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Koh Samui, Bild: toiletroom / shutterstock

Koh Samui – The Pearl of Thailand

Versatile Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world because of its paradisiacal beaches and islands. A Mecca that the Southeast Asian state has in store is the charming island of Koh Samui – one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

With its 233 square kilometers, it is considered the third largest island in Thailand. In the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is even the largest island. Currently, the Thai island has an average of 46,000 inhabitants. Translated from Thai into English, “Koh” or “Ko” means something like island.

Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, Koh Samui
Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, Image: lkunl / shutterstock

The beautiful spot is surrounded by the Gulf of Thailand, a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean. About 35 kilometers separate the island of Koh Samui, also known as Ko Samui, from the Thai mainland. It is assigned to Surat Thani Province, which is located in the south of Thailand. Together with about 60 other islands, Koh Samui forms the so-called Samui Archipelago, which also includes the Ang Thong Marine National Park. In the west of Koh Samui you will find the main town of the island. The 5000-inhabitant city of Ban Nathon is a lively place where the heart of Koh Samui beats.

The landscape of Koh Samui is strongly influenced by numerous coconut palms, which are abundant here because of the tropical climate. For this reason, Ko Samui is also called the “island of coconut palms”.

The stunning scenery of the island

Image: Maxim Tupikov / shutterstock

Dreamlike white sandy beaches, turquoise blue water and imposing rocky landscapes determine the varied picture of Koh Samui. The island, where Buddhism is strongly practiced, enchants its visitors with breathtaking nature. If you want to get to know Thailand’s islands from its natural side, Koh Samui is the right place for you. Especially in the south of the island, you will find an impressive landscape that has retained its originality.

Koh Samui has many faces. There are very lively places here that are known as tourist magnets. Nevertheless, the island also has many untouched places in store, which are far away from mass tourism. For example, the beaches of Taling Ngam and Lipa Noi, where those seeking relaxation can draw from the full. Taling Ngam Beach stretches along the west coast of Koh Samui. If you are lucky, you will find almost deserted beach sections on some days. If you prefer to plunge into the hustle and bustle, the tourist resorts of Lamai and Chaweng are the right place. Lamai Beach and Chaweng Beach, one of the most beautiful and sought-after beaches on the island, awaits you here. Maenam Beach in the north of the island and Silver Beach, which can be found in eastern Koh Samui, also boast their beauty. So they show themselves with fine sand and clear water.

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With its large offer, the coconut palm island appeals to everyone. Whether you are an individual tourist, backpacker, family with child, luxury holidaymaker or package holiday: Koh Samui simply has an amazing variety in store. Active holidaymakers have the best opportunities for hiking in the mountainous interior of the island. A highlight in the southwest of Koh Samui is the 640-meter-high Khao Thai Kwai, which is also the highest mountain on the entire island.

The impressive sights of Koh Samui

One thing is certain: there is no chance of boredom on a holiday on Koh Samui, as the island captivates with a variety of sights. You should definitely have seen the Big Buddha Wat Phra Yai. This 12-metre-high golden giant statue catches the eye as soon as you land. The Buddha is located in a temple complex that is located on a separate island from Koh Samui. The religious site is considered the sanctuary of the island and should only be entered with covered shoulders and knees out of respect for religion.

An amazing natural spectacle, especially in the rainy season, is provided by the Na Muang and Hin Lad waterfalls not far from Nathon. There are two Namuang waterfalls in total. The largest of them is 80 meters high. To marvel at the masses of water, you have to take a short path through the jungle.

Shiva Koh Samui
The Shiva Stue on Koh Samui, Image: OlegD / shutterstock

Equally unforgettable impressions are the so-called grandfather and grandmother rock formations called Hin Ta and Hin Yai. The bizarre rocks represent sexual organs and protrude from the sea. Nevertheless, it gets rocky in the Secret Buddha Garden, also known as the Magic Garden. Hidden between tropical rainforest and imposing mountains is the mysterious garden with its unusual statues. With its waterfall and a stream, the Magic Garden is considered a place full of idyll. Shoppers will get their money’s worth at the Lamai night market, which opens its doors every Sunday.

Koh Samui – a gourmet paradise

On Ko Samui there is almost everything to eat that a gourmet’s heart desires. Both American and European restaurants await their guests here. However, if you want to explore authentic Thai cuisine, you should definitely visit the local street stalls. Tasty food made from fresh fish, crabs and other seafood can almost always be found on the menu here.

Facts about Koh Samui

  • Tropical climate: Ko Samui enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures all year round. The best time to visit is between November and April, when the weather is dry and pleasant.
  • Coconuts: The island is known for its rich coconut production. Because of this tradition, coconuts are often referred to as the “island of coconut palms”.
  • Beach variety: Ko Samui offers a variety of beaches to suit all tastes. The famous Chaweng Beach is lively and busy, while Lamai Beach offers a more relaxed atmosphere. The beaches of Bophut and Maenam are also popular destinations.
  • Hin Ta and Hin Yai: These rock formations, also known as “Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks”, are one of the most curious sights on Ko Samui. The natural formations resemble human sexual organs and have an interesting legend.
  • Temple of the Great Buddha: Wat Phra Yai, also known as the Temple of the Great Buddha, is home to an impressive 12-meter-tall Buddha statue that looks majestically over Bang Rak Bay.
  • Wedding destination: Due to its romantic beaches and picturesque setting, Ko Samui is a popular place for weddings and honeymoons.
  • Angthong Marine National Park: This national park consists of 42 islands and is easily accessible from Ko Samui. The archipelago offers snorkeling and diving opportunities as well as spectacular views.
  • Buddhist Culture: In addition to its natural beauty, Ko Samui is rich in Buddhist culture. There are many temples and shrines that can be visited to learn more about the spiritual side of the island.
  • Nightlife: While Ko Samui is known for its laid-back atmosphere, it also offers a vibrant nightlife. Especially in Chaweng and Lamai there are numerous bars, clubs and restaurants.
  • Airport on an island: Ko Samui has a unique airport built on an artificial headland. It is one of the few airports in the world that is completely surrounded by water.
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The most popular beaches in Ko Samui

  • Chaweng Beach: This is one of the most famous and busy beaches on Ko Samui. The long, white sandy beach stretches along the east coast and offers a variety of restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues.
  • Lamai Beach: Lamai is the second largest beach on the island and is characterized by its relaxed atmosphere. Here you will find a mix of beach bars, restaurants and water sports activities.
  • Bophut Beach: This beach is located near the charming Fisherman’s Village and offers a quieter place to relax. The beach has a beautiful view of the nearby island of Koh Phangan.
  • Maenam Beach: Maenam is known for its quiet and peaceful beach. Here you will find fewer crowds and a relaxed environment. It is a great place to enjoy the beauty of nature.
  • Choeng Mon Beach: A smaller beach in the northeast of the island, ideal for families. The beach has shallow water and is quiet, which makes it a good place for children.
  • Silver Beach (Thong Takhian): A quiet and secluded beach in the south of Chaweng Beach. This place is less crowded and offers a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Lipa Noi Beach: This beach is located on the west coast of the island and offers breathtaking sunsets. It is often less crowded, which makes it a great place for rest and relaxation.
  • Taling Ngam Beach: Another quiet beach in the southwest of the island with a picturesque backdrop. Here you can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the beauty of nature.