Known for the annual Samui Regatta, an international boat race which attracts visitors from all over Asia, the Buffalo Fighting Festival (which is held for special occasions, such as New Year's Day) and of course the mouthwateringly hot Thai cuisine. Ko Samui, know to locals simply as Samui, is the main island in an archipelago of around 80 islands in the Gulf of Siam, south of Bangkok in Thailand.
Once a hippy retreat, Samui has in recent years taken an upmarket turn and now offers a full range of holiday styles and accommodation to everyone from backpackers through to high end spenders, making it a perfect destination for a variety of travellers. The type of holiday you'll have is likely determined by the beach you choose to visit, so read below to find out which area of Samui is best suited to your needs.
For sunbathers, the most popular beaches can be found at Chaweng, on the eastern side of the island, or Hat Lamai, in the southeast, which both offer beautiful views and a relaxing beach environment. Alternatively, for serene family fun, Ao Thong is your port of call, with its range of beach bungalows available for rent and a quiet, golden beach.
But relaxation is not all the island has to offer. For great snorkelling and nature-loving holidaymakers, head over to Ko Tao, or "Turtle Island" and get in touch with nature. However, if you're more into your nightlife than your wildlife, Ko Pha-Ngan may be more up your street; known for its hedonistic full moon parties, this is a must-see spot for party goers and travellers looking for the 18-30 side of the island!
Hotels in Samui range from simple beach huts through to top end spa hotels, with most accommodation being beach front for that holiday feeling and beautiful views. Samui Hotels also include well-known chains such as the Four Seasons, Conrad, Anantara, so if you're looking for a tried-and-tested place to stay, the option is there. However, there are also many Thai- run hotels on the island, generally offering very high standards of fit and finish as well as service, so there is plenty of variety for travellers to choose from.
For more information about travelling in Thailand and to get the best deals on your travel and accommodation, compare the price of hotels in Samui using Travelsupermarket's tool and save money by booking in advance.