Photo: Afternoon light on Big Buddha Beach.

Ko Samui is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Samui as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Samui’s different areas.

Bophut shopping, Ko Samui

Travelling from Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village towards Mae Nam, near Peace Resort & Spa, you’ll see a modern strip of shops and coffee houses that are worth a poke around.

Maisas party shop_resize

Come inside!

Maissa’s Party Shop, painted bright pink, always shows a colourful and themed window display. As Ko Samui doesn’t have any malls as such, Maissa’s is one of the only places to buy toys, games and gifts for children, other than the cheap and nasty plastic variety available in Tesco and Big C supermarkets. It’s a firm favourite among expats, and owner Pop stocks all the paraphernalia required for holidays such as Halloween. There’s always something interesting, and Pop stocks a range of children’s clothing too.

Next to Maissa’s Party Shop, you’ll find Bliss, a new coffee-cum-gift shop. They do reasonably prices coffees and serve great muffins, croissants, cupcakes and other tasty treats. Shelves are stocked with a selection of imported greeting cards (a rare find on the island, if you don’t want one written in Thai) as well as other gift items such as embroidered shoe bags and aprons, ornaments and other odds and ends.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Island Girl is a long-time favourite of Samui fashionistas, carrying their own range of beachwear, casual dresses and more glamourous frocks to wear to the island’s happening spots. Their focus is definitely on dresses, both mini and maxi, and they frequently host fashion shows.

Go ahead, spoil yourself.

Go ahead, spoil yourself.

There’re a few other restaurants, a tailor (well, there’s one in every block), a bookstore and a travel agent too.

Pop right across the road, and you’ll find Nail Design. Here you can get acrylic or gel nails done in every colour and design to match that dress from Island Girl. But even better, the massage room is located on the second floor, where you can relax with a Thai or oil massage for the same prices as at a beach sala — 250-300 baht for an hour. As great as a massage is on the beach, sometimes a little privacy and air-con is great.

Cheap massage with air-con, yes please!

After you’ve bought some gifts for the kids at Maissa’s, chatted over a coffee at Bliss, bought that to-die-for dress at Island Girl, and relieved the stress of the day with a massage at Nail Design, drive a little further east to Zazen, and enjoy high tea at their Salon de Te. It’s pricey, but worth it.

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Last updated on 9th March, 2015.

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