Koh Samui, tucked between the cerulean expanse between Indonesia and Indochina, is an often over-looked tropical treasure. If you visit Koh Samui, a small island off the coast of Thailand, you will discover small villages built entirely of bamboo; lush jungle interiors; turquoise-fringed beaches. Samui’s amazing landscapes are just a fraction of the appeal: the local culture gives you a taste of the region’s Asian traditions and a unique heritage preserved in hidden Buddhist temples with their iconic, gilded-red roofs, and resilient fishing villages on the Southern coast.
While tourism and a burgeoning bohemian class of artists has brought a wave of new resorts and international restaurants to the dusty white shores, Koh Samui still offers a casual, relaxed alternative to more traditional beach vacations. Family-owned seafood restaurants still offer authentic, unadulterated Southeast Asian cuisine, even while neighboring boozy nightclubs and upscale boutiques. Our Koh Samui travel guide highlights the best of this Thai island, whether you’re looking for a modern spa getaway or seeking to slip back into the age of coconut harvesting and the Muay Thai martial arts.