Koh Samui Dreaming…

Andrew Leeson


Koh Samui Island

Many of the picture postcard photographs of Thailand invariably include stunning images of Koh Samui and the islands around it, which form part of the Chumphon Archipelago. It’s a breathtaking part of the World that captures hearts, relaxes the soul and drifts into your dreams like the distant sound of a wave breaking on the shore. As the Australian winter approaches, the warmth of Koh Samui awaits…


Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island (after Phuket), with an area of 227 square km’s and a resident population of approximately 63,000, although this swells significantly during the peak tourist periods. The climate is warm and humid most of the year, however in comparison to Phuket and most of Southern Thailand, Samui’s weather is generally drier. Whilst December and January are arguably the most popular time to go, we are shortly moving into another great time to visit, as both July and August offer fantastic beach weather, but are not blazingly hot.

What is there to do?

Yes there are beaches! But the island also offers all the traditional Thai wonders you’d expect. There is the natural splendour of Ang Thong National Marine Park, with its towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, fertile mangroves, waterfalls and lakes to explore.

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park

On the North coast is the famous Big Buddha shrine, probably Samui’s most well known landmark. The 12 meter high golden Buddha can be seen from kilometres away, and is surrounded by many other different shrines and smaller ornate Buddha’s plus various shops and food outlets.
Golden Buddha Samui

Golden Buddha

For those who enjoy some retail therapy there are modern shopping malls, such as Central Festival in Chaweng, or vibrant bustling markets to be found at the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut, or at Lamai Walking Street and Night Bazaar.

Beyond Samui are the nearby islands of Koh Phangan (famous for its Full Moon Party’s – and yes they are as crazy as you’ve heard), Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao (also known as Turtle Island, and regarded as one of Thailand’s best scuba diving locations).

Visitors seeking a fun night out won’t be disappointed, with a superb mix of restaurants, bars and entertainment to suit all tastes and budgets. Chaweng and Bophut offer the largest choice, and its at these locations where you’ll also find the most accommodation options, which are available at all price points.

Getting there

Samui International Airport was built in 1989 and is privately owned by Bangkok Airways, who had a monopoly on the destination until 2009. This of course meant that whilst the island became more accessible, the prices for flights were far higher than other destinations in the country. Since 2009 Thai Airways (through Bangkok) and Silk Air (through Singapore) have been granted access. This has provided more competition, and reduced costs somewhat. Once you’ve arrived, the airport itself is very close to the main urban centres on the island, and taxi’s are plentiful.

An alternative and cheaper option (although less convenient), is to fly to nearby Surat Thani Airport, and then connect by a ferry to the island. Surat Thani Airport has regular flights from Bangkok (DMK), and also Chiang Mai domestically, with Kuala Lumpur and several Chinese cities served internationally.

Ferries to Samui operate regularly from multiple locations. More information can be found at www.ferrysamui.com

Living the Dream

For retiree’s and long stay visitors Koh Samui really does tick all the boxes for that ‘idyllic island beach lifestyle’. It’s easy to get around and the cost of living is significantly lower than in Australia, New Zealand and most Western countries. Samui has excellent healthcare facilities, with World Class hospitals in both Boput and Chaweng, plus numerous Medical Centres and Pharmacies around the island.

Whether you’re on a short holiday, or you’re a longer term resident, Samui has it all, beauty, culture and a genuine warmth all wrapped up in a truly captivating tropical island lifestyle.

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson

Andrew Leeson

Over 20 years of experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

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