng Mon

If you like living in the middle of busy tourist attractions and parties, Choeng Mon is the best area for you. This area got a very festive vibe. You can find popular spots for great food like the Bangkrak Fish Market.

5. Chaweng

This area of the island is filled with tourists and traffic. If you don’t mind living in a place with a lot going on, this is probably the perfect pick for you. There are loads of bars, restaurants, and parties.
Chaweng is usually full of younger crowd and couples because of its nonstop parties and
stunning beaches. Shops and supermarkets like Tesco and Makro are available.

two women lying on white sand facing beach under blue sky

Getting Around Koh Samui

There are four main options to get around the island. You can choose songthaews, motorbike, rent a car, or grab a taxi.

Songthaews is Koh Samui’s version of public transport and can fit 8-10 adults. It’s probably the cheapest option to get around the island. There might be a certain route written in the front window and back bumper, but the drivers rarely stick to them.

Renting or buying a motorbike is a great option, depending on how long you’re planning to work in Koh Samui. Note that Thailand (including Koh Samui) has a high accident rate for motorcycles. Make sure to be careful when riding and have good insurance.
Renting a car is another option, although it will be more expensive. There is a wide range of cars to choose from. Be sure to rent your car or motorbike from a popular high-quality company.

Taxis can be found all over the island but they’re outrageously expensive. It’s not recommended on daily basis because you’ll end up spending a lot of money.

Living Cost

The living cost in Koh Samui is still relatively cheaper than in Bangkok, although it is becoming expensive as increasing tourist numbers drive up the prices. Renting a basic studio apartment can cost around 4,000 – 5,000 Baht per month. Bigger apartment with one to three bedrooms can cost around 10,000 – 30,000 Baht depending on which area you choose to rent.  House rentals can be more expensive than apartments. You can find your perfect place to live on reliable websites like FazWaz.

Basic utilities like electricity, heating, cooling, water usually cost between 1,200 Baht to
4,000 Baht. Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local is around 1 Baht to 3 Baht, while internet plans (60 Mbps or more) usually cost about 530 Baht to 1,200 Baht.

Restaurants in tourist areas are generally more expensive, while restaurants in a quieter areas will cost around 60 Baht to 200 Baht for a meal. But if you choose street vendors, you can get local tasty treats for as low as 30 Baht. Cooking can be the most affordable option. The markets in Koh Samui offer very cheap groceries.


Remember that Thailand is a modest country. There are no actual rules of clothing in Koh Samui. The locals are used to under-dressed foreigners, but wearing modest clothing will be highly appreciated and will be given better service. Avoid riding motorcycles without a shirt or in a bathing suit.

You should also be patient and watch your temper since Thais value and respect people who are calm. In many shops, temples, religious sites and homes, you should always leave your shoes outside since feet are considered dirty. Using your feet to point to anything or putting them up on a table is considered rude. Also, remember that public display of affection such as kissing and cuddling is frowned upon.