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Koh Samui is, at around 95 square miles (247 sq km), the third largest (after Phuket and Koh Chang) island in Thailand, and is located in the Surat Thani province in the Gulf of Thailand, approximately 435 miles to the south of Bangkok
Places to visit
BeachesThe beaches of Koh Samui are mostly fringed with coconut trees and feature fine white sands and clear waters. The 7 km long Chaweng beach is the best, most developed and most popular beach. Located on the north-eastern side of Koh Samui, Chaweng beach does, however, tend to get very busy as a result, especially during the high season. Lamai beach, situated in the south, is not quite as long as Chaweng beach, but tends to be quieter and is said to have a lot of charm. Just north of this beach, the popular Ao Tong Takian, another beautiful beach, can be found. Along the northern coast of Koh Samui, three very fine beaches, Big Buddha, Bo Phut and Maenam, can be discovered, with the smaller, but gorgeous and less crowded beaches of Chong Mon and Bang Por in the north-east and north-west respectively.
WaterfallsThe natural beauty of two waterfalls, Na Muang, which is located just over six miles (10 km) south of the town of Nathon, and Hin Lad, a little over a mile south of this town, should also not be missed during a Koh Samui holiday. Both falls are accessible via a pleasant walk through the forest.
Wat Phra YaiAlmost 40 ft (12 m) high, this Buddha statue is located on a small island, which is connected to mainland Koh Samui via a bridge. This statue, which also features a Dharma wheel and has been extended with a traditional Suphannahong boat, is of great spiritual importance to locals and visitors are advised to be respectful and wear proper shoes and clothes when visiting it
On the southern end of Lamai beach, Koh Samui holiday makers are able to marvel at Hin Ta Hin Yai, a rock formation known as grandfather and grandmother rocks.
Other activitiesAlternative entertainment can be found in one of several Thai Boxing stadiums, and on the road close to Chaweng beach, there is a shooting range. Go karting is available on the Bo Phut main road, adrenaline pumping bungy jumping can be found at Chaweng, close to Chaweng Lake, which is itself worth a visit.
At Leam Set, in the south-east of Koh Samui, the Butterfly Garden provides a chance to see some of the most amazing butterflies and a range of other, equally amazing tropical insects. The Magic Garden in the centre of Samui features interesting cement sculptures created by a fruit farmer and offers a range of activities and sports.
Diving and SnorkellingFor diving enthusiasts, a Koh Samui holiday offers a range of excellent diving sites and various diving shops on Koh Samui and on the sister islands of Koh Tan and, of course, Koh Tao. Other activities popular on Koh Samui include snorkelling and wave-diving.
Take a visit to Nathon, the harbour town of Koh Samui, which attracts visitors with a long pier, at which boats coming from the main land arrive, as well as a good selection of restaurants, shops, banks and post offices.
WeatherThe dry season, ranging from December through to February, offers the advantage of having occasional refreshing breeze and is perfect for body and wind surfing. December and January see the highest number of sunshine hours, but February is the driest, with less than half an inch (8 mm) of rain all month. The hot season is typically also quite dry, but temperatures can be stifling at between 82 and 95 degrees F (28 to 35 degrees C) during the day, with May tending to see a little more rain. The monsoon season begins in September and continues until November. It is still hot during this period, and the showers, though frequently heavy, are often short and rather refreshing. Water temperatures range between 79 and just over 82 degrees F (26 to 28 degrees C) throughout the year.