Thailand Vacation Series – Samui

Ko Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand, approximately 84 kilometers east of Surat Thani Province, or approximately 700 kilometers south of Bangkok. Known as the Coconut Island, Ko Samui is one of the most famous and popular attractions of Thailand. With an area of 247 square kilometers, Ko Samui is the third largest island of Thailand after Phuket and Ko Chang (of Trat Province). The topography of the island is that of a plain with a mountain range in the middle and 7 important streams. In addition, there is a 50-kilometer paved road that encircles the island. Moreover, the area of the island stretches to a group of 48 surrounding islets.

Despite the fast pace of development, Ko Samui has been able to maintain its charm its classical image of a tropical beach resort fringed by coconut trees. Travelers to the island can enjoy a mixed blessing of vibrant day and nightlife along side with tranquility which can easily be found across different parts of Ko Samui as the archipelago is a peaceful home for fishermen and a natural den for seagulls and other rare birds.

Hat Chaweng and Hat Lamai are Ko Samuis most beautiful and most popular beaches. Both have a huge selection of accommodations suitable for every budget. Please note that room rates increase during the high season, from December to July, when Samui sparkles. The nightlife of each beach is different: Hat Chaweng is better for couples, women and families, while single men are drawn to the beer bar culture of Hat Lamai. These resorts, as well as Na Thon (Samui’s main town), have communications, exchange and car/motorcycle hire facilities. Other beaches include Hat Choeng Mon, Hat Mae Nam in the north and Hat Na Thon, the island’s major seafront settlement where shops, restaurants and tour agencies are concentrated.

Apart from its many lovely beaches and tranquil bays, Ko Samui is also noted for its high quality coconuts that grow densely everywhere. The best time to visit Ko Samui is from February to April when the sea is calm. The Southern dialect and the standard Thai language are spoken while English is widely understood in tourist areas.

From Surat Thani to Ko Samui

1.Express boat

1.1 An express ferry boat of Songserm Travel departs from Tha Thong Pier in Surat Thani at 8.00 a.m. and arrives at Na Thon Pier in Samui at 10.30 a.m. every day. For the return trip, the boat leaves Na Thon Pier at 2.00 p.m. and reaches Tha Thong at 4.30 p.m.

1.2 Express boats of Seatran Express operate three times a day between Ban Don and Ko Samui. Departure times are 7.00 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. The trip takes two hours.

2. Ferry Boats of Seatran

Seatran Ferry, which can accommodate 60 cars and 400 passengers, operates several trips per day between Don Sak (Surat Thani) and Ko Samui, from 5.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The trip takes about 1.30 hours.

3. Night ferry

A slow night ferry leaves Ban Don Pier nightly at 11 p.m. and reaches Na Thon Pier at Samui around 5 a.m. (6 hours). For the return trip, the boat leaves Na Thon Pier at 9.00 p.m. and arrives at Ban Don Pier at 4.00 a.m. (7 hours).

Getting to nearby Islands from Samui

1. Ko Pha-ngan

1.1 Na Thon Pier (Ko Samui) — Thong Sala Pier (Ko Pha-ngan)

Songserm Travel Co. operates ferry boats and express boats between Na Thon Pier on Ko Samui and Thong Sala Pier on Ko Pha-ngan, four times a day. The trip takes about 45 minutes for express boats, and one hour for ordinary ferry boats.

1.2 Bo Phut (Ko Samui) — Hat Rin (Ko Pha-ngan)

There is a ferry boat leaving Bo Phut for Ko Pha-ngan twice daily at 9.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. The return trips depart Hat Rin on Ko Pha-ngan at 10.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.

2. Ang Thong Islands

Visitors can hire a boat on Ko Samui to Ang Thong. The charge depends on the boat size and number of passengers. The trip takes 1.30 hours. It is also possible to join a full-day excursion organized by tour operators in Ko Samui.

3. Ko Tao

Boat services for Ko Tao are available at Na Thon Pier of Ko Samui.

Ko Samui – Animal Farms and Shows

Phang Ka Snake Farm

at Tambon Taling Ngam, has daily shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., 250 baht per person, Tel: 0-7742-3247.

Samui Buffalo Village

At Tambon Na Mueang, has daily shows at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., 350 baht per person, Tel: 0-7741-8680.

Butterfly Garden and Honey Farm

In the south of the island, open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 120 baht per person, Tel: 0-7742-4020-21.

Monkey Training Center

At Tambon Bo Phut, has daily shows at 10.30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., 150 baht per person, Tel: 0-7724 -5140.

Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo

At Ao Laem Set, opens daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 250 baht per person, Tel: 0-7742-4017-8.

Crocodile Farm

Near Na Mueang Waterfall, daily shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., 250 baht per person.

Buffalo fighting

This is an exciting bout that attracts a huge crowd, both local residents and tourists. Held monthly, it serves as a traditional festival on the island.

Monkey & Elephant Shows

At the show, it is actually possible to see how monkeys collect coconuts and present their other exceptional abilities. In addition, visitors will be impressed by the intelligence and loveliness of elephants that can perform many lovely tricks, or even play football.

On Ko Samui, the coconut island, the monkey is considered man’s best friend. Local people have used monkeys to climb up and pick the ripe coconuts for centuries. At present, monkeys are not just good at picking coconuts, they are also good at entertaining.

Snake show

A stunning show that is not suitable for a people with heart diseases. The show offers a thrilling experience especially when the poisonous reptiles are skillfully caught by a handler with bare hands. Shows feature snakes indigenous to Ko Samui as well as centipedes, scorpion and cock fighting shows.

Samui Crocodile Farm

Siam crocodiles, Caimans, Saltwater crocodiles, snakes, lizards, monkeys and many others are gathered here for entertainment.

Samui Aquarium

Located at Laem Set Bay, the Aquarium features a wide variety of tropical fish and marine fauna.

Samui Go Kart

Looking for fast-paced action? Visit this site in Bophut, on the ring road opposite the Samui Euphoria Resort, and enjoy circling the track at over 100 kilometers. Call 077 425097 for more information.

Samui Golf & Country Club

Ko Samui offers an absolutely overwhelming experience for golfers. This par 72 course was jointly designed by Edward Theile and Pirapon Namartra. The challenge is its relentless, tumbling diversity and its degree of difficulty. The par-3s range from 155 to 214 yards, highlighted by the shortest (the audacious 6th, with a vertical drop and waterfall). The 10 par-4s are whimsical and attenuated and querulous and lengthy. The par-5s start at 458 and end at the signature 17th with 622 yards of downhill travel. The fairways are tilted and the greens are uniformly gyroscopic.

Samui Nightlife

Its never ending. Koh Samui offers spectacular evening entertainment for all ages. This includes traditional beach bars (popular with families), western-style pubs, which feature music, videos and satellite television, and free to enter nightclubs, which are more active after midnight and usually continue through the pre-dawn hours. Bars, cabarets shows and discos are mainly located in Chaweng and Lamai. Green Mango, Raggae Pub, Full Circle and Bauhaus are the main discotheques, some open until sunrise.

The most vibrant nightlife activities can be found around the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai. Resorts also provide magnificent entertainment such as dinner cabarets, where professional singers and dancers display their talents in stylish surroundings.

Samui Paintball

A non-water based activity worth trying, Samui paintball offers a unique opportunity to take a shot at families and friends without having to go to jail.

Scuba Diving

There are many scuba diving schools located around Ko Samui, offering a wide range of dive facilities. There are also tours available for snorkeling, fishing and excursions. The area of Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Pha-ngan and Angthong Marine National Park are very famous dive places.

Spa experience at Samui

Samui now boasts many excellent, world-class spas set in a truly Samui ambience. From aromatic floral baths, steaming and body masque with Thai herbs, to face and body massage, reflexology, and other well-being therapy, Samui has everything that caters to your needs rejuvenating, pampering and relaxing in utmost luxury and comfort.

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Kai Otoko is the webmaster of http://thailand-vacation-info.blogspot.com which is the blog introducing information for people who are planning to take a Thailand Vacation, or just want to know more about Thailand. The main purpose is to help promote Thailand tourism.

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