Located some 84 kilometres east of Surat Thani province, Ko Samui, the Coconut Island, is one of the most famous attractions of Thailand. With an area of 247 sq.km., Ko Samui is the third largest island of Thailand after Phuket and Ko Chang (off the eastern coast). It is the main island of a group of islets numbering 48 altogether.
The archipelago is a peaceful home for fishermen and a natural habitat for seagulls and other birds. Apart from its many lovely beaches and bays, Samui island is famous for its high quality coconuts growing densely everywhere. The best time to visit Samui is from February to April during which the sea is calm. Here are some fascinating attractions of Ko Samui.
This 7-km beach is the longest and the most popular and developed beach on the east coast of Ko Samui. The clean white sand and sparkling water make the place charming.
The underwater world is inviting. In addition to numerous accommodations, this pretty beach is packed with restaurants, souvenir shops, bars and discos catering for all types of visitors. There are a number of dive shops on the beach, some of which also organize night dives.
The second most popular beach on the island, Lamai Beach is situated to the south of Chaweng Beach. This 4-km beach offers various attractions like health and meditation centres, a cultural hall, a market and dive shops. Especially recommended for a visit is the twin rocks on shore -- Hin TA and Hin Yai, both grotesquely shaped. All kinds of accommodation, restaurants and places of entertainment are available.
This beach is quiet, but hard to reach without going through one of the resort hotels, the village itself is a Muslim fishing enclave and has a fresh seafood market.
Located to the South of the island next to Taling Ngam Beach, this bay is not far away from Ko Taen, a good fishing ground of Samui. Though not suitable for swimming, the beach is a good place to hire a boat for a Ko Than excursion. There are very few accommodations, restaurants perched on stilts offer a pleasant opportunity to sip a libation while enjoying a view the islands to the south.
This little beach, close to Taling Ngam, is not good for swimming as the ground is muddy and the water is very shallow. However, the place offers the most beautiful view of sunset on the island, especially in the evening of a summer day when the sky is perfectly clear.
Located to the South of Na Thon, this quiet beach is the most beautiful one on the western coast of Ko Samui. It is also a good spot to view the sunset. It is hard to get to the beach from the road as the Royal Meredian Resort dominates the shoreline. The 2 km palm lined beach is said to be the best on the west side of Ko Samui. One gets a feeling of spaciousness and serenity here.
South of Nathon Bay and one of Samuis great beaches, great location for catching a sunset and mingling with the locals, a few bungalows and no night life.
This is the islands major settlement on the west coast, where express and night ferries from the piers in Surat Thani arrive and is a shopping centre of the island. A wide selection of souvenirs and handicrafts, silks and jewellery are available. It also provides visitors with all necessary facilities, a post office, banks, a police station, telephone services, and a hospital.
The calm sea and coral reefs in this area make it suitable for snorkeling. An undeveloped and clean beach lined with palms and about 4 km long, It has a few resorts and very little nightlife. Bangpo has quite a number of houses to lease on a monthly basis.
Situated next to Bo Phut Beach, this 5-km white beach with its nice sand and clear water is one of the most popular spots for holiday-makers. Apart from numerous bungalows and restaurants, there are also dive shops and other water sports facilities on the beach that include windsurfing and diving. This is one of the more exclusive areas of Ko Samui with some of the more expensive resorts. Maenam has 2 piers, one for the express boats and one for speedboats to nearby islands. Several luxurious health spas are located in Maenam as well.
This beach next to Big Buddha Beach well retains its peacefulness due to the existence of a fishing village and a pier nearby. The waters around here are good for water sports such as water skiing, sailing, snorkeling and kayaking. Bhoput boasts 2 km of white sand and a view of the Big Buddha. But beware of the noise as jet skis can be rented there. Swimming can be difficult because of seaweed and algae.
The beach has derived its name from the 12-metre high golden Buddha, which is the spectacular landmark of the island. As almost in deference to the Buddha, the beach is quiet and peaceful with a number of bungalows. The 2 km long beach is narrow and lined with palms and is protected and the water shallow so it is normally good for swimming. A handful of resorts, homes and restaurants streych alongside the sea.
Located 4 km to the North of Chaweng Beach, this lovely, clean and quiet beach is suitable for those who need a real relaxation. Luxury resorts dominate this 1 km long beach on the eastern shore. The protected location assure calmer water in season.