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Showing posts with label Samui. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Samui. Show all posts


Photos Southern Thailand Samui

 In 1971 two tourists arrived on Thailand’s third-largest island via a coconut boat from Bangkok and stumbled upon paradise – white-sand beaches with palms blowing in the wind and clear green seas sparkling in the sunlight, against a picture-perfect background of lush green hills and brown roads interspersed with rough wooden structures.
More than 30 years after the first rough-hewn hut went up on Ko Samui, the island and the archipelago that includes 80 smaller islands, has become the Asian travel market's most enigmatic chameleon – as attractive to fire-twirling backpackers as to flashpackers toting Louis Vuitton. On the map alongside places like Goa and Bali, Samui has polished its reputation as a hippy island paradise that remembers to provide the best of the creature comforts from home. In the last five years, Samui has become as popular as Phuket, and at times as trendy. If it's nightlife you're after, the full moon parties held at Ko Pha-Ngan legendary, while snorkelling and nature enthusiasts will enjoy Ko Tao.

The Ko Samui of today is changing however, and the cheap fan bungalows are increasingly hard to come by. Most accommodation is either mid-range or top-end, beachfront properties boasting beautifully decorated rooms, crisp white sheets, lush gardens and lavish pools.
Despite its upmarket trend, Ko Samui still offers something for everyone. There are crowded beaches where young boys peddle coconuts and mangoes to oil-slicked, bikini-clad tourists, and jet skis churn up whitewash on clear seas. There are isolated spots where serenity and seclusion are the name of the game and you can escape the sun in simple air-con cottages and check out the latest MTV video. There are cheap food stalls and top-class restaurants, crowded modern shopping strips with Starbucks, McDonald’s and store after store featuring knock-off Von Dutch T-shirts and Gucci sunglasses; as well as stretches of rough dirt roads and ramshackle huts. Western bars dish up burgers and chips and pump classic tunes from giant speakers late into the night. Lady-boys and beautiful girls in strappy sandals and tight skirts seek out customers in side alleys, while drunken Westerners pound the keyboards at late-night internet cafés.
Some travellers plan to stay a week and three months later are still entranced. Others look around, say ‘it’s done’, and move on. Popularity doesn’t come without a price – more people means more traffic, more noise and more rubbish. Whatever your opinion, however, no one can deny Ko Samui is a beautiful place. You’ll have to visit for yourself to decide whether it’s worth staying.
The best time to visit is during the hot and dry season, from February to late June. From July to October it can be raining on and off, and from October to January there are sometimes heavy winds. On the other hand, many travellers have reported fine weather (and fewer crowds) in September and October. November tends to get some of the rain that also affects the east coast of Malaysia at this time. Prices soar from December to July, whatever the weather.