Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh which can be translated to Penh’s Hill is the capital and largest city of Cambodia with its 2 million inhabitants.   Located at the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap rivers in the south east part of the country it is by far the biggest economical, political and cultural centre of Cambodia.

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh View - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Topics

  1. Introduction to Phnom Penh
  2. About Phnom Penh
  3. Phnom Penh Photographs

About Phnom Penh

The city was once named the Paris of the East, mainly because of its majestic boulevards and many French style buildings including the Royal Palace and Phsar Thmei.  It has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia in 1866 and remained after the country’s independence in the 1960.   Phnom Penh was evacuated under the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 70s to be later repopulated and revitalized in the 80s and 90s.

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Some of the main attractions includes the Royal Palace, the National Museum both built during the French period, and Wat Phnom from where you have great views over the city.  The riverfront is also worth visiting, lined  with bistros, restaurants,  boutique hotel and night clubs.

Phnom Penh is also a great starting point to explore the kingdom of Cambodia.  The world famous temples of the Angkor complex are located a few hundred kilometres  west of the city, and further South are located the beautiful beaches of Sihanoukville.

Phnom Penh is a good place to unwind and watch the street life, while enjoying croissants in a cafe.  It is perhaps not for everyone, as lot of hustling can be done on the street but it is definitely worth visiting if you are looking for a  relatively new travel destination a bit more on the edge.

Phnom Penh Photographs

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh View - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh View - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh View - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

The ancient city of Angkor located in the central north of Cambodia is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia.  It contains some of the biggest temples in the region and some of the world’s most breathtaking architectural wonders.  Those sites are the remains of the old capital of the great Khmer Empire which lasted from 802 to 1432, once considered one of the largest city in the world.  Those multiple temples and monuments surrounded with a dense tropical forest, stretch over 400 km2, truly represent the grandeur of the past empire and are a symbol of one of the most remarkable place in South East Asia.  The Angkor Archaeological complex is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site since1992 but also the jewel of Cambodia,  attracting several millions of visitors each year.  Some of the most important temples include the famous Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom with at its centre the Bayon Temple and further east the temple of Ta Prohm, each with countless sculptural decorations.  Let’s discover each one of them.


Angkor Wat topics

  1. Introduction to Angkor
  2. About Angkor Wat
  3. About Angkor Thom and Bayon
  4. About Ta Prohm
  5. About Siem Reap
  6. Photographs of Angkor Wat

About Angkor Wat

Located only a few kilometres north of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat which can be translated to “City Temple” is perhaps the mostly know of all the Angkor archaeological sites.  It is considered as one of the most inspiring wonders of  the world, because of its grandeur,  Khmer architectural balance and numerous sculptures adorning its walls. It is not only the most important tourist attraction of the country but also a very symbolic monument for Cambodian, even appearing on the national flag. It was built in 12 century for king Suryavarman II as part of the capital city of the Khmer Empire, first as a Hindu temple and then as a Buddhist Wat.

Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

About Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom meaning “Great City” is located further north of Angkor Wat.  It is said to be the last enduring capital city of the Khmer empire and some believe to have sustained a population of up to 150,000 people during its great years.  It was built at the end of the 12 century by king Jayavarman VII.  It has an area of 9 km² with at its centre the state temple of Bayon.  The temple of Bayon includes some 54 towers each with four faces, some believe representing a combination of the King and Buddha. Other beautiful religious monuments can be found further north including Baphuon and Phimeanakas.

Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

About Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is located on the east side of the Angkor Complex. As Angkor Thom it was built in the late 12 century by king Jayavarman VII. It is best known for a perfect mix of nature and human handiwork with old large trees embracing marvellous stonework.  This architectural and natural beauty even became the background of the famous Hollywood film Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie.

Siem Reap-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Siem Reap-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

About Siem Reap

As the Angkor complex itself has no facilities or accommodations, the nearest town of Siem Reap with its own airport is the main point of entry for visitors. What was once a small village, soon became one of the primary destination in Cambodia. This mid size town has plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops to choose from, and is a perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing.


Photographs of Angkor

Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Thom -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor Wat-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Bayon -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Siem Reap-Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Siem Reap-Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia
Ta Prohm -Best of Angkor, Cambodia

Best of Koh Phangan

The idyllic island of Koh Phangan is mostly known as a backpacker destination and party capital with its full moon party, attracting thousands of travellers every month.  This bohemian atmosphere is perfect for  a young crowd but is also a good place for nature lovers and water sport enthusiast.  The virgin beauty of the island with its powder-soft white sand, crystal clear water and tropical forest interior is second to none.  They are also many beautiful bays that are so remote that are only accessible by boat, and a perfect place for eco-tourism.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chaloklum - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

Koh Phangan topics

  1. Introduction to Koh Phangan
  2. Koh Phangan interactive map
  3. About Koh Phangan
  4. Top places in Koh Phangan
  5. Photographs of Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan interactive map

Discover Koh Phangan content including best attractions, top places, beaches and natural wonders with picture and video on a flash interactive map or open the static map.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan interactive map

Click here to start the experience.

About Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is about two third of the size of the Koh Samui, the biggest island in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is about 168 sq km with the vast majority , over 70% of the land inhabited because of its mountainous terrain.  It is said that the first permanent inhabitants where monks that felt in love with the peacefulness of the island some 600 years ago.

What was once a primary fishing and coconut island now became a more touristic paradise offering a multitude of resorts to choose from, with the majority located on the west and south coast.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Haad Thian - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

West Coast

The west coast is covered with many small bays and sea view resorts, some even with their own private beach.  The places further south are a backpacker heaven offering many low cost bungalows to choose from, an ideal place for snorkelling and close to the all the facilities of the capital.

South Coast

The south Coast is home to the capital Thongsala on one side and the world famous Haad Rin location of the full moon party on the other side.  It is by far the most develop coast on the island packed with resorts for all budget and other facilities to choose from.

East Coast

The east coast is perhaps the most isolated area on the island, but in the same time offering some of the most idyllic beaches such as the twin bays of Thong Nai Pan Noi and Yai or Than Sadet part of the only park of the island.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chaloklum - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

North Coast

The most important destination of the North Coast is Chaloklam Bay, the main fishing port of the island and the epicentre of the diving industry.  West from this bay is the interesting Mae Haad Beach and the islet of Ko Ma accessible by foot during high tide.  As for the northern west side it is the location of the famous and reclusive Bottle Beach, an idyllic beach only accessible by boat.

Top places in Koh Phangan

Top places in Koh Phangan from the capital clockwise:

    Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
    Thong Sala - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
  1. Thong Sala
  2. Ao Wok Tum
  3. Ao Hin Kong
  4. Ao Srithanu
  5. Ao Chao Phao
  6. Hat Yao
  7. Hat Salad
  8. Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma
  9. Ao Chaloklum
  10. Ao Haad Khuat
  11. Ao Thong Nai Pan
  12. Hat Sadet
  13. Than Sadet National Park
  14. Hat Thian
  15. Hat Yuan
  16. Hat Rin and Full Moon Party
  17. Wat Khao Tham
  18. Phaeng Waterfalls
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Thong Sala - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

Thong Sala

Thong Sala is the capital and biggest city of the island.  It is where all the main facilities are located including banks, hospitals and supermarket.  It will be most likely your primary destination as it where the main pier is located.

Ao Wok Tum

Ao Wok Tum is an underdeveloped beach north of Thong Sala.  It is the perfect place for snorkelling as it has shallow water and a beautiful coral reefs 300 meters off the coast.

Ao Hin Kong

Ao Hin Kong is a 3km stretch of sand right next to Ao Wok Tum beach.  It is surrounded with mangroves and many low scales bungalows to choose from.

Ao Srithanu

Ao Srithanu is said to be one of the most beautiful beach on the island.  This bay with impressive views also offers offshore coral reef.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chao Phao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

Ao Chao Phao

Ao Chao Phao is a palm fringed long bay offering plenty of facilities to choose from including many bungalows, resorts, restaurants and bars.

Hat Yao

Hat Yao is located on the northern east coast and is one of the main beach resorts of the island.  White sand and big resorts on each side of the bay with spectacular view make it a top destination in the area.

Hat Salad

Hat Salad is a small bay with lots of charms off the beaten track. It is said that the beach was once the location of pirates hidden treasures.

Ao Mae Hat

Ao Mae Hat fishing village is a beautiful isolated cove with links to the small island of Koh Ma.  It has some good upscale resorts, coral reefs ideal for snorkelling and Wang Sai waterfalls nearby.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chaloklum - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

Ao Chaloklum

Ao Chaloklum is the biggest fishing village on the island, with a wonderful white sanded beach surrounded with long tail boats.  It is also the boat departure point to the isolated “bottle beach”.

Ao Haad Khuat

Ao Haad Khuat, mostly known as “bottle beach” is an isolated piece of paradise on Koh Phangan.   Indeed this idyllic spot is hard of access mainly because of its wooded flank 219 meters Khao Kin Non.

Ao Thong Nai Pan

Ao Thong Nai Pan is a lovely bay bordered by forest hill and is divided into two coves Noi & Yai.

Hat Sadet

Hat Sadet is a romantic and deserted place with a beach going straight down to the sea.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Than Sadet National Park - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

Than Sadet National Park

The Than Sadet National Park, which can literally be translated to a stream visited by royalty is a 25 square mile park packed with many amazing hidden waterfalls.

Hat Thian

Hat Thian is one of the most secluded but also the most idyllic place on the island with astonishing natural beauty including with aquamarine water, white sand and coconut trees.  It is a perfect place to get away from the crowds.

Hat Yuan

Hat Yuan is small, quiet and laidback bay, ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Hat Rin - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

Hat Rin and Full Moon Party

Hat Rin is located on the southern east tip and is home to the famous Full Moon Party every month.  There are 2 main beaches Hat Rin Nok and Hat Rin Nai or perhaps better know by their other name Sunrise and Sunset beach.  Those beaches are one of the most beautiful on the island, and the city itself offers plenty of entertainment.

Wat Khao Tham

Wat Khao Tham is a meditation centre located in the south centre of the island.  It is a perfect place to get away from the crowds and look for more spiritual destinations.

Phaeng Waterfalls

The Phaeng Waterfalls are located in the south centre of the island and are the most important falls on the island.

Photographs of Koh Phangan

Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chaloklum - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chaloklum - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chaloklum - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chaloklum - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chao Phao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chao Phao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chao Phao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Chao Phao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Haad Thian - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Haad Thian - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Mae Hat and Koh Ma - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Srithanu - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Srithanu - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Srithanu - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Srithanu - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Srithanu - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Ao Thong Nai Pan - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Rin - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Hat Rin - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Rin - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Rin - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Sadet - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Hat Sadet - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Sadet - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Sadet - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Sadet - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Sadet - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Sadet - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Salad - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Salad - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Salad - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Salad - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Salad - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Salad - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Salad - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao Bay View Resort - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao Bay View Resort - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Hat Yao Bay View Resort - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phaeng Waterfalls - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Phaeng Waterfalls - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phaeng Waterfalls - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phaeng Waterfalls - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phaeng Waterfalls - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phangan Higlands - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phangan Higlands - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phangan Higlands - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phangan Higlands - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Phangan Higlands - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Than Sadet National Park - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Than Sadet National Park - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Than Sadet National Park - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
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Thong Sala - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs
Thong Sala - Best of Koh Phangan Photogragphs

Best of Koh Samui HD Video

Related to our Best of Koh Samui post and interactive map, a Southern Thailand top destination is the Best of Koh Samui High Definition Video.  Best enjoyed in full screen. Please feel free to embed this video on your page  (you may copy the code from the bottom of the page.)

Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
Bophut Beach, Best of Koh Samui

Koh Samui Video Script content

  1. Introduction
  2. North Koh Samui
  3. East Koh Samui
  4. South Koh Samui
  5. West Koh Samui
  6. Getting Around
  7. Conclusion

Introduction

Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand is one of the best destination in Southern Thailand.  It is the second most visited island in Thailand right after Phucket.  It is perhaps not a surprise as it offers unprecedented natural beauty, with white sandy beaches surrounded with coconut trees, azure clean water, hidden waterfalls and a dense tropical forest.  It’s the perfect place to take a stress free holiday or enjoy a more active one by exploring everything the island has to offer including numerous water sports and the famous elephant treks.

From the north coast clockwise lets discover this beautiful island.

North Koh Samui

The north of Koh Samui has one of the most peaceful beaches of the island and is a perfect place to unwind and try some water sport. The most famous spot for windsurfing and kite boarding is on the northern west side on the Ao Bang Pho beach.

Further east is Maenam beach one of the most quiet and beautiful town on the northern coast.  It offers excellent beaches for swimming with an astonishing view of Koh Phangan and many good value resorts to choose from.

The next beach is Hat Bophut which is a bit more lively offering many more facilities and resorts to choose from including excellent restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Once known as a Fisherman’s Village, it has more recently become a good place for a beach holiday and a place to enjoy numerous water sports including jet skis.

Finally, the most know of the northern places is Hat Bangrak beach,  a 3 miles long stretch of beautiful sand with the famous Big Buddha statue and temple on the east side.  Next to the temple are some remarkable large size statues.

East Coast Koh Samui

The East coast of Koh Samui is the mostly known area of the islands with most of the resorts, shops and all sorts of entertainment.  It includes the famous beaches of Chaweng and Lamai.

Chaweng  is the largest, most-developed and most popular beach destinations on the island.  Located on the northern East coast, it is close to the airport and has plenty of resorts, hotels and cheap bungalows to choose from.  The town of Chaweng also offer a lively atmosphere with many seafront places to eat and drink, and plenty of places for an exciting night out.

On the southern tip of Lamai is Hin-Ta And Hin-Yai also called Grandmother and Grandfather, which are rocks that have a striking resemblance to male and female sexual organs.  It is one of the island’s biggest attractions and also a great place to buy bowls and vases made from Samui’s coconut palm wood.

Only a few kilometre from Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai is located the Elephant stone which is also worth making a quick stop.

South Koh Samui

The South of Koh Samui is a perfect place for a day out with the kids as it is the location of both the Samui Aquarium and the Butterfly Garden.

Located on the south east coast, the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo it is the perfect attractions to discover the marine wildlife and fauna of the region.

A few kilometres west is also located the Samui Butterfly garden offering a wide variety of protected species of butterflies.

West Koh Samui

The most important place on the west coast is Nathon which is the capital and primary hub of the island where live the majority of its inhabitants.  It may not have the most beautiful beaches but it is for most travellers the transit point to other destinations on Koh Samui or to the other of the surrounding islands including Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

The first beach south of Nathon is Ao Thong Yang which is perhaps of the most peaceful places on the island.

Further down is the Taling Ngam bay which offers multiple beaches along its 2 miles coast and is home to some of the top hotels on the island.  It is also a spiritual place with one of the most beautiful Buddhist temple.

Finally Ao Phangka which is also named Emerald Cove is a beautiful bay and perhaps one of the most remote places on the island.

Central Koh Samui

Even though the island is mostly know for its idyllic beaches, the heart of Koh Samui also called the Samui highlands are definitely worth a visit.  They are packed with numerous coconut trees which one constituted the primary industry of the island.

The heart of Koh Samui is also the location of The Na Muang Falls and their famous Elephant trek .  It is by far one of the top experiences of the island and is definitely worth the money.

Getting Around Koh Samui

Koh Samui is very easy to get around with a main ring road all around the island,  linking all the different beaches and local attractions.  There are many transport options including air conditioned taxi, pickup buses and motorcycles.  Perhaps the best and more affordable option is to rent a scooter on a daily basis for about 200THB.

Conclusion

Perhaps the most fundamental characteristic of this tropical island is that it is able to maintain a broad appeal to everyone.  From vacationers, to water sport lover, from the backpacker to the more high end tourist.  Everyone is welcome to join its distinctive laid back atmosphere.  If you are looking to be spoiled in a tropical paradise, Koh Samui is your answer.

Best of Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui in the Gulf of Siam is one of the best destination in Southern Thailand.  It is the second most visited island in Thailand right after Phucket.  It is perhaps not a surprise as it offers unprecedented natural beauty, with white sandy beaches surrounded with coconut trees, azure clean water, hidden waterfalls and dense lush forests at its heart.  It’s the perfect place to take a stress free holiday or a more active one enjoying everything the island has to offer including numerous water sports and the famous elephants treks.


Koh Samui content

  1. Introduction
  2. Koh Samui Interactive Map
  3. About Koh Samui
  4. Getting Around Koh Samui
  5. Koh Samui weather
  6. Koh Samui beaches
  7. Koh Samui Accommodations
  8. Attractions around Koh Samui
  9. Koh Samui Dinning
  10. Conclusion
  11. Photographs of Koh Samui

Koh Samui Interactive Map

Discover Koh Samui content including best attractions, top places, beaches and natural wonders with picture and video on a flash interactive map or open the static map.
Click here to start the experience.

Launch Koh Samui Interactive Map
Launch Koh Samui Interactive Map
Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
Bophut Beach, Best of Koh Samui

About Koh Samui

Koh Samui, occasionally spelled Ko Samui and often just called Samui is one of the top destinations in Thailand.  It is located some 700km south of Bangkok and about 80km from the eastern coastline of Southern Thailand.  It is 25 kilometres long, 21 kilometres wide and with its area of 247km²  is the biggest island and main hub in the Gulf of Siam.


Without any doubt it is an island of great natural beauty and variety.  It is small enough to get around it in just a couple of hours by scooter, but big enough for some serious exploration.  The shoreline is mostly comprised of sandy beaches and coconut trees, while mountainous rainforest is located at its heart.

Meanam Beach, Koh Samui
Meanam Beach, Best of Koh Samui

The island has a population of about 40,000 people, with many thousand more can be added during the peak touristic season.  The vast majority of its inhabitants are Buddhist, and therefore many temples (also called vat) can be seen all over the island.

It is said that Chinese fishermen where the first to settle on the island, some 15 centuries ago.  Samui stayed an isolated and self-sufficient community  until the late 20th century.  The tourism industry only really started a couple of decade ago, in the 90’s after years of  backpackers visiting the island and spreading the word.  It is safe to say, that now tourism represent the primary industry of the island, as can be seen by the numerous resorts, hotels, spas, restaurants and many other businesses that satisfy every customer desire.

Top 20 places in Koh Samui

The natural beauty of the island with its numerous white sandy beaches surrounded with coconut trees remains the main attraction of the island, but there are plenty more places and activities to be discovered including diving, day trips to marine parks, full moon partying on nearby Koh Phangan, spas, massages and famous elephant trek in the heart of the island.
Perhaps the most known attractions is the Big Buddha statue,  located at the end of Bo Phut beach in the north east of the island.  Below are the 20 top places in Koh Samui, clockwise from Nathon.  A short description of each will follow.

Big Buddha Beach, Koh Samui
Big Buddha Beach, Best of Koh Samui
  1. Nathon
  2. Ao Bang Pho
  3. Hat Maenam
  4. Hat Bophut
  5. Hat Bangrak and Big Buddha
  6. Hat Choeng Mon
  7. Hat Chaweng
  8. Ao Lamai
  9. Hin-Ta And Hin-Ya
  10. Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo
  11. Samui Butterfly Garden
  12. Hat Laem Set
  13. Laem Hin Khom
  14. Ao Phangka
  15. Ao Taling Ngam
  16. Ao Thong Yong
  17. Secret Buddha Garden
  18. Na Muang Falls and elephant trek
  19. Samui Higlands
  20. Hin Lat Waterfalls

Nathon

Nathon is the capital and primary hub of the island where live the majority of its inhabitants.  It may not have the most beautiful beaches but it is for most travellers the transit point to other destinations on Koh Samui or to the other of the surrounding islands.

Bang Pho, Koh Samui
Bang Pho Beach, Best of Koh Samui

Ao Bang Pho

Ao Bang Pho located on the north western side of the island is the ideal place for extreme water sports lovers, especially for windsurfing and kite boarding.

Hat Maenam

Maenam is a quiet and beautiful town and beach on the northern coast.  It is much more peaceful then the famous Chaweng or Lamai, but offer a similar quality beach and many good value front view resorts to choose from. I personally recommend the Hutcha resort, our first accommodation on the island.

Hat Bophut

Hat Bophut  located on the north of the island between Maenam and Big Buddha beach, has plenty of facilities and resorts to choose from including excellent restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Once known as a Fisherman’s Village, it has more recently become a good spots for a beach holiday and a place to enjoy numerous water sports including jet skis.

Big Buddha, Koh Samui
Big Buddha, Best of Koh Samui

Hat Bangrak and Big Buddha

The Hat Bangrak beaches is a 3 miles long stretch of beautiful sand with the famous Big Buddha statue and temple on the west side.

Hat Choeng Mon

Choeng Mon, a quiet North East shore beach is the more deluxe alternative of all the resorts of the north and east of the islands.  If you are looking for a beautiful vacation away from the crowd, and your budgets permits it, it is definitely the place to be.

Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
Chaweng Beach, Best of Koh Samui

Chaweng

Chaweng  is the largest, most-developed and most popular beach destinations of the island.  Located on the northern East coast, it is close to the airport and has plenty of resorts, hotels and cheap bungalows to choose from.  The town of Chaweng also offer a lively atmosphere with many seafront places to eat and drink, and plenty of places for an exciting night out.

Lamai

Lamai, Samui’s second most popular beach located south of Chaweng is another tourist favourite.  It is well known for its lengthy white sanded beach, restaurants and bars.  It is a perfect place to unwind and have a relaxed vacation.

Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai, Koh Samui
Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai, Best of Koh Samui

Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai

Hin-Ta And Hin-Yai also called the Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks are located on the Lamai beach and consists of rocks that have a striking resemblance to male and female sexual organs.  It is one of the island’s biggest attractions and also a great place to buy bowls and vases made from Samui’s coconut palm wood.

Only a few kilometre of Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai is located the Elephant stone which is also worth making quick stop.

Samui Aquarium, Koh Samui
Samui Aquarium, Best of Koh Samui

Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo

Located on the south part of the island, it is the perfect attractions to discover the marine wildlife and fauna of the region.  It is a great attractions for kids.

Samui Butterfly Garden

Located in a beautiful tropical garden,  the Samui Butterfly garden offers a wide variety of protected species of butterflies.

Hat Laem Set

Hat Laem Set is one of the nicest beach in the southern part of the island.  Apart from swimming and sunbathing it is also an ideal place to learn kite boarding.

Laem Hin Khom

Laem Hin Khom represent the luxury area of the southern part of the island.  It is packed with astonishing high end resorts.

Ao Thong Yang

Ao Thong Yang is perhaps of the most peaceful places on the west coast of the island, and only a short ride from Nathon.

Ao Taling NgamBeach, Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam Beach, Best of Koh Samui

Ao Taling Ngam

Ao Taling Ngam offers multiple beaches along its 2 miles coast and is home to one of the top hotel on the island, the famous Baan Taling Ngam Resort and Spa.

Ao Phangka

Located on the western part of Koh Samui, Ao Phangka also named Emerald Cove is a beautiful bay and perhaps one of the most remote places on the island.

Heaven’s Garden/Secret Buddha Garden

In the heart of the island can be found a beautiful garden called the Heaven’s Garden or most commonly known as the Secret Buddha Garden.  It was created by a 77 years old local Samui who decided to create a place where we could all appreciate all that beautiful vegetation of the island.

Na Muang Falls, Koh Samui
Na Muang Falls, Best of Koh Samui

Na Muang Falls and elephant trek

The Na Muang Falls are two amazing waterfalls located south east of Nathon. This place is also the location of the famous Elephant trek, which is definitely worth the experiencing.  Both the trek and the waterfalls are available for a package at 700THB per person.

Samui Higlands

Even though the island is mostly know for its idyllic beaches, the Samui highlands, Packed with loads of coconut trees are definitely worth a visit.

Hin Lat Waterfall

The Hin Lat waterfalls are located in the heart of the jungle, only a few kilometres south of Nathon. There is no direct access by road to the falls but only a long walk (about 3 kms)down a forest path.  There is a possibility of a swim at the base within a large rock pool.  There is also the Hin Lad monastery close by that is worth making a visit.

samui-pickup-taxi, best of Koh Samui
Koh Samui pickup taxi, best of Koh Samui

Getting Around Koh Samui

Koh Samui is very easy to get around with a main ring road all around the island,  linking all the different beaches and local attractions.  There are many transport options including air conditioned taxi, pickup buses and motorcycles.  Perhaps the best and more affordable option is to rent a scooter on a daily basis for about 200THB.

Koh Samui  weather

Koh Samui tropical weather is almost always perfect with an above average temperature, plenty of sun and with a refreshing ocean breeze.  Even if the island can be visited all year round some say the best months are between late December to the end of March.  As for those who like it really hot then April to June would be a better option and mid-October to early December if you enjoy a bit of rain.

Koh Samui beaches

If you love the beach, sun and sea, then look no further as Koh Samui is definitely the place.  Indeed the island offer numerous stripes of sands from more secluded one, to others packed with resorts, bars and restaurants. The most popular are the ones located on the east coast of the island including the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai.  If you are looking for a more peaceful option than perhaps the northern beaches of Mae Nam and Bo Phut is a better option.

Thong Yang Beach, Koh Samui
Thong Yang Beach, Best of Koh Samui

From North to South the main beaches of the island are:

  1. Mae Nam,  a quiet and beautiful beach on the northern coast
  2. Bophut , once known as Fisherman’s Village, had recently became a good spots for water sports
  3. Choeng Mon, a quiet North shore beach
  4. Chaweng, the largest and most-developed beach, with a curious mix of luxury hotels and backpacker guesthouses and a hopping nightlife
  5. Lamai, Samui’s “second” most popular beach located south of Chaweng
  6. Samui South Coast, including the small beaches of Ban Hua Thanon, Na Khai, Laem Set, Bang Kao and Thong Krut

In terms of sporting activities the island has plenty of options available including both on land and of water.  The water sports to be experienced includes diving, sailing, kayaking, fishing just to name a few.  As for the on land activities, there is something for everyone including golf, mountain biking, bowling, bungee bumping, horse riding and martial arts with the famous local combat sport, Thai box.

Koh Samui Accommodations and Dinning

The island is packed with different accommodations from 5 stars resorts to beach front bungalows that will fit every budget.  The most remarkable thing about Koh Samui is that unlikely other popular islands a big majority of the accommodations have their own beachfront.  The east coast, including Chaweng and Lamai are where most of the tourist resorts are located, mainly because of the beaches and nightlife.  If you are looking for a more quieter place, the north of the island is your best bet.  The best place is Maenam if you are looking for a lovely deserted beach away from the crowds, and the Bo Phut beach if you are interested in water sports. Finally if you are looking for some more upscale and exclusive accommodation then Choeng Mon in the north east and the private resorts of the South of the island.

As for Koh Samui culinary experience it has been put on a higher level in the last decade.  Indeed a vast array of high end restaurant opened with many renown chefs.  From enjoying a meal on mats on the beach to the AC comfort of a location with breathtaking views it has dining experiences for every taste.  Not to forget that Koh Samui also offer a great nightlife packed with numerous bars and clubs.

Koh Phangan, Koh Samui
Koh Phangan, Best of Koh Samui

Attractions around Koh Samui

Some of the best sightseeing around Koh Samui includes the following destinations:

  1. Ang Thong Marine Park
  2. Koh Phangan
  3. Koh Tao

Ang Thong Marine Park

The Ang Thong National Marine Park is natural beauty at its purest.  Located west of Koh Samui, the archipelago consist of mostly uninhabited islands  and is a great day trip. It is said that it is one of the places where the movie “the Beach” was filmed.

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is the little sister of Koh Samui.  It is less developed , with fewer resorts but is the home to beautiful beaches and to the famous Moon parties every month.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao is the smallest of the three main islands of the Gulf but offers the best environment for diving. Indeed with some of the best diving schools in the world combine with pristine water it is the perfect place to discover the underwater world.

Conclusion

Perhaps the most fundamental characteristic of this tropical island is that it is able to maintain a broad appeal to everyone.  From vacationers, to water sport lover, from the backpacker to the more high end tourist.  Everyone is welcome to join its distinctive laid back atmosphere.  If you are looking to be spoiled in a tropical paradise, Koh Samui is your answer.


Photographs of Koh Samui

bang-pho
Bang Pho beach, best of Koh Samui

bang-pho
Bang Pho beach, best of Koh Samui

big-buddha-2, best of Koh Samui
Big Buddha, best of Koh Samui

big-buddha-3, best of Koh Samui
Big Buddha, best of Koh Samui

big-buddha-4, best of Koh Samui
Big Buddha, best of Koh Samui

big-buddha-5, best of Koh Samui
Big Buddha, best of Koh Samui

big-buddha-7, best of Koh Samui
Big Buddha, best of Koh Samui

big-buddha-9, best of Koh Samui
Big Buddha, best of Koh Samui

bophut-1, best of Koh Samui
Hat Bophut, best of Koh Samui

bophut-2, best of Koh Samui
Hat Bophut, best of Koh Samui

bophut-4, best of Koh Samui
Hat Bophut, best of Koh Samui

siems, best of Koh Samui
Hat Bophut, best of Koh Samui

chaweng -2, best of Koh Samui
Hat Chaweng, best of Koh Samui

chaweng-3, best of Koh Samui
Hat Chaweng, best of Koh Samui

chaweng-4, best of Koh Samui
Hat Chaweng, best of Koh Samui

elephant-rock, best of Koh Samui
Elephant Rock, best of Koh Samui

hin-ta-and-hin-yai-1, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

meanam-2, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

meanam-3, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

meanam-4, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

meanam-5, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

meanam-6, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

meanam-7, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

meanam-8, best of Koh Samui
Hat Maenam, best of Koh Samui

phangka-1, best of Koh Samui
Ao Phangka, best of Koh Samui

phangka-2, best of Koh Samui
Ao Phangka, best of Koh Samui

samui-butterfly-garden, best of Koh Samui
Samui Butterfly Garden, best of Koh Samui

samui-higlands-1, best of Koh Samui
Samui Higlands, best of Koh Samui

samui-higlands-2, best of Koh Samui
Samui Higlands, best of Koh Samui

samui-higlands-3, best of Koh Samui
Samui Higlands, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-2, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-3, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-4, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-5, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-6, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-7, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-8, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-9, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-10, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-11, best of Koh Samui
Elephant trek at Na Muang Waterfalls, best of Koh Samui

taling-ngam-11, best of Koh Samui
Ao Taling Ngam, best of Koh Samui

thong-yang-1, best of Koh Samui
Ao Thong Yong, best of Koh Samui