Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand, located at the heart of a large national park called Mu Ko Ang Thong, an archipelago with some 60 other islands. Some of them are small and isolated, you can sail between them in a boat, others are bigger and more inhabited and visited by tourists, like Koh Phangan or Koh Tao. The island is big enough but not too big, it is about 50 km in diameter, and a road around the coast allows you to reach from side to side. There are 50,000 residents on the island, and 18,000 rooms in the hotels waiting for tourists.
There’s magic in Koh Samui, that allows the island to absorb the hordes of tourists and maintain a quiet atmosphere. If you’d like, you will find crowded beaches with water sports and activities, or hidden corners to seclude in. You will find beaches with plenty of clubs, bars and restaurants fighting for every guest, you will find resorts more peaceful than you can imagine.
What do the tourists do there? First of all – nothing. Most of those coming to Koh Samui seek to rest. Become one with the beach. There are many beaches on the island and each one has its own unique atmosphere. For example:
Chaweng Beach – the largest and most famous beach on the island. The home of the nightlife scene. You will find hotels of every kind that offer excellent value for money, an amazing beach, places of entertainment and of course a vibrant nightlife: pizzerias, pubs, luxury hotels and dance clubs. Hamerkaz Lametayel recommends you to settle on or close to this beach so that you can combine everything the island has to offer.
Bophut Beach – If you want a more quiet place, go to this beach in the north of the island, next to the fishing village. Bophut offers a variety of accommodation options, shops, pubs and restaurants in a serene setting.
Choeng Mon Beach – The beach combines a little nightlife, tranquility and stunning beachfront in a truly tropical setting and is a 15-minute drive from Chaweng Beach.
Lamai Beach – the rival of the famous Chaweng Beach. This is the second largest beach, which, like Chaweng, also offers a variety of entertainment options.
Mae Nam Beach – a beautiful and quiet beach strip in the north of Koh Samui Island.
Water, sea, sky, shakes and massages. Sometimes you have to rest from all this rest. To go out a little, move and walk, so there’ll be a reason to continue to rest. Why not jump into the magnificent Namtok Hin Lat waterfall, trek the day away, and refresh yourself in the swimming pools beneath it. In the butterfly garden, 6,000 types of butterflies will surround you in their flight. From here, head to the picturesque village of Ban Lipa Yai, where local residents cultivate exotic tropical fruits. Now it is time to get to Wat Kunaram Temple and the Great Buddha Temple.
Now off to sea: boating, windsurfing, jet skis and kayaking, you can even walk on the bottom of the sea. Then back on land: riding horses, ATVs, Hiking, Ziplining trips among the treetops, bungee jumping.
To rest all day you have to tire yourself all night. That’s why the nightlife on Koh Samui is so alive, the night here is wild, especially on the central Chaweng Beach. Where most clubs are operating from 10PM until morning. There is an impressive selection: pubs and dance clubs, cabaret shows and more. You can visit one of the night clubs, for example the Green Mango Club, which has dance floors, bars and lots of pool tables, the music playing in it is a familiar mainstream.
The morning comes, and you’re weary from the partying and exhausted from the alcohol, now the island invites you to the best cure for hangovers: A good massage by the beach. The only sad thing is that you’ll eventually have to leave. Don’t worry, you can always come back.
Koh Samui- From Fishing Village to A Tourism Empire
Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand and one of its major tourist destinations. But by the end of the 1860s, hardly anyone knew about it. Within 50 years it has grown into a huge tourist center.
In fact, the settlement in Koh Samui started about 1,500 years ago by Chinese and Malaysian fishermen. They were probably the ones who gave the island its name. It is believed that the name “Samui” comes from the Chinese word “savoy” meaning safe haven. But for hundreds of years the settlement on the island was sparse. There were a few fishing villages, and the main source of income was agriculture: growing tropical fruits. The coconut and Dorian which are familiar throughout the world today.
In those days, the cruise to Koh Samui could have lasted seven to eight hours, and the traffic on the mountain island was difficult because there were no real roads.
Then in the ’60s, the seeds of change were already visible on the island. It started with thefew hippies who were on their way to Kathmandu and India as part of the journey to enlightenment, they found themselves coming to this isolated island to find peace and detachment. Little by little the place became a name among the members of the Hippie community and in the 1970s many backpackers began to flock to the place. Local residents, mostly farmers, began to engage in tourism. They rented their houses to Lina, cooked food for backpackers who came to lie on the beach. In 1973 the traffic on the island improved: construction of the first asphalt road, which was only 2 meters wide, was completed.
Maybe it was because the hippies had aged, perhaps the stories they told upon their return to the West had enticed travelers a little more spoiled, but the standard of living on the island had risen. In the 80’s, bungalows began to be built on the island, and here and there hotels began to emerge, initially basic and then more prestigious. The major upheaval began in the 1990s.
In 1989 the airport was established on the island, and the island of Koh Samui became more accessible to tourists, and tourists on the wings of airplanes arrived en masse. The island was washed with a wave of construction that culminated in the beginning of the 21st century. Roads, hotels of all levels, shops and attractions. In 40 years the island has become a protected secret of a very limited hippie community, an international tourist center that attracts tourists of all kinds and from all over the world.
Koh Samui – how to get there
The main gateway to Koh Samui is the private airport owned by Bangkok Air, which operates daily flights from Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai, with direct flights once a day from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui. Until recently, Bangkok Air was the only company that operated flights to the island. Today, Thai Air operates two flights a day from Bangkok to Koh Samui. This option is the most expensive and can cost up to $ 150 for direct flights, depending on the season and availability of flights.
Another way to get to Koh Samui, but a cheaper flight, is a flight package that includes a ferry that low cost airlines offer, such as Air Asia and Nuk Air. The package includes a flight from Bangkok or Chiang Mai to Suratani or Nakorn Si Thammarat and from there to the quay and ferry to Koh Samui.
For those interested in reducing costs there is a possibility of a package that includes a bus ride from Bangkok combined with a ferry. For more details please contact us.
The island of Koh Samui is not a place to be missed while visiting Thailand. If you are on the way to Koh Samui, contact us today, and we will provide you with all the information you need and the best prices!