It’s time to plan that dream trip to Koh Samui. This gorgeous island in Thailand has been welcoming visitors from all over the globe for decades. With white sand beaches, palm trees, sunshine, laidback people, and plenty of entertainment, Koh Samui is a must-visit destination whether you stay for two nights or two months. Here’s what you need to know about a trip to Koh Samui.
Image via Sébastien Bertrand/ Flickr
1) Koh Samui (also sometimes known as Ko Samui) is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, around 700 km to the south of the capital city Bangkok, and 80km from the eastern coast.
2) Koh Samui has around 40,000 inhabitants, most of whom are Buddhist. Many tourists visit Koh Samui and there are thousands of expats who make the place their home. Koh Samui is the third-largest island in Thailand.
3) The landscape of Koh Samui is extremely beautiful. The island is ringed with white sand beaches and the interior of the island is full of rainforest.
4) Koh Samui is 25km long and 21km wide. It can easily be driven around in a couple of hours in a car or using a motorbike. You can also walk plenty of Koh Samui in just a few hours. The compact size of Koh Samui means it is easy to make this place your base for a vacation.
5) Until the late 20th century this was still an isolated and quiet island, with no roads until the 1970s and hardly any connection to the mainland. That all changed, and today it is easy to reach Koh Samui from mainland Thailand and you can also reach smaller islands from the shores of Samui.
6) Koh Samui is a little different from the rest of the country in terms of climate. From April to September mainland Thailand experienced monsoon weather but Koh Samui does not get a lot of rain. Starting in October and going through to December, it is wetter in Samui than it is elsewhere in Thailand. It is driest between January to March, similar to the rest of Thailand.
7) You can reach Koh Samui by plane. Koh Samui Airport welcomes flights from Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
8) There is also the option of a boat ride to Koh Samui and a combination of bus and boat from Bangkok which takes around 11 hours.
9) Motorbikes are available to hire, as in most other places in Thailand, although be careful as some of the drivers are not so careful.
10) Taxis represent a convenient way to get around the island, and between your hotel and local attractions. Make sure that the driver uses the meter so you get the correct fare for your trip.
11) Pick-up trucks and group taxis take locals and visitors around the island on set routes. If you want to travel, get on board and pay the set fee.
12) Car hire is also an option on Samui. International companies operate here and the service can be expensive but it is a good way to get around with freedom. With the island being so small, you can easily see all of it when you have a hire car.
13) The most popular and commercial beach areas in Koh Samui are Chaweng and Lamai. Chaweng is full of bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels and can get very busy during high season. Lamia is similarly busy but doesn’t offer quite as much in terms of entertainment as Chaweng.
Koh Samui sunset/ Image via Chi King/ Flickr
14) For a more peaceful beach, visit the northern beaches and the smaller villages including Mae Nam, Big Buddha, Bophut, and Choeng Mon.
15) If you want to dive, the best diving is found in the Ang Thong National Marine Park which is close to Koh Samui. You can get a day diving tour from many operators in Chaweng, and can also arrange a longer diving trip from Samui.
16) Seafood is the prime choice when deciding what to eat on Koh Samui. Most of the seafood is fresh and numerous restaurants serve seafood Thai dishes. Coconuts are also a staple of the Koh Samui diet.
17) Food in Samui may be quite spicy as it has influences from India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Curries, rice dishes, stir fries and soups are all popular.
18) Beer is cheap in Samui but wine is relatively expensive. You’ll also be able to find a range of cocktails and spirits at Samui bars, which vary in atmosphere from the loud and crazy to the candlelit and romantic.
For all the information about Koh Samui, check out PhuketOn. Find inspiration for Koh Samui hotels and Koh Samui resorts, pick your best Koh Samui beach and discover Koh Samui entertainment. You will also find info on Bangkok and Phuket at PhuketOn.