About Koh Samui
Sitting in the Gulf of Thailand in the south-east of the country, Koh Samui is a paradise of sandy beaches, in particular Chaweng and Lamai, and is a popular destination with travellers looking for an exotic winter or spring holiday.
Party people enjoy the vibrant nightlife in the trendy clubs and bars of Thailand's third largest island. In recent years, the island has seen the development of many luxury resorts featuring spas and a wide range of sport activities which make Koh Samui ideal for a relaxing and active 10 days to two weeks holiday.
Bangkok Airways flies between Bangkok and Koh Samui. Trains and buses depart from Bangkok then ferries regularly sail to the island - this journey can take up to 14 hours.
Air-conditioned yellow taxis are the easiest way of travelling around the island but more adventurous travellers will prefer to rent a motorbike, jump on a songtheaw (red converted pickup trucks) or take a ride on a motorbike taxi. Hiring a car or a bicycle is recommended for longer holidays.
Enjoy the island's beautiful diving spots; explore its lush forest; experience an elephant trek; and attend a fascinating snake show and amusing monkeys shows with monkeys trained to pick up and gather coconuts.
Chaweng Beach, the longest strip of the island, is the place to go for great shopping opportunities, including beachwear and traditional souvenirs. Tailors, like in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand, are able to tailor-make clothes following their clients' specific requests and deliver the end product withing days. Household objects and decorative items made out of coconut wood are sold across the island. Haggling is an accepted, even expected, practice.
Seafood and freshly barbequed fish are on most restaurants' menu. Some of the best restaurants will be part of a complex such as the Four Seasons Resorts or the Six Senses Hideaway. The island offers a varied range of options from romantic settings, such as Zazen and Rocky's Restaurant which serve a fusion of Thai and European cuisine, to laidback diners on the beach. Most of the popular bars and clubs are located around Chaweng Beach.
For kitsch and suggestive photographs, the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks are a must. More poetic and colourful is the Samui Butterfly Garden. The stunning Namuang Waterfalls and meditative Buddha's Secret Gardens will keep travellers busy. Other interesting sites include coconut plantations and traditional fishing villages. A trip to the emerald islands of the Mu Ko Angthong National Marine Park is also recommended.
Koh Samui is the perfect destination for couples and honeymooners looking for idyllic sceneries; single travellers wishing to spend two weeks on the beach with some good bar-hopping and partying at night.
Koh Samui has a tropical climate with the hottest season from March to August with temperature ranging from 28° C to 35° C. Rain showers, often short, fall from October to January.
Visiting Koh Samui is possible throughout the year, but the best time to go is from November to May with December and February being the driest months of the year and ideal for winter sun breaks.
Great places to make one's home for an extended stay include the 66-villas Six Senses Hideaway, perched on a cliff top on the northern-most tip of Koh Samui where most villas offer infinity-edge pools; The Four Seasons Resort and the The Library.