Koh Samui, destination of dreams
Nicknamed the Pearl of the China Sea, Koh Samui is part of an archipelago of 80 islands, the most famous of which also includes Koh Phangan and Koh Tao further to the north of Samui. Currently, the local population is 62,500 (including 6,000 foreign residents or expats). It has incredibly warm and friendly people, mostly Buddhist, who live in perfect harmony with a small Muslim community. Tourism and coconut growing and export are the two principal activities on the island. The territory, which covers 228.7 km², has around three million coconut palms, each producing an average of seventy to seventy five coconuts each year. Over the last twenty years, the island has seen considerable growth and many of the small wooden beach huts, so popular with backpackers, have been replaced by hotels or luxury residences. Luckily, local laws regulate and limit the height of the buildings on or close to the beach, so you will not find here the elevated concrete hotel towers that are ubiquitous in Phuket or Pattaya.
The territory is dominated by tropical forests, with a small mountainous terrain offering breathtaking views of the seas, surrounding islands and the mainland in the distance. The best times to discover Koh Samui and its archipelago are between December and March and June and September.