Part of the Samui Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is Thailand’s third largest island and has developed from the hippie paradise of twenty years ago to an international beach holiday destination. It still manages to appeal to all types of holidaymakers: families on package holidays, backpackers and budget travellers, couples on honeymoons and luxury travellers looking for five-star accommodation on the beach.
Ko Samui Beaches
The Chaweng and Lamai beaches on the east coast are Samui’s most popular beaches. The six-kilometre-long Chaweng has the most restaurants, shops and entertainment on the island, with Lamai a close second, and much of Samui’s nightlife, parties, bars and clubs are focused around here.
Mae Nam on the north side attracts surfers, backpackers and independent travellers who prefer a less crowded atmosphere. There are many small, quieter and more peaceful beaches on the south and the west coast of Samui.
Much of the accommodation on Samui is in bungalows that range basic but comfortable huts to beautiful beachside resorts and five-star spa hotels with swimming pools (although who needs a pool when you’re never far from a tropical beach).
Ko Samui Attractions
Samui has yoga and meditation centres, diving schools, surfing and parasailing, and frequent Muay Thai matches for thai boxing fans. Many visitors rent a motorbike and go beach hopping along the ring road that connects most of the beaches.
For most tourists, a must-see sight is the 12-metre-high Big Buddha statue in the Wat Phra Yai (the Temple of the Big Buddha) in the northeast part of Samui. There is also a meditation centre, and great views towards the neighbouring Ko Phangan. Ferries to Ko Phangan leave from Bo Phut. The Namuang Waterfalls in the interior of Samui are another popular destination for short daytrips.
One of the best ways to spend a day on Samui is a boat trip, or a diving trip, to the Ang Thong National Marine Park. This stunning archipelago consists of around 40 islands with sandy beaches, lagoons, forests and good snorkelling and diving opportunities. The nearby Ko Tao is famous for its diving and many experienced divers head there from Samui. There are also several diving schools in Samui, but the most popular holiday activity here is to lie on the beach do absolutely nothing.
Top 3 Hotels in KoihSamui
The Sarann Hotel – The Sarann 4-star resort hotel is located near to the island’s main dining and nightlife area, just 15 minutes by car from the airport. Rooms from € 109/£ 92/$ 142
Pandora Resort & Spa – The Pandora Resort & Spa Koh Samui seafront hotel offers private access to the Chaweng beach and is a short walking distance to the city centre’s shopping and entertainment area. Rooms from € 69/£ 58/$ 90
Hotel Banburee Resort & Spa – Banburee Resort & Spa is nestled in a quiet corner of Laem Set Beach, near Hua Tanon a traditional fishing village on the beautiful Samui Island, in Thailand. Rooms from € 47/£ 40/$ 62
Photo by wah.travel