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Why travel to Koh Samui if not to stay there, potentially for good? The second-largest island in Thailand is one of those places that captivate with their hospitality and intoxicate with their serenity. It’s a dreamland of all who fantasize about spending their time in the seclusion of swaying coconut palms, but that’s certainly not everything that Koh Samui must offer. Wonderfully isolated and picture-pretty, this island is the perfect destination for those in pursuit of fulfilment.

Here’s what island life is truly like and why nobody ever really leaves Koh Samui.

Pristine Bliss is Everywhere Around

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Koh Samui dazzles with the whiteness of beach sand. Fortunately for inhabitants and newcomers alike, the island is big enough to please all its residents. There’s about ten popular beaches, each of them sun-kissed and peaceful, though an entire coastline reveals more pristine ones known only to locals. Vibrant coral reefs and clear, opalescent waters beautify them all.

Living on Koh Samui means living surrounded with nature, which is something that urban dwellers cannot brag about. Surrounded with the ocean and groves from one side and waterfalls and jungles from another, the inhabitants of this island are endowed with a special opportunity. To stay in contact with nature’s little wonders is to stay in contact with oneself, and those who find their place under the sun on Koh Samui never lack the tranquility nor the balance that happy existence requires.

The Adventure Lurks from Every Corner

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There’s an adventure lurking from each rocky corner, though. To adrenaline-junkies, daredevils and explorers, Koh Samui offers scuba-diving, snorkeling, elephant rides and rock climbing, just to name a few. Chance encounters with wildlife are a regular occurrence as well. If only one of those is enough to make your life more exciting, you’re in the right place!

Being situated in the Chumphon Archipelago, Koh Samui is on a boat ride distance from sister islands like Koh Tao and natural reservations like Angthong National Marine Park. Both destinations are worthy of exploring and their proximity allows you take your time. In case island life becomes a bit monotonous, which is hardly unlikely, you’ll never be in shortage of new grounds to visit and discover.

It’s a Place of Spiritual Unity and Peaceful Ruminations

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Remarkably diverse, the island is considered a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities, and religions. Around 90% of native’s worship Buddhist temples, but foreigners who call long term rentals in Koh Samui their homes come from all parts of the world. From time to time, all of them join tourists on Big Buddha Beach to find peace and celebrate unity.

Though advertised as attractions for tourists, the impressive shrines of Wat Khunaram Ko Samui, Wat Phra Yai and Laem Sor Pagoda Koh Samui provide a spiritual shelter for all the island’s inhabitants. The Koh Samui jungle reveals the Secret Buddha Garden as well, while the Samui Butterfly Garden remains one of the most beautiful places on the southeast part of the island. Solemnly calm, both gardens are perfect for self-reflection and soul-searching.

You’ll Find Something for Each of Your Senses

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Just when you think that there’s nothing more to Koh Samui, the island throws another surprise. Situated on the northern shore, Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village is a remarkable sight, although it sure appeals to more than a single taste at a time. It’s renowned as a touristy pedestrian zone, amazing for idle afternoon walks and remorseless shopping adventures, but what it’s really adored for by vacationers and locals alike, are its culinary delights.

When cooked the old-fashioned way, Koh Samui food is authentically southern and delicious. Thanks to its fishing reputation, the Village mainly serves seafood, but there’s a wide range of international restaurants that you can choose from as well. Prepare your taste buds for strong Thai spices, and don’t forget to try chicken biryani, rice noodles and curry. You can always find free samples in the Walking Street market, along with fresh local produce and other exciting condiments. It opens every Friday.

Nightlife Is Wonderfully Diverse, Too

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In case you are a romantic, stay in Bophut a little longer, or simply settle here for good. The midsummer night’s dream is a reality here, and you’ll never be in shortage of twinkling stars and candle-lit dinners. A bottle of wine might cost you a bit too much, but you’re a local now, which means that there will always be a friend around to share a beer with.

In case you are a night owl, too, leave Bophut for Chaweng Beach. It’s a popular meeting place for summer birds, and it attracts backpackers, vagabonds, and bar-walkers the whole year around. Though exhilarated and eager to celebrate, the crowds are mostly polite and you’ll have no problem finding yourself a companion for the night. Coconut ice-creams, “bar-beers” and loud music are what this ongoing festivity is all about, and they will certainly soothe all your partying needs.


In between the scenic sights of Namuang Waterfalls, the gentle hum of leafy groves, the smell of waterfronts in the tropic rain, the pungent taste of massaman and that tingly feeling in your fingers as Koh Samui’s fine white sand runs through them, you’ll find that there’s no life like island life. Unpack your bags and enjoy it if you can.

Alec Chan

Alec Chan is an intrepid traveler, travel writer, author, speaker, serial entrepreneur and self professed Asia travel ambassador. Traveling all around Asia since 2003, and still traveling, Alec is an accomplished and passionate traveler seeking to bridge the cultural gaps in Asia. Through his unique perspective as a Canadian born Chinese, Alec shares his special insights on Asia to help others around the world to have a better understanding on Asian culture so that they can have a more meaningful, fun, and stress free trip to Asia. Alec has written numerous travel guides on several destinations in Asia and is the editor in chief of AlecTravelGuide.com

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