About Koh Samui
About Koh Samui
FROM the moment you land in Koh Samui, the magic begins. The airport welcome is like nowhere else….quaint electric trolley buses ferrying you from the plane to a charming open air terminal with rustic thatched roofs in the jungle.
The airport sets the tone for the laid back island life that this beautiful, palm covered island with its gorgeous beaches and turquoise seas offers to visitors.
Like the airport, the island has a relaxed and laid back village-style charm.
In the tranquil Gulf of Siam off the east coast of Thailand, the country’s third largest island has it all for a holiday anyway you like it – kicked back and relaxed or active and fast paced!
This “tropical paradise” is of course renowned for its beautiful white sand beaches, clean, clear warm water, lush tropical gardens and gentle ocean breezes, as well as its colourful fishing villages and green hills in the centre.
Well known beaches include Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, Big Buddha, Choeng Mon, Hua Thanon and Maenam. But one of the great pleasures is exploring smaller, virtually uninhabited coves, simply taking one of the small tracks from the main ring road around the island.
Samui is also a great base for excursions to nearby islands, with Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Nang Yuan among the most beautiful. For the young at heart, Koh Phangan is also famous worldwide for its monthly ‘full moon festival’ where virtually anything goes!
The island has always attracted those in search of a place to relax and recharge, with many new age health and wellness centres established over the years.Asian beauty secrets, traditional massage, de-stressing body treatments…Samui is the place to find them.
With an abundance of restaurants, Samui offers every type of cuisine – particularly fresh seafood. The quaint Fisherman’s Village, a short drive away from Suralai, offers a wide choice of inviting outdoor cafes and bars. Numerous rustic beach restaurants dotted along the coast at Bophut and Chaweng are especially relaxed. More upmarket options are at the many luxury hotels and resorts.
Suralai is just 15 minutes from the main shopping and entertainment area of Chaweng – with its stunning white sand beach and busy, mile-long strip of beachfront resorts, countless restaurants, bars, shopping arcades and open-air markets, and its vibrant nightlife.
Koh Samui produces an exceptional range of island guides covering everything from dining and entertainment, to spas to shopping for interior design and homeware products.Pick these up at the airport or at the villa and plan your stay.
The island’s hub and administrative centre is the town of Nathon, on the west coast, the principal fishing port and junction for inter-island transportation.
And as elsewhere in the ‘Land of Smiles’, the people of Koh Samui always offer a warm and friendly welcome to visitors to their island paradise.
When to go …
In Koh Samui, the weather is almost always beautiful. Blue sky days and a nice ocean breeze are the norm. Suralai benefits from a slightly cooler microclimate owning to its altitude and cool breezes are the norm making the temperature very pleasant all year round.
Late December to the end of March is considered the ideal tropical island weather experience. However, Samui is pretty much a year-round destination and if it can sometimes get too hot from April to September, the pool or the beach are never far away. Rainy season tends to be from mid-October to early December.
Getting there …
Getting to Koh Samui is easy – it’s just 2 hour 50 minutes by direct flight from Hong Kong, with daily flights, or a short 60 minute flight from Bangkok. There are also daily direct flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and connections with Phuket which is just a 20 minute flight.
Koh Samui is the home base for Asia’s boutique airline Bangkok Airways, which operates a fleet of modern jets around some of the key tourism spots in Asia. The airline has recently launched its new Business Class service – Blue Ribbon Club on the direct flights from Hong Kong and Singapore. For more information about Bangkok Airways, visit: www.bangkokair.com
Major Tourist Attractions
- Big BuddhaTemple
- Namuang Waterfall
- Hin Ta – Hin Ya at Lamai
- Snake Farm
- Boat trips to outer islands including AngThongNational Park, Koh Pha Ngnan and FiveIslands
Major Festivals and Events
Thai people love to party, and celebrate some of the most original festivals in the world.
On Samui, many of the important festivals are of Buddhist origin, but some non-religious ones like the Monarch’s birthday are also major events.
The most important festivals and events include Chinese New Year in February, Songkran (Thai New Year) in April and Loi Krathong (Festival of Light) in November.
All are celebrated with great pomp and grandeur featuring processions, temple festivities, food fairs and live performances. There are also a host of other events and festivals celebrated with immense fervour!
Buffalo Fighting Festival
Held on special occasions such as New Year’s Day in January, this hugely popular festival features bulls fighting with bulls, adorned with ribbons and leaves on their horns.
Heldin May, Buddha’s Birthday is the most important date on the Buddhist religious calendar, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha.
Koh Samui International Regatta
This annual event is held at the beginning of June and features a week of sailing competitions, cocktail parties and food events.
Avis Samui Tennis Open, Koh Samui
The annual amateur tennis tournament is in July.
The Fisherman’s Village Festival, Koh Samui
This five-day festival is celebrated with great merriment amidst lots of music and food.
Full Moon Party (Koh Pha Ngan)
This beach party is all about fun ‘n’ frolic, with some 10,000-20,000 people dancing crazily to the music of well known International and Thai DJ’s.
Koh Samui Music Festival
The Ko Samui Music Festival started a couple of years back with live blues, jazz, reggae, rock, pop, Thai indie, mor lam and luk thung, and various other musical genres.