Whilst nearby Koh Pha-ngan has always attracted the backpackers and Koh Tao the divers, Koh Samui is the most accessible East Coast island with good connections, excellent beaches and some superb mid and high end hotels. The Island is famed for its white sandy beaches, colourful coral reefs and its abundance of coconut trees, not to mention its relaxed character and its diverse range of settlements, from sleepy fishing villages to modern tourist-friendly towns.
The rainy season in Koh Samui typically lasts from October to December, with January through to March being the driest time of the year. It’s also fairly dry from April to September, which is when a lot of other places in Thailand have their monsoon season. Generally speaking, temperatures are quite favourable year-round. Much of the accommodation here is situated either on or within walking distance of the beaches.
Though many visit Koh Samui for its fine white-sand beaches, there are lots of other things to see and experience. Regarded as the island’s most iconic landmark is the Big Buddha, a golden buddha statue towering 40 feet high that’s located within an ornate temple complex; for a more laidback side of Koh Samui, visit Bophut, a traditional fishing village known for its varied cuisine, bustling markets and its more rustic appearance; another attraction is the Secret Buddha Garden, a collection of buddha statues high up in the hills surrounded by lush jungle vegetation, with extraordinary views of the island below. The Ang Thong National Park is made up of some 42 islands, including Koh Samui, many of which are easily reached on boat tours.