Koh Samui Airport

In 1971 two tourists arrived on Thailand’s third-largest island via a coconut boat from Bangkok and stumbled upon paradise – white-sand beaches with palms blowing in the wind an...

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In 1971 two tourists arrived on Thailand’s third-largest island via a coconut boat from Bangkok and stumbled upon paradise – white-sand beaches with palms blowing in the wind and clear green seas sparkling in the sunlight, against a picture-perfect background of lush green hills and brown roads interspersed with rough wooden structures.

Ko Samui (or Koh Samui, Thai: เกาะสมุย, Thai pronunciation: ), or often simply Samui as it is referred to by locals, is an island off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand. It is located close to the mainland town of Surat Thani in Surat Thani Province. It is Thailand's third largest island after Phuket and Ko Chang, with an area of 228.7 km2 and a population of over 62,000 attracting 1.5 million tourists per year. Ko Samui has abundant natural resources, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees. It is part of Mu Ko Samui.

Samui's weather patterns are a little different from the rest of Thailand. In April through September, when most of the country has its monsoon, Samui stays fairly dry, but from October to December, it's wet in Samui and drier elsewhere. The driest season is from January to March.

Language:Siamese, Central Thai

Timezone:UTC+07:00

At Wat Samret, near Th Ban Hua, you can see a typical Mandalay sitting Buddha carved from solid marble – a common sight in India and northern Thailand, but not so common in the south.

Make a spa date with Kamalaya so you can sneak a peek at this decades old cave temple built by local monks for meditation. Temple caves are a vital part of the forest temple tradition in Thailand and in the past, monks have lived inside the cave as med...

The largest cove following Ao Thong Sai has several names, but the beach is generally known as Hat Choeng Mon. It's clean, hushed and recommended for families or for those who don't need nightlife and a variety of restaurants (these can be found at nea...

This little temple has several large attractions: three gigantic depictions of Buddha set in a man-made lake. The centrepiece is an 18-armed Hindu-style Buddha next to a lotus blossom and a fat, Chinese-style Buddha. Considered an act of merit, Thai Bu...

By the light of the harsh daytime sun, Chaweng Lake is an example of everything that is wrong with Samui. The public park is poorly maintained, half constructed and devoid of shade. But come sunset, it springs to life – ordinary Thai life, that is – wi...

This temple is the island’s most famous temple for its mummified monk on display. The mummy sits upright in a glass casket and devotees offer it flowers and incense. The mummy is in fact the body of a very revered former abbot of the temple who was als...

Hin Lat Falls is worth visiting if you're waiting in town for a boat back to the mainland. Catch a sǎwngthǎew south 2km and get off after the 7-Eleven, then walk 2km or so south of town on the main road and turn left at the first major intersection. Go...

Popularised by its role as home to a utopian beach society in the movie version of Alex Garland's novel The Beach, Ang Thong National Marine Park is made up of an archipelago of about 40 small islands combining sheer limestone cliffs, hidden lagoons, w...

Chaweng Beach is the major beach on Ko Samui and one that has developed tremendously since the early 1990s. Just 20 years ago the beach was home to just a sprinkle of wooden bungalows but now the place is swamped with hotels, Italian pizzerias, Irish p...