One of Thailand's leading tourist destinations, Koh Samui is very popular among the lovers of sand, sun and sea. Sitting sedately in the gulf of Thailand, the idyllic island is shaded by towering trees. Thrilling water sports, action-packed adventure options, mouth-watering seafood and raunchy nightlife, Samui seems to have a magical formula.
Why to Visit
- Idyllic natural scenery
- Adventure and water sports
Gifted benevolently by nature, Koh Samui is a beautiful island. Prominent attractions of the island are as follows.
- The Beaches When you think of an island, the first thing which come to your mind is beaches. Koh Samui has some lovely beaches:
- Chaweng Beach: The most beautiful beach on the island is this stretch of powdery sand faced by crystal-clear water. Centre for watersport activities, Chaweng, located on the eastern coast, has an array of accommodation options, ranging from bamboo bungalows to five-star resorts. The nights are for merrymaking, when the young throng the dance halls to shake legs.
- Lamai Beach: Located south of Chaweng, Lamai is the second largest beach on the island. Coconut trees bending over the blue-green waters give the beach more natural atmosphere. The sea is little rougher for there is no reef to protect the bay. Several spas behind the beach provide the tourist relaxing Thai massage, herbal sauna or even a mud facial.
- North Coast Beaches: Bophut, Maenam and Bang Rak beaches on the north coast are ideal for those who want a seclusive vacation. Bank Rak is also called Big Buddha beach because of a colossal Buddha image at its eastern end.
- Other Attractions
Apart from the beaches, Koh Samui has many other places to offer. They are as follows:
- Ang Thong Marine National Park: Ang Thong Marine National Park is the group of forty plus limestone islets, which host white sand beaches, coral reefs and unspoilt tropical rainforests. You can make your choice. A hill on Koh Wua Talab, the park's largest island provides panoramic views of the whole park. Climbing steep limestone fills you with thrill. Do not forget to visit the 'hidden lake' in Mae Koh Island.
- Laem Sor Pagoda: Located at southern-most point of the island, Laem Sor Pagoda is among the most beautiful sights in Koh Samui. An ancient chedi is restored with glazed tiles that resemble gold. Cheek-by-jowl is 'meditation forest' with places to sit. Flanking the forest is a man-made lagoon with mangrove trees planted on the ocean side. The site is ideal for a relaxed picnic.
- The Waterfalls: For change of pace you can decide to enjoy the waterfalls. The most prominent among them is Na Muang, lying south of the island's central peaks. Another notable fall is Hin Lat.
- Na Thon: The island's main town and port, located on the west coast, is always bustling with visitors. It is the place to go for purchasing beach gear, or just watch port activity from a street balcony.
- Samui Butterfly Garden: Located in southwest, the garden has a wide range of beautiful flowers, above which whiz hundreds of butterflies. The sight, beneath meshed nets, creates bewitching atmosphere.
- Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks: Located at the southern end of Lamai beach are two rocks, the Grandfather and the Grandmother, which tend to be a stopover of the tourists. Shaped over millions of years by natural forces, they have acquired shapes.
Adventure and Water Sports
Abundant marine life and clear water make the island ideal for water sports. Diving, snorkelling, kayaking are few sports enjoyed by the visitors. For the intrepid, who love adrenalin rush, sports like jetskiing, paragliding and windsurfing are available. If you are scared of water, you can try beach volleyball. You can even hire a vehicle and go for bumpy rides off-roads.
Samui is a prominent spa destination of Thailand. It's atmosphere, natural beauty and fresh air make it an ideal place for spa.
How To Reach
Various means of reaching Koh Samui are mentioned below:
- By Air Nearest international airport is Phuket. However, it is a trend among tourists to reach via Bangkok.
- By Train Trains run till Surat Thani. Then you have to board a local bus or rent a vehicle to reach Don Sak. Now ferry across to the islands.
- By Road Buses running between Bangkok and Koh Samui operate daily. The journey takes around fourteen hours. The fare doesn't include ferry expenses. You can also hire car/taxi.
- By Boat Most passenger ferries leave from Surat Thani town. Car ferries use the port at Don Sak.
- The cheapest means of public transport is Songthaew, a small pick-up truck equipped with benches for passengers
- Taxis are easy to find in more popular in more popular tourist places, but elsewhere, getting them is a little difficult.
- Jeeps/cars/motorbikes can be hired.