Not only Samui has many interesting attractions but also the surrounding islands, Nangyuan island, Tao island, Phangan island. Their are many interesting attractions that foreigner never get touch. Now, we would like to advise you to know about the another paradises which you have to visit. And you would haven't done Samui until you have it.
Diving in Tao island
"Koh Tao" or Turtle island is located in the Gulf of Thailand 45km north of Koh Samui but in more recent times it has grown from an off the beaten path tourist destination to the largest dive training center in Southeast Asia.
Koh Tao is the smallest and remotest of the three major islands in this region that offer accommodations. While it takes most boats about three hours to get there from Samui, the new speedboat service from Bophut and Na Thon can do it in under two hours. But the most important access is that through Chumpon, from where there are both speedboat and ferry service.
The island is similar in geography to its bigger brothers to the south, Samui and Pha Ngan. Here again are many rocky headlands piled high with huge granite boulders. There are fewer beaches, though those few are particularly beautiful. Bungalow resorts can be found on every beach, and like Pha Ngan, most range from remote and primitive to basic, though there are a couple of high quality establishments here. A few sandy, rocky tracks provide access from a single boat pier in the village on the west coast.
Koh Tao's real claim to fame has nothing to do with its beaches, coconut palms and rocky mountains. Instead, it's the underwater realm surrounding the island that has established its reputation. There is a thriving dive industry on the island , and for those who have never dived before, Koh Tao offers ideal conditions in which to learn. The diving shops there maintain high standards, with qualified international instructors, and daytrips to sites that are rich in marine life and which offer excellent visibility and pleasant, warm water.
In terms of development, Koh Tao is where Samui was 10 years ago or more. About 3.5 - 4 hours by ferry from Samui or 4 hours (2 hours by speedboat) from Chumpon, this island is already a fine and remote refuge. The tiny island of Nang Yuan, lying off the northwestern end of Koh Tao, is even more of a getaway.
Here's the place for that honey-moon or the last draft of that novel you've been working on. Comfortable bungalows are available on Koh Nang Yuan Dive Resort, and there are no distractions except for the view of picturesque Koh Tao and excellent coral reefs for snorkeling or diving right off the beach. There's easy access to deeper diving, as well.
With Samui's accommodations fast going upmarket, Koh Pha Ngan has become the favorite destination for the backpack set and those with a stronger spirit of adventure. Pha Ngan is almost as big as Samui, and lies off the latter's north shore, in clear view and just a half-hour boat ride away. But Pha Ngan is much less developed, having only a rudimentary system of rough tracks criss-crossing the island and linking only some of the beaches.
Over a hundred small budget bungalow resorts ring the island, offering a range of accommodation from extremely remote and semi-primitive to the moderately priced, comfortable places that completely line Haad Rin beach, which also has a small village with restaurants, discos and bars This is also site of the famous Full Moon Party , when thousands gather on the same beach for the rising of the full moon from the sea.
Pha Ngan is easily accessed by daily ferry boats from Suratthani, or from Maenam and Bophut piers in Samui. These boats call at Thong Sala and Haad Rin from where many resorts are accessed by pickup truck over rough tracks. A few can only be reached by small boat. Some resorts have perched individual huts up on high, rocky points and in other off-beat, natural settings. There are few telephones on Pha Ngan and the resorts have to generate their own electricity while some bungalows offer only oil lamps.
The up-market Panvimarn Resort, which commands spectacular views across a double-beach bay on the northeast corner is the only exception to the basic bungalow accommodation,
Koh Pha Ngan is particularly beautiful, being high and rugged, with rocky headlands of huge granite boulders separating the many tropical beaches set in coves lined with coconut palms.
Full moon party on Koh Phangan
Some six years ago, a group of tourists and the owner of Paradise Bungalow found that the most beautiful moon was in Koh Phangan. They arranged a party along the crescent-shaped beach of Haad Rin to celebrate the Full Moon night.
From then on, people from all over the world came to join the celebration. And now there are 7,000-10,000 people at the party each month.
The party begins at dusk, when the round yellow moon makes its appearance over the white sand beach. In twilight, small tables are lined up on the beach and thousands of lamps are lit.
As the evening progresses the beach explodes into a dancing frenzy as different m.c.'s take their turn on the decks. There is something for everyone here, trance, techno, drum and bass, commercial dance and reggae, no-one is disappointed. Jugglers and fire-eaters entertain the crowds as the night goes on and with the brilliant impromptu fireworks display, the party atmosphere is complete. After a few hours it could be time to chill-out for a while, maybe grab a drink or a bite to eat from one of the many beach traders and wade out or sit down in the warm surf of the Gulf of Thailand, pure, pure heaven.
Revived and relaxed it's time to return to the main beach and get blown into another dancing dimension, while all around people are doing the same, there are no barriers here, no inhibitions, just people enjoying themselves with one unified intention, to rejoice in the magic that is the paradise of FULL MOON PARTY!
Tan and Matsum Islands
Koh Tan makes a fine day trip from Samui. Located just 2km. from the southern end of Koh Samui, Koh Tan, or "Koh Katen", as it is sometimes known, offers a long sandy beach and good oral off the eastern and southern coasts. It is surrounded by four other little islands that also await exploration. If you get tired of sunbathing, diving and snorkeling, there's always hiking, fishing, bat caves and just plain sight-seeing. Next-by is Koh Matsum, home of the Naga Pearl farm for shell culturing.
Angthong National Marine Park
This fascinating group of islands, within sight of Samui to the north and west, is geographically different from the other islands in the region. The Ang Thong islands rise from the other islands in the region. The Ang Thong islands rise from the seas as dramatic walls of rock soaring hundreds of meters high. Besides the many small coves and beautiful little beaches, erosion has shaped some strange formations. One island has a mysterious sink hole, completely enclosed by walls of sheer rock, in its center. Definitely worth a daytrip, and instead of the standard cruise, put together a group of friends to charter a boat and explore the islands and beaches in your own time.
The fishing village of Hua Thanon is the only Muslim community on Koh Samui. The people here migrated from Pattani, which borders Malaysia in Thailand's far south. With them they brought their distinctive high-bowed boats, painted with bright patterns. However colorful the boats may be, the village itself is poor and ill-maintained, a reflection on the declining numbers of fish that remain in these heavily trawled waters. The village market offers the freshest of fish direct from the boats. Behind the market is the only mosque of Koh Samui - Masjid Nurulihsan. Hua Thanon adds its Muslim element to a patchwork of peoples, including Thai, Chinese and Indian, that have together constituted Samui's population.