Off the eastern coast of the mainland of Thailand, you’ll find the stunning island of Koh Samui. Surrounded by the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand, this island is awash in soft sandy beaches and dense green jungles. The natural beauty is abundant and the nightlife is boisterous, making this Time & Place luxury travel destination perfect for romantic getaways, as well as fun family adventures.
Koh Samui is a feast for the eyes. From the rainbow-hued sunrises and sunsets that glow above calm azure water to the emerald jungles, everywhere you turn you’ll see a postcard-worthy view. The opportunities that these beautiful landscapes afford include lazy days lounging on the beach with pristine sand seeping through your toes as the gentle waves lap the shore. The snorkeling and scuba diving are unbeatable with frequent sea turtle sightings and a plethora of brilliant colored fish. The water is crystal-clear and calm, perfect for viewing coral beds and gentle whale sharks if the season is right. If you’re feeling adventurous, lace up your shoes and hike into the jungle. Guides are available, but many trails are easy to navigate and lead to beautiful waterfalls. For something truly unique, an elephant trek into the jungle is an experience you won’t be able to replicate again and one that you’ll treasure forever.
The dining and nightlife scene is thriving in Koh Samui and you’ll have your pick of excellent restaurants to choose from. Try the amazing southern Thai cuisine that centers on spicy curry and fresh seafood; there are many establishments that serve traditional, authentic fare. The rise in Koh Samui’s popularity is evident in the arrival of haute cuisine restaurants that have menus reflecting a more conceptual twist. As for the nightlife, the Chaweng beach area is home to everything from small bars serving up cold beers and friendly chatter to cosmopolitan clubs with world-renowned DJs spinning tunes until dawn. Traditional muay Thai boxing is another outing that will give you both a thrill and a peek at a long held tradition in Thai culture.
The many temples and shrines found throughout the island give a glimpse of the spirituality of the people and reflect a sense of harmony. With ornate pagoda-style shrines like Wat Plai Laem and statues depicting Buddha everywhere, including the “Big Buddha” that is nearly 50 feet tall and has an amazing view from the top, you won’t have difficulty finding one of these gilded temples or rustic sculptures.
Koh Samui is an irresistible combination of sultry nightlife, gorgeous beaches, lush jungles, and a flourishing local population that’s eager to share the beauty of their magical island. A destination that has embraced its allure, Koh Samui offers luxury dining, spas, and experiences without sacrificing authenticity. Because it is less crowded and just as appealing as other tropical escapes, this island has us asking just one question… What are you waiting for?
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If you are traveling with prescription medicines, carry them in their original containers and bring a copy of your prescription. If you buy medications abroad, be aware that they may not be FDA-approved or allowed into the United States. For more information on customs rules and regulations, please contact 202.354.1000 or visit www.cbp.gov.