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Don’t be fooled into thinking that this exotic location in the Gulf of Thailand is simply a resort for wealthy visitors.
Explore beyond the perfectly manicured greens and resort gardens and you’ll discover that Koh Samui is a rich, vibrant and distinctly Thai location, with plenty of local colour. Fly to Koh Samui with Qatar Airways and their partners, and prepare yourself for a truly authentic Thai experience.
A trip to Koh Samui will probably start with one of the location’s resort hotels, but venture out beyond those air-conditioned hallways and you’ll find an island that’s rich with cultural heritage and natural beauty. The island’s spectacular waterfalls are a must-see, such as - and Na Muang Waterfall.
A popular visitor attraction is the Bophut Elephant Camp, which runs treks throughout the island and also gives visitors a chance to feed the baby elephants, and to get up close to these magnificent creatures. Other attractions include the Samui Butterfly Garden and the Wat Khunaram Koh Samui Temple, Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, Big Buddha, Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan and Angthong National Park.
For most people making a trip to Koh Samui, the primary attractions are the beaches. However, many have been a little over-developed, so it’s worth exploring a little further afield for some peace and quiet. Head for Choengmon Beach, which still retains a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere, or Mae Nam Beach in the north of the island, which is perfect for lazy swims and sunbathing.
If you’re a fan of Thai food but need a little professional instruction, the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts runs daily classes in Thai cooking, and fruit carving! The more adventurous can try kiteboarding or scuba diving, while families can head to the various parks and zoos across the island such as The Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo.
Travel to Koh Samui and you’ll discover that Thai food ranges from on-the-go street food to full-blown banquets. For the former, check out the street vendors selling steaming bowls of Khanom Jeen, which is rice noodles in fish curry sauce, and chicken birayani. For an authentic taste try salted eggs and rambutan.
Because the location is an island, seafood is plentiful and fresh, so look out for both street vendors selling fresh fish snacks, or head to the various restaurants on the shoreline and watch the sun set whilst dining on the freshest seafood available.
Travelling to Koh Samui with some spare room in your luggage for souvenirs is highly recommended. There are plenty of shopping opportunities for visitors who want to take home an authentic memento of their visit. Try the night market at Na Thon for an unusual shopping experience, or browse the many independent boutiques such as Vanities, Siddharta or Tuk’s Paradise for some locally produced Thai fashion.
There are no malls as such on the island, but every street is lined with stalls selling everything from genuine Thai crafts through to cheap tourist trinkets.
Flights to Koh Samui are arranged between Qatar Airways and their partners, and arrive at Koh Samui Airport, which is a very small airport. International flights land initially at Bangkok, and link to connecting flights to the island.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Koh Samui please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type A / C
International dialing code: +66