Development officially began on Koh Samui in the 1950s, but it wasn't until the early 70s that it emerged onto the radar of international tourism. In the three decades since, Koh Samui has become Thailand's preeminent resort destination, poised to overtake Phuket in volume and luxury if not in size.
Koh Samui has a reputation for expensive shopping, especially when it comes to handicrafts which are almost always shipped in from the mainland. There are still deals to be had, and perusing the markets is certainly part of the island experience.
Koh Samui is the leading resort island in the Gulf of Thailand, and it offers plenty of highly-developed infrastructure. Visitors yearning for something a little more rustic don't have to travel far. The remote interior and outlying islands are beautifully serene.
Koh Samui is a well-oiled resort machine, with more ways to stay active and party than you'd care to count. Chaweng Beach is the epicenter of the entertainment scene, but great activities are found across the island.
Koh Samui's dining scene is one of its strongest suits. Delicious seafood is served up around the island, but there are plenty of other options to get excited about. From upscale offerings at the resorts to modest, open-air eateries on the beach, Koh Samui has plenty to offer diners.
Koh Samui is a newly-risen star in the Thai resort scene, and tourists will find that locals are enthusiastic and hospitable. Rules of etiquette are very Thai, but foreign visitors are given plenty of leeway. Facilities are in place across the island to ensure speedy transportation and convenient banking to keep business in motion.
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