Thailand, wonderful Thailand, full of Eastern exoticism, cosmopolitan and traditional. Its multi-faceted appeal has been of pleasure to millions for many years. From the highlands in the North to the sandy beaches which proliferate its coastline, this nation has fascinated and inspired the young and old in a way like no other destination on the planet.
Since the mid-70s tourism has exploded in the kingdom, Thailand has certainly been transformed by tourists and expat residents. Today the country’s visitor numbers continue to grow, and yet the unique appeal has not diminished. That is because Thailand has never allowed itself to forget what it is. The country is naturally beautiful and, to this day, it still remains almost mystical in its history, a history which is intricately entwined by its colorful traditions and culture.
The mainland is dotted with a proliferation of islands, 1430 in fact, each one with its own unique appeal. Of all the islands, one has floated to the surface as the number one destination for visitors and expat residents. Lapped by the glassy waters of the Gulf of Thailand, off the Eastern coast of the Kra Isthmus is Koh Samui, an exquisite meld of beauty, tradition and modernity.
Why is this island such a draw? It sports palm fringed, white sandy beaches equal to any in the kingdom, almost endless coconut groves and its all dominating forested mountains. Bustling towns, quiet fishing villages and isolated forest communities all combine to create a uniquely fascinating backdrop to a life of Eastern promise.
Koh Samui has become popular with visitors from all walks of life. Simple hotels and beachside bungalows host the budget traveler with functional simplicity. There are luxury resorts, relaxing spas and exquisite villas for the more well-heeled visitors, all of which enjoy the islands unique attributes with equal relish.
Doing and Seeing on Samui
The beaches of Chaweng and Lamai appeal to all, they are lively and yet the hustle and bustle all comes with a relaxed approach which is so uniquely Samui. Maenam beach, on the Northern coast of the island, must be visited and is considered to be one that is closest to paradise to be found on the island, if not the whole of the kingdom.
A little to the East of Maenam is Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village, this is a small traditional village which is a popular visitor destination. Fridays sees the area morph into a walking street of traders from all over the island. This open air market extravaganza is great to explore with its all local produce, from souvenirs to street food. For anyone that enjoys a retail cabaret, this is a great spectacle and real must see event.
Culturally, Koh Samui doesn’t disappoint. One of the popular sights to see is the 12-meter-high gold Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, built in 1972. Home to the gold Buddha is Koh Faan, this small temple islet is to be found on the Western side of the island’s Northeastern headland and be reached by a causeway connecting it to the mainland Samui.
Hidden away high in the hills in Koh Samui’s interior is the Secret Buddha Garden. Created by an old fruit farmer, this is a collection of statues in various poses. The statues are of humans, animals and deities in various poses. The old farmer, Nim Thongsuk created his fascinating collection on his family’s land which is surrounded by lush, verdant jungle and is, just like so much on Samui, awe inspiring.
Many visitors to Koh Samui see the Island as a base for island hoping, a holiday practice which is becoming ever more popular. Ang Thong National Marine Park is a must see experience. The park is made up of 42 uninhabited, lush islets that rise up majestically from the turquoise waters creating unforgettable vistas and memories that last a lifetime.
The timelessly un-spoilt islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are popular with all visitors and just a short hop away with Ferry Samui. These are lesser developed locations ideal for a bit of escapism. A slower pace of life, quiet beaches and a laid back approach to life gives them an appeal all of their very own.
On the island of Samui visitors can enjoy lively energy packed holidays, or peace and tranquility. They can opt for hedonism or inspiration, shop, dance or relax, Koh Samui has it all. The islands broad appeal is a perfect balance of everyone’s wants, needs and desires. And, with Its traditional approach to life which has never been allowed to diminish, Koh Samui remains Thailand’s number one Island destination.
The perfect way to get to get to this unique place is by splicing the blue waters of the gulf with Ferry Samui. Once there, Ferry Samui are your aid to exploring everything Koh Samui has to offer. Visit Ferry Samui for an experience that never disappoints.