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Gulf Islands Holiday Guide

Oozing with style and replete with idyllic sandy beaches, the Gulf Islands up the ante when it comes to special holidays.

Arguably the most famous of Thailand’s Gulf Islands, Koh Samui is a glamorous place to visit and also a draw for backpackers. The island's popularity means it is bursting with all kinds of facilities, from high-quality restaurants to glossy bars and opulent spas. But there’s no beating its natural assets: those classic sandy beaches dotted with coconut palms and that diversely tropical inland terrain.

Koh Samui has a collection of waterfalls to discover, and two of the prettiest are at Nam Muang. Nam Tok Na Muang is one of the highest on the island and the pool at the bottom is a good spot to admire the falls. Many take a picnic and enjoy the peace and quiet for the day. For further aquatic beauty while you're visiting Koh Samui, tour the Ang Thong Marine Park. This archipelago of 40 islands is blissfully unspoiled. You'll fall in love with it instantly.

Soak up some traditional history and culture in Wat Phra Yai. Here, a majestic 15-metre-tall Buddha is set on a rocky island off the coast that visitors can reach by causeway. Thanks to its size and situations, most visitors get their first glimpse of this Big Buddha when flying into the island from the mainland.

Many visitors to Koh Samui enjoy visiting the Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium in central Chaweng to see some traditional Thai boxing on their holiday. The sport is an integral part of modern Thai culture and the stadium attracts locals and tourists looking for an evening that promises a palpable atmosphere and exciting sport.

Chaweng is also the go-to place in Koh Samui if you enjoy nightlife and dancing. Packed with bars and clubs, you can dance the night away in this spot while the DJ spins the tunes. If dancing is not your thing, this is the place that can change all that. Otherwise, just sit back with a cocktail or sharpen up your skills on the pool table.

Koh Samui is easily reached from mainland Thailand. Many visitors transfer here directly from Bangkok, just a one-hour flight away.


Guide to Exploring Gulf Islands


Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,586 Hotels in Gulf Islands
£27
Ark Bar Beach Resort

Ark Bar Beach Resort

159/89, Moo 2, Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui
3.3
of 5, from 112 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Bo Put resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Central Festival Samui and Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium. Bangrak Beach is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

£96
SALA Samui Choengmon Beach

SALA Samui Choengmon Beach

10/9 Moo 5, Baan Plai Lam, Koh Samui
4.8
of 5, from 86 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Bo Put hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Jungle Minigolf, Big Buddha Statue, and Bangrak Beach. Mini Golf International and Samui Football Golf are also within 15 minutes.

£60
Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa

Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa

22/7 Moo 5 Bantai, Koh Phangan
4.6
of 5, from 324 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

On Thong Nai Pan Noi Bay, this beachfront resort spans 18 acres of tropical landscapes. Within driving distance are Tong Sala Pier, Haad Rin, and Tesco Lotus. Koh Samui is a 30-minute boat ride away.

£42
The Kala Samui

The Kala Samui

210/8 Moo 4, T. Maret, Koh Samui
4.1
of 5, from 143 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Koh Samui resort is located by the sea, within 2 mi (3 km) of Silver Beach and Escape Break. Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.

£255
Panu

Panu

5/1 M.1,T.Bophut, Koh Samui
4.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Bo Put apartment is within a 15-minute walk of Bo Phut Beach Pier and Fisherman's Village Plaza. Bo Phut Beach and Bangrak Beach are also within 2 mi (3 km).

£140
The Tongsai Bay

The Tongsai Bay

84 Moo 5, Bo Phut, Koh Samui
4.6
of 5, from 116 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Bo Put resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Jungle Minigolf, Big Buddha Statue, and Bangrak Beach. Mini Golf International and Wat Plai Laem are also within 1 mi (2 km).

£100
Melati Beach Resort & Spa

Melati Beach Resort & Spa

9/99 Moo 5, Bophut, Koh Samui
4.5
of 5, from 165 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Bo Put resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Wat Plai Laem, Big Buddha Statue, and Bangrak Beach. Big Buddha Beach Pier and Jungle Minigolf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

£89
Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa

Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa

146/24 Moo4 Lamai Beach, Koh Samui
4.3
of 5, from 124 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Maret resort is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Escape Break and 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Hin Ta and Hin Yai. Silver Beach and Coco Splash Waterpark are also within 1 mi (2 km).

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