Ko Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand, approximately
84 kilometers east of Surat Thani Province, or approximately
700 kilometers south of Bangkok. Known as the Coconut Island,
Ko Samui is one of the most famous and popular attractions
of Thailand. With an area of 247 square kilometers, Ko Samui
is the third largest island of Thailand after Phuket and Ko
Chang (of Trat Province). The topography of the island is
that of a plain with a mountain range in the middle and 7
important streams. In addition, there is a 50-kilometer paved
road that encircles the island. Moreover, the area of the
island stretches to a group of 48 surrounding islets.
Despite the fast pace of development,
Ko Samui has been able to maintain its charm Ė its classical
image of a tropical beach resort fringed by coconut trees.
Travelers to the island can enjoy a mixed blessing of vibrant
day and nightlife along side with tranquility which can easily
be found across different parts of Ko Samui as the archipelago
is a peaceful home for fishermen and a natural den for seagulls
and other rare birds.
Hat Chaweng and Hat Lamai are
Ko Samuiís most beautiful and most popular beaches. Both have
a huge selection of accommodations suitable for every budget.
Please note that room rates increase during the high season,
from December to July, when Samui sparkles. The nightlife
of each beach is different: Hat Chaweng is better for couples,
women and families, while single men are drawn to the beer
bar culture of Hat Lamai. These resorts, as well as Na Thon
(Samuiís main town), have communications, exchange and car/motorcycle
hire facilities. Other beaches include Hat Choeng Mon, Hat
Mae Nam in the north and Hat Na Thon, the island's major seafront
settlement where shops, restaurants and tour agencies are
Apart from its many lovely beaches
and tranquil bays, Ko Samui is also noted for its high quality
coconuts that grow densely everywhere. The best time to visit
Ko Samui is from February to April when the sea is calm. The
Southern dialect and the standard Thai language are spoken
while English is widely understood in tourist areas.
to Ko Samui
flies from Bangkok to Ko Samui 13 times daily. The flight
takes about one hour and 10 minutes. It also offers daily
flights between Phuket and Samui. For more information, call
its Bangkok office, 0 2229 3456, 0 2229 3434, Samui office,
0 7742 2512 - 9 or Samui Airport Office 0 7724 5601-8.
and non air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok's Southern Bus
Terminal for Surat Thani several times daily. The trip takes
about 11 hours. For further information, call 0 2435 1199,
0 2435 1200 (air-con), 0 2434 5557 - 8 (non-air-con).
From Bangkok, take Highway
4 (Buddha Monthon Road) through Phetchaburi and Chumphon Provinces
and then drive on to Highways 41 and 401 to Surat Thani Province.
From Surat Thani, visitors can take their cars to Ko Samui
through a vehicle ferry at Donsak Pier. The trip takes 1.30
Several trains leave Bangkok's
Hualamphong Station for Surat Thani daily. The trip takes
about 12 hours. Train / bus / ferry combination tickets are
also available. For more information, call Hualamphong Railway
Station, 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020.
Surat Thani to Ko Samui
1.1 An express
ferry boat of Songserm Travel departs from Tha Thong Pier
in Surat Thani at 8.00 a.m. and arrives at Na Thon Pier in
Samui at 10.30 a.m. every day. For the return trip, the boat
leaves Na Thon Pier at 2.00 p.m. and reaches Tha Thong at
1.2 Express boats of Seatran
Express operate three times a day between Ban Don and Ko Samui.
Departure times are 7.00 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. The
trip takes two hours.
Boats of Seatran
which can accommodate 60 cars and 400 passengers, operates
several trips per day between Don Sak (Surat Thani) and Ko
Samui, from 5.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The trip takes about 1.30
A slow night ferry
leaves Ban Don Pier nightly at 11 p.m. and reaches Na Thon
Pier at Samui around 5 a.m. (6 hours). For the return trip,
the boat leaves Na Thon Pier at 9.00 p.m. and arrives at Ban
Don Pier at 4.00 a.m. (7 hours).
around Ko Samui
Samui is an explorer's dream
to discover something new. Offering a wealth of diversity
of landscape, vistas, flora and fauna, and yet small enough
to seek adventure in its many out-of-the-way places, Samui
is best seen by taking songthaews (red local bus) which operate
around the island. The fare starts at 20 bahts, depending
on the distance of the destination.
For many reasons,
the least suitable for exploring, but the safest and easiest
way to get to the destination is to go by taxi. The official
taxi service time is until 9.00 p.m. Visitors are recommended
to negotiate strongly for the fare and keep in mind that negotiation
should always be dome before boarding. Note that the fare
at night will be escalated.
Rented Jeep, 4WD,
is available from many family-owned agencies and some well
known large companies. The vehicle will serve as the basic
means of transportation taking visitors around many hillside
natural and man-made attractions which are easily accessible
from the ring road. Some of these vehicles come with insurance,
but the coverage is limited. Always ask for details first.
The minimum price is from 800 bahts.
A more flexible
way to get around the island, rented motorcycle costs approximately
200 bahts / day. Beware, as roads other than the main roads
on Ko Samui are quite rough in some parts.
to nearby Islands from Samui
1.1 Na Thon Pier (Ko Samui)
-- Thong Sala Pier (Ko Pha-ngan)
Songserm Travel Co. operates
ferry boats and express boats between Na Thon Pier on Ko Samui
and Thong Sala Pier on Ko Pha-ngan, four times a day. The
trip takes about 45 minutes for express boats, and one hour
for ordinary ferry boats.
1.2 Bo Phut (Ko Samui) -- Hat
Rin (Ko Pha-ngan)
There is a ferry boat leaving
Bo Phut for Ko Pha-ngan twice daily at 9.30 a.m. and 2.30
p.m. The return trips depart Hat Rin on Ko Pha-ngan at 10.30
a.m. and 3.30 p.m.
Visitors can hire
a boat on Ko Samui to Ang Thong. The charge depends on the
boat size and number of passengers. The trip takes 1.30 hours.
It is also possible to join a full-day excursion organized
by tour operators in Ko Samui.
for Ko Tao are available at Na Thon Pier of Ko Samui.