The island of Samui is one of the most developed tourist centres in Thailand with a whole range of services on offer to enjoy great sun and sand holidays.
Koh Samui is the largest one of the three famous and inhabited islands of the province of Surat Thani off the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand.
It has a surface area of 247 km2 (153 sq miles) and a population of approximately 60,000 inhabitants. Its highest peak rises to 635 m above sea level.
The island has its own airport, although it is private and only Bangkok Airline operates. Another nearby airport is Surat Thani (the capital of the province) to which low-cost companies fly. In this second case, a final ferry transfer to the island will be required.
You can also go by train or bus + ferry, arriving from the mainland through Chumphon or, much better, via Surat Thani, especially during the monsoon season.
Koh Samui is 35 kilometres away from Don Sak Pier in Surat Thani and 84 kilometres away from the capital city.
There is a marine excursion to islands that are a bit distant but worthwhile, we mean the Ang Thong National Park. Splendid except in the months of October and November when it is not very advisable.
You can also visit Koh Tao in the day on a speedboat excursion.
This spectacular growth in tourism has brought with it multitude of leisure activities and a boom in all types of businesses to cater to visitors’ needs and ensure they have an enjoyable stay, although it has also transformed the island’s landscape.
Like Phuket on the Andaman Sea, Koh Samui is ideal for those who are looking for fun beaches and a lively ambience all day long as well as intense tropical nights.
The most densely populated area is on the eastern side of the island where Chaweng and Lamai have the best beaches, whilst the southern and western coasts are not as attractive.
Despite this, it is now also easy to find well-appointed, quieter resorts at different points along the coast.
The capital is the old city of Nathon, which features the island’s main port as well as being the commercial and administrative centre.
The airport is located in the north of the island and near to it are the popular ‘Fisherman’s village‘ and Bophut beach – a bustling leisure area.
A good option for exploring inland or for getting from one beach to another, apart from motorcycles, is to rent a car when you arrive at the airport.
The circular road around the island makes it almost impossible to get lost.
Another easy but more expensive alternative is to take a taxi.
The island has a temperate, humid climate all year round. Monsoon rains are more intense in October and November, and February is the driest month.