Located in Surat Thani province, in southern Thailand, in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui at 247 square miles is Thailand’s third largest island after Phuket and Koh Chang. In 1970s when the first backpackers came, they dubbed it the largest coconut plantation in the world. Today this exotic tropical paradise is the top holiday destination for many sun worshippers who come for the picture postcard beaches, and the easy-going, hedonistic way of life.
Your dream vacation starts at the one of the coolest airports in the world with its open-sided palm-thatched waiting halls and gardens bursting with tropical flowers, which is only short drive from party central, Chaweng Beach, the island’s most popular beach.
The excellent tourist facilities and services, and a throbbing nightlife attract an international party crowd, who can choose to spend time in accommodations that range from thatched beachside shacks and gleaming five-star hotels to hideaway spas.
It also easily accessible due its international airport welcoming flights from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and the rest of Thailand. Its white sandy beaches, waterfalls, lush jungles, and stunning viewpoints and luxury accommodation make it just the place to get hitched in style.
Play a round of golf at the Santiburi Samui Country Club
Learn a few Thai dishes at Ying’s Thai Cooking Class
Get certified with The Life Aquatic
Walk on the sea floor with Sea Walking
Relax body, mind and soul at The Yogarden
Hire a yacht for an exclusive cruise through Ang Thong National Marine Park
Wat Phra Yai
Secret Buddha Garden
Hin Ta and Hin Yai
Ang Thong National Marine Park
From fast food to seafood, and from southern fare to fine dining, Koh Samui offers endless dining alternatives.
The Spirit House
Dining On The Rocks
The most happening nightlife centres are at Chaweng and Lamai beaches, offering a wide array of bars, beach clubs, nightclubs, and cabaret shows.
Handicrafts, food products, jewelry and more can be found around Hin Ta Hin Yai, Chaweng Beach, Nathon Beach, and Wat Phra Yai. The night markets are also popular for shopping and particularly dining:
- Fridays: Fisherman’s Village Walking Street
- Daily: Elephant Walk, Chaweng Night Market, Lamai Night Plaza
- Friday and Sunday: Chaweng Walking Street (the food court is open daily)
Central Festival Samui
Nature Art Gallery
- It takes around an hour to get from the airport, located at the north, to the southern part of the island – take this into consideration when booking your hotel.
- Motorbikes are usually a preferred means of transportation for tourists, but drive carefully as towards the south there are some steep curvy roads and accidents are frequent; always wear a helmet and drive defensively.
- Taxis tend to be expensive in Samui. Negotiate all taxi and tuk-tuk fares before departing for your destination. You may also want to download NaviGo, an app to book taxis where prices are strictly on the meter.
- Respect Thai values: locals will appreciate not seeing topless women sunbathing and shirtless men walking around other than at the beach.
- For a cheaper alternative than flying to Samui, fly to Surat Thani and take a speedboat or ferry from there. Tickets can be booked in advance from here.
Bangkok Airways operates daily one-hour flights from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi airport) to Samui International Airport. It’s also possible to travel by car, train, plane to Chumpon or Surat Thani, and from there take a ferry to the island. There are 12-hour AC buses from Bangkok to Koh Samui (also via Don Sak), departing daily from Bangkok Bus Terminal (Southern Line) every day.