Koh Samui is famous for its relaxed island atmosphere, and the pace of life here
certainly is leisurely. With its fantastic beaches, tropical character and mountainous
interior Samui is a firm favourite among discerning visitors to Thailand. There are
few places in Thailand which boast such a sophisticated and well developed tourist
infrastructure. Known as the 'boutique' island, Koh Samui offers world class resorts
and hotels, great restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets, and of course great
beaches. But there’s more, treat yourself to the day spas on Koh Samui, escape to
Koh Phangan for the Full Moon party, go diving off Koh Tao, or explore the island’s
many sites. Discover Koh Samui on this site
Koh Samui Beaches & Area Guide Koh Samui are some of the best in the Gulf of Thailand,
and remain more popular for people to discover. Please find details about the most
popular areas and beautiful beaches here. Simply click on either the links or the
Back in the halcyon days of the 1960's there were no Lonely Planets to guide the
trickle of young people travelling overland between Europe and Asia. Unlike today's
ubiquitous backpackers, yesterday's intrepid globetrotters had to rely on word of
mouth advice about their route lying ahead. Amongst other essentials, this included
"approved" lodgings, where itinerant kindred spirits congregated to exchange vital
information about rutted roads already endured.
If the name "Koh Samui" is well-known today, it is because word passed round quickly
about an idyllic island in the south of Thailand, difficult to reach, a place with
only tracks, and as close to being paradise as Mother Earth can possibly provide.
Furthermore, this was no tiny islet, but a large and mountainous tropical heaven
with rushing streams, thick forests, and dozens of deserted pristine palm-fringed
beaches, the stuff of dreams and fantasy.
Welcome to Koh Samui Thailand
Born therefore - like so many other resorts - of backpackers' private discoveries,
Samui fifty years on boasts a network of roads, an entire tourism infrastructure,
and almost-hourly flights landing and at the picturesque airport. If purists might
lament this transformation, the island nonetheless retains much of its magic, and
international tourism has done little so far to mar the intrinsic tropical beauty.
Development has affected mostly the coastal areas, and much of the mountainous interior
remains untouched. Here the friendly inhabitants carry on their lives cultivating
coconuts, banana, durian and paddy, just as before, accepting foreign visitors as
an inevitable result of progress, like telephones and television. Plump middle-aged
codgers, who as slim pimply-faced youths might have lounged under Samui's swaying
palms in 1962, can still relive that island feeling today, albeit with luxury hotels
and modern-day conveniences all around, and the sense of adventure long since gone.