SIGHTS
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND

Area Code 077 $1=40B May 5, 2004

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The beaches: Koh Samui's main attraction. The most popular alternative to beach based activities is touring the island by motorbike. Buy a map of Koh Samui, 50B from mini marts, bungalows, etc. The long main highway - #4170, circles the island. KM markings are marked along the road counter clockwise, starting from Nathon - "KM0", Lamai is off the highway, between KM17-22, Chaweng-KM28, Mae Nam - KM35-39, Bo Phut and Big Buddha - Km33 (junction to smaller Highway #4169).

Beaches
CHAWENG: 23km from Nathon.
It used to be a perfect, picture postcard palm tree lined, 7+km long, white sand beach. But the water is not crystal clear any more. but still it is the most popular, and definitely developed resort area. Chaweng's main street has evolved into an ugly tourist strip, crowded with restaurants, bars, souvenir stores, travel agencies, exchange booths, etc. The main night entertainment center on the island, it is busy and noisy 24hrs.
LAMAI: 18km from Na Thon. 2nd in popularity to Chaweng.
Another beautiful, long (5km) beach. Developed but retains some local character. At the N end of Lamai, near the river, there is a local village area. Inland from the beach is a 'tourist village' similar to and just as ugly as the strip in Chaweng. Very lively at night. Some of the open style bars feature girl's dancing, most of the customers are European males.
BO PHUT: 20km from Nathon. Reasonable beach, undergoing development but still retains a local village feel. Limited tourist services.
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Diving Boboyz: open water 900-13000B(depends on the location to dive.)
MAE NAM: 14km from Na Thon. Doesn't have as beautiful a beach as Chaweng or Lamai but is much quieter and less developed. Limited facilities.

Diving
Period: Feb to Nov. Many diving shops on this island, and in most of the beaches. They offer various courses. If you choose to dive around Koh Samui, but because of the low visibility, most of divers prefer to go further north, such as the spots near Koh Tao. Because of the costs of the transport to the spots further north, the cost of diving from Koh Samui cost more than other island. We recommend you to go to Koh Tao or Koh Phi Phi for diving.

Sights
S Hin Ta-Hin Yaai: (Grandma, Grandpa rocks) nickname - genital rocks. An interesting, much photographed rock formation on Lamai beach.
S Big Buddha Temple: Temple on a small island connected to Big Buddha beach by a causeway. Worth a visit.
2-3km E from Bo Phut village.
S Ao Phangka Beach: The Beach with best views of the sunset.
S Monkeys picking coconuts: Coconut production is a major industry. Specially trained Monkeys are used to harvest them, tourists can watch them at work.
Waterfalls: There are several waterfalls on the island, wet season is the best time to visit.
S Hin Lad: 3km S of NaThon, KM2 turnoff
S Na Muang I, II: Near KM11 turnoff
Boat trips to Ang Thong: Day trip around islands in Ang Thong Marine National Park. Includes snorkeling, hiking,
Dolphin watching: Boat leaves from NaThon, 8:30 returns 17:30, ?300B (breakfast, lunch included).

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