Travel, Teach, Live in Thailand
Ko Samui (alternatively spelled Koh Samui), also known simply as Samui, is an island in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the third largest island in Thailand. Samui first became a popular tourist destination in the early 1970s when word was spread by foreign backpackers. There has been a lot of development over the years, and Samui is now one of Thailandâ€™s most popular tourist destinations.
Things to see in Ko Samui
Ko Samui isnâ€™t exactly well known for its sight seeing, but there is still plenty to see on the island. The main attraction that draws tourists is the beautiful beaches. Some of the main beaches on Samui are Bophut, Big Buddha Beach, Chaweng, Lamai and Mae Nam. There are other attractions near these beaches as well.
As the name would suggest, Big Buddha Beach has the islandâ€™s Big Buddha statue and temple. Situated on Lamai beach, there are the â€˜grandmother and grandfather rocksâ€™. These rock formations have become a cheeky, but popular, tourist spot due to looking like male and female genitals.
There are several other sites around Ko Samui, such as the islandâ€™s stunning waterfalls. There are various waterfalls on the island, but most of them are best accessible with a small tour group. For the family there is an aquarium and tiger zoo on the island, as well as a butterfly garden and insect museum.
Activities in Ko Samui
The most popular activity to do in Ko Samui is to relax. The island is full of spas and resorts, of all price ranges and to cater for all people. Most hotels will have a spa and massage facility, but it is often worthwhile to travel to a professional resort for a full day of pampering. There are also opportunities to get more casual beach front massages.Since the beaches of Ko Samui are one of the most popular sites, water sports are also quite a popular activity. There is everything available from snorkelling, jet skiing and windsurfing on the local beaches. Most diving is done in the Angthong Marine National Park or on the nearby island of Ko Tao since visibility around Samui can be poor.
Ko Samui Island Hopping
There are several islands around Ko Samui that are becoming equally as popular as Samui itself. Ko Pha Ngan is an island that is roughly between Ko Samui and Ko Tao and is where the famous full moon party is held. As the name suggests, the party is held every full moon and roughly 10,000 to 20,000 people participate every month. The party is very similar to a Western dance party with DJs and crowds of people dancing with glow sticks.
Ko Tao is another popular island near Thailand due to its excellent diving conditions. Ko Tao is very similar to Samui because the main attraction here is to relax, but there are less tourists and it is much less busy. Day trips, or a several day holiday can be arranged.
How to get to Ko Samui
Most holiday makers travelling to Ko Samui come from the Thai capital, Bangkok. There are several ways to get to the island from Bangkok. Travelling by air is by far the easiest and Ko Samui has an airport that has daily flights from Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. There are also a few international flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Other ways to get to Ko Samui are by boat. Those who come to Samui by boat have generally travelled by either train or bus to Surat Thani and leave by boat, ferry or speedboat from the dock there.