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Koh Samui is a fantastic holiday destination that has something for every one. From it’s humble beginnings as a back packers paradise, where those early travellers would spend months in Koh Samui, it has grown into a world class tourist hot spot.Where back packers and budget travellers can mix it with the rich and famous.
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Travellers come here for a number of reasons from sun baking on the beautiful white sandy beaches, family holiday getaways, 24/7 back packer partying to lazing by the pool. Koh Samui is a cosmopolitan mix of so many cultures and people who come here from all over the world to experience the delights that this island offers. Accommodation in Koh Samui is also varied and caters to all tastes and budget styles; from 5 star hotels and resorts, luxurious private ‘uber cool’ villas to cheap guesthouses right on the beachfront.
From the frenetic pace and ‘buzzy’ atmosphere of Chaweng Beach to the happening yet chilled out vibe of Lamai Beach right through to the traditional Thai feel of Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village to the laid back beach area of Maenam, Ko Samui is a Thai holiday destination that keeps on growing in popularity and one you will absolutely love.
Where should I book my hotel in Koh Samui?
So many people come to Koh Samui and they all have there advice on where to go and where to stay. Absorbing and processing this information and then making a decision on where to stay can be mind boggling. Get it right and you are going to have a fantastic holiday. Get it wrong and you might end up staying next door to a group of back packers. This is why you need to know everything there is to know about Koh Samui as well as which beach area is best suited to your holiday needs. Although they may all look remarkably similar there are however serious differences between them.
The following information will help you refine your search and make the right decision when it comes to your accommodation in Koh Samui.
I have hear so much about Chaweng, what’s it like?
Chaweng is close to the airport and would be the most lively part of Koh Samui. Best known for it’s nightlife, party scene, cheap budget style beach front guest houses, Chaweng is an eclectic and very vibrant town. Chaweng, is also home to a massive range of hotels, resorts and shops that cater for the masses of world wide tourists that flock here year round from Europe, Asia and of course Australia. If you want a action packed holiday destination, then Chaweng is perfect.
Chaweng is great for:
- Back packers and budget travellers who want cheap accommodation
- Party goers who love the Thai nightlife
- Shopping and buying souvenirs
- Lively beach atmosphere
- Travellers who want all their restaurants, bars, hotels in one area
Not so good for:
- People wanting a chilled out getaway
- It gets very crowded and noisy
Should I stay in Lamai?
Located on the eastern side of Koh Samui, close to Chaweng Beach, Lamai is somewhat similar but has a more chilled out and relaxed vibe. It isn’t as large but there are still heaps of quality restaurants, bars, clubs, day spas, hotels, backpacker accommodation and top hotels. While most of Koh Samui is evolving into big 5 star hotel and resort developments, the Lamai beach area has still maintained a lot of it’s old world charm that Koh Samui was famous for.
Lamai is ideal for:
- Budget conscious travellers who want cheap accommodation close to the beach
- Families who like a beach side holiday
- Young couples and honeymooners
- People who like nightlife but not to the same extent as Chaweng – more laid back
It’s not ideal for:
- People who want direct access to the beach as this has been taken by many of the beach front resorts
- The traffic here can get very busy, so can the noise
Should I book my hotel accommodation in Bophut?
Old meets new at the Bophut Fishing village. Old Thai Chop houses mix nicely here with modern hotels and shops and funky boutiques to create an interesting eclectic mix that is unique to Koh Samui. There are some seriously gorgeous resorts on the 2km beach front which would make a perfect holiday destination for couples and families. There has been a real concerted effort among the Koh Samui locals to keep the Bophut area relatively nightlife free. Their aim is to keep the traditional Thai feel but look at attracting tourists by keeping the area authentic.
Whats great about Bophut?
- Travellers who enjoy a great mix between busy and quiet, more a community feel but with a cosmopolitan flair
- People who love the beach
- Families and groups wanting to experience a fantastic holiday area
- People with money who want to splash out on their hotel accommodation
- It’s not ideal for:
It’s not good for:
- People who like to party as it’s very quiet at night – not much happening here except for the restaurants
Should I be staying in Maenam?
With great views looking out to Koh Phangam, the Maenam Beach area is backpacker central. It’s got heaps of budget local shopping, cheap local restaurants, as well as a great choice of very cheap bungalow / guest house style accommodation right on the beach. This is a low cost holiday area. To add to the mix, Maenam also has a range of 5 star luxury resorts and hotels with offer great accommodation for the high end traveller.
Maenam is great for:
- Basically anyone who loves the beach
- Backpacker right through to the jet set traveller
- People who like quiet, peaceful beach side holidays
- If you want to stay in a uber exclusive resort
Not so ideal for:
- It is quiet and not a party scene
Should I book my hotel accommodation in Big Buddha?
This area has gained in popularity especially with backpackers and budget travellers. It’s really close to the airport and is a great launch off point for Koh Phangan. As you can see by the name the cultural attraction here is the Big Buddah. If you are looking to stay here, there are many types of budget to mid range hotel accommodation so this does attract anyone from under 20 right through to families. Due to it’s proximity to Chaweng and Bophut you do get people who like the nightlife / shopping but prefer a more chilled out hotel area.
Big Buddha is great for:
- People who like a more relaxed laid back holiday location
- Back packers and families
- People who want a decent nightlife NOT a hectic one
- It’s not so ideal for:
It’s not ideal for
- It is not great fro swimming or the beach as there are rocks and the currents can be strong.