Koh Samui History
According to the evidence found on Samui Island, historians believe that it was first inhabited by man at most 1,200 years ago. In 1940s, the island was still isolated from the outside world. Those wishing to travel to Samui had to travel from Surat Thani for approximately 6 hours. As in-land transportation was not well established, it took several hours for people to walk through the lush jungles to the beach. It was only in the early 1970’s that Ko Samui became a dream destination discovered by backpackers.
With the development of infrastructure, an increasing number of travelers were attracted to the island. Samui’s concrete ring road was finished in 1973 by the order of the government. Passing beautiful beaches around the island and connecting sub-district areas, the road facilitated tourism.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand explored the island in 1980 and realizing the high tourism potential of Samui, a plan to develop and promote tourism on the island was implemented. As a result, it has become and will continue to be a popular tourist destination in Thailand.
Ko Samui's Today
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.
Source: Information by Tourism Authority of Thailand
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