Thailand is known for its many island getaways, and Ko Samui has long been celebrated as one of the nation's best. Situated about 50 miles off the southern coast of Thailand, Ko Samui boasts extensive beaches, majestic rainforests, and ideal environments for kayaking and snorkeling. Take your pick of Ko Samui villas right on the beach, and get away from it all in this island destination.
Like its tropical neighbors, Ko Samui enjoys hot and humid weather year-round. High temperatures range from 85 to 95 every month of the year, while monthly rainfall ranges from 3 inches in April to nearly 20 inches in November. Ko Samui is subject to monsoons, and October, November, and December are the rainiest months of the year. January, February, and March tend to be the driest months every year, coinciding with the island's cooler season. The monsoon season on Ko Samui isn't the same as mainland weather patterns, which is important to keep in mind if you're planning a tour of Thailand.
As a relatively remote island, Ko Samui is best accessed by boat or plane. Take the ferry to the west side of Ko Samui from Surat Thani or fly to Samui Airport from major Thai destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, or Chiang Mai. Once you've arrived on the island, you'll find Ko Samui easiest to explore by motorbike, which you can rent from numerous companies across the island. Taxis and local buses are also readily available on the island, and you can walk from many Ko Samui villas to the beach if you'd rather explore on foot.
No matter where you base yourself on Ko Samui, the beaches are the island's main attractions. Chaweng Beach tends to be the most crowded, and it's a popular place for daytime swimming and nighttime partying. Lamai Beach also has its fair share of restaurants, bars, and swimming spots. For snorkeling and diving, make your way to Bophut Beach, and for a quieter, family-friendly swimming spot, try Mae Nam Beach on the island's northern coast. Also on the north side of Ko Samui, pay your respects at the Big Buddha Temple, which features a 15-foot-tall Buddha statue in a colorful temple complex. On the island's south side, Wat Knunaram is another popular temple known for its mummified monk. Explore Ko Samui's legendary rainforests in Ang Thong Marine National Park, which includes about 40 jungle islands. It's easiest to reach these islands by speedboat, so consider booking a tour from one of the many local companies.
The island is home to several popular annual festivals and events. Every May the Samui Regatta welcomes sailing enthusiasts to an exciting international competition. The Water Buffalo Fighting Festival attracts locals and visitors alike during Songkran celebrations in April. From the beach to the rainforest, Ko Samui is the ideal island getaway. Find cozy Ko Samui villas or vacation rentals spacious enough for a large group, and relax in this tropical paradise.