Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand and is located in Surat Thani Province in South Thailand. Up until the 1970’s the island was pretty much self sufficient and had little contact with the mainland and indeed had no official roads but then the influx of visitors slowly started to arrive turning the island into more what we know today. As you can imagine this has lead to wholesale changes to the physical appearance of the island as condominiums and hotels started to appear.
Koh Samui is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand attracting around 1.5 million tourists each year. The island is probably best known for its beaches of which Chaweng Beach is widely regarded as being the best. One of the most picturesque parts of the island and often shown on travel programmes is Koh Nag Yuan which is basically 3 treetop islands – often described as people’s stereotype of Thailand.
Other attractions that are on offer in Koh Samui include things such as the Big Buddha Temple or as it is known in Thai Wat Phra Yai. The Buddha stands over 12 metres high and is situated on the island’s north coast, but don’t worry – the Buddha can be seen from most of the island! The islands central mountains are home to the Na Muang Waterfall. The falls are set on 2 tiers with the water crashing down over the rocks into a pool at the bottom. This is another popular location for tourists and offers a great alternative to a day at the beach! The rocks above Lamai Beach are home to the famous Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks (Hin Yai/Hin Ta). The reason for their popularity is because of their resemblance to male and female genitalia and providing much amusement and are frequently photographed!
Another of the favourite spots on Koh Samui is the Ang Thong National Marine Park. There are a number of ways that you can travel around the 42 small islands ranging from long tailed boats, speedboats or by your own power in a kayak. Regardless of how you choose to view the National Park you certainly won’t be disappointed and the memories will stay with you for a lifetime.
Of course these are great activities for the daytime but this is Thailand so you need something to do in the evenings. Although Koh Samui doesn’t have the number of attractions as perhaps maybe Pattaya and Bangkok the island is not short of things to offer and there really is something for everyone from bars and restaurants to nightclubs – Koh Samui has the lot!