About Koh Samui
As the largest of Thailand’s east-coast islands, Koh Samui has plenty going on. With a mix of shopping areas and wild landscapes, you can have the best of both worlds. Waterfall hunting, marine-park exploring and jungle trekking are just some of the adventures on offer. Or you could just hang out on some of the island’s white-sand beaches, sipping fresh coconut water.
The majority of Koh Samui hostels are clustered along the east coast. There are all kinds of places, from party pads and chilled beachside retreats to boutique bed and breakfasts. You can even stay in uniquely wonderful mud huts or wooden cabins right next to the beach. Most of the hostels in Koh Samui offer free Wi-Fi and some provide free breakfast. Check out those with swimming pools and on-site bars that bring the party to your doorstep. Find the best hostels in Koh Samui here.
Koh Samui has a few main areas to explore. The most popular is around Chaweng Beach, where you’ll find the liveliest nightlife on the island and a large shopping complex. Towards the north coast is Bophut, the Fisherman’s Village. It retains some of this tropical retreat's traditional heritage with its old Thai-Chinese wooden houses. For a spot of peace and quiet, a stay near the bay at Coral Cove lets you relax on its near-empty white-sand beach.
Travellers come to Koh Samui to party, to explore or both. Treks through the jungle take you to the island’s many waterfalls – take a dip at one of them for a tropical experience to remember. Or you could view the wilderness from above as you whizz down the island’s zip line. The Big Buddha, a 12-metre-tall statue that sits on a small island just off the coast, is worth a visit, as are the intriguing rock formations at Hin Ta and Hin Yai. From the island, you can take a boat trip to Angthong National Marine Park for the spectacular sights of its archipelago and emerald-coloured lagoon.
Koh Samui can be reached by air from Bangkok or by boat from the mainland. If you’re coming from the capital, an overnight bus runs to Chumphon and connects with a high-speed catamaran to the island. There’s also the option of getting a train down to Surat Thani station from Bangkok and then a shuttle bus to Don Sak Pier. To get around the island, look out for pick-up-truck taxis (songthaews) that cater for islanders and visitors.