Koh Samui is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand, and the second largest of Thailand. The idyllic island is hilly, covered in abundance with coconut palms and other green, luscious vegetation and the shoreline an endless stretch of beaches and bays. Koh Samui was discovered long ago by some of the first backpackers. Accommodation then was primitive and cheap and the island an oases of peace and tranquility. Much has changed since then; Koh Samui’s natural beauty has drawn the attention of the wealthier tourists with the expected result. Luxury hotels such as Santiburi Resort as well as the Six Sense Sila Evason Hideaway ( chosen in 2008 as best hotel of the world) have opened doors in recent years. The rooms in these hotels are priced between 200 and 3100 euros per day depending on size and season.
Idyllic Samui’s position offers a perfect vantage point for views over the bays and beaches The resort, lies between two hills and is right on the oceanfront.
On a clear day you may spot the 8 meters high, magnificent golden Big Buddha statue, not far from the resort. Flying to Koh Samui from all over Europe, America, Asia & Australia is easy!
The island has a small airport with multiple flights arriving and leaving daily from and to Bangkok and Singapore (Bangkok) and multiple flights weekly to Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur.
There are, for the more adventurous traveler, other ways to travel to Koh Samui. There is the air-conditioned bus from Bangkok to Koh Samui for instance, but a highly recommended method is taking the night train from Bangkok to Sura Thani and from there onwards to Koh Samui by boat. When traveling this way it is recommended that you purchase the combination ticket for train, bus and boat and book a sleeping compartment in the train. Departure from Bangkok by train is around 6 pm and arrival in Sura Thani early the following morning. The bus, for the 10 minute drive to the boat, can be found right outside station.
The boat trip takes an additional two hours, arrival on the island being late morning which leaves you with most of the day left to enjoy.
A new golf course was recently completed and some of the beaches, such as Chaweng beach, are now very popular and crowded. But, luckily, Koh Samui still has some unspoiled beaches and coastline such as Samrong Bay left with beautiful nature and unaffected culture for your personal enjoyment. The island has a small airport, aprox 20 minutes from the resort, with flights arriving and leaving daily from and to Bangkok and Singapore (Bangkok and Thai Airways).
The contrast between these hectic cities and the tranquil island of Koh Samui is unparalleled.
Thai’s Traditional Culture
The basis of the Thai customs and traditions lie in the family. Young Thais are taught to pay respect to and follow the admonitions of parents, elders, teachers and Buddhist monks who, in the past, formed a highly educated class.
The Thai unit of currency is called the Baht (THB), and it is divided into 100 satang. Notes come in 10-baht, 20-baht, 50-baht, 100-baht and 1,000-baht denominations. If you want to see the Baht’s exchange rate against other currencies please click here www.xe.com.
Currenciesy can be exchanged at the airport, banks, hotels and accredited monoeychangers.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are generally accepted, but not universally. Cheaper guesthouses and restaurants do not accept plastic.
ATMs are in most (if not all) cities and tourist areas, inlcuding Phuket, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Chang, and Ko Phi Phi. Depending on the bank, the withdrawal limit may range from 20,000 THB to 100,000 THB.
What to Wear
Wear light, cool, and casual clothing on most occasions. On formal occasions, jackets and ties on men are recommended, while women should wear dresses. Just remember that if you are planning to go to a temple or other place of worship you might have to dress respectfully.
In any case Koh Samui is full of shops and you will be able to purchase any type of clothing at lower prices than in Europe, Australia or USA.
Koh Samui is well known for its tailors. If you plan to come, think about whether you would like a new custom made suit or a new set of silk curtains!
All is possible in Koh Samui!