Be enticed by the beaches, lagoons, coves and forests
Once considered travel's best kept secret, word eventually got out Koh Samuis' beauty and Hollywood came knocking with the filming of The Beach taking place on its prestine shores. Today the island still has beautiful waters to paddle and white sands to laze upon - you'll just have a bit of company while doing so. It's possible to find a hostel bed from AUD$8 per night but there's more emphasis on plush accommodation with designer swimming pools to complement what nature provides.
Around the two main beaches of Chaweng and Lamai, the nightlife rockets. If you're keen to dive, you can book a day trip to Angthong Marine National Park from dive shops in Chaweng. If low-key beach life is more your style, consider Choengmon Beach, 10 minutes from Chaweng. When you're hungry, there's a host of restaurants in the resorts but try the beach village on the northern coast, Bophut, for the original Thai-Chinese atmosphere the island has been known for. Need a break from the beach? Try a zipline run above the jungle treetops near Mae Nam.