Samui In Brief
Koh Samui was discovered by backpackers in the early 70s and is today one of the most visited places in Thailand. It is the ideal destination for those seeking the sun and the sea.
People and Lifestyle
It has a local population of 40,000 known as Chao Samui (Samui folks) who originally came from the mainland as well as Muslims from Pattani who have settled in Hua Thanon. Visitors should take off their shoes when entering houses and temples. Don’t forget to wai!
The island has modern communication facilities. Most hotels, resorts and shops have internet and IDD phone services. Cyber cafes charge Bt60 per minute.
There are three main hospitals that offer 24-hour service: Samui Hospital in Nathon (077-421230/-2), Bandon International Hospital in Bophut (077-245236/-9) and Samui International Hospital in Chaweng (077-422272). Each hospital has foreign doctors and the latest medical equipment.
Visitors can choose from bungalows, hotels and resorts. Rates can go for as low as Btl50 for a small hut. Prices tend to be lower by 20 to 30 percent during the low tourist season. Reservations are necessary dviring the peak season.
Coconut farming is the main source of income before the tourism boom. Local fishing and rice farming also contribute to the economy.
Six kilometer Chaweng Beach on the eastern coast is the most popular. It is the most developed beach area, which is now the prime shopping, entertainment and nightlife center on the island.
Next is Lamai Beach – well known for its twin grotesque rocks on shore and the Hin Ta Hin Yai rocks. A combination of nightlife and local life makes it attractive to visitors.
Bo Phut Beach – located on the north coast, it is known for its tranquility. It is ideal for windsurfing and sailing. This beach is known for having ports where people take boat to nearby islands.
How to Get There
Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways operate daily flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui.
Thai Airways International
Tel. (66) 2628 2000, (66) 2280 0060 or Hotline 1566
Please goto Domestic Airlines page for schdule detail and Online Booking
Bangkok Airways also has flights between Bangkok – Koh Samui
For reservations, contact Bangkok Airways, Bangkok office
Tel. (66) 2265 5555, (66) 2265 5678, (66) 2971 8120-9 or Hotline 1771 Website: www.bangkokair.com
Trains leave from Hua Lamphong Railway Station in Bangkok to Surat Thani, from where it is necessary to take a bus to Don Sak Pier and then a ferry across to the islands. Railway Station Hotline: 1690 or Hua Lamphong Railway Station Tel. (66) 2220 4334
Surat Thani Railway Station Tel. (66) 7731 1213
Buses from Bangkok leave the Southern Bus Terminal three times a day for Ko Samui, but the fare does not include the ticket for the ferry. The bus takes around 14 hours.
Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal Tel. (66) 2435 1199
Surat Thani Bus Terminal Tel. (66) 7720 0032
To Ko Samui
The ferries for passengers and cars from Don Sak Pier to Ko Samui depart from 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., taking about one and a half hours. Fare ranges between 84 and 220 baht. Some ferry company’s fare may include a ticket for an air-conditioned bus. If one loves travelling at night to get a great view of stars and sky, there is also an overnight boat to Ko Samui which departs at 11.00 p.m. and arrives at 5.00 a.m.