The island of Koh Samui is a melting pot of a diverse array of international travelers, encompassing budget-conscious backpackers, wealthy holidaymakers, families seeking a picturesque escape, and newlyweds seeking a romantic getaway.
Boasting an impressive area of 250 square kilometers, Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand and is an idyllic destination for aquatic enthusiasts, offering ample opportunities for both diving and kayaking.
Nestled within the Chumphon Archipelago of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is situated a mere 700 kilometers from the southern regions of Bangkok and is widely regarded for its breathtaking natural beauty and a vibrant community of over 40,000 inhabitants. Some of the most renowned locations on the island include Chaweng Beach, Lamai, Bophut, and Choeng Mon. However, there are myriad other regions that warrant exploration, making it crucial to carefully determine the most suitable area to reside during your stay.
Koh Samui, one of the most remarkable islands in Thailand, boasts a diverse range of atmospheres, providing something for everyone. Despite the island’s rich history dating back over 15 centuries with the arrival of fishermen from southern China and the Malay, the origin of its name remains shrouded in mystery. Some conjecture that it is derived from the word “Saboey,” meaning “safe haven,” while others believe it to be an extension of the name of a native tree, the mui.
Until the early 20th century, Koh Samui maintained a secluded existence, disconnected from the central Thai community, with rudimentary infrastructure and limited accessibility. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the island began to attract backpackers, who arrived via coconut boats and established a small number of bungalows. Over the next two decades, Koh Samui gradually gained recognition, attracting increasing numbers of visitors from far-flung regions.
By the 1990s, Koh Samui had become a hub of activity, with full boats of tourists discovering its myriad sights and sounds. Today, the island stands as a testament to its remarkable growth, positioning itself as the second most popular tourist destination in Thailand after Phuket. With its captivating history, unique culture, and striking natural beauty, Koh Samui continues to enchant visitors from around the world.