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Ko Samui (Koh Samui), Thailand

September 17th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Photo: Lipa Noi Beach on Ko Samui, Thailand

Ko Samui island of Surat Thani Province (or Koh Samui) is an island off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand, close to the mainland Surat Thani town. It is Thailand's third largest island, with an area of 228.7 km² and a population of 47,874 (2006). It is rich with natural resources, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees.

It was only the early 1970s that the first backpackers traveling on the back of a coconut boat arrived on Ko Samui. And for years after that the island just had a few bungalows and a trickle of travelers. Things started to change however, in the early 1990s; tourists started arriving in the boat-full and since then the place has soared in popularity. Samui is now the second most popular place as an island destination in Thailand (first is Phuket). Ko Samui may not be the country’s most beautiful island but it is still an oasis of natural beauty with its white sandy beaches, dazzling coral, luscious lagoons, picturesque waterfalls, swaying coconut trees and crystal clear water. Tourism is now ahead of coconuts as the islands main industry.

Unfortunately, development on Ko Samui is starting to take its toll and the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai are as overcrowded as anywhere on the Costa-del-Sol. Other than that however, there are still legions of quieter locations to ‘get away from it all’.

Samui is visited mostly by holidaymakers wanting to "get away from it all", and its main appeal is its funky rural beach communities with white beaches and clear & warm seas, and it has a few exceptional ones to choose from. Ko Samui is hardly "away from it all" anymore, but rather a cool and bustling international island resort.

Choeng Mon beach

Choeng Mon beach

Lamai beach High street

Lamai beach High street

Chaweng Beach covers a large portion of the island's northeast coast, and is easily the most crowded and tourist saturated region on the island. The beach itself, while beautiful and clean often suffers from seasonal overcrowding as ever increasing numbers of visitors discover the island. Several hotels, ranging from budget resorts to luxury villas line up the shore. Restaurants are set right along the beachside, making Chaweng Beach seem to glow from within the sands.

Set back about 100 meters from the sand the one way beach road in Chaweng has developed into a bustling international tourist town packed with every kind of resort, restaurant, and bar (ranging from busy traditional family-run open air sea food and noodle Thai at Ninja, through exclusive Thai-Californian fusion food at Jeff Lord's Betelnut to Irish Pubs and American Fast Food places McDonald's and Starbucks), Fine art, tailors, and souvenir shops, markets and wild, rambunctious, or chilled out nightclubs.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Stanisław T.

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