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Koh Samui Hotels and Apartments
Koh Samui is located off the east coast of southern Thailand, and is one of the country’s most popular islands, second only to Phuket. The crowds are pulled in by Samui’s famous beaches, cuisine and nightlife, as well as its scorching tropical temperatures and stunning scenery – visitors can expect pristine white sand and startlingly blue sea, swaying palms, and mountains draped in lush rainforest. Once a favourite hangout of hippies and skint backpackers, Koh Samui has undergone a great deal of development in recent years and is now shiny and modern, with luxury spa hotels lining its shores.
A taste of tradition
Underneath the sleek exterior there are still pockets of traditional Thailand to be found, with Buddhist temples hidden in back streets and street food vendors busily cooking authentic Thai fare. To really get away from the crowds take a trip to the west coast, where the wild beaches and family-run fish restaurants contrast with the perfectly manicured east. Thanks to the island’s small size, it’s easy to get around and you’re rarely more than 20 minutes away from points of interest.
If there’s a paradise on Earth, the beaches on Koh Samui come pretty close, and there’s one to suit every taste. You can party day and night with pumping music and fire shows on Chaweng beach, enjoy a romantic moonlit dinner on Lamai beach, or simply relax under the palm fronds and try some authentic Pad Thai on Bo Phut beach.
There’s no doubt that the food here is a big draw, with a myriad of spicy and fragrant dishes to try. Much of the cuisine is inspired by India, Indonesia and Malaysia, with coconut a key ingredient in many dishes. Seafood is also on a lot of menus, often freshly caught the same day, although demand can exceed supply in the peak season.
Out and about
There’s lots to do away from the beaches on Koh Samui. The more adventurous can take part in a Treetop Tour – a cable ride over waterfalls and dense jungle. A visit to the iconic Wat Phra Yai Buddha statue is a must for a big dose of culture, or if you’ve got kids along, the Coco Splash and Aquapark waterparks will be sure to keep the whole family entertained.
· Time Zone – GMT+7
· Travel Time – Samui Airport (USM) – 13-16 hr (London)