About Koh Samui
The Samui of the 1970s was known to only a few people and the local inhabitants. Adventurous backpackers eager to explore this unknown difficult to reach island finally discovered paradise. Basic thatched bungalows with generator power and running water were considered luxuries in the early seventies. The island has changed drastically over the last 20 years, now backpackers mingle with guests from luxury resorts. In Koh Samui 5* resorts rival world-class destinations occupying prime beachfront and cliff top locations.
Tourists flock to this accessible Island in the Gulf of Thailand. The Backpacker hostels and laid-back beach bars attract high volumes of tourists throughout the year. Resorts welcome families with young children offering activities and kids clubs. Intimate secluded beaches attract couples from around the world to exchange their vows on this tropical Island. Stag and hen parties frequent the busier beaches on the east coast.
Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island. The 4169 road circles the island for 52 kilometres. Explore at your leisure hire a car or scooter. Read our recent blog about our Island tour of Koh Samui. Venture on unmarked tracks discovering hidden beaches, coffee shops and bars. Visit historic temples and natural waterfalls. Zipwire across the mountains with breathtaking views of the jungle below. Hike through thick lush mountains and coconut plantations. Climb rocks and boulders discovering bars and jungle accommodation hidden among the forest. Chat with locals sitting on their porches weaving baskets or making crafts for the local shops and markets. Watch a cabaret show or dance the night away in the nightclubs. Koh Samui has something to offer every visitor to this tropical island paradise.
Secluded stretches of sandy beaches with nothing more than a hammock strung between two palms. Listen to the ocean lapping the shore sipping freshly made cocktails. Relax on the ample bean bags and deck chairs. Family friendly beaches line the shores of Samui. Water sports are in abundance on the busier beaches. There are shallow beaches and playgrounds for children to play safely whilst the adults laze on the sun beds. White sand beaches stretch for kilometres. Koh Samui beaches do not disappoint the tourists.
The most populated areas of the island are the east and northern shores crammed with beachfront restaurants, resorts and bars. The south of the island is barely touched by tourism and has numerous secluded beaches.
To avoid spoiling the island landscape Samui put in place strict planning rules. No building of any construction can be taller than the closest coconut palm. Immerse yourself in unspoilt parts of Samui in the south of the island. Traditional long-tail boat moor along the shore and local children play freely on the beach. The south has a relaxed unrushed vibe.
Read more about the tropical beaches of Koh Samui
Grown Up Island
Beach road boutiques mingle alongside market stalls on the busy streets of Lamai and Chaweng. Stocking everything from local designer brands to cheap imitations the shops are plentiful on the island. Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village is where the East meets the Med. Dotted along the shores french style vintage boutiques mingle with elegant tea houses and locals with their handmade food carts.
Central Festival is the largest shopping mall with top name brand outlets over three floors. Haggling at markets is acceptable but do it with a smile or you will be refused. Among the usual tourist gifts and crafts bargains are found at the many markets and street stalls.
Hosting millions of visitors annually the island was once a well-kept secret. It is now a popular place for vacations. Koh Samui is a world competitor in the tourism market and growing each year.
The location of Samui the weather and laid-back attitude to life appeal to travellers from around the world. Rapidly growing on the island are healthy living programmes, green markets and detox spas. Yoga is popular with many resorts exclusive to yoga programmes and health and wellness.
Koh Samui is a safe island to visit throughout the year. Follow the rules as you would in your own country. Secure your valuables most hotels provide a safe in your room or use the hotel safe. Be aware of your surroundings and know your limitations especially with alcohol and driving. Check your insurance details cover for hiring vehicle, water sports or other activities. Experience the vacation of a lifetime without unexpected shocks or upset.
Samui has a high rate of road accidents resulting in expensive hospital bills. It is not advisable to drink and drive. Despite numerous tourists and locals ignoring the rules, it is the law to wear a helmet at all times. Drugs are illegal in Thailand involvement will inevitably lead to a jail sentence. The Thai authorities are arresting and fining tourists who disregard the rules of the road or partake in illegal substances. Fines are becoming increasingly more expensive and the jail terms lengthy.
Accommodation Koh Samui
Koh Samui has an extensive choice of accommodation from beach huts to five-star resorts. Prices are seasonal throughout the island. In the low season, there are amazing bargains, high season prices can double. The hotels in Chaweng are busy and book quickly so for the best offers book early.