Once you’ve taken on China, Thailand will be a walk in the park. Indeed, this increasingly popular tourist destination has far fewer cultural differences than China. So it’s a lot easier for Western tourists. It is a great starting point for those hoping to explore Southeast Asia and it is really easy to get there from China.
While every part of Thailand is exceptional in some way or another, Koh Samui stands out. It is truly one of the gems in Thailand’s glorious crown. The island is located just off the East coast of mainland Thailand and has been drawing in travellers for decades. Here’s why.
1. It Has Lots of Luxurious Accommodation
VIP treatment and top of the range facilities characterize the luxury retreats that can be found on the island of Koh Samui. Think infinity pools, gourmet restaurants, blissful spas and private beach spots. All of this and more can be found within the villas and hotels that line the island’s beachfront.
2. The Beaches are Sublime
The main part of Koh Samui is called Chaweng. This is where the action is and even here the beaches are pristine. Now imagine what the lesser-visited beaches must look like. Bathed in tranquillity and glowing under the suns never-ending rays, the island’s beaches feature powder white sand and warm, clear water. Perfect for snorkelling!
Tired after a day of exploring? There’s nothing better than drifting off on the beach in the shade of a swaying coconut palm.
3. There’s No Full Moon Party
Unlike neighbouring Koh Phangan, there is no insane Full Moon Party on Koh Samui. This might be a disappointment to some but for others it will be sweet relief to know that they won’t be joined by tens of thousands of party animals. If you’ve ever seen what Haad Rin beach looks like after the Full Moon Party you will understand why it’s not a desirable feature for an island to have. Furthermore, the absence of huge events like the Full Moon Party mean that hotel prices on Koh Samui are less likely to fluctuate on a regular basis.
4. It’s Close to the Other Islands
If you decide that you would like to go to the Full Moon Party or would just like to do some island hopping, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan are both easily reachable by boat from Koh Samui. The boat journey between the islands is safe but the water can get a bit choppy sometimes so take that into account if you are prone to seasickness. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all of the islands are the same. Each one has its own distinct personality so it is well worth visiting as many as you can.
5. You Can Easily Visit Ang Thong National Marine Park
A trip to Ang Thong is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your vacation. The park consists of numerous rocky islands covered with dense green foliage. Travellers who take a tour of the park will have the opportunity to snorkel around rock pools and caves in search of tropical fish and colourful coral. They will also get the chance to do some sea kayaking and to launch themselves off the top deck of their boat in to the sea. As a bonus, lunch and drinks are usually included on these tours.
6. The Food on the Island is Divine
Thai food reigns supreme on the global cuisine scene and there is plenty of delicious food to be found all over the country. Yet, Koh Smaui has a particularly high concentration of outstanding restaurants. On the main strip in Chaweng, the air is infused with exotic spices as chefs prepare massaman curry and pad thai for hungry guests. There is also an array of fantastic street food on offer across the island. You truly are spoilt for choice when it comes to food here.
7. There’s More Culture Here Than You Think
Thailand’s islands don’t exactly have a reputation for being the most cultural parts of the country. Generally, they are thought to be where you go for beach, cocktails and sunshine. Yet, Koh Samui has a number of temples and Buddhist sculptures that can be visited by those looking for a more authentic Thai experience. There is an island tour that can be done that will take you to a number of these sites and let you visit a waterfall as well. This makes for a great day out if you need a break from the beach.