Updated on May 16, 2024

Koh Samui is a tropical haven located in the Gulf of Thailand that boasts many lovely characteristics and qualities that once visited; one cannot help but fall in love with. Among the many islands in Thailand, it’s one of the most well-known destinations. For entertainment purposes, here’re some fun facts about Koh Samui.

1. “Samui” is the actual name of the island

Most likely, only Thais and locals will know that “Samui” is the actual name of the island. The word “Koh” means island in the Thai language that only indicates the status of Samui.

2. The second largest island in Thailand

After only Phuket, Koh Samui ranks second in terms of the size while the third on the list is Koh Chang in Trat province. The island has an area of  228.7 km2 and has a population over 63,000.

3. Access point to the Marine National Park

With its enviable location, Koh Samui is surrounded by the charming tropical treasures – Angthong Marine National Park and many amazing nearby islands that are perfect for a day trip. Vacationers can choose to have a full-day trip to the national marine park to visit the natural wonder or to just have a beautiful view from the island.

4. Once a fishing community and coconut plantation

Before the tourist era, Koh Samui relied on fishery and coconut plantation. The island used to get a nickname as “island of coconuts and monkeys”.  Although these days, visitors still see coconut trees on the hill, there is not much coconut cultivated area left on the island.

5. Privately owned airport

Koh Samui has an airport conveniently located on the island with great road access and boutique style terminal areas. This airport belongs to a private company called Bangkok Airways offering daily direct flights to and from Koh Samui. There are daily international flights to many major cities in Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.

6. Chaweng is the heart of the island

There are many beautiful beaches in Samui, but Chaweng is the most popular and lively beach on the island. Most of the tourist facilities such as accommodation of all types, restaurants, shopping arcade, activities, clubs, bars, and nightlife in Koh Samui are all in the area, making Chaweng the heart of the island.

7. Nathon is the capital town of Koh Samui

While Chaweng is the entertainment heart of Koh Samui, Nathon is the capital town. The area hosts the main port where travelers can connect to the mainland and other nearby islands such as Koh Tao and Koh Phan Ngan. Government offices, banks, local markets, and shops can be found in this area too, making Nathon a key district.

8. Koh Samui is not a province

The island is big but not enough to win the status of a province, like Phuket. Koh Samui is part of Surat Thani Province, and is also close to Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport. Travelers can travel through both airports in Surat Thani and in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Then take a connecting 1.5-hr ferry to the island.

9. Best time to visit

Koh Samui is a year-round destination if one does not mind the drizzling rain during the rainy season. However, during the monsoon time in November, Samui can experience a storm and pouring rain but there is nothing to worry about as the sunshine is still plentiful. It is less humid from Mid-December to February if you wish for cooler weather. But the best time to visit will be from mid-January to August.

10. Two Landmarks on the island

There are many places to see and activities to do in Koh Samui, but there are two landmarks that stand out. The first marker is Big Buddha that stands tall and elegantly on the hill where one can see it from afar. The second checkpoint on the island is Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks. These two peculiar rocks earn its fame due to their shapes that similar to male and female genitalia. Visitors to Koh Samui should never miss taking photos of these landmarks to mark the visit to the island.

Related article: 5 Reasons to Fall-in-Love with Koh Samui