Koh Samui, situated off the East coast in Southern Thailand, is the largest of an archipelago of more than 80 islands, for the greater part uninhabited, the Angthong Marine National Park (The Golden Bowl).
Of a surface area of about 250 square kilometres, it is the third largest island of the Kingdom after Phuket and Koh Chang. The most close continental city is Suratthani at about 60 kilometres westwards.
Discovered at the beginning of the 70s by backpackers when there were only huts without electricity and tap water, and a population which lived mainly on the fishing and coconut plantations. Presently, Koh Samui still sends more than 2 million of coconuts a month to Bangkok.
Tropical island lined with coconut palms and with white sandy beaches, Samui is connected several times a day by boats and planes. It is part of Suratthani's province.
Within two decades, Samui became a choice destination in Asia. Today, with its guests, Samui built up itself a robust reputation of small tropical paradise.
accommodation for every budget, a varied and delicious local food (sometimes a little bit too spicy for Westerners...), a lushy tropical vegetation, waterfalls, idyllic beaches, numerous Buddhist temples, strolling around with motorbike or car, trek inside the island, a nice population, a whole variegated colorful which makes a destination of it for all the tastes.
The climate is very pleasant all year round, with temperatures varying between 25 and 34 degrees Celsius.
There are three seasons, warm and dry season from February till May, rainy season from the end of September till November and "cool" season which extends from October till January.
From February till October, the average temperature is from 32 to 38 degrees, but from July till September, there can be some showers, but only for a few hours.
Rainy season often amounts in fact to some "refreshing"showers followed by the return of the sun.
The climate is tropical so very humid all year round, but Samui remains always refreshed by a pleasant sea breeze blowing from the Gulf.
In conclusion, if you love the sun and if you can withstand heights of summer, come from February till May! It is very rare that it rains...
Samui counts a population of about 40'000 Thais, mainly Buddhists with a minority of Moslems, especially concentrated in Hua Thanon village and in the neighborhood of Nathon town. There is also a small Chinese population.
LIFE ON THE ISLAND
Life on Samui Island is relaxing, the Thais are a passive natural people and very patient and the guests feel at their ease. Smile is an universal language even though sometimes we have some difficulties understanding eachother.
On the other hand inside hotels, there is always a member of the staff who will be able to inform you in English.
If you enter a temple or a house, it is a custom to leave your shoes outside, also do not point people, it is unpolite.
When you will go visit Buddhistic monuments, watch to get dressed suitably, try to avoid strolling in temples in swimming suit for example, even though generally they are rather tolerant. The short trousers are not a problem as a rule in the temples of the island.
TO FIND AN ACCOMMODATION
On the island you will find a whole range of hotels and bungalows for all the purses, by way of the simple wooden bungalow with thatched roof in border of sea to the large international luxury hotel complexes.
The two longest beaches of the island are Chaweng and Lamai, they also are the most popular. It is in Chaweng, spread on 7 kilometres, that you will find most wide selection of hotels (luxury), it is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island as well. Lamai, its little sister, smaller and more concentrated also has got its own charm.
If you look for tranquillity, go toward Bophut, Big Buddha or Maenam which also have magnificent beaches with sight on Koh Phan-Ngan.