When it comes tropical paradise getaways, the bountiful islands of Phuket and Koh Samui shine as perfect vacation destinations. The two largest islands in Thailand are visitor-friendly with castaway bays along with restaurants, bars, and things to do; promising the best of both worlds. They are also famed for their stunning coastlines, beautiful beaches, and upscale accommodations.
Totally tropical, the climate on Thailand’s southern islands varies from warm to hot and hotter still, come day or night, with lots of humidity along the way as well as dramatic monsoon rains. Even during the rainy season, the islands can be appealing as there are usually intense downpours in the afternoon before the sun comes out again and the storms are certainly a sight to behold and a good excuse to seek refuge in a spa for a relaxing afternoon massage.
Best Time To Travel
In Phuket, November to February is high season when the weather is blissfully not too hot yet gloriously sunny with gentle breezes and pleasant evenings. Meanwhile, in Koh Samui, you could see some rain in November continuing into December, with both islands fairly dry during the hot season leading up to April. From May up to September, Koh Samui usually boasts drier weather than Phuket, whilst From September Samui’s rains start to fall, into October onwards, while in Phuket there is less rainfall.
What Phuket and Koh Samui have in common are pretty wonderful beaches, and more than this, both islands boast a wide variety too. Some are hip with trendy beach clubs, a few are thronging with life, some are perfect for watersports, and others are more secluded.
Phuket is by far busier than Koh Samui, but seek and ye shall still find quieter sands here. For example, just north of the airport, around Mai Khao, the coast stretches up into Sirinat National Park with a far wilder, more natural feel than the busier beaches to the south.
In Koh Samui, finding a beach that has that desert-island vibe is easier than it is in Phuket. However, this has to be weighed against less facilities on many of the island’s quieter beaches.
Phuket is the jewel in the Andaman Sea with its beautiful waters promising watersport action from snorkeling to scuba diving, west-coast surfing and windsurfing, as well as all the fun of jet skis, sea kayaks, and banana boats. Phuket is renowned internationally as a yachting destination and hosts various regattas and boating events throughout the year. You can also enjoy a luxury yacht expedition with private charters and upscale boat trips such as sunset cruises. Phuket is the perfect destination for exploring Phang Nga Bay and island hopping, including trips to Phi Phi Island or the Similan Islands.
Koh Samui is a maritime playground in the Gulf of Thailand and with crystal clear waters is one of Thailand’s top dive destinations. Just a short boat ride north-west is the absolutely mesmerizing Ang Thong National Marine Park with its beautiful 42 islands. This dramatic marinescape adds a sense of mystery and magic to Samui that is enticing.
Beachside dining in Koh Samui is difficult to beat and the island has some of the most romantic tables in Thailand; taking diners to the tree tops as well as dining on the rocks. The island is fast gaining a reputation as a culinary destination, yet Phuket’s astounding array of gourmet restaurants are still one of its biggest attractions when it comes to enjoying a luxury stay haven vacation in a beautiful part of the world.
Attractions & Things To Do
In terms of things of tourist attractions and things to do, there is greater choice in Phuket which is by far the most developed Thai island. Phuket Old Town boasts shophouse style boutiques and eateries with Patong promising a hedonistic nightlife and plenty of night markets on the island too. There are cultural theme parks suitable for kids and adults, temples to visit, viewpoints, and shopping too.
The most vibrant nightlife zone in Koh Samui has to be Chaweng with its wide expanse of sand and its upbeat energy. Not for everyone, the rest of the island is far more laidback with most of the attractions being more about connecting with nature such as the small but pretty Secret Buddha Garden. Perhaps the best-known visitor attraction is Bophut Fisherman’s Village which is tourist-friendly without being in any way tacky and really worth a visit. Right by the beach, the quaint shophouses are now home to bars, restaurants, and shops with a night market in the streets every week.
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Tips for Finding a Villa Accommodation
When you come to choose an exclusive island stay, consider what sets both Phuket and Koh Samui apart to help you decide:
Villa Locations: If you are looking for greater choice in terms of beachfront villas, then Koh Samui offers more properties than Phuket. Most properties in Samui are either in the stunning north-eastern part of the island, close to Choeng Mon Beach as well as overlooking the white sands of Samui’s breathtaking western shores, boasting idyllic and serene sands such as Lipa Noi Beach with unforgettable sunset views.
Most of Phuket’s luxury villas are also on the island’s western side, close to the renowned Millionaire Mile with its beach beauties such as Surin Beach, and Kamala Beach. But on the east coast of the island, Cape Yamu is an exclusive estate where you can also find some of the most luxurious villas on the island overlooking Phang Nga Bay. There are more hilltop and clifftop villas in Phuket, but these are also found in Samui too.
Spectacular Private Settings: All villas are discovered in amazing locations surrounded by natural beauty. They afford privacy, with grounds that set each villa apart, and breathtaking views as well as lots of outdoor space; creating a vacation oasis that becomes your private holiday retreat.
World-Class Features: Infinity pools, spa-like bathrooms, big, open-plan living spaces extending outdoors to salas and poolside lounge seating, not to mention in-villa cinemas and entertainment rooms; today’s luxury villas are created with an enjoyable holiday lifestyle in mind, to inspire wellness, true relaxation, and to keep guests active and engaged.
Excellent Service Quality: Your own in-villa concierge and private dining with your own chef, as well as housekeepers and staff, ensure that your villa vacation experience is smooth and seamless. You can let go and relax into your getaway with personal, customized help at hand to look after your individual needs perfectly; ideal for family or group breaks.
Stunning Design: Phuket and Koh Samui boast some outstanding luxury villas for vacationers and are renowned the world over for their quality and high-end appeal. Villas are designed with the ‘wow’ factor in mind and many are architectural wonders. From chic, contemporary stays to glamorous, hip properties and gloriously traditional, the décor, furnishings, design, and layout always impress.