2012-09-04 by System Administrator
Koh Samui is an island bustling with life, set in the tropical backdrop of the Gulf of Thailand. This beautiful destination is home to palm fringed white sands, calm turquoise waters, and an inland full of lush rainforest and coconut plantations.
Around 12-15 hours from Bangkok by land and sea, or a short 45 min by plane from the capital city, Koh Samui has seen a huge increase in the number of visitors over the last couple of decades and as a result tourism has help the island and its establishments boom.
With the increase in development the island has gained a better infrastructure, more establishments and lots more choice. But although the development on Samui has certainly modernized much of the island, its originally beauty still remains and there are still a many quiet and relaxing locations, as well as traditional places of interest to visit.
Samui is home to no less than 12 beaches, as well as a few secluded bays. Each of which has come to develop into its own small town, with Chaweng on the east coast being the most populated and the area to go for those seeking a vibrant nightlife.
The next most popular beach is Lamai. Once a haven for backpackers, this beach like many others now offers a range of accommodation to suit most peoples needs.
For travellers wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of Chaweng, the beaches on the north and south coast of the island tend to provide a quieter stay.
Along with the beaches, viewpoints, and other nature attractions such as the Butterfly Garden and Heavens Garden, a garden of statues built by Thai artist Nim Thongsuk located in the heart of Samui’s rainforest.
For those who didn’t get the chance in Bangkok, Samui has its fair share of temples to visit. Wat Kiri Wongkaram and Wat Khunaram, are both home to a mummified body a revered Thai monk; Wat Sumret, also known as ‘The Secret Hall of Buddha’s’, is an ancient temple with a valuable collection of Buddha images; Leam Sor Pogoda, a glistening chedi, is known as one of Samui’s most important shrines, and perhaps of the island’s most hidden secret is Buddha’s footprint. This engraving of four Buddha footprints lies 2 km west past the Butterfly Garden, from here there’s also a breathtaking view of the island.
There are also a few interesting events including Muay Thai fight nights and the Buffalo Fighting festival - a tamed down version of traditional bull fighting, usually held on Songkran (Thai New Year) and New Year’s Day. Not so traditional but still of great interest to sailing enthusiasts, the Samui Regatta is hold held annually between May- June.
Samui’s tropical scenery makes it a great place for watersports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing and kayaking. There are also many boat tours to neighboring islands of Koh Pha-ngan, home to the full moon party, Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan and the Angthong National Marine Park, all of which are famed for being pristine diving locations.
With a climate that differs slightly from the rest of the country – it’s usually dry from April to September, with the rain starting in October and ending in December - Samui is great places to visit when other areas of the country may be a little wet.
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