Koh Samui is one of the many islands of Thailand that visitors flock to for white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and luxury resorts and spas. It’s the second largest island in Thailand and has a mix of nightlife and parties for those seeking a fun night out and laid back villages with more local flavor and night markets. Day trips to neighboring islands offer travelers lots of opportunities to snorkel, hike and dive.
It’s an easy and quick 1 hour flight south of Bangkok and there are over 170 flights running each week from Bangkok to Koh Samui so prices are fairly inexpensive.
On my last visit I opted to stay at two hotels to better explore the large island. One on the east coast and one on the west coast.
From the hotel, I explored the city center Chaweng beach. This is one of the island’s city centers and caters mostly to vacationers. Streets are lined with Thai and International restaurants, there are lots of souvenir shops, boutiques and even a mall which I checked out.
Central Festival Mall
I really enjoyed the beach clubs with live DJs spinning laid back beachy vibes and relaxed over long lunches by the sea while people watching.
- Coast Beach Club $$$ (Italian, Steaks, Seafood)
- The Page $$$$ (Seafood, European, Asian)
- Elephant Club $$$$ (French, European, Thai)
My west coast Koh Samui hotels was the Intercontinental Koh Samui. Situated on a hill overlooking the sea, rooms facing the water offer great sunset views and I used my balcony each day to enjoy the sunset with wine and cheese from room service. The grounds are stunning and theirs even a suspension bridge to get from the rooms down to the pool and restaurants at sea level. For those heading down at night or not up for climbing the hill, they offer a golf cart shuttle to get your around the resort. Also have to mention the breakfast buffet was one of the best in terms of variety I’ve ever experience. The diversity of fresh fruits, juices, and special touches like honey dripping from a honey comb are what make this a 5 star luxury hotel.
Below are photos of the room I remember to take before I started unpacking.
The hotel is not walking distance to other dining options so I either ate dinner at one of the hotels many options or I hired a taxi to drive us to nearby restaurants for dinner. The hotel restaurants were great but pricey. I ate at Flames down by the beach and pool on several occasion during our stay and Amber which also included a live Thai music and dance show.
I also rented a scooter near the hotel to explore the island and visited the giant Buddha within Wat Phra Yai. If you visit remember to bring a sarong and covering as modest dress is required. You can also rent clothes there if needed.
Riding a scooter around Koh Samui is great. You can cover a lot of ground and I even stumbled upon a local market selling snacks and made to order skewers, along with a parade staging ground with beautifully decorated and ornate parade floats.