Koh Samui is the third largest island of Thailand. It is mainly covered with coconut plantations and all possible coconut types of Thailand can be found on this island. Koh Samui lies in the Gulf of Thailand, 35 kilometers east of the mainland. The biggest attraction of the island is the most popular beaches, in total 26 km long. The best known are Chaweng and Lamai. It was 20 years ago a destination only visited by backpackers, but today package tourists feel also welcome in simple bungalows to the 5-star luxury hotels.
Koh Samui has around 60,000 residents living and working on the third-largest island in Thailand. The island has a total area of 228.7 square kilometers. The island was until the late 20th century a private and predominantly Buddhist community isolated from the mainland. Not until 1970 the island was given its first street. Today, a 51-kilometer ring road around the island links all the coast sections together. The core of the island is still forested and difficult to traverse. The highest elevation is the Khao Kwai Thai with about 635 meters. Prior to 1970, the main source of income of the island came from the coconut cultivation, which has made space to tourism by 1990. Nowadays only a few people living here from the rubber, coconut cultivation and fishing.
The main beaches are: Chaweng Beach entertainment beach - Lamai Beach alternative to Chaweng - Samui Choeng Mon & small and quiet bays - Big Buddha Beach, with temple and beautiful view - Bophut Beach quiet and beautiful bay - Maenam Beach also very quiet.
It is possible to visit the many islands near Koh Samui by day trips.
The fastest way to reach Koh Samui is by air from Bangkok. Currently this airport is only operated by two airlines, Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways, which makes the prices quite expensive. It is cheaper to fly to Surat Thani and from there by bus and ferry to Samui, what will make the time advantage gone. An alternative is a train ride from Bangkok to Surat Thani, with a combined ticket is the trip to the island simple to organize. Anyway the bus trip is much cheaper than a flight.
From southern Thailand, you can reach Samui from the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao simply and quickly with the ferry. With a joint transfer (cheap) you can travel from Phuket and Krabi, a private transfer (expensive), is however more convenient.
Koh Samui island tour
On this tour different beaches will be visited and you will get an overview of the third largest island of Thailand. Stops will be made at the Big Buddha, various view points and the remarkable rock formations of the grandfather and grandmother. Later, you still see the famous waterfall Namruang, located in a jungle area.
A good destination for snorkeling is definitely the island of Koh Phangan, which is a neighbor island of Koh Samui and located not far away. From the Bophut Bay on Koh Samui you can even look over to Koh Phangan. Here are some beautiful coral reefs and some of the best beaches of Thailand. On Koh Phangan is also the Haad Rin Beach, which became world famous for its Full Moon Parties.
Angthong Marine National Park
In the morning it goes with boat to Angthong. The Marine National Park offers 40 spectacular islands and lies 16 km from Samui. The first stop on the tour is the island of Wau Ta Lap. From the park office travelers can climb up to the vantage points where a magnificent panorama can be enjoyed. As another destination you can see the volcano cave construction called Boke. On Chancharat Beach, travelers have then the opportunity for swimming and snorkeling.
Day trip to the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan
In the morning we head by catamaran boat to the island of Koh Tao. The 60 kilometers north west of Koh Samui located "Turtle Island" is the smallest of the tourist islands in the Samui archipelago, at the same time the most beautiful. A special attraction is the dive sites of Koh Tao. Because of the clear waters, the varied dive sites, the exotic coral structures and the many species of marine life makes Koh Tao to one of the most beautiful diving areas of the country. Upon arrival, visitors have the opportunity to swim and snorkel. On the small neighboring island of Koh Nang Yuan (known for their sand bank, which connects the island) it is also possible to swim and snorkel. From the viewpoint of the island you will enjoy a charming view.
Coral Island Tour (Koh Tan & Koh Mutsum)
With a long tail boat the islands of Koh Tan and Koh Matsum, which lie about two kilometers south of Samui can easily be reached. On the best beaches the boat will stop and there is plenty of time for swimming and snorkeling in the tropical waters.
By long tail boat we head to Koh Tan. In the surrounding coral reefs is living a large number of different fish species. Fishing rod, equipment and instruction is included in the price. It is also possible to snorkel in between.
Chaweng Beach is the longest beach on the island, in total about 7 kilometers. There is a rock formation separating the beach into Chaweng and Chaweng Noi. Fine, white sand, overhanging palm trees and bright blue water make this section to one of the best on this island. Chaweng is the main center of the island located along the road. There are countless restaurants, cocktail bars, nightclubs and smaller supermarkets. For anyone who seeks entertainment and a large restaurant offer, this is the right place. Most hotels are located right on the beach.
The crescent-shaped, 4 km long Lamai Beach is lined with many coconut trees. Just like the Chaweng Beach, the bay can be divided into several sections. In the center there are some bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Lamai is the younger tourist favorites; it seems just a little quieter, but still the second largest settlement on the island.
Tongsai Bay & Choeng Mon
Tongsai and Choeng Mon are the names of the beautiful bays on the northern tip of Koh Samui. Coral reefs and smaller offshore islands are not far from the coast. Coconut palms are lining the white sandy beach. The bay of Choeng Mon offers in its central part in any season good swimming conditions and is also suitable for children due to the plain water.
Big Buddha Beach
The Big Buddha Beach is a relatively small bay with just over 2 kilometers of coastline. It is dominated by the huge Buddha statue which stands on the small island of Koh Fan. The bay is not suitable for swimming all year round. When the Thai winter takes over the sea goes back, leaving behind vast mud fields.
The nearly 3 kilometers long, wide sweeping bay of Bophut extends to the north. It has a relatively steep beach with coarse, yellow sand and is good for swimming all year round. At the northwestern end of the bay is the most beautiful beach in the middle it goes into the village of Ban Bophut, on the east it is very flat.
The slightly curved Maenam Bay is 4 kilometers long and lined with palm trees. The narrow beach with golden sand drops off pretty steep. Especially in the eastern area of bay the sand is relatively coarse grained, in the central section of the village rather fine. The calm water is suitable for swimming most of the year.
From January through September is the weather on Koh Samui very warm and pleasant with average highs of 29-32 ° C. Rain is rare, but when it is strong and only for a short period. The months from October to December bring the most rain and a rough sea. It can happen at this time that the ferry services and flights will put on hold.
Thus most of the year is the weather ideal on Koh Samui. The average water temperature is pleasant by 27 ° C.