Koh Samui is a rare gem, preserving the idyllic simplicity of a tropical hideaway. It is characterized by beaches of powdery white sand, crystal-clear waters. Here you can delight in a latter-day Robinson Crusoe experience-in comfort. The island, Thailand's third largest, measuring 21 kilometres at its widest point and 25 kilometres in maximum length, is one of a group of more than 80 tropical islands, only a few of which are inhabited. A mountain ridge runs east to west and most of the hinterland comprises forested hills. The rich hues of wild vegetation are dappled throughout with the contrasting greens of coconut palms and emerald paddy fields. The mainland is well worth exploring either on your way to or from Samui. Surat Thani, the ferry terminal, is a bustling fishing and shipbuilding centre of considerable interest. A casual stroll around town or a canal tour on the Tapi river are rewarding for the glimpses they give of southern culture. Surat Thani is also famous for its oyster farms where a giant species of the mollusc is harvested.
What to eat on Ko Samui
Samui offers numerous restaurants and cafes catering to a variety of tastes. Well-known local specialties include fruits such as fasts coconuts. rambutans, lanesats and mangosteens as well as the muse-eat seafood. On the island, visitors have many choices for eating, from authentic home- made cuisine legendary Southern Thai food is quiet spicy but tastes yummy to luxurious hotel restaurants and cafes with stunning views.
Local food restaurants offer dishes like Moong Mung chilli paste (made from Taling Pling fruits that taste sour), Kor seaweed spicy salad (mixed with sliced sour mangoes), Tom Som (sour soup made of tamarind paste with cooked octopus), Keoy Jee (small shrimps pounded with coconuts and crap meat served on roasted coconut shells together with fresh vegetables) or rice noodles in curry sauce. Samui natives normally cook easily-found seafood like fish, shellfish, cuttlefish and jellyfish served in spicy salad dishes. And don't forget the famous Thai sweet Kalamae made of glutinous rice flour or rice mixed with coconut milk and coconut sugar. They say you will never go hungry on Ko Samui and depending on where you are staying that is certainly true. The tourist beaches Chaweng and Bo Phut are packed with international restaurants while the undeveloped west coast of Samui is a good place to enjoy local dishes.