Koh Samui Not Only For Backpackers

By: Wolfgang Jaegel

The third largest island in Thailand, Koh Samui is a tropical paradise, situated in the Gulf of Thailand in the South China Sea, about 85 km east of Surat Thani and 700 km south of Bangkok. Bestowed with natural scenic surroundings, spectacular as well as diverse flora and fauna, wonderful beaches, magnificent coves and bays, amazing islets, and dazzling waterfalls, Koh Samui is truly a mix of all that are best in the country.

Since Koh Samui gives harvest to more than two million coconuts each month, the island is also sometimes referred to as the 'Coconut Island.' Until 1970s' Koh Samui was only popular as a backpackers' destination. But, Koh Samui has now grown to include a range of attractions and facilities to enjoy a variety of activities from diving, snorkeling, and sailing to trekking and hiking.

The major draw of the island is undoubtedly its coastline, endowed with pearl-like white sandy beaches and coves and beaches. Of the beaches in the island, most popular is Chaweng beach, which is the longest in the island.

The beach and its surroundings are a center for fun and entertainment. Further, the area is dotted with a range of world-class hotels, resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs. Another fantastic beach in the island is Lamai Beach, which is much favored for its teeming nightlife. For a magical experience, take a tour to Bophut beach, whose surroundings are strewn with an array of old Chinese shops, superb gift shops, and eateries with sumptuous pizza.

Close to the Bophut Beach is Choengmon Beach, which is also a much sought recreational area. Likewise, for vacationers seeking solitude amid serene setting, then one of the best choices would be Maenam beach, situated in the north of Samui Island. Also, popular are Samui Beaches such as Big Buddha Beach, Taling Ngam, and Lipa Noi Beach.

With these spectacular as well as tranquil beaches, Koh Samui is truly a mecca to enjoy an array of leisurely and adventure activities such as para sailing, scuba diving, sea skiing, fishing, and sea canoeing. If you don't want to indulge in any of the aforesaid activities, then simply take a stroll along the stunning beaches to experience its unrivalled beauty and elegance.

Apart from the activities that are revolved around its unparalleled beaches and shorelines, Koh Samui offers much more. Thai cuisines are regarded as among the best in the world. Hence, become an adept in Thai cooking by taking advantage of superb Thai cooking courses rendered by some of the excellent restaurants in the area.

If you are looking for something different while your stay at Koh Samui, then head to the nearby stadium to spectacle amazing Thai boxing, which includes five rounds of three minutes each. Likewise, if you don't mind some violence, take opportunity to spectacle such traditional activities as buffalo fighting. One of the best options for fun lovers would be monkey show. Further, nothing would be better than a hiking or trekking trip for those interested in exploring the natural serenity of the place, comprising lush green vegetation, verdant hills, and brilliant waterfalls.

Above all, Koh Samui's sightseeing options are aplenty, with a range of unusual as well as refreshing attractions. Probably the most significant of the Koh Samui's landmarks is Big Buddha, a temple whose focal point is a 12 m high golden statue of Buddha that can be seen even away from several kilometers. For nature lovers, a visit to the Butterfly Garden with hundreds of rare species of spectacular bufferflies would be a unique experience. Also, found within the garden are a bee house and a museum featuring some rare species of insects from across the nation as well as other countries. Similarly, take a tour to Samui's Crocodile Farm to have a fascinating look on different types of crocodiles such as Siam crocodiles, saltwater crocodiles, and Caimans.

Not to miss attractions in the island also include phallic rocks, which is popular among the locals as Grandfather Rock and Grandmother Rock; Lamai Overlap Stone, which is considered a challenge to climb this impressive boulder; Secret Buddha Garden, which is home to beautiful temples, statues, and waterfalls; Snake Farm, which has to its credit some of the most poisonous as well as scary snakes in Asia; and Samui Aquarium and Zoo. Equally marvelous are the temples or wats in the region, such as, Hainan Temple, Hin Lad Waterfall Temple, Laem Sor Pagoda, and Pagoda Khao Chedi.

From stylish sea view villas and bungalows to beachfront resorts and world-class hotels, all of the accommodation options in Samui are superb. Majority of them provide top-notch facilities including air-conditioned rooms coupled with en-suite bathrooms, lounge, kitchen, and dining room. Additionally, many of the villas and apartments offer maid service, apart from facilities such as superb swimming pools and complimentary airport transfers. Fantastic accommodation options are also available for budget conscious travelers.

With these incredible attractions and activities to enjoy, Koh Samui is truly a pearl of the Gulf of Thailand.

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