About the islands of Koh Samui: Around eighty four kilometres to the east of Thailand’s Surat Thani province lies Koh Samui. Better known as the Coconut Islands, this is one of Thailand’s most renowned tourist attractions. Spread over an area of two hundred and forty seven square kilometres, Koh Samui ranks as the third largest island in Thailand with Koh Chang and Phuket up front in the rankings. In a group of forty-eight islets, Koh Samui is regarded as the largest island.
This archipelago is both a natural habitat for sea-faring birds such as seagulls as well as a peaceful residence for members of the fishing community. Once regarded as a place only for backpackers and the ones interested in going off the beaten track, Koh Samui has transformed itself into a popular destination for tourists over the last few years. Apart from the many bays and lively beaches, the Samui islands is widely regarded for the dense growth of coconuts it experiences on its mainland. The sea remains calm during the months of February to April making it the best time during which you can visit the place. Here we take a look at some of the fascinating attractions in the Samui islands.
• Chaweng Beach: Stretching over seven kilometres, this beach is the most developed, popular and longest of beaches along the eastern coast of the Samui islands. The sparkling water and clean white sand lends immense charm to this place while the underwater world is also largely inviting. Apart from the numerous options in terms of accommodations, you will find the beach to be lined with discos, bars, souvenir shops and restaurants with something on offer for all visitors. You will also find numerous dive shops on the beach, few of which even make arrangements for night dives.
• Lamai Beach: Lamai beach is located to the south of Chaweng beach and is second only to it in terms of popularity. Spread out over four kilometres, dive shops, a market, cultural hall, meditation and health centres are among some of the many attractions on offer at the beach. Hin Yai and Hin Ta, two grotesquely shaped twin rocks on the shore are highly recommended for a visit. Whatever be your preferred place of entertainment, restaurant or accommodation, you will find it on Lamai beach.
• Phang Ka Bay: Situated close to Taling Ngam, this little beach is not conducive to swimming as the water is extremely shallow and the ground uncharacteristically muddy. However, you will get the most beautiful view of a sunset from these islands especially when the sky is absolutely clear and devoid of any clouds on summer evenings.
• Hin Lat Falls: Situated three kilometres to the south of Na Thon, you need to drive to the end of Route 4172 to reach this falls. Enclosed by creeping plants, ferns and palms, there are a number of natural pools on offer at the place where you can take a bath. If you take a walk for two kilometres to reach the top level, you will find yourself in an ambience that is more peaceful.
• Wat Pradoem: Built around two hundred and fifty years ago close to the end of the Ayutthaya era it is believed that Wat Pradoem was the first temple ever built on the Samui islands. An ancient wooden hall that is beautifully decorated is believed to be the place where Buddhist scriptures are kept and is regarded as the prime feature of this temple.
• Ban Lamai Cultural Hall: This place serves as a folk museum and is home to a large collection of objects that at some point of time were in use by local people. The list includes equipment used for planting coconuts, weapons used in hunting, household utensils and earthenware’s.
• The Statue Garden: As the name suggests, this place features a number of Hindu and Buddhist statues that were created only a few years ago by Khun Nim, a local sculptor of the Samui Islands. Situated close to the highest point of the island, follow the track opposite to Wat Khunaram to reach this place.
• Luang Pho Daeng’s un-decomposed corpse: Luang Pho Daeng was a Buddhist Monk whose un-decomposed remains lying in the Khunaram Temple are a sight to behold. Even after his demise almost two decades ago, his body remains in a perfect condition and is miraculously unaffected. The monk is still found sitting in a posture of meditation at this temple that lies between Hua Thanon village and the waterfall of Na Muang.
Travel documents: Unlike the Esta scheme of the United States, the government of Thailand does not have any such restrictions. Tourists are welcome to the country as long as they have the necessary tourist visa and all their travel documents are in order. So if you are planning to visit the fascinating attraction on offer at the Samui Islands, start making your plans as soon as possible so that you do not find yourself caught up in a frenzy of people wanting to spend their vacation at this beautiful Thai archipelago.[ Source :- Oca-online ]