Koh Samui

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.

Local Attractions

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park is a pristine archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand with towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, white-sand beaches, fertile mangroves, waterfalls and hidden coves and lakes to explore. Within sight of Koh Samui, Ang Thong park is a protected area of more than 100sqkm of land and sea, and home to a rich variety of exotic wildlife and sea creatures.

Big Buddha Shrine

On the northern coast of Koh Samui is the famous Big Buddha shrine. Probably Samui’s most well known landmark, the 12-metre high golden Buddha can be seen from several kilometres away. Inside the surrounding temple are many different shrines and other smaller ornate Buddhas. There is also a small market selling a wide range of lucky charms and other souvenirs, alongside numerous food stalls.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao – meaning ‘Turtle Island’ – lives up to its name, being the scuba diving destination of choice in Thailand. The perfect white-sand beaches which ring the hilly 21 km² island are surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The vibrant coral reefs there are home to a wide range of exciting and colourful sea creatures, including turtles, naturally.

Wat Plai Laem

Located near the Big Buddha in the north of the island, Wat Plai Laem is a colourful and interesting Buddhist Temple. The temple features very ornate decor and art, an 18-arm image of Guanyin – the Goddess of Mercy – and a large white Chinese Buddha set on the lake. If you donate money for the upkeep of the temple you’ll be given a bag of food to throw to the teeming fish in the lake.

Secret Buddha Garden is hidden away high in the hills in Koh Samui’s interior, offering majestic views and an unusual collection of statues amid lush jungle surrounds. The gardens are a creation of an old Samui fruit farmer, NimThongsuk, who in 1976 began erecting several statues and temples around his family’s verdant land.

Pink Elephant Samui Water Park

Pink Elephant Samui Water Park is a spacious, modern attraction near Maenam, featuring a range of high-quality rides and facilities, promising a fun and safe day for the whole family. Geared mostly towards young children and their parents, there are a few high-speed slides for the adventurous ones and a Jacuzzi area for those who want to chill out and relax, among much more, all in a well-designed park conveniently located a short distance from the main Samui ring road.

Aspira Koh Samui

Aspira Koh Samui is an affordable Samui accommodation in a convenient location. This lovely hotel features 70 comfortable and elegantly designed rooms. Room types include Superior Room, Executive Suites One Bedroom and Family suites which include bunk beds for children. … Read More

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