The third largest island after Phuket and Koh Chang, Koh Samui is nestled in the Gulf of Thailand as the biggest and more popular destination in an archipelago that includes 80 smaller islands of which 40 resting in a picture-perfect natural park.
Discovered as a touristy destination in the 70ies, Koh Samui has become today the darling of Eastern Thailand. Indeed, there's much this beautiful island has to offer: trendy restaurants, bars and vibrant nightlife, but also secluded beaches fringed with palms blowing in the wind, fantastic spa and wellness structures, stunning private villas immersed in lush forest overlooking the sea.
Gem-like beaches fringe Samui coast: starting from the most crowded Chaweng and Lamai on the eastern side of the island and up-market Bophut up north, travelers looking for unspoiled beaches can easily get to the quiet pristine Maenam and Natien, respectively on the north and south west coast; or can even go looking for their personal paradise in the countless little coves and bays set on the coast that are often accessible only by the sea.
Known as Thailand wellness destination, Samui has some of the country's best spas and holistic wellness centers that can be truly referred to as world class. From aromatic steam bath, body scrubs and massages through to holistic healing practices, these health centers and retreats offer the utmost in rejuvenating the body - all in total luxury and comfort. Indeed, many from all over the world come back here again and again not only for beauty treatments but also to relax the mind, revitalize inner energy and replenish the spirit. Yoga is also practiced and taught widely in Koh Samui.
If laze on the beach and getting pampered in spas and wellness centres tires you after a while, there is still much to do in and around Samui. Take the chance to try some water sports available on the island such as kite boarding, sailing, diving and kayaking. Or spend an adventurous day on a 4WD jeep in the jungle, visiting elephant camps, butterfly gardens, snake farms before cooling down in fresh waterfalls.
The beautiful Ang Thong Marine National Park lies 31 km north-west of Koh Samui and includes 40 small islands and 84 sq km of marine environment. Being easily the most popular activity in Samui, we highly recommend sailing there on a catamaran or on a private sailing/speedboat in order to avoid the crowds and get to experience the beauty of this park. Needless to say, snorkeling here is magnificent while the view from the highest hill in Wua Ta Lap, at 240m, is breath-taking.
For the adventurous or the laidback, sailing is a great way to enjoy the high seas and to visit neighbouring Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Feel the wind blowing the sails and get to see some of the most secluded bays around - those that are reachable only by the sea and are therefore still unspoilt. You can even spot dolphins if you are lucky enough.
And for the night-time the beaches come alive again with restaurants and chill out bars. Small, local restaurants serving hearty, home-made food as well as 5 stars venues specializing in gourmet cuisine are all available on the island. Tropical cocktails and chill-out music are served on the beach over sunset and on in the night, trendy beach clubs are gathering the fashionable crowd, while disco bar and discos entertain the party goers on the main road in Chaweng.