Koh Samui is a tropical paradise island. Part of the Angthong Archipelago in the southern Gulf of Thailand around 80 Km offshore from Surat Thani on the mainland. Samui was discovered by backpackers in the early 70's and ever since has grown to become a major tourist attraction in Thailand, catering to all from backpackers to 5-Star getaways.
The beauty of Koh Samui
From the waterfalls of Hin Laad and Namuang to the obscenely interesting "Grandfather and Grandmother" rocks near Lamai, Samui's natural attractions are many and diverse. Stunning white sand beaches line the coast and although the island is now a popular holiday destination, there are still many beaches you can visit that are deserted. So whether you enjoy busy beaches with lots of watersport activity or prefer relaxing on a paradise beach in tranquil surroundings, Samui has it all.
Tropical rain forests in totally pristine condition line the interior of the island. Although the roads to the interior have much improved over recent years, the best way to experience the beauty of the inland is by foot or on an Elephant Trek into the interior. There are plenty of tourist walks organised by locals and alternative ways in which to experience the stunning views provided by the island, these include:
If you enjoy shopping for clothes or souvenirs, Samui has plenty to offer. The best location is in Chaweng where on the main street you'll find a diversity of retail outlets from street traders to well known designer shops. In fact, so westernised has the island become, there is now even a large Tescos on the island, just 5 minutes from Chaweng, selling all you need for a self catering holiday and more. You could also try the local markets for fresh produce which are incredibly cheap.
Bars, cabarets shows and discos are mainly in Chaweng and Lamai. Green Mango, Reggae Pub, Full Circle and Bauhaus are the main discotheques, some open until sunrise.
The Seafood is well known on Samui. In fact, there is every type of restaurant you could imagine, the variety is too vast to mention here, so no need to worry if your dietary needs will be catered for and the quality is good due to the hot competition. Once again, the main concentration for restaurants is in Chaweng, although there are plenty of restaurants all over the island, you'll be spoilt for choice. You should also try the large range of tropical fruits and a fresh coconut.
Cost of living and general expenses on Samui
The cost of living on Koh Samui is not high, the local foods are plentiful and inexpensive. By way of example, a family of four could easily eat at a restaurant for 1200 Baht (about £20) and that's including drinks! Alternatively, four adults could eat and drink at a relatively expensive restaurant and pay 5000 Baht (£85), either way, that's less than half what you would pay in the UK. Fuel and other items brought from the mainland are also cheap in comparison with Europe. If you rent a car or jeep, expect to pay around 900 - 2000 Baht to fill an empty tank with petrol. Local banks deal in all kinds of currencies and transactions and can service your every local and international banking need. There are also plenty of ATM cash dispensers around so you'll have no problem obtaining more cash!
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