If you feel inclined to use your holiday time to learn a new skill, then Samui offers a number of courses in quite a range of skills and disciplines. These include Muay Thai (kick boxing), PADI open water and advanced dive master courses, cooking Thai food, and even massage at selected massage centres and wellness retreats.
Dive courses are the most popular choice of courses in Samui and are described in the diving section. Other water sports options include: sailing courses with Samui Ocean Sports, and kite-boarding with Kiteboarding Asia, who offer introductions to one of the worlds fastest growing sports.
Health and wellness courses are also available at a number of locations around the island. Thai massage can be studied and both Spa Samui resorts and Health Oasis spa run regular workshops and seminars in various health-related areas, from nutrition to water therapy.
Yoga retreats are also held at Yoga Thailand in Laem Sor. Several independent instructors work on the island and can be contacted through the above-mentioned centres. These teachers are able to pass on meditation, Reiki and other new-life skills.
Samui is home to one of the country’s most famous Thai boxing courses for foreigners. Run under the umbrella of the World Muay Thai Council, Lamai Gym is considered a top-class Muay Thai training facility. The founder, Stephan Fox, is a champion Thai boxer and Vice President of the World Muay Thai Council. The camp has two boxing rings, punch bags in all sizes – hook & uppercut to improve boxing and elbow skills – and a suitably large training area with scheduled training times. People often stay at the camp to train for long periods.
Learning to cook Thai food is another useful pastime on Samui. The Samui Institute of Culinary Arts in Chaweng is a modern facility previously featured on TV. Professional cooks offer morning classes for newcomers to Thai cooking and two-hour evening classes for those with more knowledge.
There are also various cooking classes on offer around the island and some of the bigger resorts can also do classes onsite. If you want to learn with a local Thai cook, visit the market and pick up a few phrases. Khun Pom is an excellent choice. She has been preparing fabulous Thai food and teaching her skills for the last 20 years. Tel: 083 504 5504.
Language classes can also be taken on Koh Samui, with a number of schools available offering everything from short courses for tourists, to intensive yearly courses for those wishing to also learn about the culture as well as the language.