Up until the 1990s, the island of Koh Samui in the eastern Gulf of Thailand was like a quiet cousin at family parties, mostly unnoticed and calmly going about its business. Then the quiet cousin went off to college, discovered house music and got really, really tan. The ‘90s saw the development of tons of resorts and hotels on Koh Samui and the arrival of backpackers and travellers from around the globe. Now it’s one of the hottest destinations in Southeast Asia, and you’re about to find out why.
Things to Do on Koh Samui
Admit it—you’re booking accommodation on Koh Samui so you can lay around on the beach all day, sipping frosty beverages and checking out the beautiful people. The only question is, which stretch of sand is right for you? Night owls can get their party on at Chaweng Beach, just south of the airport on the island’s east side. If you’re more of an early bird, Bang Rak Beach, on the north coast, is a quieter option; it also makes a great day trip to see the Big Buddha statue.
If you’re not quite sure where you fit into the taxonomy of bird euphemisms, head to Lamai Beach. It’s well-developed like Chaweng, but not as rowdy. Accommodation near Lamai Night Market has the added bonus of being near one of Koh Samui’s most happening spots. After a day drinking cocktails on the shore, you’ll be glad to soak it all up with the market’s huge selection of delectable dishes. Dig into hot and sour tom yam kung soup and, if you like to look your food in the eye, whole salted fish with chili lime sauce.
Getting To & Around Koh Samui
Flights to Koh Samui will land at Samui Airport (USM) on its northeast corner, but you’ll probably need a connecting flight to get there. It’s about an hour from Bangkok and two hours from Singapore by plane. If you’re already in the neighbourhood, there is also ferry service from Donsak Pier in Surat Thani, in the south of Thailand. Once you’re on the island, getting around is easier than tying a sarong. The roads are well-developed, so car hires are convenient, though they can be pricey. If cash is a concern, rent a motorbike or bicycle and get to and from your Koh Samui accommodation on two wheels instead!
Best Time to Travel
Thailand’s tropical climate makes Koh Samui holidays popular year-round, but consider rainfall and humidity when planning your trip. If planning to visit during October and November you should expect rainfall and thunderstorms, but not all the time. The rest of the year is comparatively drier, though you can expect warm showers quite frequently. Party people should time their trip with school breaks in early January, when there will be plenty of like-minded travellers seeking a full moon—party, that is.
With Wotif’s great selection of Koh Samui hotels, you’ll feel the island vibes right through your computer screen. Listen to your holiday self—book today, then pack your glow paint and your best day-drinking attire and get ready for tropical fun.