With its 247 km² Samui is the third-largest island of Thailand and the largest island in the Chumphon Archipelago, that has over 80 (mostly uninhabited) islands which form the Ang Thong National Marine Park. The island is a “Amphoe” or district in the Surat Thani province. Samui is divided into seven “Tambon” or administrative regions: Maenam, Bophut, Maret, Taling Ngam, Namuang, Lipa Noi and Angthong. Samui is now the second-most popular place as an island destination in Thailand (the first is Phuket). Koh Samui may not be the country’s most beautiful island, but it is still an oasis of natural beauty with its white sandy beaches, corals, lagoons, waterfalls, coconut trees and crystal clear water.Today, all kinds of tourists from all over the whole world are visiting this easygoing “paradise”.
Samui is so adaptable that its fans span the travelling categories: fortnighters, honeymooners and families, united in their love of sand and sea. The newest arrivals are health tourists lured by wellness centers that concoct rejuvenating tonics of fasting, yoga, meditation and ocean breezes. Koh Samui is a celebrity: it has been in the tourism business longer than almost any other Thai island, but rather than becoming passé, it’s embraced a new generation of resort goers, many of them upscale. Academy Award–winning holidays here include fine stretches of sand clogged with beach loungers, rubbish-free roads, world-class international cuisine, luxurious spas and beach bar parties.
Samui’s weather patterns are a little different from the rest of Thailand. In April through September, when most of the country has its monsoon, Samui stays fairly dry, but from October to December, it’s wet in Samui and drier elsewhere. The driest season is from January to March. The temperatures are usually the same, but rainfall fluctuates drastically.
Lamai Beach is Samui’s second-largest resort area after Chaweng. It is quieter and less bustling than its big sister, but still with plenty of accommodation, dining and shopping options, and some great spas and tourist sites to explore. The general atmosphere is laid back and Lamai has cheaper tourist facilities than Chaweng and the area is slowly being rejuvenated. Lamai is a popular holiday destination on the central east coast of Samui Island. Hosting the widest beach in Samui, it is a lively resort town yet quieter than Chaweng’s hustle-and-bustle scene. Its ever-growing popularity has brought a great choice of interesting venues regarding its dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment scene.Lamai’s superb beach is the main attraction here, yet it must be noted that its southern part is more suited for swimming than its northern part due to the shallowness of the water.
Just around the southern end of Lamai beach, where the ring-road makes a sharp right turn inland, that you’ll come across Hua Thanon. Hua Thanon is best-known for both its inherent Muslim community and also for its fleet of colourfully hand-decorated fishing boats. Not surprisingly one of the big draws in this part of the island (all over Samui, in fact!) is the quality and diversity of the seafood restaurants. And two of the most famous of such eateries are to be found in this region.In the whole area around Hua Thanon, you’ll feel that you’ve entered a kind of time-warp. There’s been very little in the way of development as you come away from the coast, and there are many old and rustic buildings to be seen sitting, dreamily, away from the road.