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NORTHERN THAILAND'S HIGHLIGHTS


Samui : Attractions
BeachesWaterfallsPlaces of InterestAmazing AttractionsNearby Islands

Located some 84 kilometres east of Surat Thani province, Ko Samui, the Coconut Island, is one of the most famous attractions of Thailand. With an area of 247 sq.km., Ko Samui is the third largest island of Thailand after Phuket and Ko Chang (off the eastern coast). It is the main island of a group of islets numbering 48 altogether.

The archipelago is a peaceful home for fishermen and a natural habitat for seagulls and other birds. Apart from its many lovely beaches and bays, Samui island is famous for its high quality coconuts growing densely everywhere. The best time to visit Samui is from February to April during which the sea is calm. Here are some fascinating attractions of Ko

Beaches

Samui.


Chaweng Beach


This 7-km beach is the longest and the most popular and developed beach on the east coast of Ko Samui. The clean white sand and sparkling water make the place charming.

Chaweng Beach
Chaweng Beach

The underwater world is inviting. In addition to numerous accommodations, this pretty beach is packed with restaurants, souvenir shops, bars and discos catering for all types of visitors. There are a number of dive shops on the beach, some of which also organize night dives.

Lamai Beach

Lamai Beach, Samui
Hin Ta and Hin Yai, Samui
Lamai Beach (left), Hin Ta and Hin Yai (above)
The second most popular beach on the island, Lamai Beach is situated to the south of Chaweng Beach. This 4-km beach offers various attractions like health and meditation centres, a cultural hall, a market and dive shops. Especially recommended for a visit is the twin rocks on shore -- Hin Ta and Hin Yai, both grotesquely shaped. All kinds of accommodation, restaurants and places of entertainment are available.

Na Thon Bay
This is the island's major settlement on the west coast, where express and night ferries from the piers in Surat Thani arrive and is a shopping centre of the island. A wide selection of souvenirs and handicrafts, silks and jewellery are available. It also provides visitors with all necessary facilities -- a post office, banks, a police station, telephone services, and a hospital.

Taling Ngam Beach
Located to the South of Na Thon, this quiet beach is the most beautiful one on the western coast of Ko Samui. It is also a good spot to view the sunset.

Phang Ka Bay
This little beach, close to Taling Ngam, is not good for swimming as the ground is muddy and the water is very shallow. However, the place offers the most beautiful view of sunset on the island, especially in the evening of a summer day when the sky is perfectly clear.

Thong Krud Bay
Located to the South of the island next to Taling Ngam Beach, this bay is not far away from Ko Taen, a good fishing ground of Samui. Though not suitable for swimming, the beach has boat services for Ko Taen.

Choeng Mon Beach
Located 4 km. to the North of Chaweng Beach, this lovely, clean and quiet beach is suitable for those who need a real relaxation.

Bang Rak Beach (Big Buddha Beach)
The beach has derived its name from the 12-metre high golden Buddha, which is the spectacular landmark of the island. It is also a quiet beach with a number of bungalows.

Bo Phut Beach
This beach next to Big Buddha Beach well retains its peacefulness due to the existence of a fishing village and a pier nearby. The waters around here are good for water sports such as water skiing and sailing.

Mae Nam Beach
Situated next to Bo Phut Beach, this 5-km white beach is one of the most popular spots for holiday-makers. Apart from numerous bungalows and restaurants, there are also dive shops and other water sports facilities on the beach.

Bang Po Beach
The calm sea and coral reefs in this area make it suitable for snorkeling.

Waterfalls

Hin Lat Falls
This falls is located at the end of Route 4172, 3 km. south of Na Thon. Surrounded with palms, ferns and creeping plants, Hin Lat provides a few natural pools for bathing. To enjoy a more peaceful ambience, visitors need to walk for 2 km. to reach the top level.

Na Muang 1 Falls
This large scenic falls, about 11 km. to the south of Na Thon, flows from a steep cliff about 40 metres high and 20 metres wide. Its large pool below is inviting but visitors should be careful about the numerous boulders underwater.
Elephant back riding is provided by nearby tour agents.

Na Muang 2 Falls
Just 100 metres from Na Muang 1, this falls is comparable with its sister in beauty and size but less frequented. As it is surrounded with forest, the area is also ideal for trekking and elephant back riding.

Places of Interest

Wat Pradoem
(about 12 km. on Route 4169 or 1 km. from Na Muang Falls)
Built in the end of Ayutthaya era or about 250 years ago, Wat Pradoem is believed to be the first temple on Ko Samui. The temple boasts an ancient wooden hall for keeping Buddhist scriptures which is beautifully decorated.

Wat Samret
(about 14 km. on Route 4169)
This old temple features a marble Buddha image brought from Burma and many other old Buddha images.

Wat Phra Yai or Temple of the Big Buddha
(Route 4171 on the northern tip of the island)

Temple of the Big Buddha, Samui
Wat Phra Yai (Temple of the Big Buddha), Samui

Erected in 1972, the temple boasts a 12-metre high golden Buddha, which has become a spectacular landmark of Ko Samui. The temple is also a meditation centre.

Ban Lamai Cultural Hall
(in Wat Lamai, on Route 4169)
Serving as a folk museum, it houses many objects used by local people in the past. They are earthenwares, household utensils, hunting weapons and equipment used in coconut planting.

Samui Butterfly Garden
(at Laem Set Bay in the South)
Besides a wide variety of butterflies, there are also many kinds of plants, flowers and herbs.

Samui Aquarium
(at Laem Set Bay)
It displays a varied collection of tropical fish and marine lives.

Amazing Attractions

Luang Pho Daeng The un-decomposed corpse of Luang Pho Daeng, a Buddhist monk in Khunaram Temple, is worth watching. After his death 20 years ago, his body has miraculously remained in a perfect condition. He is still found sitting in a meditation posture at the temple situated between Na Muang waterfall and Hua Thanon Village.

The Statue Garden features a number of Buddhist and Hindu statues newly created a few years ago by a local sculptor named Khun Nim. Located near the highest point of Samui Island, the place can be reached by the track opposite Wat Khunaram.

The Eight-Headed Coconut Tree is a rare and exotic coconut species. To witness this tree, you can follow the sign posts on No. 4169 southbound ringroad to Na Thon.

Buffalo Fighting is an exciting game attracting a large number of spectators, both locals and tourists.It is held monthly, on auspicious occasions and at festivals on the island.

Buffalo Fighting, Samui
Monkey School, Samui

Monkey & Elephant Shows make you love Samui even more. See how monkeys collect coconuts and prove their other exceptional abilities before a large audience and be impressed by the intelligence and loveliness of the elephants.

Snake Show offers a thrilling experience for its viewers who have to hold their breath when the poisonous reptiles are skilfully caught by a handler with bare hands.

Jungle Tours are ideal for adventure lovers. Participants can feast their eyes on pure nature on a mountain on the island. But they are recommended to explore the charms of nature with a guide who knows routes well.

Nearby Islands

Ko Pha-ngan
It has an area of about 168 sq.km. and is located about 20 km. to the north of Ko Samui. Here visitors can absorb the charm of nature. The island, with its several secluded beaches and lack of modern amenities, is a good choice for those who find Samui too crowded or too expensive. With rocky landscape and waterfalls, it is ideal for adventure-seeking visitors. Over a hundred inexpensive bungalows built in natural settings are scattered around.

Places of interest on Ko Pha-ngan are as follows:
Rin Nok and Rin Nai Beaches at the southeast, on either side of the long Hat Rin Cape, are the most popular beaches. Rin Nok, on the east side, has the better beach for swimming and snorkeling and to see the coral reefs, while Rin Nai has a greater selection of bungalows. Thong Sala Beach, where the major community of the island is located, is also where the ferries from Surat Thani and Samui are moored. Restaurants, travel agents, motorcycle rental shops, and general stores are also available.
Among the four waterfalls on the island, Than Sadet Falls in the eastern part is the most famous, mainly because it has been visited by King Rama V, King Rama VII and King Rama IX, whose royal insignia were carved on huge rocks at the falls. Wat Khao Tham is a cave temple situated on a hilltop about 4 km. from Thong Sala port. This peaceful temple is a meditation centre where courses are provided for foreigners.
(See Transportation in Samui : Getting to Nearby Islands)

Ko Tao
This small lovely island is 45 km. to the north of Ko Pha-ngan. Here nature is unspoiled and the local people live harmoniously with it. It is an ideal place for snorkeling and diving. Due to the perfect visibility and the rich underwater resources, the island has gradually become the leading diving resort in the Gulf of Thailand. Accommodations and facilities are available. Besides walking, you can get around the island by songthaeos or by renting a motorcycle or a long-tail boat.
(See Transportation in Samui : Getting to Nearby Islands)

Ko Nang Yuan
It is a group of three little virgin islands close to the north of Ko Tao, joined together by a three-way stretch of pure white powdery beach and offering a scenic view.

Ko Nang Yuan

Like Ko Tao, the sea around it is excellent for diving and snorkeling because of its wide variety of coral formations and a large quantity of marine fauna. Accommodation and facilities are available in the island group. To reach it, there is a daily boat service from Ko Tao.

Ang Thong Islands National Marine Park
Located 20 km. northwest of Ko Samui, it is full of fascinating beaches, caves and coral formations. This about-40-island group is abundant with marine resources. It contains many oddly shaped islands, sheer limestone cliffs and hidden lagoons.

Ang Thong Islands National Marine Park

The largest island of the group is Wua Ta Lap, which is the site of the park office and a beautiful cave, Tham Bua Bok, with spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. The top of a 400- metre mountain on the island overlooks all the picturesque Ang Thong islands. Another main island, Mae Ko, has a beautiful beach and an emerald saltwater lake.
The national park does not allow a night stay. It is also out of reach of individual tourists who will have to join a group organized by a tourist agency to visit the place.
(See Transportation in Samui : Getting to Nearby Islands)


For your personal safety and protection by law, please use the services of travel agencies holding a TAT license only.

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