Renaissance Koh Samui
Renaissance Koh Samui

What you need to know about Samui Plus Sandbox - UPDATED

Thailand has launched its next tourism initiative, following the success of Phuket Sandbox.

Arpiwach Supateerawanitt
Written by
Arpiwach Supateerawanitt

Koh Samui, one of the most popular destinations in Surat Thani, has reopened to welcome back international tourists for vacation under the Samui Plus Sandbox scheme.

Just like its sister program Phuket Sandbox (which launched on July 1, 2021), the program (formerly known as Samui Plus/Samui+) is aimed at reviving tourism on the island and pretty much follows the same rules mandated by Phuket Sandbox, mainly that all tourists coming to the island should have gotten the required doses of COVID-19 vaccines and complete a looser form of “quarantine” upon arrival.

Here’s all you need to know if you’re planning a sun-kissed vacay in Koh Samui.

Hyatt Regency Koh Samui
Hyatt Regency Koh Samui

What is Samui Plus Sandbox?

As mentioned earlier, this latest program, like Phuket Sandbox, is designed to rejuvenate Thailand’s tourism industry. Fully vaccinated visitors are welcome to holiday on Koh Samui but on several conditions and given that they complete minimal quarantine requirements.

Samui Plus Sandbox also covers the reopening of nearby popular destinations, namely Koh Tao and Kho Pha-ngan, to tourists.

Who is eligible for Samui Plus Sandbox?

Anyone from any country/territory can generally apply for the program in order to have a vacation here.

Do tourists need to be vaccinated?

Samui Plus Sandbox, as well as other Sandbox destinations, is eligible for tourists who have been vaccinated, based on the following details:

  • Individuals ages 18 and older who have been fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before traveling to Thailand.
  • Individuals ages 12 to 17 (and traveling unaccompanied by parents) who have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Those traveling with their parents are exempt from this rule.
  • Individuals ages 6 to 11 and traveling with parents don’t have to be vaccinated.
W-Retreat Koh Samui Thailand

Where can I land for a holiday on the Sandbox program?

Sandboxers are required to travel by air and arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and then transit on a sealed flight for Koh Samui.

What do I need to prepare before flying to Koh Samui?

  • A Thailand Pass, which can be granted via
  • A booking confirmation for at least seven days of stay at a SHA-certified hotel within the eligible Sandbox destination
    • Those traveling to Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, or Koh Tao can book up to three different hotels (in any of these islands) to stay within the first seven days—but they must stay in Koh Samui on the first night.
  • An insurance policy with coverage no less than US$20,000 (formerly US$50,000)
  • Confirmed payment for two RT-PCR tests
  • A certificate of COVID-19 vaccination
  • A certificate of COVID-19 recovery for those who have been infected


Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)

What do I have to do once I arrive in Koh Samui?

  • Go through an “entry screening” for a body temperature check.
  • Take the first RT-PCR test at a pre-booked facility or accommodation via a pre-booked vehicle on a sealed route.
  • Wait in the hotel room until the test result arrives.
    • If test comes out negative, the traveler is allowed to travel within the Sandbox destination for seven days, but hase to come back to the accommodation they booked, and take the second test on the fifth or sixth day.
    • If test comes out positive, the traveler will be transferred to a facility for appropriate medical treatment, with expenses to be covered by insurance.


Four Seasons Koh Samui
Four Seasons Koh Samui

What can I do during my stay in Koh Samui?

Basically anything a tourist expects to do when on holiday, as long as they test negative. But remember to take a second test on day 5 or 6 and come back for the night at the hotel(s) you have booked.

Download the MorChana application and turn it on at all times.

You are also kindly requested to follow preventive protocols when in public spaces, such as wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing.

What happens after I have completed the seven-day requirement?

There are two cases here:

  • If you only planned for a week-long vacation, you need to immediately leave Thailand for another country.
  • If you plan to explore other destinations in Thailand and received a negative test result on day 7, you will get a release form that allows you to continue your trip elsewhere in the country.
The Library Samui
The Library Samui

See also

  • Hotels

The reopening of Thailand commenced with international tourists being welcomed to Phuket and then later on Koh Samui. As the latter prepares to welcome holiday-makers, many luxury establishments on the island are cutting down their rates, and rolling out irresistible deals and promotions. Book now before prices jump back up.

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