Koh Samui is located in the southern province of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand. It's approximately 700 kilometres southeast of Bangkok and is the Kingdom's third largest island after Phuket and Koh Chang.
Samui covers an area of 247 sq km, being 25 kilometres at its longest point and 21 kilometres at its widest.
The island is also known as "Coconut Island" as it gives harvest to over two million coconuts each month.
Samui fist developed a reputation as a secret backpacker's retreat where only the most daring travellers were fortunate enough to discover the island's outstanding natural beauty. But word of Samui's legendary atmosphere spread quickly. The friendly people, small island feel and totally relaxing environment encouraged more visitors.
When the airport opened in 1989 Samui suddenly became an available destination to a much wider group of travellers. The island's growth since then has been extraordinary and Samui is now universally regarded as one of the top luxury destinations in the world.
Internationally recognised hotel chains, superstores, and shopping centres have appeared and transformed the look of many parts of the island. In fact, almost all traces of the island's backpacker history have now been erased, and yet the famed ambience and unique atmosphere have miraculously survived all the development.