Saturday, February 9, 2008

Visiting Koh Samui - Tropical Island in Thailand

by George Van Eyk

Koh Samui Introduction
Koh Samui lies roughly eighty kilometers of the east coast of Thailand. Samui is situated surrounded by other Islands of the Ang Tong group. From the second a traveler arrives on Samui they will fall in love with Samui. Many travelers visiting Samui adore the wonderful atmosphere that can be found on Samui.

Beauty of Samui
From nearly every position on Koh Samui, tourists are granted astonishing views of surrounding sea. The Samui airport will definitely be one of the most astonishing airports found any where on the globe. For those tourists arriving by boat to the wonderful Thai holiday Island, the ferry dock will steer them ahead instantly onto the white Samui beaches and its coconut trees.

Koh Samui Bungalows and Hotels
Koh Samui offers a remarkable selection and assortment of beachfront bungalows and resorts and is obtainable for virtually every tourist accommodation budget. Travelers will find on Samui a large offering of accommodation that ranges from standard beach bungalows on one of the beaches all the way up till incredible and luxurious Samui hotels and beach resorts.

The great thing about Koh Samui is that almost every voyager can find lodging right on one of the Samui beaches and at the budget available to the visitor.

Inhabitants of Samui

The inhabitants of Koh Samui are made up for the major piece of Thai Buddhists. Previous to the arrival of tourism dollars and the hefty number of tourists, Koh Samui has been living off coconut farming and fishing. Fishing and coconut farming are still an vital part of Samui however the vast mainstream of local residents are at present employed in the Samui hospitality and travel industry.

Chaweng Beach
The leading and most trendy Samui beach is of course Chaweng beach. Close runner ups are the Samui beaches at Lamai and the one at Maenam. Many of the beaches on Koh Samui have a huge number of bungalows and resorts however the Samui beaches by no means suffer from busy crows or noise as Koh Samui beaches are normally relatively stretched and spacious.

Entertainment on Koh Samui
Koh Samui offers tourists a lot of amusement and entertainment which ranges from the infamous Chaweng nightlife to relaxing trips by boat to deserted and fabulous beaches. Tourists visiting Koh Samui can also get pleasure from a wide choice of watersport options on Koh Samui. Visitors can also go one of the great trips to one of the beautiful waterfalls found all over Samui or go on an elephant ride through the natural rain forest.

Samui Climate

The ideal time of the year to visit Koh Samui is definitively during the dry season. The dry season on Samui starts in February and ends in June. If you stay on Koh Samui from March until October, you will experience temperatures in Samui which can get up to 35 Celsius. The Samui rainy season lasts from early November until late February.

About the Author
Read more about the great Thai tourist destination in the Samui Guide or about Phuket Island inside the Phuket Guide.

What's so great About Koh Samui in Thailand?

by Rhiannon Williamson

You've probably heard of Koh Samui, it's the third largest of Thailand's islands and many people seem to rave about it - but what's so great about Koh Samui and is it really worth a visit?
Well, not only is Koh Samui worth a visit - it is one of those places on earth that's once seen and never forgotten. In fact, many of those who visit Koh Samui once are hooked for life and some never leave. There are also an increasing number of Western expatriate retirees moving to live in Thailand and Koh Samui is a favourite destination because not only is it highly affordable but it offers up an excellent standard of living.

Basically what's so great about Koh Samui is that it has the perfect blend of stunning climate, inimitable views, pristine sandy beaches, lush dense and incredible foliage, rare flora and fauna, excellent cuisine, plenty to see and do and experience and the people are among the friendliest on the planet - oh and healthcare is world class yet affordable and there are even international schools available on the island for those who wish to move there before their retirement years.

If you want to experience the best of Thailand in a safe environment and only moments away from all the amenities and facilities you could possibly want then Koh Samui is the place to go.

You can learn to dive in the crystal clean waters, you can learn to sunbathe (!) on the pure white sandy beaches which are fringed with beautiful palm trees, you can visit coconut plantations, witness incredible waterfalls, take boat trips to outer lying islands such as Koh Tao, Koh Wua Talap or Koh Mae Koh, you can snorkel in the National Marine Park or if all that sounds too energetic why not spend a day or even a week at one of Koh Samui's spas?

Spa resorts are in abundance on the island and they offer peace, tranquillity and a whole host of luxurious treatments that will leave you feeling purified and whole again after the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And as soon as you're feeling refreshed and energised it'll be time to hit the abundance of excellent shops and boutiques or to go for a night out on the town where you can watch cabaret, go bar hopping, dine exquisitely or just while away an evening on the beach star gazing.

If all this sounds like your idea of heaven on earth you're not alone - Koh Samui is great, it is well worth a visit but don't blame me if you're hooked and want to stay for life! There are new residential developments springing up in areas zoned and protected specifically for low rise residential construction and these developments all offer a taste of Thailand combined with contemporary architecture. One of the latest is Infinity Samui which consists of condos, penthouses and villas with infinity pools and infinity sea views. On site there is a spa and all residents will be treated to five star hotel like service - so you can actually live a life of affordable luxury in one of the most desirable places on earth - which is why we truly believe Koh Samui is just so great!

About the Author
Rhiannon Williamson writes about buying property abroad and showcases new property developments in Thailand and around the world on her site

Koh Phangan - accommodation accessible to anyone!

by Clint Jhonson

What do words like "Koh Phangan" and "accommodation" tell you? I'm sure they bring to your mind images of you on an exotic island, sitting on the beach with a cocktail and having the time of your life. You can almost feel the breeze.
The only problem concerning having such an "adventure" these days (besides never having the time...) is the serious lack of money, and you're not the only one facing this issue. Unfortunately, most trips to exotic locations (and trips abroad in general) are really expensive and offer you few accommodation alternatives to multi-star hotels or fancy villas rented at excessive prices. I'm sure that no one (besides superstars who can afford bathing in champagne or other extravaganzas) is at peace with the idea of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a simple vacation especially these days, with stuff on your mind like a mortgage or perhaps a car leasing rate, children's school taxes and many more.

Luckily for you, I found an alternative to a head-aching vacation a few days ago. And one must admit that no one has fun spending half of the day thinking about how "thin" the wallet is... Well that can stop now. Koh Phangan is "the name of the game". It's a small tropical island in the gulf of Thailand, next to Samui. They have a small company there, founded in January 2003 by Malee Thangtira and Simon Beisl. The whole deal went online in October 2003. They offer accommodation services for prices accessible to more people than through traveling agencies or who knows what other intermediates. There are houses, as well as bungalows available for rent along with many services. The island's landscape is various: you can rent a bungalow on the beach, a house in an inner garden or maybe one in the mountainous area.

The best thing about these houses rented out by the locals (besides the low-price accommodation) is that they offer you intimacy, as you are able to spend you vacation unbothered. Koh Phangan is also a wonderful place with stunning views. Just think about how it would be, renting a house in the mountain side, facing the ocean and waking up in the morning in the glow of the sun rising above the sea, watching a stunning landscape.

Besides the beauty of the places, there is a practical financial side of things. Choosing Koh Phangan as your next vacation spot does not only offer you a great experience, but also saves you a significant amount of money, with prices usually ranging between 90 - 150 dollars/month in case of cheaper accommodation and 250 - 500 for medium-priced houses and bungalows. Of course, for those of you who can afford a bit of luxury, there are houses rented out for prices up to 600-1000 dollars per month.

In any case, it's still a lot cheaper than checking into a 3-5 star hotel, paying everyone around, having to give fat tips in order no to be misspoken of by the personnel and so on. Not to mention that "great" rule that most hotels have, and that is the prohibition of bringing in water bought from outside the hotel, thus forcing you to buy 1-litter bottles of water for five bucks and so on - "great" accommodation indeed. In Koh Phangan, there's none of that hypocritical nonsense, because they care first of all about you having a good time. I think it wouldn't hurt checking out the free resource below for more information. You won't be sorry!

About the Author
To find out more about Koh Phangan and the great accommodation spots there, you can always log on their website,, and see for yourself what a great experience you could have.

Fasting and Cleansing in Koh Samui

by alisterbredee

His name is Pete; he is thirty something and comes from Middlesex, which is really that part of West London that lies out towards Heathrow Airport. In the past couple of years he has made four visits and has completed 2 de-tox fasts at "The Health Oasis Resort" on the Thai tropical island of Koh Samui.
Originally he finished what the "Resort" describes as a Nurture Fast. This is a comprehensive de-toxification programme. In essence you forgo food for nine days. This is not as austere as it sounds as participants like Pete are allowed fruit juices, unlimited fluids and enjoy two bowls of vegetable broth on a daily basis. Once the digestive system shuts down in this manner it is in a position to eliminate the toxins that have accrued due to a less than ideal diet, poor lifestyle habits and of course the pollutants that are found in the environment and in food itself. To assist in the elimination process guests at 'spas' like Health Oasis Resort cleanse with the help of colonic irrigation, magnesium oxide and experience a liver flush at the end of the treatment. To many this sounds like a harsh regime. Pete, however, disagreed. He found the experience easy. Although he did not eat solid food for nine days, he says he was not in the least hungry. He did admit, however, that he did miss the varied flavours of food during his fast. As for the colonics he said,"they were just OK".

Over the nine days he lost an amazing 7 kilos in weight. At the end of his stay he said that he looked better; he felt relaxed and rested and above all felt clean both inside and out. Pete is a single guy and he is certain his de-tox made him much more attractive to women.

Moreover he admits that his major achievement was going without food for nine days for which he feels proud of himself. The programme recommends a morning yoga class on a daily basis. Pete attended the class on his first day but discovered "yoga was not really for him", so instead swam regularly in the pool and worked out in the gym which is attached to the Resort.

After it was all over he says he had learned a lot about health and fitness. He saw the advantages of exercise and grasped the importance of healthy eating. Before he was quite content to eat fast convenience foods but after his visit to Koh Samui he saw how important it is to include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables in the daily diet.

Overall he was so impressed with the results of the fasting and cleansing programme at the Health Oasis Resort he has returned three more times in the intervening two years. He feels the place keeps him on track for good health. The fasting and cleansing programme reminds him to eat healthily and exercise regularly when he leaves the lush paradise of Koh Samui and returns to the real world. Pete is not alone in this experience, talking to other guests at the Resort it quickly became clear that they all returned each year for what they described as a health promoting inner and outer cleanse.

About the Author
Alister Bredee is a freelance author specialising in articles on health related topics. He is also a health care practitioner and trainer. He is the "Behaviour Change Therapist" at He currently lives in Koh Samui and can be contacted via his website:

Learning Thai Massage in Koh Samui

by alisterbredee

Marloas is nineteen years old and she comes from Rotterdam in Holland. She is in gap year from school and has taken the time to travel in Asia. She has been on the road for four months and as the trip winds to a close she has come to the Health Oasis Resort in Koh Samui to learn Thai massage.
"This is one of the best things I did on my trip,' she enthuses. "While I was travelling I had massages. It felt so nice that I decided I would like to learn how to do it!" "It's just for fun. I have learned it for myself and to help my friends and family." No, she does not want to become a massage therapist. Her goal is to train as a medical doctor, and this preparation in massage could well help her in her aspiration to study western medicine.

Her twenty-hour course stretched over a leisurely five and a half days. So she has plenty of time for rest and relaxation in the swimming pool and on the beach beside. She laughs when she says, "I enjoyed the rest!" "I also really liked the Course with Thai instructor Nan." Nan, by the way started her studies at the prestigious Wat Pho in Bangkok which serves as the premier massage teaching facility in Thailand. "She really gets the students to practice a lot. She's very kind and supportive, too and that helped a whole lot!" Says the young Dutch student. "She taught me to apply my whole body in making the massage strokes." Marloas explains she was always afraid that her hands would become tired whilst massaging, but she was surprised to find that instead she felt energised. "I now know the pressure points and understand how to make people relax."

The course that Marloas attended is not designed to turn out professional therapists. It is certificated but is designed for self-development and general interest. For those eager to learn Thai massage for professional use, Health Oasis Resort offers a more intensive fifty hour period of instruction, and this too comes with a certificate.

Massage is one of several subjects that visitors can learn at the Bang Po beachside resort. Other topics include Thai Cookery, Reiki, Meditation and EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. The Thai cooking is interesting because it is geared very much to the visitor to the Kingdom. Many people have enjoyed eating Thai food in restaurants worldwide and on coming to Thailand have taken the experience to another dimension. What Health Oasis encourages is to teach visitors how to cook their favourite dishes. Naturally this requires a little notice because the instructors have to go to the market and buy the freshest ingredients possible so the 'trainee chef' can prepare that favourite meal. Once you have cooked it, all you then have is the pleasure of sitting down and eating your creation and hopefully you have invited some friends or loved ones to share this unique experience with you.

Like the Massage training that Marloas underwent you can also take the recipe and knowledge of your newly acquired Thai culinary art back home with you as a very practical souvenir of your visit to Thailand. Surely that will add to the overall enjoyment of your holiday in "the land of smiles"

About the Author
Alister Bredee is a freelance author specialising in articles on health related topics. He is also a health care practitioner and trainer. He is the "Behaviour Change Therapist" at He currently lives in Koh Samui and can be contacted via his website:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Koh Samui Villas - Private Or Resort?

by Derek Taylor

When staying on Koh Samui, what are the main differences between booking a resort-owned villa or a privately owned villa?
Socialising: On a resort you are not isolated from other people as you are when staying at a private villa. On resorts you get to meet other relaxing holidaymakers with whom you can have a chat and share your experiences. On a resort there is always somebody up and about and a simple 'Good Morning' may make their day as well as your own.

Privacy: Yet on a resort, and inside your villa, you can still have complete privacy to do your own individual thing, whether you want to party every night, read and relax or just sit back and watch TV or go on the Internet. In a private villa (provided the villa is not overlooked by neighbours) you can sunbathe naked if you wish whereas at a resort this would definitely be frowned upon.

Staff: Normally at a resort there are full-time staffs on hand daily - whose job is to change the linen and keep your villa tidy and spotless as well as clean around the resort generally. This service can be arranged at a private villa but it is not automatically included.

Security: Just like a private villa, with a resort villa you will have your own set of keys so that you can come and go whenever you like. On a resort you will normally see security staff patrolling the grounds, especially at nighttime whereas with a private villa this is very hard to come by. Normally, in a private-owned villa, you are on your own on this issue.

Pools: Some private villas don't have a swimming pool at all but where there is, it's obviously for your private use only. Resorts on the other hand always have one or sometimes two communal swimming pools, and for those families with youngsters it's nice to know that other guests (and staff) are around to make sure they are safe. Also the swimming pools at a resort are cleaned daily, sometimes twice a day, whereas with a private pool you will be lucky if it's cleaned once a week.

Catering: Most private villas are self-catering - but with upmarket villas the owner sometimes can arrange for food to be prepared by a chef - although this is not cheap. If a resort has its own restaurant you can eat there if you wish - sometimes a meal is included in your booking. Or you can eat out at local restaurants or have cooked food delivered to your villa. Or you can buy produce and supplies locally and cook the food yourself inside your own villa. Please note; not all resorts have villas with cooking facilities - so double check this aspect before you book.

Cost: A resort-owned villa should work out at less cost because of the larger economy of scale where more guests or small parties and groups can be catered for. On the other hand some upmarket resorts can be very expensive owing to their location, exclusivity and furnishings. Go for low-cost *** villa resorts if possible.

Private Villa or Resort Villa?

As they say on Samui - it's up to you!

About the Author
Derek Taylor runs Only In Samui, the premier Koh Samui Villa resource and rentals web site.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Thailand islands - the Five Reasons that Make Koh Phangan the Perfect Choice

by Ella Evans

The islands of southern Thailand are widely known as "Island Paradise". Their picturesque beaches, moderate tropical climate and unique, extremely relaxing lifestyle account for this reputation. Travelers from all over the world come to these southern Thailand islands to experience the famous transition to another dimension, as they gradually absorb the overwhelming serenity and ephemeral separation from the dynamic and straining modern life style.
In the eyes of the inexperienced traveler at the very first stages of planning his or her trip to Thailand, all "paradise islands" may look exactly the same: all the islands are tropical (in the classic sense and climate wise), picturesque and serene. But in fact, a more thorough perspective would reveal that each island, just like every individual traveler, has its own set of unique qualities. The cost of stay in some islands can turn out to be a surprisingly expensive experience, while visiting other islands can be quite a bargain; some islands are dramatically peaceful while others are loaded with exciting nightlife activities; some islands provide the perfect conditions for divers while others are ideal for backpackers.

After years of intensive research, and after exploring every dark corner on every island in southern Thailand, my final conclusion is that Koh Phangan is no doubt and by far the perfect choice for the perfect vacation. Koh Phangan is the perfect choice because it has this unique ability to adopt itself to the likes and needs of every individual traveler in the limits of being an island (except from providing the ultimate urban environment. But nobody visits the Thai islands to relive his urban daily lifestyle). Here are the five elements that make Koh Phangan the ultimate vacation choice:

1. The best value for your money. Until recently, Koh Phangan had a strong reputation of a backpackers' island. As a result, the island's costs of living had been adjusted to the target audience. Food and accommodation on the island cost surprisingly low, so that even a backpacker with a budget of 30$ per day can provide himself or herself with a reasonable, almost western life standard on the island, which includes air conditioned rooms and delicious cuisine. During the last several years, when more spoiled tourists discovered this island, local entrepreneurs began to invest in luxury accommodation. Nevertheless, the best quality accommodation in Koh Phangan is still cheaper, on average, compared to the same standard accommodation offered on other islands.

2. The rare opportunity to experience the "old school" island paradise. Even the sworn lovers of Thailand will agree, that the days when the "paradise islands" were the place in which one can sit on a lonely beach and share his or her thoughts with a single coconut tree, are a thing of the past. Still, in Koh Phangan one can find some "reservations" of remote picturesque beaches with only a limited choice of accommodation, such as Haad Thong Reng, Haad Yao and Haad Sadet. Some of these forgotten venues feature about three dozens bungalows hidden in the midst of the jungle. These "old school" beaches make you fell like merging with a "real" paradise, created by true nature and not by wise and experienced tourism industry entrepreneurs.

3. Breathtaking diving sites. The Gulf of Thailand is considered to be an excellent diving area, due to its clear lucid water and the huge variety of underwater life. Until recently, the consensual opinion stated that the only place for "real" scuba divers in the Gulf of Thailand is Koh Tao Island, next to Koh Phangan. Nowadays, more and more divers are choosing Koh Phangan as a launching ground for their preferable diving sites: a small island Koh Ma, connected to Koh Phangan by a sand bar; the neighboring beaches Haad Salad, Haad Yao & Haad Chaophao, offering a hugevariety of tropical fish and coral reefs; and Ang Thong National Marine Park - a group of 42 islands, protected as a National Park.

4. The Full Moon Party. The full moon party, held in Koh Phangan since 1989, attracts thousands of travelers every month coming from all corners of the globe. Even if you are not the classic partygoer - the full moon party could be a unique and unforgettable opportunity to join thousands of joyful, exhilarated people dancing together in the most beautiful place in the world to the sounds of the best music.

5. To experience radically unique travel activities. Koh Phangan is quite a small sized island (about 170 km2), but it offers a widest variety of activities. You can come on a Sunday, as a backpacker to Sunrise Beach, become a professional diver on Monday in Koh Ma and turn into a seasoned partygoer on Tuesday as you take part in the exhilarating full moon party. If you're able to wake up on Wednesday morning, you can meet local people in the fishermen's village Chaloklum learn and experience their traditional way of life. Additionally, you can join forces with your sportsperson alter ego and go trekking on Thursday; and on Friday you'll have the unique opportunity to pretend being a Mowgli riding an elephant's back in Phangan Safari. On Saturday, you can try living as a sheikh in a luxury resort with a spa...and maybe get the chance to write a novel on the seven most unforgettable days of your life.

About the Author
Independent researcher, MA in anthropology, and travel enthusiast Ella Evans has spend more than a decade exploring Thailand focusing on the Southern Islands. The fruits of her labor can be found in the Koh Phangan Experience Website: a comprehensive travel guide to Koh Phangan, Thailand, which includes information articles, tips, advice and a message board. Visit Koh Phangan Experience Guide.

Why visit Koh Phangan?

by Simon

Why visit Koh Phangan?
The islands in the south of Thailand are known to many as a "Island Paradise". The postcard like beaches, nearly all year good weather and unique lifestyle are just a few of the reasons why people keep coming here. Travelers from all over the world visit these islands since more than 20 years to experience a relaxing and unique holiday.

for an inexperienced tourist all these "paradise islands" Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, may look pretty much the same:

all islands covered by tropical forest
beaches are picturesque with coconut palm trees on beaches
clear water, swimming at most beaches possible

But a detail view reveals that each island, has its own qualitity and different feeling. For example accommodation expenses can turn out to be a surprisingly different on each island and even on each area of the island. Koh Phangan is considered relative peaceful and ideal for backpacker, while Koh Samui is loaded with exciting nightlife activities. Koh Tao on the other side provides the perfect conditions for divers.

After years of living on Koh Phangan and visiting both Samui and Koh Tao often, I believe that Koh Phangan is the perfect choice for the unforgettable hoilday. Koh Phangan is the right choice because it's not overdeveloped like Samui, but still at the same time offers a lot to the likes and needs of every individual traveler. You won't find a McDonald or KFC on the island, nor TESCO Lotus or any other big department stores, but I believe tourists that come to an tropical island, are not in search of the latest designer fashion or fast food.

Reasons that make Koh Phangan the right choice for your next holiday:

Until recently, Phangan has made itself a name as a 'backpackers' destination. Cost of living on the island is considerable cheaper than on Samui or Koh Tao. Food and accommodation on the island is not expensive, even with a budget of 25 Euro per day, someone can provide himself or herself with a nearly western style standard, that includes even an air conditioned room, delicious cuisine and a rental motorbike. The recent development is that now more spoiled tourists discover Phangan, local business began to adjust to the new kind of clientele, offering now luxury accommodation und some more expensive restaurants. Nevertheless, you will be still able to find budget accommodation all over the island.

Phangan just have the right mix of possibilities, offering something for every individual taste. If you like to party all night, meet people from all over the world the island, especially Haad Rin, has a lot to offer. On the other side if you are looking for a quite relaxed holiday, Phangan is the right choice as well, since there are still plenty of of remote picturesque beaches with only a limited choice of accommodation, such as Haad Thong Reng, Haad Yao and Haad Sadet.

The Gulf of Thailand is an excellent diving area, because of it's clear water and the large variety of life in the water. Not far from Koh Tao Island, the 'Diver's Favorite Spot', Phangan also has to offer great diving sites, like Koh Ma, a small island connected to Koh Phangan only by a sand bar on low tide and the neighboring beaches Haad Salad, Haad Yao and Haad Chaophao, offering a huge variety of tropical fishes and coral reefs.

The first Full Moon Party was in 1989, since then the party attracts thousands of travelers every month coming from every part of the world. Even if you are not a partygoer - the full moon party could be a unique and unforgettable opportunity to watch thousands of drunk or drugged people dancing together and turning a beach into a giant trash can, to the mixed sounds of many bad adjusted loudspeaker systems..
To summarize it all, Phangan is just the perfect place for many different tastes of visitors. You can find here a your own personal paradise.

Useful Links: - Long term Rentals, Vacation Homes, Property on Koh Phangan - Bungalow Resort, Hotels and Spas to book online - Information about Koh Phangan

About the Author
Living for more than 9 years on Koh Phangan

Samui - top 10 attractions and activities

by Andy Burrows

A 2-hour ferry ride from the coast of Sarat Thani will land you on the banks of Samui, one of Thailand's most popular resort islands which has grown increasingly popular in the past few years. Well-known for its wild parties as well as for its luxurious resorts, stunning coral reef environments and natural landscape, Samui has rightfully earned its place as one of Thailand's most-loved destinations.
Beaches Chaweng Beach is probably the most popular beach to visit on Samui. Its clear waters and white sand make it very inviting, and the exciting night life and Muay Thai boxing matches are an added bonus. Choeng Mon is more secluded and offers five-star accommodation, while the bay of Ao Tong Takian is named after the silver hue of its sand. Lamai Beach is packed with water sports ranging from jet-skis and banana boats to activities like parasailing.

Temple of the Big Buddha The Temple of the Big Buddha, or Wat Phra Yai, was built in 1972 and is one of Samui's top attractions. In the past few decades, it has become a beacon of prosperity for the island, a sentiment embodied in the 12 metre Buddha statue that sits in the grounds. There is also a meditation centre on-site that's open to visitors.

Full Moon Party Full Moon parties have become synonymous with the hedonistic side of this region. These high-octane celebrations take place once a month on the nearby Koh Pha Ngan. Thousands of foreign tourists flock to the island for what compares to an outdoor, coastal rave. Music blares, prices soar and controlled substances abound. As the popularity of these parties has risen, savvy locals have added an interim Half Moon Party to add an extra weekend of debauchery and partying.

Eating out Eating out is one of the simplest pleasures in Samui, with fresh seafood served up in every fashion according to international and local recipes. Visitors will find authentic street vendors selling delicious treats at phenomenal prices, along with more upscale establishments that sell gourmet Thai dishes as well as international cuisine. One way to treat yourself is to take your dinner on the beach in the comfortable surroundings of a beachside restaurant.

Partying and nightlife Big Buddha Beach is a good place to spend an evening for families or perhaps for the faint of heart. Many establishments here are laid-back and lack the pulsing music of the more heated parties found elsewhere on the island. Lamai Beach has a thriving red light district and plenty of go-go bars, while Chaweng Beach hosts a variety of live bands that play a mix of Thai and western covers.

Daytrip down south For those seeking the less touristy side of Samui, you may consider heading to the south side of the island. There has been less development here, and a daytrip provides insight into what Samui once looked like, as well as offering a glimpse of day to day life for the locals who don't work directly with tourists. You'll find several enticing, secluded beaches connected by coconut groves and predominately Muslim fishing villages.

Waterfalls It's worthwhile to journey out to one of a few waterfalls on the island. Hin Lat Fall is most conductive to swimming, as there aren't many boulders or sharp edges underwater. Trekkers and groups of elephant riders regularly journey to the Na Muang Falls system--specifically to the second waterfall, because it's easily accessed by elephants. The first of the two falls cascades magnificently down a steep cliff.

Diving Samui has a firm reputation among snorkellers and divers. Beginners can receive instruction from local gurus that work at one of multiple diving shops. More experienced divers have many options, ranging from the nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park or Sail Rock, out to the farther but highly esteemed Koh Tao, where divers from all over Thailand gather. In any event, the clear waters and stunning coral reefs make diving a wonderful experience.

Adventure sports Samui is an ideal place for those who are full of energy as there are many adrenaline pumping activities and exciting water sports. You can also get up close and personal with Samui's local elephants. The less energetic will be content with the lovely beaches that offer perfect tropical swimming, or a day spent shopping or at a spa.

Viewing wildlife Samui has every manner of wildlife. Marine life teems at the Samui Aquarium, while snakes and scorpions are employed in death-defying shows at the Snake Farm. The Crocodile Farm has more than just reptiles, with a few monkeys and other animals in addition to crocs and lizards. Violent Buffalo fights are held at one of several buffalo stadiums, while delicate butterfly species can be observed at the Butterfly Farm in the island's southeast corner.

About the Author
Web travel writer Andy Burrows knows Samui inside out and suggest the following web resources for a thorough virtual tour;
Koh Samui travel guide
Samui weather

Enjoying The Thailand Full Moon Party

by Asia Hotel

The full moon provides a rare spectacle. A moon lit night has a peculiar attraction to it, and the Thai's definitely know how to make the most of the night that only comes around once a month. On the Koh Phangan's Haad Rin beach, once a month when the moon rises with all its beauty, crowds gather to view a most enthralling view of the moon. Almost 10,000 people gather on the beach at various venues that host the party like the Backyard Club, Beach House Club, Drop Inn, Cactus Bar, Paradise, Orchid and The Rock to name a few. There are many hotels in Thailand near these locations.
The party starts at dusk and the tables are laid out along the beach, lamps are lit and soon enough the moon light takes over and creates the perfect setting for a night out with singing and dancing. There is food and drinks to keep the partiers going through the night. With the perfect warm waters through out the year, the party becomes even more special with many taking a plunge and enjoying the party from the water as well. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join the party as there is no entry fee to the beach and you can enjoy the atmosphere till your hearts content. The only thing you pay for is the food and drinks you enjoy during the night.

You can surely plan your next vacation to Thailand and enjoy this special party as well as the dates for the event are already set, once a month from January to December and also on Christmas Day and New Years Eve.

A few things to keep in mind always, when you are planning to go to a crowded place are to make sure you leave any valuables, or travel documents, back at your hotel.Keep your wallet and money in front pockets or in places where you will know if someone tries to relieve you of them. You can always find pick pockets at crowded places, be careful and alert to them. Keep your shoes on as there is always a chance of stepping on some broken glass.

Be weary of accepting any drinks from strangers. Party drugs are not uncommon here and the drug related penalties are far more stringent than many other places and often times the consulates can't provide much help in such matters.

All in all, stay safe and enjoy a great beach party that you will get a chance to be a part of.

About the Author
Book hotels in Asia and learn about hundreds of destinations Asia-wide. More information on the Thailand full moon festival on our Asia travel blog.

Koh Samui, a Tropical Paradise

by Alister Bredee

Picture an island nestling in the calm, azure blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand fringed by coral reefs with beaches of powder soft white sand framed by a backdrop of coconut trees, their fronds dancing in the gentle breeze. The palms stretch upward to the central uplands, thick with lush tropical vegetation. The coast and lower slopes are awash with coconut palms making Koh Samui the 'Coconut Capital of Thailand'. It is said the island sends 2,000.000 coconuts per month to Bangkok. This green vista is interspersed occasionally by black granite boulders. Some of these rock formations appear to defy gravity by hanging dramatically against the hillside. This tropical paradise is called Koh Samui. A 250 square kilometre rounded island which is about the same size as Penang. Koh Samui translates from Koh, the Thai word for island, and Samui, which is probably derived from the Chinese "saboey" meaning safe harbour. The magic island first came to the attention of world travellers when it started to crop up in conversation in many of the cheap hotels that then clustered around Bangkok's Hualamphong Railway station some 45 years ago. It was difficult to get to, requiring special negotiation with fishermen in Suratthani lying 80 kilometres across the sea on the mainland. When you reached the island, there was no road and so those intrepid voyagers hopped from beach to beach by boat. In the past forty plus years things have changed hugely.
The island is now served by an international airport that looks more like a botanical garden than the accepted tradition of functional 'air station'. Flights leave hourly for the new Suvarnbhumi Airport in Bangkok and link the island to additional destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Pattaya and Phuket. A 52-kilometre road rings Samui and links all the major towns. Nathon the capital plays host to government buildings and banks and serves as one of the ferry ports serving the Thai mainland. The road skirts the 635-metre mountain that sits centrally astride the landmass and takes in the main resorts of Lamai and Chaweng. Lamai is the smaller of the two and offers a quieter and perhaps cleaner beach. The latter caters for, perhaps, a younger and more energetic visitor. Further on lies Bangrak is better known as "Big Buddha Beach" as it takes its name from the huge Buddha statue at the eastern end of the bay. Borphut boasts a trendy fisherman's village, much favoured by French tourists and Maenam to the north offers spectacular views across to Koh Phangan and the Ang Thong Natural Marine Park. This area is much less crowded than the bustling Chaweng and the marginally quieter Lamai. It still retains its original Thai flavour. However, to get to grips with authentic 'Samui' you need to rent a car or motorbike and take one of the many roads that lead up away from the coast and into the mountain. As you climb higher you come to rubber plantations and hidden away villages clustering around paddy fields, still hanging onto a traditional way of life that is far removed from the tourist dominated hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars that cluster around the coast.

Samui has over the years developed a reputation as centre of complementary medicine offering spas designed to detox inhabitants of an overstressed globe. The Health Oasis Resort located adjacent to the unspoiled Bang Po Beach to the west of Maenam offers stunning views across to Koh Phangan. Sit in the authentic vegetarian restaurant after six p.m. and turn your head to the west you will witness spectacular sunsets over the islands that comprise the Ang Thong National Park. Health Oasis is unique in that the Thai Department of Health lists it as a traditional medicine hospital. It specialises in supervised detox and fasting treatments.

Be sure of this, whatever your tastes Koh Samui will be able to provide a venue for a holiday that will linger long in your memory. So if you are planning a trip of a lifetime whether it be for tourism or health this magical island is a venue well worth considering.

About the Author
Alister Bredee is a freelance author specialising in articles on health related topics. He is also a health care practitioner and trainer. He is the "Behaviour Change Therapist" at He currently lives in Koh Samui and can be contacted via his website:

Koh Samui Airport

by Derek Taylor

On the small tropical island of Koh Samui off the eastern seaboard of Thailand there exists what has got to be the quaintest little airport on the planet.
Why is that? Well, for starters every building on the airport complex is entirely thatched over with palm leaves and not many airports can claim that can they? In the main public areas the exterior walls have wide-open sides for the ocean breezes to waft through keeping it at a nice cool temperature. The smiling staff who work there are ever-helpful and polite and greet every new-comer as though they have just come from outer space - which to those on this remote island is exactly how it must feel to them. It's the opposite when you leave because the islanders really hate to see people depart from their island, they figure: having spent ALL that money to get there why would anyone want to leave? And it makes you wonder who really is nuts - the smiling islanders or the grinning farang!

When they gently direct you to Terminal One with pride in their hearts - you really have to chuckle because of course it's the only terminal they have! There are no gate numbers to rush to, as all passengers arrive and depart courtesy of a clean and modern air-conditioned shuttle bus, which covers the distance from the plane to the main building or vice-versa in about two minutes flat. There is no carousel except the one going around in your head. There are no loudspeakers and no information screens. Just people cheerfully carrying out their tasks with absolutely no hustle or bustle on their minds. Time has almost stopped still.

There is only one single arrow-straight runway to handle both incoming and outgoing planes, which total no more than about twenty flights per day between 6.30 am when the airport opens for business at sunrise and when it closes at sunset exactly twelve hours later.

Playing the ace green card, Bangkok Airways, who built and own the airport (International Airport Code - USM) have attempted a truly unique experiment and one of which they can be proud. The actual buildings, which were finished in 1984, are not only pleasing to the eye but work hand-in-glove with the island's natural environment. It is, in itself, a compelling advert for greenness in all its forms. The vast Bangkok Airport (BKK) may be the newest and flashiest airport in the world but I've never seen anyone standing around taking hundreds of photos of it like they do of Samui Airport. This airport almost seems to be smiling at you - wanting its photo taken. And for sure no other airport replaces its roof with fresh palm leaves every two or three years like they do here. The fact is, once upon a time, little Samui was the world's largest exporter of coconuts and palm trees are one commodity they still have plenty of. Its what they have used for centuries on the roofs of their villas and bungalows and the ubiquitous salas that abound everywhere - so they figure; why stop there? Why indeed?

As the plane starts its gradual descent approach towards the narrow jutting peninsula on the northeast sector of the island you will now get a fantastic bird's eye view of Samui and all the other outlying islands. You'll see the surf breaking on the beaches and trace the wakes of small fishing craft as they criss-cross the incredibly green-blue turquoise sea. Then as you get closer you can make out the coral reefs growing beneath the dappling clear water. And if you look harder still you might even see a pod of dolphins jumping and dodging around the fishing craft waiting for the friendly fishermen to throw them a morsel. Phew, what a sight for sore eyes!

Frankly, the whole experience is just too much for the human soul to contemplate and you really cannot wait to land to check that it really wasn't a figment of your imagination. Maybe the airport workers are not that wrong - because it certainly feels like you've just come from outer space - as surely nothing on this planet awaits the visitor more pleasingly than this tropical hideaway located in the balmy Sea of Siam. Jet lag? Well, you can't get jet lag in paradise, but I bet you didn't know that either did you?

About the Author
Derek Taylor runs Only In Samui, the premier Koh Samui Villas resource and rentals web site.

Thailand Vacation Series # - Samui Island

by Kai

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.

For more detail or recommendations, visit

About the Author
Kai Otoko is the webmaster of 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.

Thailands Koh Samui Holidays

by Derek Taylor

If you're looking for a vacation spot with a little bit of everything, Koh Samui should be your port of call! This Thai island lies off the east of the Kra Isthmus and as Thailand's third largest island, it has enough to do to entertain even the most discerning tourist. With plenty of beach-front resorts that will have you living just meters away from the water, let this island show you some of the best of what Thailand has to offer.
If you re a nature lover, be sure to take advantage of the many day trips into mountainous jungle interior of the island. Keep an eye out for the waterfalls, especially for Na Muang and Na Muang II. The former is 18 meters high while the later stretches up a dizzying 80 meters. While the former can be accessed by vehicle, the later can only be reached via a 30 minute walk. If possible, see both of these natural wonders during your stay. If you are interested in some of the wildlife of Thailand, Koh Samui has a crocodile farm, a monkey theater, a butterfly garden and an renowned aquarium, and that's just for starters!

When you're tired of the wildlife, check out the nightlife! Koh Samui boasts many bars, discos and cabaret shows, especially in Lamai and Chaweng. Check out the Raggae Pub and the Bauhaus for dancing that can last until dawn. For live music, head down to the Beach Pub at Secret Garden. This stretch of beach has become an international gathering place for professional and semiprofessional musicians, and live sessions take place every Saturday afternoon, attracting large crowds of people, all ready for a party!

One of the best reasons to make Koh Samui your vacation destination is the water; the waters of this beautiful island are crystal clear, making for some of the snorkeling and scuba diving in the world. If you've never gone scuba diving before, there's not time to start like the present; you'll find plenty of schools scattered along the coastline that are willing to teach you.

If you ave an interest in physical sports, come to Koh Samui to take a look at the the Thai martial art, Muay Thai boxing. This martial art has become the known all over the world for it's intensely fast action and close combat fighting style; in Koh Samui, you can see matches that will show you what this form of boxing is truly capable of. Chaweng Stadium holds matches every Monday and Friday, while you can see fights every Saturday at the Lamai stadium.

To see what life may have been like more than a century a go, be sure to visit Koh Samui's oldest standing house in Ban Thale. This structure was made out of teakwood without the use of any nails. Constructed of teak planks and adorned to with traditional Thai woodcarvings, this house can show you some of the decorative motifs and styles that can still be seen in Thai design today.

Koh Samui has a lot to offer, so make sure that you plan a vacation there soon. Between the tranquil beaches and the lively bar scene, there really is something for everyone!

About the Author
Derek Taylor runs Only In Samui, the premier Koh Samui Holidays resource and rentals web site.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fabulous Koh Samui hotels

by Nancy Eben

Travel to Thailand and include Koh Samui Island to your plan. The moment one arrives here, the place casts a spell on you, with its beautiful palm fringed beaches in the traditional villages and the relaxed atmosphere. Koh Samui is the third largest Thai Island, home to some of the well-known beaches like Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, Big Buddha, Choeng Mon, Hua Thanon and Maenam. This island is famous for its natural beauty and charm, and importantly a place where one can enjoy their holiday their way, from a relaxed one, to a laid back or an active and fast paced.
This place is for the beach lovers with the beautiful white sand beaches, clean, clear water, thriving tropical gardens and gentle ocean breezes. Koi Samui Island today is a familiar name in Europe, Australia to the USA. The first tourist arrival started in 1971 and since then the place is charming its visitors, though the current pace of development has made it a more commercial but the sleepy magic still exits and it is certainly a paradise out here. Visitor's to Samui are rewarded with an ideal tropical retreat away from the traffic and hustle bustle of city life, alluring white-sand beaches, a sapphire-blue sea, with loads of tempting Thai cuisine. To add the people are unusually warm and friendly. The best and most developed beaches are at Chaweng and Lamai, which offer a wide range of Koh Samui hotels, restaurants and nightspots to suit every taste and budget. Make the most of your holiday as Samui offers a number of places to see and things to do. Kick-start by visiting the island's natural attractions the coral beds at Laem Sed and Tong Takien, the Hin Lat and Na Muang waterfalls and the phallic rock formations at the southern end of Lamai bay, which are just a few to name. If one has time on hand, beyond the main island there are other places worth exploring. Koh Phangan is world famous for its monthly Full Moon Parties, then Koh Tao offers with one of the best diving locations in Thailand and the Ang Thong National Marine Park is worth visiting. Of the many things, the accommodation facilities at the Island are tempting. Koh Samui has a wide range of hotels in Koh Samui. There are five-star resorts available to bungalows on the beach. Moreover, this place is just perfect, if one is looking for a place without really big hotels, resorts and discotheques, but great beaches, places to eat, bars and even a couple of fine nightclubs. For no reason who come here once, want to come back again.

About the Author
Nancy Eben is an associate editor of The website offers exclusive information of thailand and hotels in Koh Samui. We also provide online hotel reservation of Koh Samui hotels.