One of Thailand’s best known and most popular islands, Koh Samui offers a magnitude of pretty beaches and glamorous hotels for a spoiling and straightforward beach escape.

Chaweng, its capital, is a good shopping and entertainment spot with hundreds of shops, tailors, restaurants, hotels, stalls and entertainment venues set on it bustling streets. But the charms of the island really lie away from its capital in the form of relaxed beach bars, fine seafood restaurants, secluded luxury hotels, award winning spas and locations with more of a laid-back ambience.

One of the best things to do here in Koh Samui, aside from relax, is to head out to Ang Thong Marine Park to see the limestone pinnacles rising out of turquoise waters. For beginners to keen divers and snorkelers alike, the island of Koh Tao offers some of the best underwater viewing in Thailand with whale sharks frequently spotted at the right time of year.

Koh Samui has it all; white sandy beaches, clear, calm waters and first class luxury resorts. It’s big enough that you can choose to spend your time exploring its cultural sights, trying out a different restaurant every night and shopping to your heart’s content, or simply relax in a secluded corner of this paradise.

Rachel O'Leary
Travel Designer

What to do

  • Relax on one of the many beaches, venture inland for trekking and some beautiful waterfalls, visit the Big Buddha, and take a boat trip around the nearby national park or over to koh tao for diving and snorkelling.

When to go

The best time to visit the islands off the East Coast is from January to June when the afternoons tend to be hot and sunny and the evenings and nights are warm.