If you are looking for long, white sand beaches, majestic green coconut palms everywhere, warm, azure blue crystal
clear water - in short, a place that matches everybody's concept of a tropical paradise, then Koh Samui is ideal for you.
The beautiful island in the gulf of Thailand - until some years ago an insider spot - is becoming more and more popular
among travelers, and big tour operators and large hotel chains have established themselves there, but even mass tourism
has not managed to spoil Koh Samui's idyllic charm. The pace of life here is still very calm and relaxed.

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Beach at Utopia

The beautiful island is located in the deep south of Thailand, about 100 kilometres north of Koh Phuket, but on
the other side of the Isthmus of Kra, the narrow mountainous strip of land that connects Thailand and Malaysia.
Located 258 nautical miles south of Bangkok, Koh Samui measures some 21 kilometres at its widest point, and 25 kilometres
at its longest. Koh Samui ("Koh" means "island") is only the most well known of a veritable archipelago of 80 islands in
the south of the Gulf of Thailand (or Gulf of Siam, as it is still sometimes called). Among the other inhabitated island of
the archipelago are Koh Phangan, which has approximately the same size as Samui and is located north of it
(you can see it from Maenam Beach) and Koh Tao, also north of Samui island.


Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Beach at Utopia



Most of the visitors to Samui Island come for swimming, sunbathing, or just doing nothing. The coral reefs around
the island are, however, very good for snorkeling and scuba diving, and boating and fishing are also available
(Samui is less suitable for wind surfing the only two good beaches for it are Chaweng and Lamai). If you are not
into marine sports then a little sightseeing may be interesting. Samui Island does not offer spectacular
architecture or immortal monuments of art, but there are mountains, waterfalls, charming half-forgotten
forest Wats (Buddhist monasteries), and lovely little islands and islets around Koh Samui. Samui Island is really
one of the most beautiful places in South East Asia and you should try to enjoy it to the fullest.

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Koh Samui


Early vacationers here were attracted to the island as much by the jungle as by the beach. Where else can you get both
tropical forests and warm seas for swimming? Leave the beach and explore Samui’s unique rock formations, strange
botanical specimens and exhilarating waterfalls. Here are some of Samui’s natural wonders:

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Lamai Beach

Angthong National Marine Park

This fascinating group of islands, within sight of Samui to the north and west, is geographically different from the other islands
in the region. The Ang Thong islands rise from the other islands in the region. The Ang Thong islands rise from the seas as
dramatic walls of rock soaring hundreds of metres high. Besides the many small coves and beautiful little beaches, erosion
has shaped some strange formations. One island has a mysterious sink hole, completely enclosed by walls of sheer rock,
in its center. Definitely worth a daytrip, and instead of the standard cruise, put together a group of friends to charter a boat
and explore the islands and beaches in your own time.

Ang Thong Marine Nationalpark

The Big Buddha

Samui's most popular attraction, The Big Buddha sitting 15 metres tall was built in 1972 by the local society to give visitors a
place to pay respect to The Lord Buddha. This monumental landmark is placed on the island's Northern shore.

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Big Bhudda

Na Muang Waterfall I+II

Na Muang Waterfall is located 10km south from Nathon at Ban Thurian. There are 2 waterfalls. Na Muang one is 18 metres
high and can be reached by vehicle. Na Muang two is about 80 metres high and can only be reached by a 30 minute walk.
The waterfalls are the most scenic on the island. Between Hua Thanon and Nathon in the Southwest sector of the island,
this waterfall is just off


A concrete road, making it easily accessible to visitors. Rocks and tree roots form a natural staircase leading directly to a large pool
at the base of the waterfall. Be careful when diving or swimming in the pool, however, as shallow, sharp rocks are hidden by
the frothing of the fall.

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Na Muang I
Na Muang II

Overlap-Stone

Climbing up 150 metres along a 1.3 km road you can find argvably the best view on Koh Samui- Overlooking the
tranquil muslim Fishing village 'Hua Thanon' you can view traditional Thai fishing boats navigating small islands and sandbanks.
While in the foreground you can see palmtrees accompanied by the sweet songs tropical birds and wildlife.

How do you get there? Easy! Drive towards Wat "Sila Ngu" (just outside Lamai) on the opposite side you can see signposts.
The first 500 metres is pretty flat this is followed by a steeper section (experienced motorcyclist or 4-wheel-jeeps should
have no problem) also reachable on foot, a short walk of 10 - 15 minutes.
On arrival you can rest at 'Paradise view point' restaurant.
You will be greeted by the friendly staff who offer very reasonable 
price ice cool drinks. Stay longer and sample the the excellent
Thai or European food. If the trip has wet your appetite 
there is a chance to go on guided tours leading up to 500 m high peaks.


Hin Ta - Hin Yai
 

Strangely shaped rocks at south Lamai. A local story tells of an old couple whose ship was wrecked in the bay. Their body's were
washed ashore to create the rocks.


Hin Lad Waterfall
 

Cool down after an enjoyable 2km walk along a jungle path by taking a dip in a beautiful swimming pool under this waterfall.
In evergreen, rain forest setting with palms and creepers, the waterfall have several levels with a cool pool for a fresh water swim.
Tough shoes are recommended for the walk, but the swim makes it well worth it. Check the water before diving, as there are many
rocks just below the surface. Packing a picnic will allow you to spend a couple of hours here and really enjoy the solitude.
At the foot of the falls is Hin Lad monastery, which is worth seeing as well. The tranquil feel of the grounds and the Buddhist sayings
that line the path are especially worth noting if you have just arrived on Samui from a hectic job. The falls are on the eastern end
of route 4172, 2km south of Nathon.


Secret Buddha Garden

The secret Buddha garden is hidden in the hills of Samui. You can see several statues, temples and waterfalls which are 
build by one man in the last 20 years.


Ancient House

A house made of teakwood without any nails at Ban Thale is the oldest house on the island. It was built approximately
150 years ago, is constructed of teak planks
and shows off many beautiful woodcarvings.


Butterfly Garden

Na Tian Butterfly Garden is situated at the bottom of the hill south of the island. Apart from the numerous species of
butterflies on display, there are also other
interesting features in the garden: The bee house, a Thai style house which allows the visitor to observe the activities of bees.
The insect museum, rare insects from
Thailand and other countries are displayed here.


Snake Farm

A definite must see for all those visiting the island. Shows featuring snakes indigenous to Samui as well as Centipede, Scorpion and
Cock Fighting shows. Informative and entertaining. Great for the entire family and worth looking for. Follow the signs seen throughout
the island. Show times are 11.00 and 14.00 everyday.


Naga Pearl Farm

Visit the Naga Pearl Farm and discover how pearls are cultured. A 30 minute boat ride from Ban Thong Krut landing will bring
you to Koh Matsum and the Naga Pearl Farm. After you learn about pearl culture, you will enjoy eating Thai food and spend the
afternoon on the white sandy beach. Don't miss the Naga Pearl Shop, located at 81/1 Ban Thong Krut, where all varieties of pearl
and pearl products are offered. Pearl shells and special handicrafts are very nice souvenirs to bring back home.

Thailand has a land area of approximately 518,000 square kilometres. On its north-south axis the longest distance
is approx 1,700 kilometres and on the east-west axis it is 800 kilometres. However at one point 250 kilometres south
of Bangkok the Burmese border is only 20 kilometres from the Gulf of Thailand. The country can be divided into four
distinct regions. The central region is a low-lying plain dominated by the Chao Phraya river and its network of tributaries
and canals. As well as being the most fertile region of the country it is also the most populated, containing the capital 
Bangkok, with its six million inhabitants. The north is a mainly mountainous area containing the country's highest peak,
Don Inthanon, rising to a height of 2,590 metres. Chiang Mai, Thailand's second largest city with a population of 170,000,
is situated in the midst of this region. The northeast of the country is generally flat and scenically is the least attractive
of the four regions. This area is the least visited by tourists. Economically it is the most depressed region of the country
with a mainly agricultural workforce making the best use they can of the poor soil and erratic rainfall. To the east is
Cambodia and to the north Laos across the Mekong river. As these countries hopefully open up to trade and tourism in the
near future the fortunes of this region should improve. Southern Thailand which extends to the border with peninsular
Malaysia is sandwiched between the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the Andaman sea, a branch of the Indian ocean,
to the west. The terrain for the most part is mountainous with the flatter land along the coastal strip. Although the hills
are not as high as in the north the scenery is still spectacular, especially in the area of Khao Sok national park not far from 
Phuket, the largest island and the destination of many visitors to the south. Stretching along the coast from Burma in the
north to Malaysia in the south are dozens of islands with some of the best beaches in Asia. Off the east coast are more
islands including Koh Samui. Many of these are at present far less developed than Phuket and are ideal for those seeking a
tranquil beach holiday.

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui

Map of Thailand


Overview of the History and Geography of Koh Samui

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Nathon 1965


Koh Samui lies 35 kilometres off the Surat Thani (one of the major cities in southern Thailand) coast and about 700 kilometres south of Bangkok. The island was probably originally settled about 1500 years ago by fishermen, but its existence has first been officially recorded by the Chinese only as late as about 1500 AD, in ancient maps from the Ming dynasty. Apparently Samui Island had trade connections with China (at least Chinese ceramics were found in ship wrecks from that period that has sunken near the coast of Samui). The probably most dramatic episode in the history of the island
was the short Japanese occupation during World War II. Today Koh Samui belongs to Thailand but due to the long isolation from the rest of the world (little was known about Koh Samui until the early 1970s) the islanders (Samui has about 35.000 inhabitants) still think of themselves as really different from the rest of the country and are proud of their island culture. Samui has a size of about 250 kilometres in square (comparable to the Malaysian island Penang). As everywhere in Thailand, the major religion is Theravada Buddhism and there are lots of simple temples and shrines on the island, sometimes hidden in the jungle.

Koh Samui Hotel - Utopia Resort - Lamai Beach - Thailand - The resort for a perfect holiday on Koh Samui
Ancient Map

Until the year 1940, Koh Samui was without any road and cars. The Island lived in its own pace with almost no contact to the outside world . Getting from Maenam to Lamai Beach for example meant walking through the mountain jungles for hours and hours, a trip that was impossible to make to and back in one day. Tourism was unknown, there was simply no convenient way for anybody to come to Koh Samui. The only way to reach the island from the mainland was by a daily boat (6 hours from Surat Thani harbor to Nathon). At arrival here one had to count on another couple of hours or more to reach ones final destination. Early plans of a road construction were laid down because of the mountainous area and the impossibility to get heavy construction machines to the island. In the year 1967, Khun Dilok Suthiklom, the headman of the island decided that something had to be done for development and contacted the government for help. First start of construction consisted of manual labor by hundreds of people cleaning a way around the island. Rocks and trees has to be cleared out of the way and the result after long hard handwork was a kind of dirt track that lead almost all the way around. Two major obstacles were the high mountains between Nathon and Maenam and the long mountain stretch between Lamai and Chaweng. The former had to be lowered by dynamite to allow the road to climb up in an acceptable angle; even so, in the first couple of years before laying out concrete it meant usually that everybody except the driver had to get off the car and help pushing it up. The area between Lamai and Chaweng is the rockiest cliff landscape on Samui and road had to be more or less carved out of the
mountains on a length of 3 km, an impossible task without dynamite and heavy construction machinery. So these machines were slipped over from the mainland and in lack of a deep water pier had to be brought to land on beaches that were steep enough to allow the large carrying vessels to anchor at land. In-between there were further delays due to prolonged rainy seasons, the heavy monsoon rains making it virtually impossible to work at all, not to mention laying out concrete. Finally in the year 1973 order came from Bangkok to finish the Samui ring road project and concrete started to run to complete a 52 km. long, 12 metres wide road all around the island that now seems indispensable to us and most people cannot even imagine anymore there was time when the only way to get from one place to other on Koh Samui was on foot or by boat. Life on the island is still very quiet, much more so than for instance on Phuket. There are schools on Samui but the more well-to-do families prefer to send their children to the colleges and universities on the Thai mainland. The main produce of the island are coconuts (which are processed for copra production), tropical fruit, and bamboo. Fishing is of course also a major source of income and recently the tourism industry (most of the accommodation offered on Samui is still owned by locals, not by large hotel chains) has become more and more popular.

Climate & The Best Time for Traveling

Basically, Thailand has three seasons: a dry and hot season (from November until February), a very hot season (from March until the end of April the weather is still dry, but very hot, and doing sightseeing tours may be uncomfortable) and a wet and hot season (this is the monsoon season from May to the end of October).
 
Koh Samui, however, is a little bit different from the rest of Thailand - the islands in the southwest of the Gulf of Siam have climate of their own.the best time for traveling to Koh Samui are the months from March to September. The rainy season starts in October most rainfalls occur in November. December to February (main season) it is up to 30ฐC (86ฐF). Sometimes a short tropical rain, mostly in December. This is the best season for European people, because it is not too hot. March to June it becomes very hot, up to 40ฐC (114ฐF), are rarely raining. You will enjoy to have a bungalow with air condition! July to September (main season) is hot, but some days its raining. August is called the Italian season (you can guess why). June, October, November are rainy seasons. But its not raining every day. In contrast to other regions of Thailand, Samui not really have a raining season. But sometimes there are sunless periods of 2 or 3 days.

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