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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 Koh Samui Islands


Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,719 Hotels in Koh Samui Islands
£86
Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa

Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa

22/7 Moo 5 Bantai, Koh Phangan
4.7
of 5, from 850 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Baan Tai resort is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach. Tharn Sadet Waterfall and Than Sadet Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).

£39
Ark Bar Beach Resort

Ark Bar Beach Resort

159/89, Moo 2, Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui
3.6
of 5, from 424 reviews
3.5 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.

£102
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui

Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui

38/2 Moo 3, Borpud, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
4.1
of 5, from 296 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Bo Put, this beachfront resort is in the entertainment district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Chaweng Thai Boxing Stadium and Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium. Central Festival Samui and Bangkok Hospital Samui are also within 1 mile (2 km).

£56
Pavilion Samui Villas & Resort

Pavilion Samui Villas & Resort

124/24 Moo 3 Lamai Beach Maret, Koh Samui
4.2
of 5, from 516 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Maret, this beachfront resort is in the city centre, 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Coco Splash Waterpark and 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Hin Ta and Hin Yai. Lamai Night Market and Wat Lamai are also within 15 minutes.

£42
The Kala Samui

The Kala Samui

210/8 Moo 4, T. Maret, Koh Samui
4.2
of 5, from 349 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

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

£106
Melati Beach Resort & Spa

Melati Beach Resort & Spa

9/99 Moo 5, Bophut, Koh Samui
4.4
of 5, from 341 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 miles (5 km).

£52
Dara Samui Beach Resort - Adult Only

Dara Samui Beach Resort - Adult Only

162/2 Moo 2 Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
3.9
of 5, from 208 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Bo Put, this beachfront resort is in the city centre and within 1 mi (2 km) of Central Festival Samui and Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium. Bangrak Beach is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.

£93
Sheraton Samui Resort

Sheraton Samui Resort

86 Moo 3 Chaweng Noi Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui
4.2
of 5, from 273 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Bo Put hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Bangkok Hospital Samui and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium. Silver Beach and Chaweng Thai Boxing Stadium are also within 3 miles (5 km).

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