Explore Koh Samui - An Exclusive Guide
A perfect day in... Koh Samui, Thailand
While no longer the peaceful tropical idyll it once was, Koh Samui still retains much that has drawn visitors over the decades: stunning, palm-fringed beaches, delicious food and a warm welcome.
What to see in Koh Samui
Measuring around 15 miles in length, Koh Samui is Thailand’s third largest island, making it both easy to explore and worth spending several days in. Visitors usually make a beeline for Chaweng, the most famous – and prettiest – beach on the island with a suitably busy resort, but stray off the beaten path a little and you’ll be met with a warm welcome and beautiful scenery.
Chaweng is a good place to start your visit, with a long stretch of soft white sand, lapped by azure waters and backed by swaying palms, and a large selection of luxury hotels, shops, bars and restaurants. The other main resorts – Lamai, Bo Phut, Maenam – are more low-key, with budget lodgings and laid-back beach bars and restaurants.
While most visits focus on the beach, you can take in some traditional Thai culture at Wat Plai Laem in the north of the island, a colorful Buddhist temple that includes a large, 18-arm statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and a large Chinese Buddha. Please note that visitors to the temples should dress modestly.
Koh Samui does have a reputation for its party scene, so if that’s your thing, be sure to spend a few nights and experience the buzzy bars and nightclubs.
What to do in Koh Samui
A fun and easy way to see Koh Samui is by car, following its easy-to-navigate road that passes in a ring around the island. Adrenaline-seekers may wish to try exploring on a motorbike, which can be hired in any of the towns or the main port. Do follow local advice on safety, and always wear a helmet.
There are all sorts of activities on offer on the mainland, from meditation retreats, spa days and cooking lessons, to Muay Thai boxing sessions, kite-surfing and a huge range of watersports. Inland, you’ll find the Na Muang waterfalls, a pretty (if busy) hike with a natural pool to swim in.
Perhaps the most memorable experience around Koh Samui is heading out onto the water to explore the Ang Thong National Marine Park, located to the east of the island. This archipelago of 42 islands is a protected area of extraordinary beauty, with beach-rimmed isles, dense forests, limestone cliffs and waterfalls. You might even recognize some of it, as scenes of Leonardo di Caprio’s The Beach were shot here. There are various day trips on offer from Koh Samui, which take in the highlights and allow you to go snorkeling in the park.
What to eat in Koh Samui
Five-star dining is par for the course in the smart hotels of Chaweng, from rooftop lounges with lovely views to elegant restaurants set around lit-up pools – perfectly romantic come sundown. International food is ubiquitous, and given the location, freshly-caught seafood is a highlight.
Most exciting, though, is the street food on offer, found every evening in the Chaweng night market. Take a stroll come sundown and browse the trinkets while trying some of the freshly-prepared dishes on offer such as Som Tum (papaya salad) or Pad Thai. Another popular night market on Koh Samui is the Fisherman’s Village Walking Street in Bo Phut, held every Friday evening and crammed with budget buys and freshly-cooked Thai food.
For more information, go to tourismthailand.org
This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.
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