Samui Island is located in the Gulf of Thailand 20km from the Thai mainland and about 600km south of Bangkok. It is Thailand's third largest island and covers an area of 247 square km.
In recent years tourism has increased significantly, but for most of the island's inhabitants the coconut is still the mainstay of the economy. The island has some magnificent scenery, excellent facilities, and has attained an almost legendary status with Asian travellers.
The best time to visit Samui is from February to June when the weather is hot and dry. July brings the rainy season which lasts until October, but there is still plenty of sunshine between the showers. From October to January there are sometimes heavy winds.
For an even more relaxed pace, nearby Koh Tao, may be the place to visit.
Express boats leave several times per day from Ban Don, near Surat Thani, for the 2½ trip to Samui. A car ferry runs from Don Sak, 60km from Surat Thani, and takes 1¾ hours. The ferry also accepts walk on passengers.
Several tour companies run air conditioned buses from Bangkok to Samui via the Don Sak ferry. These services usually include transfers to and from your hotel.
The State Railway does rail/bus/ferry tickets from Bangkok's Hua Lampong station. Passengers leave the train at Phun Pin for the bus/ferry ride to Samui.
Bangkok Airways have direct flights to Samui from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
Songthaews run from the port town of Na Thon to various destinations around the island. Motorcycles are available for rent in Na Thon and several of the beach resorts. Read the agreement carefully before signing.
Many of the large hotels will be able to arrange for a car and driver if you wish to do a bit of sight seeing. During the high seasons they may be fully booked.