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A crowd-pleasing combination of lively entertainment and soft sand beaches, Koh Samui is the original holiday island
Koh Samui is a name-drop-worthy island of palm trees, emerald-tinged waters and sultry weather that elicits a languid, lazing-by-the-pool kind of pace. There’s sunshine and tropical warmth almost all year round because it avoids the main monsoon season. This means you can pack light: swimwear, SPF and plenty of room for souvenirs.
Koh Samui is a microcosm of Thailand’s beaches. Travellers love it for the white-gold sands, tourist-friendly towns and variety of hotels complete with infinity pools and world-class restaurants. Waterfalls and walking trails inland give you a taste of Thailand’s tropical and rugged mainland, and offshore, you can go kayaking and snorkelling around the karsts in Ang Thong National Marine Park. Even if you’ve opted for a resort tucked away on a quieter part of the island, the night markets and live music bars of Chaweng and Lamai are just a taxi ride away.
Talk to us and we’ll help craft a personalised itinerary for your Koh Samui holiday.
- If you’re looking for a classic Thai beach getaway, Koh Samui is one of the best
- Palm-fringed sandy beaches and sunshine that lasts almost all year-round
- Some of Thailand’s best beaches for partying and pure relaxation
- Plenty of restaurants and bars for delicious Thai classics and romantic dining experiences
- Variety of accommodation of boutique boltholes and luxurious resorts to suit different budgets and tastes
Koh Samui holiday highlights
Koh Samui is the first choice for most when planning a Thai island escape. Backpackers make a beeline for it in search of Thai nightlife that isn’t quite as wild as Koh Phangan’s full moon parties; families come for a laid-back beach holiday with plenty of options for shopping; and for honeymooners, it’s the perfect size for a selection of beautiful resorts with fine dining options and amazing sunsets. You could easily spend day after day doing nothing more than devouring amazing Thai food and sinking your feet into dazzling white sand to the easy pace of island life.
Chaweng, Lamai & Bo Phut
Most resorts are found on the east coast, meaning you’re rarely more than 20 minutes away from the island’s points of interest. Chaweng is the busiest beach resort and stretches over three miles of glorious white sand – the longest beach on Koh Samui. Towards the centre, you could people watch day and night as visitors swim and bathe and bars come alive. Lying just ten minutes to the south of Chaweng, Lamai is Koh Samui’s second largest beach and is slightly smaller and quieter than its famed northern neighbour. By comparison, Lamai is considered somewhat sleepy, especially in quieter seasons. This makes it the perfect place to sit out at one of the many picturesque beachfront restaurants that offer a romantic moonlit dinner on the seashore. Choose a resort on the quieter northern shores – for example, in Bo Phut – and you’re just a 20-minute ride south to lively Chaweng or Lamai. Known as ‘fisherman’s village’, the centre of Bo Phut is home to restaurants, boutiques and the ‘walking street’ – a pedestrianised street lined with market stalls every Friday night. Bo Phut is quieter than Chaweng and Lamai and the mile-long beach is a firm favourite with families thanks to the shallow waters and abundance of shade.
With swoon-worthy scenery and world-class spas, Koh Samui is one of the best places for a wellness holiday. If you like the sound of a yoga retreat complete with lots of massages or a fitness holiday where you can sweat it out with Muay Thai boxing classes, we’ve got a selection of packages in partnership with Wellbeing Escapes to help you detox, tone up or unwind.
Where is Koh Samui?
Koh Samui is an island in the Gulf of Thailand just off the mainland’s east coast. It’s around 435 miles south of Bangkok, reachable by just over an hour's flight. To neighbouring Koh Phangan, it's between 20 minutes to an hour by ferry or speedboat. As it’s on the east of the mainland, Koh Samui experiences a tropical climate that differs to most of the country at certain times of the year. Take a look at our best time to visit guide to find out when to make the most of Koh Samui’s warmest weather.