Touring Around Samui The Idyllic Island in the South Sea

| March 3, 2016

Samui is now served by a local airline. A large number of people still travel to Samui aboard the ferry, leaving mainland Sural Thani at two piers, Don Sak Pier, about 30 kilometers from Ko Samui, and Tha Thong Pier, which is 78 kilometers from Ko Samui. A car tour around Samui is easily made along Highway 4169 (Thawiratbhakdi Road), an asphalt road around the island, 57 kilometers in total distance. All major beaches can be visited within one day with ease. Caution should be taken as several stretches involve steep climbs and sharp bends. Also, one should be mindful of foreign tourists on rented motorcycles and jeeps, who might not be familiar with the British rule adopted by Thailand, that is, keeping left and yielding to the right.
Bringing your car to Samui is easy. From Surat Thani, use Highway 401, passing Kanchanadit District, and turn left on Highway 4142, continue for about 30 kilometers to reach Don Sak Ferry Terminal. There are two operators, Sea Tran Ferry Company and Raja Ferry Company, scheduled from 05.00 a.m. until 07.00 p.m. Each trip lasts about one and a half hours. One ferry takes 25- 30 vehicles, each paying 250 baht (driver included) and 80 baht for each passenger. On board one finds full facilities. The best period to visit the island is during February and June. The rainy season lasts from July to December. Arriving in Samui, accommodations have to be found first. Those who look for luxurious types, there are recommended Unseen Paradise sites as Central Samui Village on Na Thian Beach, built in steps along the foothill down to the beach in modern Thai style, Ban Hin Sai on Bo Phut Beach, in Lanna Thai style, Bandara Resort and Spa on Bo Phut Beach, at the northern tip of the island, about 15 minutes from the airport, with both hotel rooms and luxurious villas on offer, Muang Samui Spa Resort, on Chaweng Beach and Samui Peninsula Spa and Resort on Choeng Mon Beach in authentic Thai style and full view of the sea. Budget accommodations of various rates can be found around the island, such as Hat Lamai Coconut Resort, Chaweng Seaside Bungalows, Chaweng Cabana, and Chawengburi Resort. And once in Samui, delightful fresh seafood should not be missed. Recommended are Bang Po Seafood, at Bang Po Bay to the north of the island, and Ko Seng’s in Soi Ko Oat, at some distance from Bang Po Seafood. Both are fully patronized by tourists. For a local touch, visit the All-Night Market on Na Thon Beach to the west of the island, filled with food trolleys. For breakfast, try Pui Yok Shop on Na Thon Beach, and Bo Phut Morning Market, near Bo Phut Port, with an array of Chinese and Thai dishes to choose from.

You can opt for the tour of Samui on Highway 4169, an asphalt road around the island, or up an off-road route further inside in the mountainous area, which requires 4-wheel drive vehicles of good condition. The route can be divided into the northern route and the southern route. The Northern Route is “Na Thon BeachChaweng Beach”, from the western side of the island upwards, and turn to the eastern side along Highway 4196, linking Na Then, Laem Yai, Bang Bo, Na Lan, Mae Nam, and Bo Phut Port to end at Chaweng Beach. The side road 4171 between Bo Phut and Phra Yai Bay runs along the coast. lined with fine sand beach, and links with Ko Fan where a huge Buddha or Phra Yai is enshrined. From Phra Yai Bay, the route leads to Choeng Mon and Chaweng Beaches, over a mountain, covered with lush vegetation, to the beachfront road along Chaweng Beach, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, resembling Pattaya. Chaweng is known as the longest and finest beach on Ko Samui, covering a distance of 8 kilometers, divided into 4 stretches, as Chaweng Nuea, Chaweng Klang, Chaweng Tai and Chaweng Noi, forming a long curve, with white fine sand in a gentle slope to the sea. The whole area is popular with swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.
On this northern route, there are several other attractions to visit, such as Hin Lat Waterfall, 3 kilometers south of Na Thon Port, with a left turn onto Highway 4172. Next is Samui Monkey School, on Highway 4169 to the right at the entrance to Ban Khao Phra, Village 1, So Phut Sub-District, with a daily show of monkey training and folk culture. For some excitement, there is Samui Go-Cars where you can race to your heart’s content. But the real charms of the route are fine beaches found all along the trip.

For the Southern Route, drive along Highway 4169 from Thong Yang Beach, to the south of Na Than Port, to Lamai Beach on the east of Ko Samui, a mountain road with lookouts on seascape at intervals. On the way from Thong Yang Bay to Ban Sa Ket, a sideway to the left leads to Hin Ta-Hin Yai – Grandpa-Grandma Rocks, two large rock formations on the beach resembling a male and a female sex organ situated next to each other. The peculiar rocks on Lamai Beach in Maret Sub-District are visited daily as a symbol of Samui. In the neighborhood, there exist several old temples, including Wat Khiri Wongkaram near Taling Ngam Beach, Wat Santikaram next to Thong Krut Beach, on Highway 4170, as well as Wat Khunaram and Wat Pradoem on Highway 4173
Natural attractions on_ the southern route include Na Mueang Waterfall 1 and 2, reached through Highway 4169, down south from Na Than Port for about 14 kilometers, turning left at Ban Tha Pho and continuing fro about 500 meters. The waterfalls are not of a great height, but pleasant with the tranquil atmosphere and inviting pools, the Samui Aquarium on Na Thian Beach, located on a foothill at Na Thiwn Point, about 3 kilometers from the fishing village, open to visitors everyday, with butterfly garden, bee garden, rock garden and lookout points, along with food shops. Old coconut plantations exist between Ban Phangka to Ban Sa Ket, providing an insight into the traditional way of life in Ko Samui, dubbed appropriately as the Coconut Island.

For those seeking rest and recreation, the bays on the northern part of the island such as Bang Po, Mae Nam and Bo Phut are perfect sites, although not as picturesque as Chaweng and Lamai Beaches to the south. They are also located close to the main road (Thaweeratphakdi Road), convenient to make further car tours around Samui. At least 3 days and 2 nights should be spent here. The bays to the southern part of the island such as Bang Kao, Thong Krut and Thong Tanot Bays, Na Thian Beach and Saket Point also offer tranquil areas for recreation. The coastline is rich in rocks and coral reef, not favorable to swimmers. Diving to observe corals can be arranged with tour companies or bungalow operators on the island. Good dive sites are around Ko Tao Pun, Ko Mat Lang, Ko Ra Thian, and Ko Ra Hin.
Another major activity for tourist is taking a boat trip to Ang Thong Islands, as a one day tour or for an overnight stay at Koh Wua Ta Lap the largest island in the Ang Thong Group, presently a marine national park, popular with tourists for the fantastic limestone outcrops and lush rainforests. Kayaking and diving are possible at several islands. Highlights are the Viewpoint on Ko Wua Ta Lap, from where the entire isles and islets in the group can be seen sprawling in the emerald sea, the natural stone bridge at Ko Sam Sao, and Thale Nai, the inner sea, a large green lake on the rock island, with water channel linked to the sea. Another major island to the north of Samui, now known internationally is Ko Pha-Ngan, with the slogan as beautiful moon, clear water, white beach, sparkling corals, a gem in the middle of the bay, the city of good people (the meaning of Sural Thani). Ko Pha-Ngan is best known for its Full-Moon Party on Rin Beach to the south of the island.

Koh Samui Map Thailand

Category: Koh Samui