Koh Samui The 247-square-kilometre Samui island is Surat Thani's major tourist attraction. Located 258 nautical miles south of Bangkok, and some 84 kilometres east of the provincial capital, Koh Samui measures some 21 kilometres at its widest point, and 25 kilometres at its longest. A 51-kilometre ring and largely coastal road encircles the island, which has numerous lovely beaches and bays, and is almost literally an island of coconuts and forested hills.
Samui's best beaches line the northern and eastern coasts, the most popular being Hat Chaweng and Hat Lamai, where generally attractive accommodation can be found. Other beaches include Hat Choeng Mon, Hat Mae Nam in the north and Hat Na Thon, the island's major seafront settlement where shops, restaurants and tour agencies are concentrated. At the southern end of Lamai Bay are phallic rock formations called Hin Ta Hin Yai. A path connects the three waterfalls, called Namtok Hin Lat, Namtok Lat Wanon, and Namtok Na Muang, from west to south. The waterfalls are best visited during rainy season. Elephant riding is an interesting activity at the Na Muang waterfall. There are some Buddhist monuments and temples on the island: Phra Yai is a massive seated Buddha image at Fan isle; Phrathat Hin Ngu is a stupa containing the Buddha's relics and Chedi Laem So, a golden stupa on the western coast; and Wat Khunaram houses the dead body of Luang Pho Daeng which does not decay.