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Koh Samui - An Appealing Holiday Destination

Hotels and resorts on Koh Samui mostly have their own beachfront, giving them the edge over other popular islands. With its boutique feel and upmarket attitude you really get a sense of being spoilt on this tropical island, but the accommodation is affordable for all budgets. Choose from popular Chaweng or Lamai which have the nightlife, or head for the quieter and cheaper northern beaches of Big Buddha, Bophut or sleepy Mae Nam. For exclusivity try Choeng Mon or North Chaweng. The East coast has the lion’s share of restaurants, bars and tourist services.

Koh Samui Travel Guide

Thailand’s self-styled Boutique Island, Koh Samui is a favourite with its lovely beaches and ‘coconut’ feel. Situated in the lower Gulf of Thailand it boast excellent villa resorts, a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere and offers all sorts of fun activities. Samui is also a favourite with expats who live part or full time on the island.

Activities in Koh Samui

Koh Samui is a destination with more than just great beaches for your pleasure. There are water sports, animal shows, boat trips and jungle tours to keep you active and challenge your free time.
Water sports would include Scuba Diving and snorkeling, Fishing, Sailing, Swimming,in the warm seas, Jet skis and thrill rides in super fast ‘Thundercats’.
Dry land adventures include Quad bikes through the jungle, a professional shooting range where you can actually fire off rounds from an AK 47, a bungy catapult set up on a huge crane, go-cart tracks in Chaweng and a hilarious way to spend a couple of hours rolling downhill in a giant rubber ball called Samui Water Ball.
The wildlife shows in Koh Samui are making it a popular choice for families, where you can see monkeys collecting coconuts, ride an elephant to a waterfall, wrap a snake around your shoulders, stare down the jaws of a crocodile, spot different types of butterfly in a tropical garden or watch buffalo ploughing the fields. One particular enjoyable activity is a trip to meet the sea lions at the search and rescue centre, where they train the animals for use in the seas around Samui.

Day Trips in Koh Samui

Although the beach life is the best part of Koh Samui, there’s lot more than just sun, sea, sand and several fantastic islands nearby. Samui also has an excellent selection of daytrips to keep you occupied.
Though essentially a leisure island, some of Koh Samui is packed with hotels and resorts while other areas are quieter and reserved for boutique resorts.
The Big Buddha located on the north of the island and several other temples are worth seeking out, with the famous, erotically shaped, Hin Ta and Hin Ya rocks at the southern end of Lamai.
There are three popular islands near to Koh Samui which are worth visiting. Koh Pha Ngan is the backpacker island, down to earth, under-developed, bohemian and famous for its monthly full moon parties. Scuba Diving enthusiasts head to Koh Tao, further north, with its excellent diving environment, fantastic reefs and clear, warm water. A real paradise daytrip would be to the gorgeous Ang Thong National Park, which is the least spoilt of all and accessible from Koh Samui.

Entertainment in Koh Samui

Samui is a leisure island with plenty of options for nightlife. There is always some entertainment every night in the main tourist areas, ranging from refined cocktail lounges and quiet beachside dining, to raucous bars and discos with live music. The majority of the bars are found at Chaweng and to a lesser extent in Lamai, while the evening entertainment on other beaches is largely limited to a few quiet local bars.
You’ll find plenty of choice in all the bars and clubs you encounter, most places feature a cocktail and spirits list. The adventurous may try some of the local Thai Whiskey served in an iced bucket with Red Bull. Beer is generally inexpensive in Thailand and the Thais like to sit around and share a bottle of whiskey. If you’re looking for a fun night out, the scope of Chaweng’s entertainment options will satisfy the hardiest of party animals.

Shopping in Koh Samui

Shopping opportunities on the island of Koh Samui include a wide range of stalls and shops around the island’s main beach areas. In Chaweng, the entire length of the main beach road is lined with local stalls selling souvenirs to electronics, and even designer retailers who stock internationally renowned brands of clothing and goods. On Samui you will find everything from kitchenware to sculptures and Buddhist icons carved from various types of wood, including durable coconut wood, mango wood and water hyacinth to name but a few. Although prices are somewhat inflated on the island, compared with Bangkok, shopping in Thailand offers great value for money and is popular with visitors.
Fabrics are also popular and often created using cotton, silk or a mixture of the two. Silk is one of Thailand’s most famous exports and is traditionally woven by hand. The beautiful designs and styles available are matched only by the creative use of colour found in Thai silk products, which can include anything from place settings to scarves and shawls.
There are also huge selections of jeans, tops, footwear and even suits to be found with all the major labels being represented in stalls and boutiques. Other popular purchases include replica football shirts, caps, and souvenir t-shirts. Footwear and clothing is particularly cheap, including high quality brands manufactured in Thailand.

Sightseeing in Koh Samui

Sightseeing on Samui allows visitors to explore the nature, culture and rural way of life, and there are more options for visiting other islands on day trips by boat. Koh Samui land tours are usually the best way to see the main island and a popular trip is one-day island tour. These Samui tours carry passengers in converted LandRover jeeps, and the sights include the Big Buddha temple, Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, Namuang waterfalls and Nathon town.
An elephant ride is probably one of the most entertaining ways to see the natural beauty of the island, including a demonstration of elephants and monkeys at work, as well as a riding on the back of an ox-cart through a traditional village of coconut palms.
If you're searching spectacular scenery above and below the water, a trip to Koh Nang Yuan offers pristine beaches with swimming and snorkelling on the areas coral reefs. Just a few minutes boat ride from Koh Tao, another of the most scenic places for diving and snorkelling in the Gulf of Thailand, Some Samui tours combine the two locations for the maximum marine experience. One of the most rewarding tours from Koh Samui, is the Ang Thong National Marine Park, and most tours include snorkelling, island hiking, kayak tours and lunch on a deserted beach in the Thai Gulf.

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