island of coconut trees’
A little more than 20 years ago, there were merely a few backpackers travelling to Samui. Today, this island is a cosmopolitan melting pot
travellers ranging from budget visitors
stay a month in a standard beachfront fan bungalow, to the
megarich looking for a weekend's stay in a luxury villa on a hillside.
Samui is unique amongst Thailand's islands in maintaining its appeal
to backpackers, whilst at the same time attracting large numbers
of package tourists and wealthy independent travellers. This helps
give the island its relaxed atmosphere where everyone is welcome.
The major tourist spots for travellers are still Samui's
illustrious beaches. As in all other aspects of island life,
all tastes and desires are catered for, from the party beaches
of Lamai and Chaweng, to the relaxing fascination of Maenam and Big Buddha, to the exclusive enclave of Choeng
Mon. All have 2 things in common - ideal white sandy
Even though it is Thailand's 3rd largest island after Phuket and
Ko Chang, Samui is only 25 kilometres long and 21 kilometres
wide and is very easy manage. A ring road loops around
the island's forest covered interior, connecting all the beaches
and attractions. If you want to glide above the jungle canopy on
a high tensile cable, see a mummified monk, ride an elephant, see
one of Thailand's largest Buddha statues or visit natural rock formations,
it is all just a short jeep or bike ride away.
Equally as popular are the offshore activities and qualified divers
will find some of the world's best reefs in the
Gulf of Thailand. For unqualified divers, Samui is 1 of the easiest
and least expensive places in the world in which to learn. If you
prefer to stay above the water, then explore the Anthong
Marine National Park by sea kayak.
A short boat ride away is Koh Pha Ngan, home of
the infamous Full Moon Party. Samui's nightlife
is amongst the best in Asia and drinking options range from beach
bars playing the latest dance tunes to cocktail lounges serving
The island's dining scene has a high level of sophistication and
is remarkably varied. Pacific Rim, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Japanese,
Italian and French cuisine is available. As is great Thai food.
Ranging from 5 baht food stalls to elegant Royal Thai specialities,
the Kingdom's cuisine can be found in many forms here.
Only an hour flight from Bangkok, Singapore, Phuket and Kuala
Lumpur, Samui is being visited by people from all corners of the