Koh Samui – Overview
Koh Samui has its first origin from 1500 years ago. The first inhabitants were fishermen. The island’s 500-year-old maps from Chinese Ming Dynasty. Fishing and coconut plantations have been the biggest source of income on the island, and today tourism is the main source of income for the inhabitants of the island. The people here are called “Chao Samui”.
Koh Samui is located in Thailand’s bay (bordering the South China Sea in the Pacific). The island is a “Amphoe” or a district of Surat Thani Changwat. Samui is divided into seven “Tambon” or districts (administrative regions): Maenam, Bophut, Maret, Taling Ngam, Namuang, Lipa Noi and Angthong. Koh Samui has been a backpacker’s destination since the late 70th century, but today the tourists come from all over the world here. To this casual “paradise”. It is surrounded by more than 60 other islands as some are small, inhabited and others are more like Koh Phangan and Koh Tao (diving islands). Other popular destinations in the area are: Koh Nang Yuan (next to Koh Tao) and the Angthong National Marine Park (located between Koh Samui and Suratthani mainland).
Twenty years ago there were only a few backpackers who visited the island on there Thailand trip. Today, Koh Samui is a cosmopolitan place that attracts everything from budget travelers who want to stay for a month or two in simple beach bungalows, to the rich people who come for a weekend and stay at a luxury resort or a villa on the beach.
Koh Samui is unique among Thailand’s islands to maintain a broad adaptation to all. This helps to give the characteristic relaxed atmosphere. And everyone is welcome!
Koh Samui – Getting there
The most convenient way to get to Koh Samui is to fly with Bangkok Airways from Bangkok, Singapore, Phuket or Pattaya. There are over 20 daily flights from Bangkok. While Thai Airways has two daily flights to Samui Airport. Thai Airways and Air Asia also fly to Surat Thani. From there you can just take a bus or taxi to the ferry in Donsak.
Alternatively go several ferries and catamarans from Surat Thani or Don Sak on the Thai mainland. If you are on your Thailand trip and going from Bangkok, it’s a good idea to combine the ferry with a train with sleeper from Hualumphong Station.
If you prefer a more economical way to travel, we recommend a so-called VIP bus from the famous Khao San Road or from the Southern Bus Terminal on Boromrat Chonnani Road. VIP buses are more comfortable and have less seats than a so-called A / C bus. You can buy a ticket on almost every travel agency in Bangkok. The ferry ticket is sometimes included in the price.
Another nice way to travel is the night train from Hualamphong (Bangkok Railway Station) to Surat Thani. Trailer with sleeping cabins are entitled comfortable beds. Travelling by train is a bit more expensive than the bus but you will probably get a better sleep. The upper bed is cheaper than the lower. A private “first class” cabin for two people is also available. Ideal for couples on their Thailand trip.
The fastest ferries depart from the two main piers in Donsak on the mainland with the operators Seatran and Raja Ferry. The price is around 150 baht for passengers and 420 baht for cars. You will see many of the small surrounding islands if you do not fall asleep.
You can allso take Lomprayah catamaran leaving from Chumphon.
Koh Samui – Weather
Koh Samui has a tropical monsoon climate. High humidity and temperatures on an average about 28 degrees. The weather is generally good all year round and the only thing you will hardly feel the cold. Located in Thailand bay as Koh Samui offers world class dive sites with optimal conditions between March and August (the worst period is between September-November).
There are three seasons:
The dry season
The dry season runs roughly from December to February. With slightly cooler temperatures, little rain, calm seas and light winds because many people believe that it is the best time to visit Koh Samui on their Thailand trip. For hotels, it is also the peak season.
The warm season
The warmest time of year is between March and April, a good time to visit Koh Samui if you can withstand temperatures of plus 30 degrees. In late April / early May, there is usually an increase in precipitation. From May to September, the weather is usually sunny during the day until late afternoon when a thunderstorm rolls on – a kind of mini-monsoon rains.
The rainy season
From September to November is experiencing the heaviest rain, but even then the rain falls down every day is only short bursts. The weather can be unpredictable with little wilder seas and wind. Therefore, Koh Samui at that time still good for beach holidays (due to fewer people and lower prices), but if you are here to dive on your Thailand trip, then it’s not the best time to come when visibility is reduced by about 30%.
Koh Samui – Beaches
On your Thailand trip you can found the one of kind beaches here that you see in ads. Swaying coconut palms, white sand with clear and clean water. Some are almost completely deserted while others have everything you need. You can get a massage, get your hair braided, and buy grilled chicken or sarongs. Dine by candlelight on the beach, treat yourself to a drink on the triangular cushions, or just half asleep and relax on your Thailand trip.
Big Buddha Beach
One of Samui’s fastest growing areas, Big Buddha has the benefit of its proximity to the airport and Chaweng Beach. It is also the best place in the northern part of the island to take a ferry or speedboat over to Had Rin on Koh Pha Ngan – home of the Full Moon Party.
Big Buddha’s long sweeping beach is filled with cheap to moderate costs of bungalows, many of which have been excellent close to restaurants. One of the island’s more lavish independent spas, Ban Sabai can also be found here.
The highway has been improved a lot in recent months and now has several dive shops, supermarkets and nightlife. There are also British pubs, such as Elephant & Castle and Brahms & Liszt, one sailor cafe, BBC, tapas bar Saboey and a variety of cheap and cheerful bars that everyone does their bit to attract visitors to the area and earn big on tourists on their trip.
Koh Samui’s most vibrant and biggest city has grown up around one of the island’s best beaches. In addition to being able to offer more accommodation than other places on the island is Chaweng also the center of nightlife, there are bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.
From beach bars to sophisticated cocktail bars are Chaweng far ahead compared to other places on Samui when it comes to nightlife, it is the ones you want to experience on your Thailand trip.
The famous Green Mango is full of (mostly) young people who are speaking each night, alternating pubs, bars and dancing girl bars. Chaweng’s main stretch is nearly three miles long, and lots of smaller activity centers have sprung up along it. McDonald’s forms a landmark in the southern part of the city just on the other side of the road from Chaweng’s most popular bar Murphy’s, an Irish pub.
Choeng Mon Beach
Much more upscale than its neighbor Big Buddha, Choeng Mon consists of a number of bays on the northwest tip of the island, dominated by a handful of three to five star resorts. Most activities in places like the White House, Q Signature and Tong Sai Bay is kept in-house, which means that apart from a few tailors and local restaurants, there is not so much outside the hotels. And the other side when you can have your own private beach offered by Tong Sai and the peninsula, there is no reason to leave the area either. Most of these places attract an older, packets traveling crowd on their Thailand trip, mainly from Germany and France. This is reflected in the food and entertainment offered at many of the restaurants at the resort.
Hua Thanon Beach
Hua Thanon that starts just below the Hin Ta and Hin Yai is also a quiet area and is home to some backpacker resorts and one of Samui’s last remaining traditional fishing fleets. The Muslim village has a charming atmosphere and is worth a visit on your Thailand trip, to get a glimpse of island life before mass tourism.
There are some nice fish restaurants by the sea that gives you the taste of authentic Samui dishes at very low prices.
Lamai Beach is Samui’s second largest beach after Chaweng. It is quieter and less vivid than her older sister, but still with plenty of accommodations, restaurants, shopping and some great spas and attractions to explore.
The general atmosphere is relaxed and Lamai is a little older and cheaper tourist facilities than Chaweng, although there are some signs that the area is slowly being updated. As with the rest of Samui is a continuing trend to move away from the “cheap and cheerful” towards smarter high-end accommodation and facilities. New resorts in Lamai as The Pavillion and Lamai Wanta show this upgrade.
The pristine jungle that surrounds the beaches and the stunning views of Anthong Marine National Park makes Taling Ngam to one of the most picturesque parts of the island.
There are some cheap bungalow options and a highly regarded fish restaurant, Five Islands, but there is a mileage 20-30 minutes from Nathon, the nearest town of any importance, and almost an hour away is Chaweng.
That said, if you’re looking for a relaxing and casual holiday especially on your Thailand trip, so Taling Ngam is hard to beat. Given that the area is also fast becoming a hot spot for real estate.
Koh Samui – Things to Do
Samui Aquarium and Tiger Show
At Samui Aquarium & Tiger Show will find a wide variety of marine life on your Thailand trip. Colorful birds and exotic animals in the same place. This family attraction is a safe bet to keep kids entertained at an afternoon outing.
The aquarium has most of the marine life that is native to Thailand Gulf. The large tanks are filled with a wide variety of marine life, such as leopard sharks, rays, catfish and many types of tropical fish and it is an area where visitors can feed the turtles.
At the zoo is the main attraction Bengal tiger and leopard, it shows some interesting displays of strength and agility in the daily live shows. It is also possible to take a picture with some of them for extra money.
Big Buddha Temple
Big Buddha temple sits majestically on a small rocky island off Koh Samui northeastern corner. Locally it is called Wat Phra Yai, its gilded 12-meter Buddha statue was built in 1972 and is still one of the island’s most popular attractions. Located on Koh Faan you reach the Big Buddha temple with a pedestrian bridge that connects it to the main island. Big Buddha can be seen at a distance of several kilometers and is often the first thing people see when they arrive to Samui by air. Big Buddha sits in Mara position with the left palm up resting on his knee and right hand down, fingers hanging over the knees and touches the ground. It shows the time during the Buddha’s journey where he successfully resisted the temptations and dangers he was threatened with the Devil-figure Mara by meditating and keeps calm. The position is a symbol of perseverance, purity and enlightenment.
Hin Lad Waterfall Temple
Known in Thai as Wat Namtok Hin Lad, Hin Lad Waterfall Temple (or Saunthamma Pala Nikrotharam Temple) is located in the green jungle just before the road up to the famous Hin Lad Waterfall, a few miles south of Nathon Town, Samui.
This forest is usually only manned at weekends when the locals come to “Tam blessing” and have a picnic at the nearby waterfall. The temple is shady and quiet, making it a perfect place to relax during your Thailand trip. It has a lovely garden, hiking trails, various Buddha images, religious sculptures and a meditation area. A walk around the place can be very fun and it is a great place to practice your photography skills.
Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks
Hin Ta and Hin Yai are some fascinating rock formations in Koh Samui southern coast, and has been a source of joy and wonder on the island when they were discovered by the locals, many years ago. Art imitates nature often, but less common is that nature imitates art, especially the Art of the Ribald. On your Thailand trip, anything is possible, and these stones, known as Grandpa (Ta) and grandmother (Yai), similar sized male and female sex organs.
Located on the rocky coast of Lamai and Hua Thanon. Hin Ta and Hin Yai leave laughter or embarrassment to those who see them on their Thailand trip. This unusual and tantalizing vision has naturally given rise to a legend that explains how rocks became sooner.
Besides these attractions, you can also be entertained with the following activities:
Samui Shooting Range
Weapons and machine guns!
Location: Main Road. Close to Chaweng.
Three types of Go Karts to choose from. Lots of fun!
Location: Bo Phut Main Road.
This adrenaline-pumping activity is available in Chaweng, right near the Reggae Pub and Chaweng Lake.
some arenas located around the island. This is a Thai and local tradition with a long history.
Here you will see amazing butterflies and other tropical insects. It is located in the southeastern part of Leam Set.
It is located in the center of Samui. Many interesting sculptures made of cement, by the hands of a fruit farmer.
Koh Samui – Shopping
On your Thailand trip to Samui, there are hundreds of great shopping deals to take advantage of in almost every corner of the island. The main shopping areas of Chaweng, Lamai and Nathon, but there are also shops that are worth visiting elsewhere on Samui. Nathon is usually the cheapest, Chaweng has the largest selection and Lamai has a good selection of small quirky shops. On your Thailand trip, you will experience that the country is famous for its copies of almost everything from watches to CDs. Most department stores have fixed prices, but you can negotiate on almost all other places, it never hurts to ask! Just be polite and friendly, both you and the seller must be satisfied with the final price.
Find Top 8 of shopping on Samui:
Centara Grand Beach Resort
Jim Thompson range of silk products is one of the most sought after souvenir products in Thailand. Visitors to Samui should go to Centara Grand Beach Resort Jim Thompson shop on Chaweng Beach Road. Most popular products include textiles, bags, shirts, scarves, napkins, photo frames and books.
Chaweng street shopping
Starting from the northern Chaweng and south, as most people do at Chaweng shopping so will you come across many street stalls selling T-shirts, cheap jewelry, DVDs, computer games, the trademark clothing, soap, carpentry, weapons imitations and a host of other things that you are unsure whether you need to or not. There are shops with lots of flower power bags, silk ties, shoes and hats that you can buy from your Thailand trip.
Location: Along the Beach Road
Open: 11:00 – 24:00
A true gold mine of silver, gold, precious stones, jewelry and scarves. There are bracelets, anklets, necklaces, rings and earrings made of every imaginable metal and precious gems. Choose one of the thousands of pieces in the stands, or you can design your own jewelry. There is also an art gallery and an internet connection, you can also eat and drink here.
Hours: 9:00 to 11:30
Location: South Lamai Main Street
Iyara Shopping Plaza
The smart and stylish shopping mall Iyara Shopping Plaza is part of Iyara Beach Hotel in the northern part of Chaweng and offers a good selection of clothing for men and women and children. Among their main products are Nautica, Lacoste, Adidas, Nike, Geox, Elle, Pierre Cardin, Warner Bros., Puma, Ashworth, Nike Kids and Looney Tunes. If you are shopping for antiques, Thai handicrafts and eye-catching jewelry, you should look no further than Iyara Shopping Plaza.
Opening hours: Daily from 12:00 to 22: 00
Location: Iyara Beach Hotel
Khun Chaweng Shopping Centre
This shopping center is home to several western stores and is located opposite the claustrophobic Beach Road. Here you will find a wide selection of Western brands as Lee, Alain Delon, Saville Row, Ferand and Guy Laroche on your Thailand trip.
Opening hours: 10:00 to 22:00
Location: Central Chaweng Beach Road
Bazaar shopping around Samui
Chaweng has almost unlimited shopping opportunities especially in the evening and it may take a long time to see everything there. Lamai shopping is relatively centralized and diagonally opposite McDonalds will find Lamai Night Bazaar. If you are in or around the Fishermans Village, you should visit Koh Samui Plaza. It’s a fun place to shop for your Thailand trip.
Fisher Mann’s Village, Bophut
The best way to truly appreciate the many souvenir shops in Bophut is to park outside the Fishermans Village and stroll up and down the main street with shops and restaurants. Take your time, there are plenty of places to stop for a coffee or a beer break. As you approach the bridge are several t-shirt and sandal shops, but on the main street, you will see modern stores.
Shopping Malls between Chaweng and Bophut
From Chaweng and along the island’s ring road you will find several shopping centers and supermarkets such as Tesco Lotus, Big C and Makro. Tesco is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, a bowling alley and a cinema. Big C is another large shopping center with a central supermarket and many shops.
Koh Samui – Restaurants
On your Thailand trip, you will experience the Samui itself is a culinary destination with several world-class restaurants that offer extremely talented and innovative chefs. Here can you see the top 6 of Samui restaurants and find the ones that suit your taste.
For many years, many restaurants agreed to the imaginative ability to capture passers guests: Beach dinner.
Just before the sun goes down in the Western Hills, begins the smartly dressed staff put mats out there, moon (colorful lounging pillows), fix tables with lamps, some electrical and flaming torches visible in the sand and give an Arab-like nomadic feel to the evening. Every restaurant makes it a little different of course, but it is something of an eye-opener on the Thailand trip to sit under the moon and stars.
This award-winning restaurant featuring traditional Thai cuisine with fine detail that tops the culinary style. The scope of the thoughtfulness and time that has gone into each dish can be reflected in the high price, but the chef puts a lot of effort in their quest for perfection, even with their own herbs. The restaurant is part of Zazen Resort is located a few steps from Chaweng Centre.
Location: Plats: Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa
Zico’s Brazilian Grill & Bar
Zico’s is a legend on Koh Samui with the freshest meat served on a sword-like plate, an all-you-can-eat place with a great salad bar and fine drinks. Here you can enjoy sumptuous surroundings. Top-class entertainment with famous DJs, shows and of course, authentic Samba dancer from Brazil. For a memorable and delicious evening in Chaweng, get to Zico’s Bar on your Thailand trip.
Eat Sense Samui
The restaurant in Chaweng is famous for its healthy and tasty meals (with only organic vegetables) and innovative mocktails. If you are in Baan Nam Thaling area is L’Ananas at the Sunset Beach Resort. Kamalaya Koh Samui is one of the best health clubs / resorts and has remarkable, healthy and tasty dishes.
Sunday Brunch: Beach Republic and Nikki Beach
Beach Republic in Lamai or Nikki Beach on Lipa Noi Beach is a great places to meet for a lovely Sunday brunch at your Thailand trip. Their buffets offer high quality and great selection of food from Thai to international and fresh BBQ seafood and here will you always find cool drinks. Both places are amazing beach locations, a large pool and a casual yet very elegant atmosphere with festive music.
Six Senses Samui
Six Senses Samui, Dining on the Rocks, has set new standards for innovative food concepts, great service and of course the famous view and atmosphere. The cuisine is markedly different, and we call it the new Asian cuisine. The philosophy is to combine the flavors of East and West, different textures and contrasts of hot and cold to really give your mouth a treatment that is crying out for more. The architecture is unique and consists of nine terraced houses covered with teak and bamboo. There are both outdoor and indoor seating. The view is an uninterrupted 270 degree view of the surrounding islands and Thailand Bay.
Koh Samui – Nearby
Ang Thong National Marine Park
Ang Thong National Marine Park is a clean archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand with high limestone mountains, dense jungles, white sand beaches, waterfalls and hidden bays and lakes to explore on your Thailand trip.
Ang Thong Park is a protected area of over 100 square kilometers of land and sea and home to a rich variety of exotic animals, marine animals.
Snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, diving, sailing and just relax on one of the most idyllic beaches are the best activities to enjoy at Ang Thong.
Most Ang Thong visitors arriving for relaxation or a day trip by boat from Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. For those who want to stay overnight, there are simple bungalows. Camping tents are available for rent at Park Headquarters on Koh Wua Talab, where a simple restaurant is also available. Although the park is getting busy with day trips during the peak season remains Ang Thong islands perfect postcard images of a tropical paradise.
Although Koh Phangan is quite famous for its full moon parties, Koh Phangan have much more to offer visitors than dancing the night away. There are few opportunities for day trips here from Koh Samui, except with the Sailing Cruises, so at least one overnight stay is recommended on your Thailand trip. Koh Phangan is at least 10 years of Samui in the development which gives the island a lot of charm and some would say it is more picturesque than Samui itself. The main tourist beach of Haad Rin is most lively on Full Moon nights, but is also worth visiting the rest of the month because of its chaotic jumble of bars, clubs, restaurants and craft shops. The Local – foreigners and Thai’ere – is a friendly bunch and helps to make the atmosphere more relaxed than busy Chaweng. Their attitude on Haad Rin is that every night is a party, which says a lot about the mood.
The main selling point for the rest of the island is pristine undeveloped beaches, with only a handful of bungalows. The most expensive of these is Tong Naipan, thanks to the presence of the island’s most luxurious resort, the Tropicana. At the other end of the scale, attracts both Haad Salad and Haad Kuat which is very cheap and ordinary bungalows, and attracts many backpackers who want to have a long stay at their Thailand trip. Haad Tien is a very basic shingle beach and is home to the Sanctuary Spa & Wellness Center offering a variety of yoga and treatment package, they also have an excellent vegetarian restaurant that you can enjoy on your Thailand trip.
Koh Tao is a sanctuary for sea turtles and their peaceful undisturbed beaches, this small island north of Koh Samui has become a magnet for those who really want to get away from it all and for divers who come here on their Thailand trip to see the colorful coral. Since the main attraction is diving – so the beaches remain quiet and not crowded, while the facilities, food and accommodation is much better. Since its “discovery” in the early 80’s, words about the island’s natural beauty, beaches and marine life with faster and more efficient ferries for better access, given the spread. It’s a great place to relax on your Thailand trip.
The first bungalows built from the beginning have now been supplemented with new resorts that have 24 hour air conditioning and better facilities. The island is still a beautiful and untouched paradise.
Koh Samui – Article
A tropical haven with something for everyone
By Michael Moore
Thailand’s third largest island has slowly developed from a tropical oasis mainly with backpackers in year 1960, but it is now a place that caters to visitors from all walks of life and with their wallets in all dimensions. The main reasons for its popularity is its beautiful beaches, easy access to water sports and the opportunity to simply kick off your shoes and relax.
By car, it takes a little over an hour to drive around the island road goes parallel along many beaches. Each piece has its own personality and characteristics that make it unique and appealing. The longest and most developed beach on the island is Chaweng which is filled with hotels, ranging from a few five-star to rustic bungalows. The road next to the beach is filled with shops, bars, dive shops and restaurants of all kinds. Lamai, the second largest beach, is also well developed and filled with places to eat and drink. These beaches are on the eastern part of the island and have beautiful white sand, clear waters and nearby reefs for those who want to snorkel and explore the water. The beaches in the north, south and west coasts are less developed and offer a more relaxed atmosphere. The water is not quite as clear and bathing is difficult from October to April. Some of the island’s most impressive resorts in these lesser known beaches. Santiburi Dusit Resort, for example, is located on Maenam Beach in the north of the island and Le Royal Meridien on Taling Ngam on the island’s west coast.
Many people come to Samui diving opportunities the island offers. This can be enjoyed from both the beaches and dive boats, including boats that sail to the nearby island of Koh Tao. Diving, there are anywhere from ½ day sessions for those who just want an introduction to the sport, up to four-day courses that provide participants an international PADI license valid throughout the world. For experienced licensed divers, there are many tours to nearby Angthong Marine Park and more than 20 sites around Koh Tao.
An ever increasing activity on Koh Samui, is to visit a spa. Most of the major hotels have a spa that offers a variety of massages, body wraps, skin treatments, herbal remedies, steam bath and various beauty salons. Independent spa has also sprung up, and many of them are more “east” inspired and offers activities such as yoga, meditation and cleansing programs.
There are also other activities on Koh Samui. In Lamai can be suspended in the air with the Jungle Bungy Catapult, an experience that you can be sure to get the adrenaline pumping. There is a Buffalo show depicting what life in Thailand used to be, which is in the southern part of the island daily at. And 10:00 pm 15:00. Butterfly Garden, Crocodile Farm, Snake Farm, Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo are all activities that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Although it is not natural in Samui so have a ride on elephant back has become a popular activity and it is also a great way to see some of Samui’s jungle areas. Kayaking in stable sea kayaks can be enjoyed along the coast of Samui and Angthong Marine Park. Cooking classes are another activity that many people think is worthwhile, especially since it provides the skills and knowledge that will persist long after the holiday is over.
There are also many natural attractions in Samui, which many find appealing. Namuang waterfall in the southwestern part of the island is an attractive and popular place to visit. Two of Samui’s most famous landmarks are here Hin-TA (grandma) and Hin Yai (Grandfather). These rocks have been eroded so that they resemble gigantic male and female sex organs. They must be considered before one can believe it.
Although it is a small island, there are several Buddhist temples that are interesting to visit. The most famous is Wat Phra Yai, home of the Big Buddha. This huge statue can be seen from several kilometers away, and marked often by passengers leaving and arriving by air. At night, when there is plenty of light, it is particularly impressive.