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Koh Samui is the third largest island in Thailand. The tropical paradise island often refers to as the coconut island because of its big coconut palm tree forests. Koh Samui is part if the Surat Thani province and the island has a population of more than 50,000 people.
Every year this tropical paradise attracts more than 1 million tourists from all over the world and that is not without reasons.
Koh Samui is the real paradise in many ways and even though you will find places with lots of tourist you will still be able to find very quiet locations as well. Koh Samui offers something for everyone. Luxury resorts and hi class restaurants can be found on many places on the island as well as low budget bungalows right on the beach. Of course you will find everything in between. When staying on Samui you will live among the Thai people and along the ring road the everyday life goes on even for those who are not in the tourist business. At first sight it is easy to think the island is habited everywhere and that there are hard to find places without houses. That’s because most people do not know where to go. Small roads lead away from the ring road and sometimes these roads are hard to find. The truth is that most of this island is covered with forest.
The island offers plenty of beaches, some with shallow water while on other beaches you don’t have to go far to take a dive into the deep. The most famous tourist places in Samui are Chaweng, Lamai, Bo Phut, Choeng Mon and Maenam. They are situated along the north and east side of the island. Along the west coast you find Nathon, a very small town and also the only one on the island where many people come to dine in the sunset or to do some shopping. And further south on the west coast and all the way to the south you will find quiet as soon as leaving the main road areas.
At most beaches you will be able to eat right on the beach and in evening it is usually very nice to take a walk and eat at some of the restaurants serving food or drinks right under the starts listening to the sound of the ocean.
In Koh Samui you will find small markets, big markets, shopping malls and you will probably find anything you need.
Some people claim that Koh Samui is more expensive than other tourist destinations, but I do not really agree. Some things tend to be slightly more expensive due to the fact that this is an island and many things have to come here by boat. But remember that you can still get food from the market for 10 bath and sometimes you don’t have to go far away from the tourist streets to find prices far cheaper. To get a meal for just over 100 bath in a restaurant is not impossible and even far below that. It all comes to what you are looking for. You can also eat extremely luxurious food in top class restaurants.
The Koh Samui airport is located just north from Chaweng and south from Big Buddha. The runway is now beeing extended to make it possible for larger aircrafts to land and take off from here. The Koh Samui airport is quite spectacular and it looks almost like a giant bungalow but without any walls. The small terminal only have a beautiful roof and it all looks very exotic.
The world class beaches found on Koh Samui ranging from long to short, well exploited to pure natural. This wide selection is one of the reasons all different kind of people can be found on this island. There are also shallow very child friendly beaches as well as places where the water gets deep more quick.
Popular Trips and Attractions
There are a lot of things to see at and around Koh Samui. The Big Buddha is probably the most famous attraction and also Hin Ta Hin Yai. As on most places there are also many beautiful temples too see, some big some small and there are also some nice waterfalls at the island. If you feel like taking a longer excursion you can visit any of the islands around or the extraordinary Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Another great thing about Koh Samui is that the weather are often very good all year round even in the summer making it possible to enjoy blue sea and white beaches without any waves most time of the year. In October and November it is usually raining a lot and sometimes in parts of May will have some extra rain. Koh Samui does not have any extreme dry season but on the other hand this is a top option most of the year, it is not a coincident that so many people come here all year round.
It is very easy to get around on Samui even if it is one of the, or the, most expensive part in Thailand to go by taxi. The minimum price is in general 200bath and it is hard to go by taximeter. There are also possible to get a ride with song-taews which are pick-up trucks with seats and roof on the truck bed. The pricing for song-taew is lower than the normal taxi why most people on Samui use these transportation option. The song-taew at Samui will have a pricelist at the back of the window but after 18:00 the prices can vary.
Remember to always have the price set for your transport before you take off, this is only to prevent you from getting a price you did not expect. Normally it is cheapest to use taximeter if possible.
You can also rent a car or a motorbike to explore the areas by yourself. Remember that the traffic is probably not what you are used to and accidents are common.
For more information about car and motorbike rentals please visit the Rent a Vehicle section.