Koh Samui (or Ko Samui as it is often known) is located in the Gulf of Thailand on an island off the east coast of Thailand, close to the mainland town of Surat Thani.
The climate in Koh Samui is tropical, so humid all year round although the sea breezes blowing in from the gulf
help you feel refreshed. Temperatures vary from 25 and 35 degrees celsius year round. The seasons can be best broken down as follows;
December to March - This is the dry season on Koh Samui. There will be very little rain during this period with the sun hours at the highest.
April to August - Sunshine still dominates the day with temperatures often reaching the yearly peak but there will be more rain showers. However since the weather is tropical, when the rain does fall, it does so heavily but will not last long.
September to November - The most rain falls during this period but again is normally short and sharp. The max temperatures remain above 30 degrees celsius and the sun does shine.
See Koh Samui weather for further details.
Note: Climate changes vary between Koh Samui and Phuket as Koh Samui is in the Gulf of Thailand and Phuket is located in/at the Andaman Sea.
- the island is approx 15km across.
Getting to Koh Samui
Koh Samui has its own airport with flights leaving to and from Bangkok reguarly each day. Alternatively there are combined bus and ferry journeys from mainland Thailand to Koh Samui. Passengers can expect to spend 2 hours travelling by ferry. There is also the option of hiring a private speedboat to and from Koh Samui.
Getting Around Koh Samui
There are not as many car rental companies in Koh Samui as there are in other tourist destinations but this does not mean you cannot travel easily. There are taxis, motorbikes, bicycles that are readily available for rental. Another form of transport and probably the most popular form in Koh Samui is the Songthaew. These are pick-up trucks/public passenger pick-up vehicles
which can also be hired for the duration of your stay.
Note: The Samui Shuttle goes to and from the airport.
What to do in Koh Samui
Visit the beaches
- There are many fantastic beaches in Koh Samui from the bustling white sands of Chaweng Beach to the quieter beaches in the north, including the Choeng Mon, Bophut and Bang Rak (Big Buddha) beaches. On the west coast is the beautiful Lipa Noi beach and with its wide sweep of sand and stunning sunsets is a great romantic setting.
The Big Buddha - One of the most popular tourist attractions. Situated at Wat Phra Yai, in the Bang Rak region, the Big Buddha is a 39ft gold Buddha located at the top of a large staircase. You can climb right to the top of the staircase, which also allows you to stunning views over the island.
Note: Ensure that you cover up your knees, shoulders and upper legs as the Buddha marks highly religious area.
Angthong National Marine Park - Take a day trip out to the beautiful Angthong National Marine Park which comprises of 42 islands, featuring limestone formations, secluded beaches, tropical rainforests and lots of wildlife.
Wat Khunaram Ko Samui - The most famous temple on Koh Samui which features a mummified monk on display. It sits upright in a glass casket and devotees offer it flowers and incense.
Jungle Trek / Elephant Trek - The interior of the island is a fantastic day out with a number of superb waterfalls, rubber plantations and impressive gardens. Even experiencing the jungle roads is an adventure in itself and it is wise to take an experienced local driver to guide you round. Alternatively you can go on a trek by foot or by elephant.
Watch Thai Boxing - This takes place regularly at the stadiums in Chaweng and Lamai.
Animal Attractions - There are numerous animal attractions around the island which you can visit including a snake farm, a crocodile farm and butterfly garden.
Watersports - Koh Samui's clear waters cater for many watersports including scuba diving, snorkelling, sea kayaking, fishing, sailing and yachting.
Golf - There is one scenic 18-hole golf course on Koh Samui which is called the Santiburi Samui Country Club.
Shopping - The most intense areas of shopping in Koh Samui can be found in Chaweng, Nathon and Lamai. All kinds of items can be bought from traditional handicrafts and souvenirs to precious gems. It is worth noting that there are many highly skilled tailors and dress makers on the island.
The main area of nightlife on Koh Samui can be found in and around Chaweng Beach where there are plentiful bars and nightclubs.