Koh Samui: An Introduction
White sands, swaying palms, dense tropical foliage, rocky outcrops, hidden coves and world renowned beaches – welcome to Koh Samui.
The island first became popular with backpackers over 30 years ago but has now made the successful transition to a truly world-class holiday destination - all this without losing its charm and character. An eclectic array of spas; activity centres; family friendly resorts; world-class restaurants; beach bars, and a colourful mix of residents and tourists help you start to understand the unique charm of Koh Samui.
Chaweng and Lamai on the east coast have developed into Samui's busiest and liveliest beaches, and it is easy to see why with several kilometres of golden sand, warm shallow waters and coconut tree forests providing a stunning backdrop for developers and investors.
Much of the rest of the island remains laid back, full of character and easy going – all the attributes that first made it so popular with backpackers. Bo Phut and Choeng Mon on the north of the island are perhaps the most idyllic and romantic of Samui's many beaches. Boutique hotels, classy restaurants 5-star hotels and family-run guest houses all offer an alternative to the excesses of Chaweng. The Fisherman's Village roughly at the middle of Bo Phut's 5 kilometre beach is a wonderful area with a mix of small trendy restaurants, family-friendly bars and traditional Chinese shop houses coexisting peacefully alongside the original fishing village.
Getting around Koh Samui is easy, with taxis and Sawngthaew (shared minibus-style taxis) plying the roads throughout the island. Motorcycle taxis, rented motorcycles and rented cars are all options for exploring the island and discovering your own deserted slice of paradise.
The original and still the best (to some!).