|Koh Samui Travel Information and Travel Guide|
Samui Island is a rare gem, preserving the idyllic simplicity
of a tropical hideaway. It is characterized by beaches of powdery white
sand, crystal-clear waters. Here you can delight in a latter-day Robinson
Crusoe experience-in comfort.
Koh Samui (the full name, with ko meaning "island" in Thai) is located some 80 kilometres off the coast of Surat Thani, about 560 kilometres from Bangkok. It can be reached by air from Bangkok, or by ferry boat from Surat Thani town.
The major access to the island is still by sea, with a large car ferry running continuously from Don Sak to the west coast and passenger craft running between Surat Thani and Na Thon. Buses carry passengers over the ferry, allowing uninterrupted travel between Samui and Bangkok, or Samui and Hat Yai.
The major accommodation
beaches, Lamai and Chaweng, are both on the east coast
and are lined with bungalows and hotels, though most are hidden among
the foliage, allowing the natural beauty to remain intact.
SCENES & SPORTS
In such an idyllic setting the temptation is simply to laze peacefully on the beach and soak up a tropical sun tan. But if you want more there are amenities for water sports, such as windsurfing and snorkeling. The coastal waters are exciting to explore and are especially rich in shoals of brightly coloured fish and exotic coral formations. Principal among Samui's natural sights are two picturesque waterfalls, Hin Lat and Na Muang, while on neighboring Ko Fan, connected to Samui by a causeway, in Wat Hin Ngu temple and meditation centre.
Island hopping is another attraction and boats can be easily hired for trips to Ko Pha Ngan (the nearest and largest island next to Samui), and to the smaller islands of Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan , where beautiful bays with colourful coral formations offer excellent conditions for snorkeling.
A more adventurous full
day excursion can be made to Ang Thong Marine Park, a group of
40 islands northwest of Samui. Here you will see spectacular
limestone formations, caves, blue lagoons and amazingly beautiful beaches.
More specifically for the serious sightseeker, Chaiya, about a 45-minute drive north of the town, is a major historical site. Its importance stems from the fact that scholars contend that it was a possible capital of the ancient Srivijaya kingdom.
Other rewarding destinations are Khao Sok National Park, about 100 kilometres west of Surat Thani, and Chumphon which lies some 195 kilometres north of Surat Thani on a picturesque stretch of coastline with fine beaches and offshore islands.
It takes about an hour
to drive completely around the island, if you don't stop along the many
beaches or take to some of the side tracks. A couple of rough trails
cross the mountainous interior, but this is strictly 4WD or motorcycle
territory. The only real town on the island is Na Thon, the administrative
and communications centre.
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