Koh Samui

Koh Samui (Samui Island) is a cosmopolitan melting pot, Thailand’s second largest island, lies in the Gulf of Thailand, attracting budget travellers relaxing in simple beachside bungalows, to the wealthiest holidaymakers spending over the weekend at one of the many luxury resort or villa on the many white sand beaches of Koh Samui.

Koh Samui is known for its palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves and dense, mountainous rainforest, plus luxury resorts and posh spas. From the hustle and bustle of Chaweng Beach to the lively yet relaxed atmosphere of Lamai Beach on the east coast are packed with pubs, go-go bars and nightclubs.

On the north side is the more laid-back village of Bo Phut, which features former Chinese shop houses converted to stylish restaurants, cafes and boutique hotels, as well as a night market selling street food, clothing and souvenirs. Nearby lies tranquil Maenam Beach, while the old capital Nathon lies on the west coast. Day trips to the limestone-cliff islets of Ang Thong Marine National Park offer snorkeling and diving.

Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui’s paradisal beaches, relaxed culture, awesome nightlife and affordable prices make it a top destination for the backpacker crowd. But it’s also home to a handful of luxury resorts, a tonne of posh spas and a great little airport all catering to holiday makers wanting to relax in the lap of luxury too. Koh Samui (sometimes spelt Ko Samui) is Thailand’s second-largest island (behind Phuket) and it takes just over an hour to drive around its perimeter. Its middle is virtually uninhabitable on account of all the mountainous rainforest but there’s still a wealth of hidden treasures to explore around the coast.

Koh Samui's repertoire of things to do and see is varied and interesting: the island hosts a great deal of splendid natural and man-made attractions from mummified monks to the famous grandma and grandpa rocks (Hin Ta &HinYai) to attractive waterfalls and more, there's nothing to stop you having a blast on Samui Island. For those interested in religious imagery and architecture the Big Buddha will impress - especially at sunset. Nature lovers can visit Ang Thong Marine National Park on a day trip to enjoy a genuine 'get away from it all' feel in the splendid tropical islands it hosts.