Island of Koh Samui is one of the most visited holiday destinations in Thailand and even in entire Southeast Asia. The city is located in the Gulf of Thailand, about 21 miles (35 kilometers) northeast to Surat Thani. Together with about 60 other islands, Koh Samui makes up the Ang Thong National Marine Park. The region includes other popular tourist destinations such as Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan, and there are organized many day trips and tours including in itinerary the most important attractions of the region.
Koh Samui is actually a 10-mile wide (about 15 kilometers) circular island. Its central part is occupied by mountain jungle and the various lowland areas on the seashores are connected by a single road that encircle the island. On Koh Samui is just one town named Na Thon, located on the western coast, which has a port used for fishing and transportation. Even it seems a wild place to go on holiday, beach resorts and luxury hotels in Koh Samui are numerous, as well as the restaurants and bars. Also, on Koh Samui are numerous natural attractions and a plethora of things to do (such as practicing various water sports and taking sightseeing tours both on the island and neighbouring region), so people taking delight in beach holidays in this part of Thailand benefit on the best things this country has to offer.
Koh Samui is mostly visited by people wanting to get away from all, its main holiday attractions being represented by the white-sand beaches and the warm sea.
The beach called Chaweng covers most of the eastern coast, being generally clean but sometimes suffering of overcrowding. There was built a huge Western-style holiday resort, full of hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, markets and nightclub.
On the eastern coast of Koh Samui is the area named Lamai, smaller than Chaweng, but with cleaner and less crowded beaches. On the northern coast of island is Maenam, where can be admired spectacular views of Koh Phangan to north and Ang Thong National Marine Park to east. The waters are calm and clean, being protected by currents. Much less crowded than Lamai and Chaweng, Maenam's restaurants and bars offer more of the Thai flavor, as well as more reasonably priced food. Generally, Maenam is quieter and more relaxed, and as result it is a perfect vacation place for tourists who want to spend relaxing holidays in Thailand.
Bophut is the next beach near Maenam. Its holiday atmosphere is more relaxed and more traditional than in the larger beach resorts, being named by locals the Fisherman's Village. It is a very popular vacation destination on Koh Samui amongst French tourists and features also a few good French-owned restaurants.
Bangrak is often named the Big Buddha Beach due to the 19-meters statue that overlooks the area. Bangrak is very close to airport, still is one of the calmest beaches of Koh Samui.
Choeng Mon is one of the smallest strands and lies in a secluded bay on the northeastern shore of Koh Samui, making it perfect for those who want a tranquil holiday environment. There are a few small restaurants and a couple shops, in addition to the luxurious and expensive hotels that line the bay.
Ao Tong Takian is also a small waterfront located north to Lamai Beach. It is very popular amongst travelers due to the white-gray sand, for this reason being nicknamed Silver Beach. Tourists find in this part of Koh Samui a few good holiday resorts with excellent accommodation amenities.
Big Buddha is a high statue of Buddha that lies in temple of Wat Phra Yai, representing one of the main tourist attractions in the area. In Koh Samui can be taken tours to other impressive temples including Wat Khunaram, where can be seen the preserved body of Loung Pordaeng, a monk who past away into a meditating position.
The mountain jungle in the interior part of Koh Samui is an excellent destination to people who like adventure. The major points of interests include the magnificent gardens built by the legendary farmer Nim Thongsuk, the impressive waterfalls at Na Muang, and the amazing views over the Ang Thong archipelago.
Along with temples, numerous other holiday attractions are available on Koh Samui such as a crocodile farm, a monkey zoo, elephant trekking, a snake farm, an aquarium and a butterfly garden. Most vacationers who spend holidays in Koh Samui take day trips by boat to the beautiful Ang Thong National Marine Park at least once during their stay on the island.