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Koh Samui

Where to stay in Koh Samui:

About Koh Samui:

Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is Thailand’s third largest island. Until recent times Koh Samui was an isolated, self-sufficient community, relying heavily on fishing and coconut plantations.  However, from the moment the first backpackers jumped off the coconut boats back in the 1970’s, the secret was out; Koh Samui became the fabled beach paradise and has been attracting people in search of exotic escapes ever since. Now one of the established islands of choice, Koh Samui, far from fading, has matured, developing a depth of ‘personality’ that is attracting a new, and often well-healed, generation of visitors. Retaining the relaxed atmosphere and adding chic luxury, Samui has a broad appeal and is considered the premier destination in the Gulf of Thailand.


Getting to Koh Samui:

Koh Samui has its own airport, a short hop from Bangkok International. It is well served by other regional airports such as Phuket, Singapore, Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. It is also well connected by sea with several boats and ferries running from the Thai mainland ports of Surat Thani and Don Sak.

21km wide and 25km long, Koh Samui is still big enough to explore by the adventurous and fit (the interior is still near virgin jungle), but, if you prefer, you can drive around Samui in a few hours.


Best time to visit Koh Samui:

It depends what you are looking for: if you want nothing more than to sit on the beach then naturally you should aim for the dry season (from mid-December through to April), but Samui is popular all year round. If you want a more cost-effective stay and to sample more of the cultural delights, then perhaps the fresher ‘rainy season’ is for you. Whilst the rain can be heavy, it also tends to be brief (more persistent in Oct/Nov) and remember, in this tropical climate, the temperature stays consistently warm year-round, meaning it’s rarely ever ‘jacket’ weather.



Highlights in Koh Samui:

It’s not just the amazing beaches – as you can imagine, there are plenty of exciting activities and excursions on and around Koh Samui; zip line through the jungle, elephant trekking , Thai Boxing shows, bungee jumping, butterfly gardens, buffalo shows, dive schools and snorkelling places, ATV safaris, stunning golf courses, world class spa’s and wellness centres to name but a few.

But for something a little different, try the Secret Buddha Garden that is hidden away high in the interior hills or, for a local tipple, head to Koh Samui Rum, formerly known as Magic Alambic Rum Distillery, and try some of the island’s own rum mixed into heady cocktails (get a designated driver!). Discover Hin Ta and Hin Yai’s phallic rocks and unearth the folklore behind them at Lamai beach. The Sunday night market in Lamai is also worth a visit.


Culture in Koh Samui:

Koh Samui has many temples and Buddhas; the temple of the Big Buddha (there are a few throughout Thailand) at Wat Phra Yai is a major meditation centre with a 12m golden Buddha. The Wat Plai Laem temple has a huge, spectacular, 18-armed Goddess of Mercy statue in the middle of a lake. There is the White Marble Buddha, as well as the Secret Hall of Buddhas at Wat Samret, west of Hua Thanon. The Secret Hall is kept locked but if you ask, one of the monks will open it for you. At Kunaram Temple, there is even a mummified monk.


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