Koh Samui – Thailand
The island of palm trees in the Gulf of Thailand
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand, its idyllic beaches, coconut palms and its blue sea evoke the idea of tropical paradise in the collective mind.
Koh Samui is one of the most popular islands of Thailand and is the third largest, is part of an archipelago consisting of 80 other islands, of which only a few are inhabited: Pha-Ngan, Ta Loy, Koh Tao, Koh taen, Koh Ma Koh and Koh Ta Pao. The first settlers arrived about 150 years ago from Hainan in China, and we planted the first coconut plantation. The culture of the place is very different from that of the other islands in Thailand, where locals like to call Chao Samui (Samui people) rather than Thai. The inhabitants of Samui are very friendly and with a sense of humour.
For nearly 20 years Koh Samui has become a tourist destination very appreciated by those who travel to Asia. Despite an increase in tourism, Koh Samui is still a lovely place to spend your vacation. This island has a cuisine very special that differentiates it from the rest of Thailand. Its gastronomy based on fish and seafood is characterized by the strong presence of the coconut.
Of all the trips to Thailand, the Koh Samui certainly surprising for its mountains inland, the beautiful sandy beaches of the coast, but even more for his crops: coconut palms, plants durian, rambutan and pineapple covering almost the entire territory. The most popular beaches in Koh Samui are Chaweng and Lamai which are located on the east coast. In these beaches with emerald water it is possible to admire a colorful flora and fauna reef. But who is looking for places less visited and quieter should move away from these beaches and prefer other places on the west coast or the north of the island.
The best time to visit Koh Samui is in the dry season, which runs from November until late June, but also the period between July and October, characterized by short rains, can be a great time for your holiday. In the months of October to January, the island can be beaten by winds strong enough: no problem for fans of sailing and windsurfing ! But those who simply want to sunbathe, will have to choose one of the many sheltered bays of the coast.
In addition to beautiful beaches, Koh Samui offers the opportunity to visit many Buddhist temples and also an intricate rainforest within the island, rich in vegetation and waterfalls, among which the Hin Lat and the most beautiful of all, the Na Muang waterfall , under which you can swim! From Koh Samui you can also reach the Ang Thong Marine National Park, a spectacular archipelago of about 40 islands of granite stone, white sand beaches and tropical vegetation.
What to do in Koh Samui
As for activities, as well as offering the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, where you can practice all sorts of water sports, Koh Samui offers a huge selection of leisure and entertainment. The island has in fact become a fashionable tourist destination, because it is able to offer such features traditional Thai (nature, tranquillity, landscapes), the modern tourist services. Besides that Koh Samui it offers obviously many shops and typical markets in which to buy any type of object imaginable, from artefacts of Thai culture to the latest hi-teach.
To move, in Koh Samui there are several means of transport: the cheapest one is the taxi. Like small buses these means to turn the whole island, from morning to evening, and since there is no official stops, to mount on board will be enough to be hailed from the roadside. Those who love the freedom of movement, can rent scooters or off road vehicles. For the scooters we recommend extreme caution (in Thailand drive on the left) and above all, always wear a helmet.
The beaches of Koh Samui
Among the most beautiful beaches of Thailand, Koh Samui differ in the dense surrounding vegetation, composed mainly of coconut palms. Below we indicate the three most characteristics.
The beaches of Chaweng and Chaweng Noi are the most populars in the island, white sandy beaches lapped by clear blue sea. During the day, the beach will be easy to meet vendors, masseuses, rental of jet skis, banana boats , etc ..
Lamai is located to the south of Chaweng and is the second most famous tourist destination and most developed of Koh Samui. Maybe less for beauty than the beach of Chaweng, Lamai that offers near it one of the most striking bays of the whole Thailand: Silver Sand Beach (Ao Thong Ta Khian in Thai). A small bay with granite cliffs and deep green water.
To the north of the island is the village of Bophut. This is home to a quite village, really the perfect place for a romantic dinner on the beach, immersed in a warm oriental atmosphere. In particular, we recommend you visit the nearby marina around which bloom several restaurants.
In the western part of the island is the capital Nathon Town that is the only real city of the island, special place because of its lively little fishing port. In the town you can admire the typical wooden houses and numerous markets overflowing with fruit and fish of all kinds. In this town are concentrated the main services of the island: the Post, banks with exchange offices and ATM service, super-market with products Eastern and Western, the Office of the Tourist Police, the Office of Immigration, hospitals, etc.
The most interesting attraction of the island is the temple Wat Phra Yai hosting the Big Buddha. Visible from several kilometres away and from above, this golden sculpture, 12 meters high is a very popular attraction. In the temple of Kunaram the guests can observe the mummified body of Loung Pordaeng monk, still preserved in the original posture of meditation. We do not recommend this tour for children and sensitive people.