- Koh Samui
Koh Samui is Thailand's second biggest Island. Its location in the warm, crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand means that visitors to this tropical paradise can expect palm-fringed white beaches, pleasant bathing in the water and spectacular sunrises.
It's no surprise that this picturesque isle boasts a variety of beachfront hotels and resorts, open-air restaurants and bars, and a lively beach scene during the day and at night.
The island offers something to suit all budgets and tastes.
Koh Samui offers year-round sunshine and warm climate. June, July and August are probably the best times to visit, but January and February are also great choices if you want a winter getaway.
Average humidity levels stand between 70% and 85%, and temperatures average around 28⁰C. March to May are the hottest months of the year, with temperatures regularly reaching over 30⁰C. Travellers may experience heavier rainfall from September to November during the island's monsoon season.
While there is no official city centre, shopping, restaurants and attractions tend to be around beach and tourist hubs.
You may choose to journey into the island's tropical undergrowth on a leisurely elephant ride at Namuang Safari Park.
Or take advantage of Samui’s numerous natural waterfalls. The most picturesque waterfalls, and worth prioritising a visit to, are the two Na Muang waterfalls. The Secret Buddha Garden makes for an interesting trip, too!
The beaches of Chaweng and Lamai are the most popular and beautiful, with Chaweng offering a more vibrant atmosphere than the quieter, more secluded Lamai area. Natural art awaits visitors at Lamai beach and Hin Ta and Hin Yai are not-to-be-missed geographic rock formations.
Savour the gastronomic delights of the region at five-star hotel restaurants or road-side food stalls.
Bophut’s Fisherman’s village offers a great opportunity to combine Samui’s culture with food. A historical area with rustic buildings and modern restaurants, it’s just perfect.
There are various clubs and restaurants scattered over the Island of Koh Samui. Ark Bar is popular for its beach-front nightlife, while the brightly-coloured On Street Bar in Chaweng offers a true urban bar experience (the bar itself is located on a street corner and made of corrugated iron and painted wood). And if you have a taste for the obscure? The Ladyboy Cabarets at Chaweng Beach could be an out-of-the-ordinary watch.
For holidaymakers seeking to combine the island's cultural delights with its oceanfront wonders, Koh Samui offers a number of ancient temples and structures. Travel to the gilded 12-metre-high Buddha statue of Wat Phra Yai or the striking Thai-Chinese architecture of Wat Plai Laem temple.
And if you’re looking for something different, why not take a look at Samui’s most famous mummified Monk, Luang Pordaeng?
Take a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park, a 42-island archipelago that provides a spectacular setting for snorkelling, sunbathing or kayaking.
And if you like to Scuba Dive, take a boat to Koh Tao, also known as Turtle Island, as it’s the most popular scuba-diving location.
On the more relaxing end of the spectrum, enjoy relaxing massages and retreats at high-end spas or low-key parlours.
Songthaews have to be the most notable form of transport on Koh Samui, and are the Island’s version of a bus. The benches in the back seat 8-10 people.
If a Songthaew doesn’t suit you though, you can still find taxis and rent cars or scooters on Koh Samui.