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Samui Island

Koh Samui has been settled for about 1500 years. The first inhabitants here were fishermen. The island is found on 500 years old maps from Chinese Ming dynasty. Fishing and coconut plantations has been the major source of income on the island. Today, tourism is the main income for the inhabitants of the island. The people here are called "Chao Samui".

Samui Island

Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand (bordering the South China Sea in the Pacific Ocean). The island is a "Amphoe" or district in the Surat Thani Changwat or province. Samui is divided into seven "Tambon" or sub districts (administrative regions): Maenam, Bophut, Maret, Taling Ngam, Namuang, Lipa Noi and Angthong. Koh Samui has been a backpackers destination since late 70's. Today, tourist from the whole world go to this easygoing "paradise". It is surrounded by more than sixty other islands, some small and inhabited, some are larger such as Koh Phangan and Koh Tao (divers island). Other popular destinations in the area are: Koh Nang Yuan (next to Koh Tao) and the Angthong National Marine Park (located between Koh Samui and the Suratthani mainland).

Flight

There are many daily flights from the International and domestic Airport in Bangkok; Suvarnabhumi Airport (opened in September 2006). Bangkok Air flies direct to Samui Airport. A flight schedule with Bangkok Airways is found here. Also Thai Airways has a two daily flights to Samui Airport (since February 2008).

Thai Airways and Air Asia also flies to Suratthani. From there, just catch the bus or taxi to the ferry in Donsak.

Plane from Bangkok Airways

BANGKOK AIR PLANE - Photo by Jens W - Kohsamui.org

Bus

If you prefer a more economical way to travel, we recommend a so called VIP bus from the well-known Khao San Road or from the Southern Bus Terminal at Boromrat Chonnani Road. The VIP buses are more comfortable, and has less seats than a so called A/C bus. You can buy a ticket in almost every travel agency in Bangkok. The ferry ticket is sometimes included in the price.

Train

Another comfortable way to travel is the night train from Hualamphong, (the Bangkok railway station) to Suratthani. The sleeping cars has rather comfortable beds. To travel by railway is a little more expensive than the bus, but you will probably get a better sleep. Upper beds are less expensive than the lower ones. A private "first class" cabin for two persons, is also available. Ideal for couples!

Ferry

The fastest ferries departures from the two main piers in Donsak on the main land with the operators Seatran, and Raja Ferry. The price is about 150 baht for passengers and 420 baht for cars (2009). You will see many of the small surrounding islands if you don't fall asleep.

You might also take the Lomprayah catamaran which departures from Chumphon. The also offer bus rides from Banglamphu in Bangkok. On smaller ferries (such as the ones operated by Songserm from smaller piers situated at the Suratthani coastline), you might be contacted by Thai guys trying to convince you that "their" resort on Samui is the one to choose. It can be a blank or a prize in that "lottery". You can easily book a Koh Samui room or bungalow here.

Beaches

Most beaches has white sand and are fringed with coconut palms. Many resorts and hotels are located just a couple of meters from the beach. The most popular are:

Chaweng

A 7 km long beach in the North-East of Samui. The most well-known and developed, but also one of the best. You can rent anything from a simple bungalows to a five star hotel room here. There are plenty of high standard resorts here. The sand is invitingly white, but it can be a lot of people here, especially at high season.