The Five Islands Koh Samui
The Five Islands Koh Samui are small islands in the south-west. Known locally in Thai as ‘Koh Si Koh Ha’, meaning ‘Four Islands-Five Islands’. One island is hidden behind another. Five Islands are home to swifts and the sought after nests that are now protected. The nests are the main ingredient in birds nest soup. The birds are protected by the locals. The nests sell for thousands of US dollars on the black market. Taling Ngam Beach overlooking The Five Islands is one of the best places to enjoy a sunset on Samui island.
Sea Gypsies are the only human inhabitants of the Five Islands Koh Samui. Living in small wooden homes perched on rocky outcrops much like nests themselves. The gypsies live a simple life on the Five Islands living off the land. The sea gypsies are employed to guard the nests against poachers attempting to steal the precious commodities.
The island of Koh Taen is a few hundred meters off the coast of Thong Krut fishing village Koh Samui. The virtually, unspoiled island of Koh Taen is popular for snorkeling and swimming. Giant clams, coral, and various tropical fish live in and around the protected reefs of Koh Taen. When snorkeling be mindful of stepping on coral to prevent damage to the reef and yourself. Both private boat charter and long tail boats leave from the pier in Thong Krut. The island of Koh Taen is known throughout the region as the island without dogs. Local legend says that dogs taken to live on the island lost their minds. This does not appear to be the case for the stray dogs who live there. It is the high-pitched calls of the bats in the caves driving the dogs mad.
South of Koh Taen with its white sandy beaches is Koh Matsum. A popular island for a day trip and picnics with the locals. Koh Matsum is home to a luxury holiday resort. In conjunction with a trip to the nearby Five Islands, both islands are worth an excursion or day tour. Take a luxury boat or a traditional longtail boat and visit the Five Islands. Tours are available from the restaurants and the pier on the shores of Thong Krut Koh Samui Thailand