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4th foreign tourist dies at deadly Samui Waterfall as mangled body of a French man is found

  • December 4, 2023 at 12:38 am
  • by News Desk
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Another foreigner dies at notorious Ko Samui Waterfall: Deadly tragedy strikes Na Muang 2 Waterfall again as 20-year-old French tourist Ryan Meghan becomes the fourth fatality in just over four years with his girlfriend present at the scene.

A deadly waterfall on Ko Samui on Sunday claimed the life of another tourist, the fourth such tragedy in just over four years since July 2019 when the mangled body of a French national, suffering severe skull and limb injuries, was recovered from the 3rd level of the Na Muang 2 Waterfall on Sunday morning.

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A waterfall on the beautiful Thai island of Surat Thani in southern Thailand on Sunday claimed the fourth life of a foreign tourist in just over 4 years.

In the latest devastating incident, the lifeless body of 20-year-old French tourist Ryan Meghan was discovered wedged between rocks at Na Muang Waterfall on Ko Samui.

The tragic event unfolded around 3 pm on Saturday, culminating in the grim discovery on Sunday morning and subsequent rescue operation hours later.

Demanding and dangerous mission to retrieve the body from the third level of the Waterfall on Sunday carried out for the fourth time since July 2019

Local officials and volunteers, equipped with climbing gear, embarked on what is in itself a dangerous and tortuous rescue mission. 

Scaling approximately two kilometres from the waterfall’s base, they navigated treacherous terrain to reach the third tier of the cursed but beautiful scenic attraction where Mr Meghan’s body lay.

Mr Meghan, clad only in black shorts, suffered severe injuries, including a fractured skull and dislocated elbow after falling to a violent death. 

20 year old was with his girlfriend when he fell to a violent death on the rocks which have claimed the lives of three other foreign tourists in 4 years

According to Phunchid Khamloon, acting chief of disaster prevention and mitigation for Ko Samui, the young man had visited the waterfall with several companions, including his girlfriend.

Ignoring warnings and venturing into the off-limits fourth tier, which was deemed perilous due to recent heavy rains, Mr Meghan tragically fell from a height of 10-15 metres.

The last tragedy on the waterfall was in May 2022 when 23-year-old Nane-Iosana Bodea fell to her death and a similar retrieval of her body was launched.

Deadly Ko Samui waterfall claimed another life on Saturday as a Romanian woman fell to her death

A Frenchman and a Spanish tourist met similar fates in July and November 2019, respectively.

First death occurred on 26th of July 2019 when a 26-year-old Spaniard fell off the top of the waterfall, followed 4 months later by a French tourist

On Saturday 27th July 2019, 26-year-old Spanish tourist, David Rocamundi Conesa from Barcelona fell to his death on the waterfall while just four months later, 30-year-old French tourist, Bastien Palmier on the 15th November 2019, also met his death on the same unforgiving rocks.

The latest rescue operation, on Sunday, involved personnel from various sectors, including the administrative department, police, as well as disaster prevention and relief units.

Negotiating challenging conditions, they successfully recovered Meghan’s body, lodged in a rock crevice at the fourth tier of the waterfall.

Jirapat Chuchan, the Permanent Secretary for Security, joined administrative officials, police officers, and disaster relief units.

The collaborative effort saw the deployment of rescue equipment to the accident site, emphasising the need for caution during the rainy season.

Officials say guidelines and warnings were ignored by the latest victim as was the case in other deaths some of which were linked to selfie photo-taking

Authorities stressed that the incident occurred in a restricted area, marked by warning signs and a safety rope. Despite clear precautions, Meghan and his group ventured beyond these boundaries, resulting in the tragic loss.

Ms Phunchid highlighted the inherent risks of the area, particularly during the rainy season.

With swift-flowing water and the potential for flash floods, tourists are urged to exercise caution and adhere to official warnings and directions.

The tragic demise of Ryan Meghan serves as a sombre reminder of the importance of respecting safety guidelines, particularly in Thailand’s nature reserves and waterfall areas. 

As authorities continue to underline the dangers associated with restricted zones, the incident prompts a renewed call for vigilance and the particular danger of attempting to secure ‘selfie’ photos for social media, a phenomenon which has been associated with some of the deaths.

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tourist deaths koh samui

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  • Surat Thani

Romanian tourist falls to death from Na Mueang waterfall while taking photos in Koh Samui yesterday afternoon

tourist deaths koh samui

Surat Thani –

A 23-year-old romanian tourist fell to her death from a cliff at the na mueang waterfall on koh samui, surat thani, yesterday afternoon, may 14th..

Samui police rushed to the Na Muang waterfall around 3:00 PM. after being alerted of the incident of a foreign female tourist who was seriously injured after falling from the cliffs on the fourth level of the waterfall.

Unfortunately, the woman was pronounced dead by the time the officers and rescuers arrived. According to her male friend, she was traveling with two of her male friends and slipped while taking photos.

tourist deaths koh samui

She fell and hit her head on a rock on the second level, causing large wounds on the back of her head. Her friends attempted to perform first aid while waiting for help from the officers but could not save her life.

The officials spent more than 5 hours taking her body out of the scene before transferring it to Koh Samui Hospital for an autopsy while both of her friends would be questioned about the incident at Samui Police Station.

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tourist deaths koh samui

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Nathon beach, Laem Yai, Koh Samui, Thailand

Deserted beaches, empty bars: Covid-19 devastates Thailand's tourist islands

Visitor numbers expected to plummet by tens of millions in crisis that eclipses the 2004 tsunami, bird flu and Sars

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The streets of Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, are eerily quiet. Along Chaweng’s Beach Road, a usually raucous party area, shuttered shops stretch into the distance.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was buzzing with traffic. Now, taxi drivers sit on the roadside, with little hope of finding customers. Where bikini-clad sunseekers once browsed souvenir shops and drank at neon-lit bars, a lone street dog stretches on the pavement.

Elsewhere, swathes of Samui’s idyllic, sandy white beaches are almost entirely free of people.

About 40 million tourists flocked to Thailand last year, drawn by its spectacular coastlines, ornate temples and famous cuisine. Yet in 2020, the country will struggle to attract even a quarter of that number, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Tourism ground to a halt in April, when Thailand imposed a ban on all incoming passenger flights. The country – which has so far managed to contain Covid-19, recording 3,255 cases and 58 deaths – is discussing travel bubbles with low-risk neighbouring countries, but no one knows when these might be established. Borders remain shut to almost all foreign tourists.

Market stalls in Chaweng on Koh Samui

The travel sector has survived devastating crises before, including the 2004 tsunami, bird flu and Sars outbreaks. But the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is beyond comparison, says Tanes Petsuwan, deputy governor for marketing communication at the TAT. During previous crises, revenue dropped by around a fifth, he said. This year, the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause a 80% fall in revenues. “It’s a huge impact,” he said.

To make matters worse, Thailand’s economy has become even more reliant on tourism, accounting for almost 20% of GDP, according to Tanes. About 4.4 million people are employed across the industry – in transport, travel agencies, restaurants and hotels.

In Samui, many have gone for months without work. Before coronavirus, Jarunee Kasorn, who works in a local massage parlour in Chaweng, says her colleagues would welcome up to 90 clients a day. They’re one of the few businesses to reopen on Beach Road, but a whole day can go by without a single customer. “If there are no tourists, then there’s no business,” she said. Most of the shop’s 20 staff have left the island altogether, and returned to their family homes elsewhere in Thailand.

Though modest social assistance payments were offered to workers during lockdown, this is no longer available.

“Many people say we won’t die from Covid, but we will die because we are not able to eat,” says Ta Sasiwinom, who has just reopened her stall at an outdoor market in Fishermen’s Village, known as the walking street. The past few months have been a struggle for her and her two daughters. “We cook more cheaply – eating egg and rice, rice and egg,” she says.

Parts of the market, and the nearby beach, have begun to return to life. There are groups of visitors and locals peering at the discounted stalls, but it is still nowhere near as busy as it would usually be. Among those shopping are tourists stuck abroad, foreign residents living in Thailand, and Thais – who the government has encouraged to travel domestically through a stimulus package that offers subsidised hotel bookings.

The scheme, and a looming long weekend, has provided a welcome boost, says Lloyd Maraville, general manager of Nora Buri resort and spa. Of the hotel’s 144 rooms, about 100 are empty, though this will fall to 85 over the holiday.

Government measures, he adds, “might sustain hotels for a while but it will not be a long-term [solution].” Rooms have been booked at far below the usual rates. “Profit is out of the question at this moment, we just want to maintain the resort,” he says.

Tanes believes that when tourism is able to begin again, the industry will be altered completely. He hopes for positive change. “I think this is a good time for Thailand to upskill the human resources of the industry to move Thailand [away] from [being an] overcrowded tourist destination,” he says. Mass tourism, and the dependence on large tour groups, he argues, will be a thing of the past.

In Samui, businesses are focused on survival for now. Just last month it was announced that nearly 100 local hotel owners had been forced to sell. Many more remain shut indefinitely.

“I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’m shocked, I never thought it could be like this,” says Rattanaporn Chadakarn, who runs a stall at the walking street. No one knows how long the crisis will last. For now, she adds, everyone is just waiting for the skies to reopen.

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Romanian tourist was swimming at Samui waterfall before death plunge

Romanian tourist was swimming at Samui waterfall before death plunge

Rescue workers took three hours to retrieve the body of a Romanian woman who plunged from the top of a Koh Samui waterfall where she had been swimming on Saturday.

Workers finally managed to retrieve the body of Nane-Iosana Bodea, 23, a Romanian national who lived in Austria, at 6.30pm, about three hours after police were alerted of the accident.

Bodea was staying at the Bang Po Village hotel in tambon Mae Nam on the north side of Koh Samui.

She and her boyfriend visited the Na Muang 2 Waterfall at noon on Saturday, according to Surat Thani tourism official Kritchakorn Chusri.

Na Muang police arrived at the scene to find Bodea unresponsive and without a pulse.

Pol Senior Sgt Maj Watcharin Phetnoo said the woman was visiting the top of the falls with her Austrian boyfriend when she plunged 20 metres down to the next level.

Romanian tourist was swimming at Samui waterfall before death plunge

Her remains were sent to Koh Samui Hospital for an autopsy.

Kritchakorn, whose duty is to provide emergency help to foreign tourists, quoted the woman’s boyfriend as saying that they climbed to the top of the falls at noon.

The boyfriend said he and Bodea decided to swim in a small pool at the edge of the waterfall because the weather was hot. But the spot was slippery and the woman lost her footing and fell not long after the two got into the water.

Romanian tourist was swimming at Samui waterfall before death plunge

The tourist said he attempted to resuscitate her heart while shouting for help. His shouts attracted the attention of nearby Thai tourists, who alerted the police.

The boyfriend said Bodea died before rescuers arrived at the scene.

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Thai Paradise Gains Reputation as ‘Death Island’

tourist deaths koh samui

By Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono

  • Nov. 3, 2018

KOH TAO, Thailand — Promoters call the Thai island of Koh Tao a paradise. Dive resorts boast of its crystal-clear waters, and Western tourists flock to its lively beach bars.

But among some foreigners, Koh Tao has taken on a more sinister reputation. At least nine European tourists have died or disappeared there since 2014. British tabloids began calling it Death Island.

Now, the claim of a 19-year-old British tourist that she was raped on Koh Tao in June has again focused attention on the island’s troubled history and called into question police handling of serious crimes against tourists.

Initially, the police denied that a rape occurred and arrested a dozen people for posting about it on Facebook. The police also issued arrest warrants for an online newspaper editor in Britain and a Facebook page administrator in California.

After opening an investigation and interviewing the young woman in Britain, the police said last month that they had found no evidence to support her claim and closed the case. They said they would reopen the case if new evidence emerged.

The decision disappointed and angered the young woman’s mother, who insists that the 19-year-old is telling the truth. She accused the police of mishandling the investigation and covering up crime on the island.

“The whole thing has been a farce from the very beginning,” she said by phone from Britain. “Why on earth would someone make this up?”

(The New York Times does not generally identify victims or possible victims of sexual abuse, and is not identifying the woman’s mother for the same reason. Through her mother, the young woman declined to speak with The Times.)

Thailand, with about 35 million visitors last year, is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and promotes itself as the “Land of Smiles.” The government, which has been run by a military junta since 2014, is sensitive to criticism that could undermine the country’s reputation.

In a patriarchal society where the #MeToo movement has not taken hold, some officials have suggested that women bring rape or sexual harassment on themselves by wearing provocative clothing, prompting protests under the hashtag #Don’tTellMeHowToDress .

Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, questioned the attire and behavior of foreign female tourists shortly after the killing of two British backpackers, David Miller and Hannah Witheridge, on Koh Tao in 2014. Ms. Witheridge was raped before she was killed.

“They think our country is beautiful and safe and they can do whatever they want, wear bikinis wherever they like ,” the prime minister said. “I’m asking, if they wear bikinis in Thailand, will they be safe? Only if they are not beautiful.”

He later apologized, saying that he meant only that foreign visitors should be careful.

But doubts still linger over the conviction of two migrant Burmese workers, U Zaw Lin and U Win Zaw Htun, for the killings of Ms. Witheridge, 23, and Mr. Miller, 24, at popular Sairee Beach. A judge found the workers guilty and sentenced them to death despite questions about DNA evidence and the police handling of the case. The men’s supporters say they were framed.

Other tourists who died include a Frenchman, Dmitri Povse, 29, who was found hanged in 2015 with his hands tied behind his back. The police ruled it a suicide. Last year, a Russian tourist, Valentina Novozhyonova, 23, disappeared with her diving gear. The police concluded she drowned at sea.

The eldest to die was a 33-year-old Moldovan man, Alexandr Bucspun, who drowned in October after he went swimming late at night. The police ruled out foul play.

In some cases, family members challenged the police findings.

Koh Tao, a ferry ride from better-known Koh Samui, has long had a reputation as a home for organized crime, and as a place where the police protected local interests.

The police major general who headed the rape investigation, Surachate Hakparn, said in an interview with The Times that the police have cracked down on crime syndicates on Koh Tao since the backpackers’ double killing.

“We admit that in the past, there was a mafia there that took advantage of tourists,” he said. “Today, we have gotten rid of them.”

This past summer, the young woman from Britain came to Koh Tao in June with a group of male friends. She and one of the friends, Martin Phu, went to a popular beach bar and ordered drinks after midnight on June 26, according to their accounts. They soon began feeling woozy, left the bar and passed out on the beach.

When the young woman woke up some hours later, Mr. Phu was not there. But an unfamiliar man was watching her and quickly left, she said. Her underwear had been removed and she knew immediately that she had been raped, her mother said. Her phone, cash and credit cards were gone.

She returned to the hostel where they were staying and Mr. Phu arrived soon after. She was visibly upset and told people there she had been raped. Another friend and Mr. Phu collected her shirt, which was stained and potentially held DNA evidence, they thought.

In a September interview with a Thai journalist posted on Facebook, Mr. Phu said he was certain that she was telling the truth and rejected claims in Thailand that she had invented the story to hide a romantic encounter from her boyfriend.

“I think that’s crazy,” Mr. Phu said. “If you want to cover up a problem, you wouldn’t create a bigger problem.”

The hostel manager, Pattara Jamtrakul, urged her to report the rape to the police. But the young woman wanted to leave Koh Tao on the next ferry, for which the group already had tickets.

“I was just in a state, I couldn’t talk to anyone, I was terrified,” the young woman told The Times of London in her only interview . “I just wanted to get off the island.”

The next day on neighboring Koh Phangan, she and Mr. Phu went to the police to report the rape and robbery, according to their account. The officer took their robbery report but wouldn’t accept a rape report, or the possible DNA evidence that they had collected, and told them they must report the rape on Koh Tao.

“She wasn’t offered any kind of medical assistance or examination,” her mother said.

General Surachate, the police officer who headed the investigation, contested their version of events.

“She did not report about being raped at all,” he said. “I called the officer on duty and questioned him myself.”

About a week later, the young woman returned to Britain and Mr. Phu returned to Koh Tao, where he tried to report the rape to the police with the help of Ms. Pattara, the hostel manager.

The officer refused to take his report or the shirt with the potential DNA evidence because only a victim can file a police report.

In Britain, the young woman told her mother that she had been raped. She received a medical exam and sought counseling from a rape center, which led to her telling a British police officer of the rape. Eventually she and her mother gave her account to the British media, which had extensively covered the deaths on Koh Tao.

Responding to the news reports, the Thai police said a rape could not have occurred because the tide on the beach was exceptionally high that night and the tourist area was crowded.

The police sent an investigator to Britain to interview the woman and retrieve the shirt. General Surachate said analysts recovered male DNA from the shirt but found no semen. The police said they compared the DNA to that of 20 men on Koh Tao who are commonly suspected of crimes but found no match.

He said the police interviewed about 200 people and found no evidence to corroborate her account.

“There is no new evidence that clearly shows that a rape really occurred,” said the general, who was recently promoted to immigration commissioner.

He defended the arrests of the 12 Facebook users, saying that the post they shared wrongly identified a suspect, causing him to lose work.

They face up to five years in prison.

Human Rights Watch accused the police of using the computer crimes law to stop people from questioning their “shoddy investigation” of the rape case.

One person still sought by the police is Suzanne Buchanan, editor of The Samui Times, an online news outlet that has reported on the deaths and the rape case.

She said the warrant would not affect her since she lives in Britain.

“They are accusing me of peddling fake news when it is not fake,” she said. “And they are accusing me of committing a crime in Thailand when I haven’t been there in two and a half years.”

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"..60 Tourists Die Per Month, On Motorbikes In Koh Samui."

By LaoPo January 11, 2013 in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao

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What truth is there in this claim by member spidermike007 here: ?

TOPIC: Tourist Dies On Rented Motorbike In Pattaya

Posted Today, 08:57 (Friday January 11, 2013)

This is so "not news". I have heard that as many as 60 tourists die PER MONTH, on motorbikes in Koh Samui. It remains the most lawless land in Thailand. The police talk about the helmet laws, and all they do is collect tea money once per month, at their monthly fund raising roadblocks. No concern for safety, whatsoever. Lip service whenever these deaths are publicized, but the fabulously timid Samui Gazette, and Samui Express will not report about these deaths, nor with the Bangkok Post, or the Nation, since they are highly censored. So, it remains a big secret that I found about from my friends at Samui Rescue. Whenever I go to the hospital, I see many bike injuries. No one really knows how many are injured every month, but the mixture of drinking while driving, lack of motorbike skills, the unlicensed 10 year olds riding motorbikes (that the toy police refuse to do anything about) and the young men (boys really) that drive like kamikazes, plus the central governments absolute refusal to put any priority on the completion of the main road in Samui (the ring road), make Samui a very toxic mix, when it comes to driver safety.

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January 11, 2013

Although I agree that motorbike riding in Samui is extremely hazardous and have seen many unpleasant accidents over the years, I find these figures to be almost unbelievable! 60 tourists a month! I w

What truth is there in this claim by member spidermike007 here: ? TOPIC: Tourist Dies On Rented Motorbike In Pattaya ******** Posted Today, 08:57 (Friday January 11, 2013) This is so "not news". I

Agree , on the accident side But overall including Thais ect , the figure could be 60 .... As the figure for Phuket I quoted was including Thais It is a shame they don't keep an accurate record

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tourist deaths koh samui

Being a regular long term visitor to Samui this does not come as a surprise to me.

I always get to hear that riding a motorbike "is the lowest form of travel" from everyone I know who lives on Samui and drive a car themselves. I get to hear this every year when I arrive with no exception. Mainly this is due to the carelessness of others, mainly tourists being over confident in their (drunk) driving skills. Surely this must happen everywhere but on Samui there are more variety in places you can reach on your own by motorbike giving you a certain kind of freedom thus being the cheap adventurous alternative for many tourists. (just my idea here..)

But what personally put me off any kind of motorbike riding in the future was that last year a Thai local drove out of a side road carrying a 5 meter long, 2-3 cm thin iron bar on his shoulder on his motorbike. My spouse almost got it through his chest since the dam_n thing was barely visible as it came out way before the driver himself. I can't for the world understand how anyone would be so careless as to take that kind of thing into a road on a motorbike.

Once speaking to an officer in phuket at the police station there , he commented there was on average 5 deaths per day , 150 a month in phuket , so 60 in samui could be about right if they include deaths in hospital and after the crash

Some days in samui , on a short drive I coul pass upto 3 crashes , and that is in a 3 km radius in 10 mins

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Although I agree that motorbike riding in Samui is extremely hazardous and have seen many unpleasant accidents over the years, I find these figures to be almost unbelievable!

60 tourists a month! I would be very surprised but interested to know if this is an anywhere near accurate figure.

I don't buy several things in this "story" ..

I really cannot comment of death figures, but I would say that is too high. Accidents perhaps yes. and perhaps combining tourists and locals.(?)

As for the comment the in the original post, that there are helmet checks once a month is not correct. In Maenam they are at least once a week, and locations vary a little more lately...for both helmets and seat belts in vehicles...

There are towns or cities in Thailand, where the message about helmet waring has gotten across... in Krabi city limits, for instance, everyone wears a helmet... (or least did last time I was there)... One wonders how they managed that???

The comment also about the roads not being worked on is also not correct, they are working on the sections between Nathon and Hau Thanon, although not as fast as some would like, but it is underway.

i'm sure it's 60 accidents involving tourists per month out these 60 certainly a few of them unfortunately die....

Sad

Agree , on the accident side

But overall including Thais ect , the figure could be 60 .... As the figure for Phuket I quoted was including Thais

It is a shame they don't keep an accurate record

HUGE exaggeration springs to mind.

5 deaths/day on Phuket, and

2 deaths/day on Samui

That's an astonishing, tragic and sensational number of 2,555 deaths/year due to motorbike accidents on the 2 islands alone?

Shall we add the number from Pattaya as well; maybe a few in Hua Hin and Chiang Mai/Rai...

Maybe some can recall the exaggerations of bystanders and hear-say if an accident happens...

the guy has a broken leg

one hour later he broke both legs and was hospitalized.

The next thing is that he's on IC with 2 broken legs, a broken back, serious head inhuries...

and 2 hours later..

Next day, he was sitting in a bar and a friend asks him: "Hey I heard you died?"

exaggeration

Tropicalevo

For sure - just a way to sell news and get your 15 minutes of fame.

Let us put it in perspective.

One guy, sadly, gets shot by a stray bullet at the FMP and the British ambassador visits the island and there is a 'travel warning' by HM government.

If 60 tourists a month were to become fatlities, then for sure, every government would be giving a 'travel warning' for Samui.

Also The Sun Newspapeer would have carried out an expose by now.

For various reasons - I visit the hospitals on Samui quite often. The staff always talk about the number of accidents - they rarely mention a fatality.

60 accidents a month involving tourists - over the year - probably quite accurate. At the moment I am seeing mb accidents daily - sometimes more than one. I see accident victims every day. You know the ones - riding a mb like a pratt with the bandages on the elbow, knee, calf and a patch on their face - trying to pass everything on the inside at 60 kph!

My understanding regarding fatalities from mb accidents is - mostly Thai

This article/blog is just beer talk - or trolling

Thanks

In the five years I have now lived in Thailand, (plus several trips before) I have never witnessed an accident that involved a death and can probably count on two hands the number of accidents I have seen, involving the usual scrapes.. or perhaps broken arm or leg...

Right now, with a lot of dry sand on the roads, one needs to be wary of these patches... they can be very slippery... extra caution needed...

In the five years I have now lived in Thailand, (plus several trips before) I have never witnessed an accident that involved a death and can probably count on two hands the number of accidents I have seen, involving the usual scrapes.. or perhaps broken arm or leg... Right now, with a lot of dry sand on the roads, one needs to be wary of these patches... they can be very slippery... extra caution needed...

You must not get out much jimmy , in 7 years I have driven past maybe 100 crashes , maybe 10 fatal , and was never even on the roads a lot

HUGE exaggeration springs to mind. 5 deaths/day on Phuket, and 2 deaths/day on Samui That's an astonishing, tragic and sensational number of 2,555 deaths/year due to motorbike accidents on the 2 islands alone? Shall we add the number from Pattaya as well; maybe a few in Hua Hin and Chiang Mai/Rai... Really? Maybe some can recall the exaggerations of bystanders and hear-say if an accident happens... the guy has a broken leg one hour later he broke both legs and was hospitalized. The next thing is that he's on IC with 2 broken legs, a broken back, serious head inhuries... and 2 hours later.. he died. Next day, he was sitting in a bar and a friend asks him: "Hey I heard you died?" exaggeration

Not the kind of thing to joke about , as the exact above happened to a friend due to a blood clot from a broken leg ..

Maybe someone could ask the samui rescue how many road crashes a day they are called to ? You would be very surprised !

For sure - just a way to sell news and get your 15 minutes of fame. Let us put it in perspective. One guy, sadly, gets shot by a stray bullet at the FMP and the British ambassador visits the island and there is a 'travel warning' by HM government. If 60 tourists a month were to become fatlities, then for sure, every government would be giving a 'travel warning' for Samui. Also The Sun Newspapeer would have carried out an expose by now. For various reasons - I visit the hospitals on Samui quite often. The staff always talk about the number of accidents - they rarely mention a fatality. 60 accidents a month involving tourists - over the year - probably quite accurate. At the moment I am seeing mb accidents daily - sometimes more than one. I see accident victims every day. You know the ones - riding a mb like a pratt with the bandages on the elbow, knee, calf and a patch on their face - trying to pass everything on the inside at 60 kph! My understanding regarding fatalities from mb accidents is - mostly Thai This article/blog is just beer talk - or trolling

Q: why do you visit hospitals so much? Because of your profession?

Just curious.

Oh, Boater, I'm NOT joking about it; on the contrary!

I was talking about the exaggeration of the one who said that he heard there were 60 TOURIST deaths per MONTH on Samui due to motorbike accidents.

It's far from a joke and I'm not the person to make easy jokes about deaths.

I've lost too many people in the past few years already to make jokes about death!

Good observations! Q: why do you visit hospitals so much? Because of your profession? Just curious.

Mostly customers - mb accidents or drunken falling over! Quite a few dengue fever victims this year

Well, Boater, in just over two years I have over 20,000 kms on my bike... (that includes two trips into Malaysia and about four to Songkhla, ....the rest around Samui...main roads and back roads through the island.... If you read some of my posts or look at the Photos of Samui or look at the Photography forum, you'll see I have hundreds of images from many areas of Thailand, posted,

transam

What business you in.....just so I know not to become a customer of yours..

KP%2520%2520Tongsala%2520Jan%252011%252C%25202556%2520BE%25204-46%2520PM.JPG

yes - I have been watching this one today.

It was travelling north on the east side of Samui this morning, and then travelling west between KS and KPG this afternooon.

yes - I have been watching this one today. It was travelling north on the east side of Samui this morning, and then travelling west between KS and KPG this afternooon. I assumed that it was a floating pontoon for the new airport (or bridge to Surat)!

PoorSucker

Two dead tourists per day.

60 serious accidents per month, including Thais, yes.

This topic has bee raised again and again!

Just search through the forum

  • Road deaths are now calculated based on fatalities on-site. Victims dying later in hospital not counted.
  • In 2000 there was an average of 30 deaths a month on Koh Samui (official figures released each month).
  • Now it is stated that Koh Samui has 3-5 deaths each month (using the new way of reporting road deaths).
  • In the last ten years the population has almost doubled and there are now 5x more vehicles on Koh Samui.
  • Based on ‘official figures’ today it is possible to estimate that Koh Samui currently has 60 deaths per million per year. (Compared to 23 in London.)
Based on the population and traffic density statistics from 10 years ago Koh Samui has in reality 720 deaths per million per year. This is probably the highest rate of road deaths in the world.

Samui is a fatality death spot that nobody is willing to acknowledge!

I love the place. it's my home and has been for almost 15 years. But it can't be denied!

Haha

Just another penny's worth -

WHATEVER the viability of the figures -

Check on how many people are killed on the roads in BKK - a city of 6 or 7 million ( - and the rest - 8/9 million?)

Then compare that per head to whatever official figures you can find from Samui.

Samui might admit to 3 a month - with a fluctuating population of no more than a max of 100,000 (?)

That's 30 deaths per million.

That's 240+ deaths a month compared to BKK's 30

who is his friend with rescue cause i have a friend who works with them and that is absolute over hyped crap.

Lots of accidents yes. lots of deaths yes 60 tourists per month. come on. if one death happens suspicouly or not then it is quite big news if it is a forang. You think that these 60 forangs just disoppear and noone comes looking for them on samui

what a load of crap.

Think who ever wrote that needs to go back to sleep unless he is writing a noval based on fiction then carry on.

it is very hard to cover up a forang death it would hit the web if nothing else eventually

60 deaths per month. not cofussed with Bagdad????

so a tourist dies un Pattaya and this man starts slagging off Samui what an ..................

This topic has bee raised again and again! Just search through the forum Road deaths are now calculated based on fatalities on-site. Victims dying later in hospital not counted. In 2000 there was an average of 30 deaths a month on Koh Samui (official figures released each month). Now it is stated that Koh Samui has 3-5 deaths each month (using the new way of reporting road deaths). In the last ten years the population has almost doubled and there are now 5x more vehicles on Koh Samui. Based on ‘official figures’ today it is possible to estimate that Koh Samui currently has 60 deaths per million per year. (Compared to 23 in London.) Based on the population and traffic density statistics from 10 years ago Koh Samui has in reality 720 deaths per million per year. This is probably the highest rate of road deaths in the world. Samui is a fatality death spot that nobody is willing to acknowledge! I love the place. it's my home and has been for almost 15 years. But it can't be denied! R

I think rob nailed it on the head !

No worries ...

But as rob mentioned , anyone who believes 60 deaths a month on samui roads are are made up , clearly hasn't spent enough time in the roads here ... I they where 30 deaths a month years ago with 3rd of the traffic, and 10 times worst drivers , the states seem clear

But 1 thing to note , it's everyone that 60 includes , not just foreigners

Oh come on Rob, what are you saying?

According to several statistics around 750,000 to 1,5 million tourists come to Samui each year (what's correct?)

In 2010 there were around 760,000 tourists to Samui, from all countries combined.

But, let's assume 1 million in 2012 and that's not very far from the truth but probably more.

I dare to doubt that very much.

There would be, at least 100-200 from English speaking countries like the UK, Australia etc and I bet the (tabloid) newspapers would not speak about those deaths but BLAST it FROM THE ROOFS.

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Trial opens in Thailand for the son of Spanish actors over the killing of a Colombian surgeon

A court in Thailand has opened a trial of the son of Spanish actors accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian surgeon on a popular tourist island

BANGKOK -- A court in Thailand began a trial Tuesday of the son of Spanish actors accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian surgeon on a popular tourist island.

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was indicted by prosecutors in October over the death of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, whose remains were found stuffed in plastic bags at a landfill on Koh Pha Ngan, an island famous for its rave-style “full moon parties.”

Lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, who represents Arrieta’s family, told reporters at the Koh Samui Provincial Court before the trial that the family trusts Thai prosecutors to deliver justice.

“They are grateful and hope that Thai law is forceful and that the truth can be told,” he said.

The charges against Sancho include premeditated murder, concealment of a body and destruction of other people’s documents, which is related to the alleged damaging of the Arrieta’s passport. Sancho pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and destruction of documents but pleaded guilty to hiding the victim’s body.

The charge of premeditated murder carries a possible death penalty. The maximum sentence for damaging other’s documents carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a 100,000 baht ($2,750) fine. The concealment or damaging of a body carries a year in prison and a 20,000 baht ($550) fine.

The trial is opening with statements from witnesses brought in by the plaintiff, said Apichart Srinual, a Thai lawyer who represents Sancho.

When asked whether he is confident about his defense case, Aprichart said “it depends on the evidence,” adding that “there are a lot of witnesses. It depends on what they will say.”

Sancho was driven to the court in a closed car and was not visible to reporters waiting outside. Sancho’s father, Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, also came to the court but declined to comment.

Sancho, a chef, was arrested in August after the remains of Arrieta, 44, were discovered at the landfill.

Police said Sancho came in to report a missing person and was subsequently detained. He later reportedly confessed to killing and dismembering Arrieta and dumping the body parts in the landfill and the sea, though he denied that his action was premeditated, according to police.

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20 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Koh Samui

Written by Meagan Drillinger and Diana Bocco Updated Mar 20, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Koh Samui is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand, followed by its two smaller "sisters": Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Diving, snorkeling, swimming, and basking on the picturesque jungle-backed beaches are popular things to do here, as well as boat tours around the sublime seascape of Ang Thong National Marine Park.

Because Koh Samui is the only of the three "sisters" with an airport, most tourists arriving from Bangkok or abroad land here. Regular ferries run between all three islands, however, for example, the trip between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan takes only half an hour, making it easy to island hop and see all the sights.

For ideas on how to spend your time and what to do when visiting the island, see our list of things to do in Koh Samui.

1. Sunbathe and Swim at Koh Samui Beaches

2. take a boat to koh phangan, 3. tour ang thong national marine park, 4. hop over to ko tao for diving and snorkeling, 5. head to sail rock for even more diving, 6. discover the secret buddha garden, 7. explore phra yai temple complex, 8. stop by wat plai laem, 9. kayak in koh taen, 10. eat and shop at fisherman's village bophut, 11. go rock climbing at chaweng and lamai beaches, 12. trek to see some waterfalls, 13. explore maenam's chinatown, 14. scoot around the island, 15. discover wat na phra lan, 16. visit nathon town, 17. drive to wat phra chedi laem, 18. marvel at khao hua jook chedi, 19. hike elephant rock, 20. visit the lamai sunday night market, where to stay in koh samui for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in koh samui, best time of year to visit koh samui.

Lamai Beach

Koh Samui's beaches provide variety and serenity in equal parts. Chaweng Beach is one of the most popular on the island and the most developed. It's home to luxury resorts like Vana Belle and Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort . Chaweng Noi , to the south, is one of the top-rated beaches in Thailand .

On the less developed southeast coast lies Laem Setbeach . This peaceful, palm-fringed slice of paradise has a beautiful coral garden off the coast and unusual rock formations. To catch the sunset, head northwest to Phang Kabeach for a spectacular view.

At Lamai Beach , Koh Samui's second largest resort area, look for the distinctive rock formations colorfully described as "Grandpa" (Hin Ta) and "Grandma" (Hin Yai), referring to the anatomical likeness to their names. You can stay right on the beach here at the four-star Rocky's Boutique Resort , or go with five-star Banyan Tree Samui for sumptuous villas overlooking the bay. Northeast of here, Silver Beach (Haad Thong Ta-khian) is a picturesque, palm-lined cove flanked by smooth granite boulders, with great snorkeling in the calm bay.

Maenam Beach

On the north side of the island, peaceful Maenam Beach offers views of Koh Phangan. You'll find an appealing range of accommodations here, from affordable backpacker bungalows to mid-range boutique hotels, like Code , and five-star resorts, like the Santiburi Koh Samui and the W Koh Samui .

Koh Phangan

Just a stone's throw (in fact, you can see one island from the other's shore) is Koh Phangan, the second largest of the three islands and one of the most popular day trips from Koh Samui. Koh Phangan's coast is more rugged than Koh Samui, with huge granite rocks and jungle-cloaked mountains rising behind the beaches. Most of the development clusters along the south and west coasts.

Unlike the many wide stretches of flat beach along Koh Samui, Koh Phangan's coastline tends to scallop into sheltered coves, flanked by outcroppings of granite and backed by lush hills. On the island's relatively quiet east coast, Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai are among the most popular beaches-Noi in particular tends to be cleaner and has plenty of food stalls. Accommodation options here range from budget resorts to the five-star Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas and the four-star Buri Rasa Koh Phangan .

On the island's northwest coast, Haad Yao, Hat Salad (Salad Beach), and Haad Son, also known as "Secret Beach," are great options, with decent snorkeling a short kick from shore. Accommodation options here are mainly budget and mid-range resorts, like Sunset Hill Resort , perched high on the hills overlooking Secret Beach.

Just to the south, Haad Chao Phao, about 30 minutes from the pier and main tourist area, provides a perfect balance of comfort and quiet, with several good restaurants and small seaside bungalow resorts, like Seaflower Bungalows . It's easy to find transportation to other parts of the island, but quiet enough that you feel you have a little piece of Phangan (almost) to yourself.

For a truly secluded experience, Bottle Beach (Hat Khuat) on the island's north coast is an excellent choice, but it's best accessed by long-tail boat-unless you don't mind a hike through the steamy jungle along a rutted dirt road. Accommodation here is fairly basic, like the beachfront bungalows at Bottle Beach 1 Resort .

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are part of this breathtaking archipelago of 42 islands. If you take only one tour while you're on vacation in this area, make it a sightseeing tour around Ang Thong. Many tour companies offer one-day packages, and you can typically arrange these through your hotel or guesthouse.

Most include a boat tour through the islands with stops for snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking to viewpoints, where you can admire this amazing island chain. Limited accommodation is available in the park, so plan your time well if you want to return to the main islands for the night. Be sure to keep your camera handy and find a spot above deck, because you won't want to miss the breathtaking photo ops.

Anemone and clownfish off Ko Tao

From the air, Ko Tao (the smallest of the three islands) looks like mounds of granite boulders cloaked in green, drifting on a jade-green sea and linked by dazzling sweeps of white-sand beach. Diving is the most popular thing to do here. Colorful coral reefs lace the clear waters that are home to some of the best diving spots in Southeast Asia . Vast schools of fish, brightly-colored sea anemones, stingrays, and even whale sharks are among the sea creatures spotted here, and the island is a popular and relatively affordable place to obtain PADI scuba diving certification .

Though it's certainly no off-the-beaten-path destination, Koh Tao typically has less tourists than both Samui and Phangan . Accommodation consists mainly of villas and bungalows that peek out from the jungly slopes, with breathtaking views of the bay, like Monkey Flower Villas and The Place Luxury Boutique Villas .

A young whale shark at Sail Rock

Experienced divers will want to check out this popular diving site between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, marked by a huge limestone rock jutting 10 meters out of the water. This famous wall dive, with a maximum depth of about 40 meters, is known for being one of the best areas in Thailand for swimming with a range of exotic fish, and even whale sharks if you're lucky.

You can also see giant black coral, moray eels, and large schools of fish, such as batfish, snapper, and trevally. Another feature is the vertical chimney swim-through. While popular with experienced divers, Sail Rock is actually suitable for all levels of divers, depending on conditions.

Statues in the Secret Buddha Garden

Set at the top of Pom Mountain, one of the highest hills in Koh Samui, the Secret Buddha Garden (AKA Tarnim Magic Garden) is a sculpture park worth a visit. Getting here requires a long and somewhat difficult climb, though, so be prepared for it.

The entire garden was the beloved project of Khun Nim, a retired farmer who worked on it for 14 years until his death at the age of 91.

He originally envisioned the place as an oasis to meditate and relax in solitude, but also as his final resting place one day. Over the years, however, he also added little houses with roofs covered in vegetation that traveling monks could use as a place to rest or meditate.

The final result is a magical place full of enclaves; fountains; and sculptures, including many Buddha statues in different poses, but also animals, angels, and musicians. There are even a couple of sculptures representing his parents, grandparents, and himself as a child. A short walk away, on a staircase path surrounded by a lush flowering garden, Nim's tomb offers the final peace he so eagerly wanted.

Phra Yai Temple

A somewhat majestic, somewhat overwhelming mix of reds and golds, this Buddhist temple is located in Ko Phan, less than three kilometers offshore from Koh Samui. Home to a massive 12-meter-high gold Buddha statue at the top of a staircase, Phra Yai (also known as the Big Buddha Temple) is one of the most popular temples in Koh Samui and a massive attraction for tourists year-round.

Aside from the main Buddha statue, there are also smaller statues here, as well as a collection of bells on the grounds of the temple.

Visitors who arrive in the early morning will be able to see local monks during their daily prayers. After a walk around the grounds, you can pick up some food or Buddhist statues and meditation supplies to take with you. Nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park and Wat Plai Lem are also worth a visit while you're here.

Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem is a Buddhist temple dedicated not to Buddha but to Guanyin (or Kuan Yin), the Chinese goddess of compassion and mercy. Although the temple is relatively new, it's been decorated using ancient techniques and murals.

Guanyin herself is depicted in her ancient form, as a massive gold and white statue with 18 arms. She's sitting on a platform-pavilion decorated with a large dragon, who is said to be able to carry the goddess to aid shipwrecked sailors. From here, she watches over the temple and a pond filled with fish-visitors who make a donation to the temple can grab a small bag of fish food in exchange.

On the other side of the temple complex, a giant laughing Buddha holding prayer beads presides over the ordination hall.

Aerial view of Koh Taen

Koh Taen or Coral Island is located just five kilometers off the coast of Ko Samui. Technically part of the main archipelago, Koh Taen is only accessible by boat and rarely visited by tourists despite offering stunning coral reefs, great mountain biking trails, and a unique mangrove forest buzzing with local fauna. The island is also home to many monitor lizards, which can reach a size of up to 2.5 meters long, and a number of simple bungalows that can be rented for overnight stays.

Although Koh Taen has less than 50 permanent residents year-round, a number of companies offer day tours to the island for kayaking and snorkeling. Because of its location among other small archipelagos, the waters of Koh Taen are soft and calm and perfect for kayaking along the coastline.

Food stall at Fisherman's Village

On the island's north coast, Bophut beach is right by the old Fisherman's Village, with its Chinese shophouses, funky boutiques, and popular night market. The Fisherman's Village Walking Street comes alive every Friday at 5pm – its sidewalks crammed with stalls, food vendors, and street performers.

While many night markets in Thailand focus mainly on cheap souvenirs and street food, Bophut offers a unique range of handicrafts, high-quality handmade jewelry, high-quality textiles, and even local spices and snacks.

Aside from shopping, this is a great place for local dining-both sitting down cafés and restaurants or food stalls where you can pick up a quick bowl of som tam or pad Thai to savor while you keep walking and exploring. Keep your eyes open for performances, too, once you reach the junction near the pier -traditional Thai dancers and Muay Thai fighters often put on short shows here that are full of color and charm.

Boulders on Lamai Beach

The stretch of coast near Koh Samui's most developed beaches has become a popular climbing and bouldering spot. With limestone walls up to 40 meters high and the promise of stunning views of the island's scenery from the top, both Chaweng and Lamai beaches offer great hot spots for rappelling and climbing. There are suitable routes here for both beginners and advanced climbers. Nearby Koh Tao island also has plenty of granite blocks, ideal for bouldering.

It's also possible to rock climb farther inland-but since much of the inland mountains can only be reached after a jungle trek, this option is best for experienced outdoor enthusiasts or those joining an organized climbing group. Day tours can be organized if you're a beginner or just want some help conquering the rocky formations.

Na Muang 1 waterfall

There's a lot more to Koh Samui than white sandy beaches – just venture inland and away from the turquoise waters, and you'll discover a jungle paradise that's equally enchanting. If you're up for a slightly steamy but fascinating trek through a tropical forest, set off to find Koh Samui's three major waterfalls.

Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2 (the "Purple Waterfalls") are located inside a park of the same name, which can be accessed by car. Na Muang 1 is close to the park's parking lot and easily accessible on foot; Na Muang 2 requires a steep but short trek uphill from the first waterfall. The first waterfall is the biggest and offers a small pool, perfect to cool down or for a swim.

Another waterfall worth a visit is Khun Si Waterfall. Located just a few minutes away from Khun Si viewpoint over Chaweng Beach, this waterfall is smaller and harder to find, but that means smaller crowds, and if you come in the morning, a good chance you'll have the waterfall all to yourself. Surrounded by thick lush jungle, this waterfall makes for a refreshing stop before you continue on to other attractions.

Maenam's Chinatown

One of the best beaches in Koh Samui is Maenam Beach. Located on the northern shore of the island, about 15 minutes away from Choeng Mon, Maenam is a seven-kilometer stretch of soft, golden sand, gently lapping turquoise water, and views out to Koh Phangan. The vibe here is decidedly more laid-back, with more affordable bungalow-style hotels, a few high-end resorts, and quiet beach restaurants perfect for relaxing.

Maenam also happens to be the Chinatown of Koh Samui. You'll notice this immediately when you cross under the golden arch at the Walking Street. The small community has its own temple, as well, which is open for visiting. On Thursday evening, Maenam has its own Walking Street market.

While the neighborhood is much smaller than others on Koh Samui, the Walking Street is energetic, selling everything from fruits and flowers to leather, souvenirs, and street food.

Scooter in Koh Samui

Koh Samui may be the second largest island in Thailand, but in reality it's not as big as you think. The island is only about 75 kilometers in circumference, meaning it's entirely possible to drive around it in a day. Renting a scooter or motorbike is incredibly easy in Thailand, and this is the best way to see Koh Samui.

The island has many different personalities, depending on which town you visit. Chaweng and Lamai have nonstop energy and are usually crammed with young tourists, while areas on the northern and western coasts are far more relaxed, undeveloped, and laid-back.

The interior of Koh Samui has a spine of rolling, jungle-covered mountains, which contain secrets like gorgeous hiking trails, waterfalls, and sculpture gardens. By driving around Koh Samui, you can experience many different atmospheres and personalities all in a single day.

Try to plan your scooter adventure early on in the trip, so you can discover which areas you may want to spend time in. Koh Samui always has something unique to discover, no matter which area you are in.

Wat Na Phra Lan

Koh Samui has many temples that tend to take the spotlight. But a little digging off the beaten path will reveal many, many other temples on this island where visitors may feel like they have the entire complexes to themselves.

Welcome to Wat Na Phra Lan. Located near Maenam's pier, this small but gorgeous temple is certainly worth a stop. The temple is decorated in the traditional Thai Buddhist style with its gold and red colors, and is known for its statue of King Rama V.

The temple complex is very quiet, but has plenty of images of Buddha to admire. It is the perfect place to reflect quietly, far away from the busyness along the coast of the island.

Nathon

If you're arriving to Koh Samui by boat, then you'll be arriving in Nathon, the capital of Koh Samui. Most travelers hop off the ferry and find their transfers to their hotels, but the capital is a place that is worthy of a visit on its own.

Nathon isn't exactly on the tourist trail – it's on the western side of the island about halfway down, while all the hotels and restaurants start on the very opposite side of the island. But its lack of tourist infrastructure is exactly why it is worth a visit. Here is where you will see how life actually operates on Koh Samui, away from the infinity pool, pizza restaurants, and Jet Skis.

Take a stroll down the many side streets off the main road to take a look into the shops. The waterfront has plenty of dining options, though the ones closer to the ferry terminal are geared more towards tourists.

On Saturday evenings, Nathon hosts a walking street market, where the seafront area comes alive with vendors selling street food, clothing, and souvenirs.

Wat Phra Chedi Laem

At the Southwest corner of Koh Samui sits a quiet stretch of beach on which is a gorgeous, golden pagoda. Wat Phra Chedi Laem feels like a world away from the swirling chaos of the east coast. Guarded by two statues, the structure radiates a quiet power. It is a lovely spot, where residents come to pray and enjoy the peace and quiet of the natural beauty of its surroundings.

Khao Hua Jook Chedi

Up in the hills beyond Chaweng, you may notice the glimmer of a golden pavilion. This is Khao Hua Cook Chedi, one of the many temples on Koh Samui. The gleaming gold pagoda overlooks the beautiful beaches of the island from its hilltop perch. Visitors who come to visit the Chedi will have uninterrupted views over practically the entire island.

The Chedi is easy to get to via motorbike or taxi. From the parking area, steps lead to the top of the hill where the chedi sits. It's a peaceful overlook and a wonderful place for meditation, or to simply snap 360-degree panoramic pictures over Koh Samui.

It doesn't actually look like an elephant, but Elephant Rock gets its name from its sheer size. This massive boulder marks the point of a beautiful hiking area, at the top of which is a stunning view of the sea. Elephant Rock is close to both Chaweng and Lamai, which means it's easy for most travelers to access.

Fruit at the Lamai Sunday Night Market

If you hit one night market on Koh Samui, better make it the Lamai Sunday Night Market. This weekly event happens in the heart of Lamai with two intersecting streets. One serves Asian food, and the other serves European-style food. Where the streets intersect, you'll find live music and entertainment.

It's a wonderfully buzzy (and busy) weekly event that brings people from all over the island – and all over the world – to enjoy one of the best sections of Koh Samui. Prices are beyond reasonable – you can eat a full meal and barely make a dent in your wallet, so this is a perfect spot to hit if you are traveling Thailand on a budget.

Luxury Hotels:

  • Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui is set in a quiet cove on the north end of Chaweng Beach, offering a very private 5-star experience. There are 79 suites and villas, which all come with private pools and spacious terraces. Some have direct ocean views. Breakfast is complimentary. There is a swimming pool and fitness room, and airport transport can be arranged.
  • Another top luxury resort is the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui Thailand in Ang Thong. The family-friendly resort has a kids' club on-site and lodging in pool villas surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Besides direct beach access, amenities include a 50-meter infinity pool, restaurants, and a spa set in the rainforest.
  • In a secluded cove, The Tongsai Bay is an eco-friendly luxury choice with cottages and villas spread out amid lush grounds. They make great use of outdoor living space, and some feature Jacuzzi tubs fronting the sea. There is private beach access, three restaurants, and a spa on-site. All sorts of water activities can also be arranged.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort is a new property on Chaweng Beach. The resort offers a range of rooms, suites, and villas including some with private pools. All feature cutting-edge modern design. The property is family friendly and has an on-site kids' club, as well as a children's playground. There is direct beach access; a few restaurants, including one in a treehouse; and a spa, among other amenities.
  • For a more boutique resort experience try Sandalwood Luxury Villas . There are just 14 Thai-style villas set around nine infinity swimming pools and linked by intricate stone walkways. Each has panoramic sea views. The grounds are well maintained, and amenities include a restaurant, spa, and free airport transport.
  • Lanna Samui in Bophut is very good value and has 75 trendy suites with a minimalist modern design. They come with kitchenettes and private balconies, but the resort is not directly on the beach - it is a 10-minute walk or a free shuttle ride. There is a giant swimming pool with hydrotherapy beds, however. Other amenities include free breakfast, a spa, sauna, steam room, and fitness room.

Budget Hotels:

  • Boujis Boutique Resort is set between Chaweng and Lamai beaches and is an excellent value, budget-friendly property set on beautiful grounds. Book one of the cliffside villas for breezy ocean views from spacious balconies. They come with kitchenettes. Breakfast is complimentary. Amenities include a swimming pool and restaurant.
  • The Waterfront in Bophut is a small, family-run property with tidy rooms on the beach. These come with private balconies and fridges. The property is popular with families, and babysitting is available. There is a swimming pool, restaurant (breakfast is complimentary), and guests can borrow bikes.
  • One of the cheapest budget properties that still gets good reviews, Bonny Hotel is near Lamai Beach. It has basic but comfortable rooms with air-conditioning, fridges, and balconies. Airport transportation is also available.

Kuan Yin statue on Koh Samui

Koh Samui, as with most places in southern Thailand, has two seasons – dry and wet. Koh Samui also has different weather patterns than the islands on the other side of the coast, so just because it's a good time to visit Phuket and Krabi does not mean it's the best time of year to visit Koh Samui.

If you want sunshine and pleasantly warm weather, the best time to visit Koh Samui is from December to February, which is the dry season. But dry season, understandably, is also high season, so it will also be busy during this time. That said, you won't see any rain. If you want to jump into the sea, explore the surrounding islands, or get on a boat for a tour, this is definitely the best time of the year to visit.

If you have a budget in mind and want to avoid the crowds, then you might want to arrive during the hot or the rainy season, which chases many visitors away but offers better prices and better deals.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Exploring Southern Thailand: Koh Samui and its neighboring sister islands are home to some of the best beaches in the world. Whether you're looking for white sand and crystal-clear waters or an active holiday, you can find that in our list of picks for the Top-Rated Beaches in Thailand . Arriving in Koh Samui from Bangkok? Take a look at some of the best ways to make the trip on our article, From Bangkok to Koh Samui: 4 Best Ways to Get There .

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Son of Spanish actor goes on trial over Thai island murder

T he murder trial of a famous Spanish actor's son opened Tuesday on a popular Thai tourist island, where he will face charges of killing another foreigner.

Chef Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, pleaded not guilty at a hearing in November to the murder of 44-year-old Colombian plastic surgeon Edwin Arrieta Arteaga on the nearby Koh Pha Ngan island.

The trial opened Tuesday on the honeymoon isle of Koh Samui, with scores of Spanish reporters flying in -- despite being barred from the tiny courtroom.

Sancho's father, well-known Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, arrived at court shortly after 8:30 am (0130 GMT).

"He is fine," he said, declining to answer any further questions.

Lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, representing Arrieta's family, said outside court ahead of the trial they hoped that "Thai law will be forceful, that the truth can be told".

"We hope that the family can close this painful stage of their life and that they can begin their mourning," he said.

Sancho has been in pre-trial detention in Thailand since August, after police said he had admitted to the murder.

Under Thai law, premeditated murder convictions carry the death penalty. However, Arrieta's family previously said they would not seek the death penalty.

Sancho has admitted to hiding Arrieta's body -- which carries up to a year in jail -- but he denies the second charge of destroying the Colombian's passport.

Sancho's lawyer Apichart Srinual confirmed that his client would appear in court, but declined to answer reporters' questions.

The Thai public prosecutor who filed the case against Sancho also declined to speak to the media at the court.

The trial is expected to last until mid-May, with scores of witnesses due to appear in court.

Sancho and Arrieta were reported by Spanish media to have connected on Instagram in 2022, with Sancho travelling to Thailand on July 31 as a tourist, where he met the surgeon.

Police found body parts that are believed to belong to Arrieta in early August at a rubbish dump in Koh Pha Ngan.

CCTV footage obtained by local media showed Sancho and the victim on a motorcycle together shortly before the remains were discovered.

Police said in August Sancho's motive for the killing was unclear.

Koh Pha Ngan is famed for its white sandy beaches and draws thousands of backpackers to its notoriously wild "full moon" parties.

In 2017, another Spaniard, Artur Segarra, was convicted of murdering a businessman in Bangkok and discarding dismembered body parts into the Chao Phraya River.

tak-rbu/mca

The trial opened Tuesday on the honeymoon isle of Koh Samui

  • Travel Updates
  • Health & Safety

Trouble in Thailand as tourist deaths soar

NEW figures have been released concerning one of Australia’s much-loved holiday spots: Thailand. The authorities are worried about them.

Kate Schneider

What you missed in horror plane pic

‘Critical’: Terrifying secret behind 787 planes

‘Critical’: Terrifying secret behind 787 planes

Health alert issued over deadly disease

Health alert issued over deadly disease

NEW figures have been released concerning tourist deaths in Thailand and they are so worrying that the local government has finally promised to work on improving visitor safety.

There was a 54 per cent jump in the number of tourist deaths at Australia’s much-loved holiday destination last year, according to a report by Thailand’s Bureau of Prevention and Assistance in Tourist Fraud.

Data collected from the ministry’s 10 regional offices showed that while 83 foreign travellers died in 2015, another 166 were injured (a drop of 160 per cent year on year).

While the main cause of death was road accidents (34), swimming and boating accidents claimed nine lives, congenital disease six, suicides four, and other causes 30.

The statistics showed that in 2015, visitors had a 1 in 301,204 chance of dying in Thailand, including a 1 in 735,294 chance of being killed in a road crash.

However, figures from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) over a similar time frame suggest this is just the tip of the iceberg. Between July 2014, and June 2015, DFAT recorded 109 deaths of Australians in Thailand , that’s not even factoring in tourists from other countries.

Either way, they are numbers that authorities say cannot be ignored any longer.

Pongpanu Svetarundra, Sports and Tourism Ministry secretary, told the Bangkok Post : “In the past, we did not deal with the root causes of the tourist safety problem. From now on, we will look at the issue and address it seriously.”

Meetings have been held between government officials to address the issue, with a study on water accidents set to be conducted in Krabi, and road accident data will be gathered in Chiang Mai.

Krabi, Thailand.

The report also listed some of the riskiest places in the country for swimming, scuba diving and driving, including:

• Tawan Beach on Pattaya’s Koh Larn (Chon Buri)

• Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui (Surat Thani)

• Mu Koh Similan (Phangnga)

• Koh Hae (Phuket)

• Highway 1095 from Chiang Mai to Pai district in Mae Hong Son

• Highway 118 from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

• Highways 2258 and 2296 to Khao Khor (Phetchabun)

• Highway 4233 to Karon mountain (Phuket)

Almost 30 million visitors flocked to Thailand last year, but it was ranked low on a recent list for safety and security in the Asia Pacific. It came in at 132nd place out of 141 countries in that category in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015.

TRAGEDY IN PARADISE

Darker side ... The island of Koh Tao is no stranger to backpacker deaths.

Last month, a British backpacker was been found dead in mysterious circumstances on Thailand’s Koh Tao island, the same place two backpackers were found beaten to death in 2014.

The body of Luke Miller, 24, was found floating in a hotel swimming pool, reported the UK Telegraph . Before his death Miller had taken to social media to post about how much he was enjoying his trip.

“Can honestly say this new year I am living the dream of to the full moon party on a speed boat drink cocktails strawberry daiquiris living life to the full yolo so let’s do this,” he wrote.

He had been on a five-week holiday.

uke Miller, left, was found dead in a hotel pool on the island of Koh Tao in Thailand. Picture: Gofundme

The island of Koh Tao is no stranger to tourist deaths. In 2014 the semi-naked bodies of British backpackers David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found beaten to death on the beach. Witheridge was raped before her murder.

Two Burmese men were charged and sentenced to death over the killings.

Backpackers David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found beaten to death on Koh Tao.

DFAT’S TRAVEL ADVICE FOR THAILAND

• The standard of medical facilities throughout Thailand varies. While private hospitals with international standard facilities can be found in major cities, services can be limited elsewhere. Private hospitals generally require confirmation of insurance or a guarantee of payment before admitting a patient. Costs can be very expensive.

• Motorcycle and other road accidents are very common in Thailand, including in resort areas such as Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui.

• Water-borne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis, leptospirosis and typhoid) are prevalent with outbreaks occurring from time to time. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food, and avoid unpasteurised dairy products. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

• Illness caused by naturally occurring seafood toxins such as ciguatera as well as scombroid (histamine fish poisoning) and toxins in shellfish can be a hazard.

• The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly recommends that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart.

See more tips at DFAT’s website here.

A picture that shocked the world and left plane passengers questioning everything has been cast in a new light.

Bombshell claims made by a Boeing engineer have been escalated by US officials after attorneys pointed out “critical defects” on nearly 1,500 passenger planes.

NSW Health has issued a measles alert for people in specific Western Sydney locations.

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Thailand » 25 Best Things to Do in Koh Samui

25 Best Things to Do in Koh Samui

The most famous of all the islands in Thailand is Koh Samui, a beautiful island that is famed for its stunning palm tree edged beaches and crystal clear waters. Due to its broad appeal the island is visited by all types of travelers from the budget backpacker to the mega wealthy Hollywood celebrities.

There really is something for everyone on this paradise island in Thailand and you will be hard pushed to fit everything in if you are only visiting for a couple of days. With so much to do here we have narrowed it down to our top 25 things to do in Koh Samui :

1. Visit Koh Samui’s Famous Big Buddha

Big Buddha, Koh Samui

The best known and most famous of all the landmarks on this island is the Big Buddha temple. Sitting just off the corner of Koh Samui on a little tiny island is a 12 meter tall statue of Buddha in a seated position. The local name for the temple is Wat Phra Yai and it is connected to the main island by a causeway. Made of gold and sitting in the Mara position it shows a time when Buddha was rejecting all temptations that were forced upon him. When you fly into Koh Samui the statue is usually the first thing that you will spot due to its prominent location. There are a few food and amulet stalls at the temple which are also worth looking at either when you arrive or depart.

2. Take In The Interesting Sights At Hin Ta And Hin Yai

Hin Ta And Hin Yai

All throughout Thailand you will see things that shock and surprise you, but maybe nothing quite like this. The rocks were discovered by locals many years ago and are naturally shaped to look like male and female genitalia. The rocks have been fondly named Ta (Grandpa) and Yai (Grandma.) The rocks have a story that has become part of folklore over the years and you can see the story on a sign as you get closer to the rocks, the story goes that an old couple called Ta Kreng and Yai Riem were traveling to a neighboring province to see a man called Ta Monglai to ask that his daughter marry their son, on the way the boat ran into a storm and they died at sea. The couple then turned into rocks as a symbol of their intentions.

3. See Awesome Scenery At Namuang Waterfall

Namuang Waterfall, Koh Samui

Set in Jungle surroundings are two beautiful waterfalls that are certainly worth a visit, the waterfalls are known as Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2, the first waterfall flows into a small pool that you can swim in, the second waterfall is about thirty minutes further uphill and is also just as stunning. The park featuring the waterfall is completely free of charge and there are lots of beautiful spots along the way as well as small food stalls and souvenir huts to make purchases from. With many tourists choosing to go to the various beaches this makes for a nice change and an idyllic spot for a swim

4. Go on a 4WD Jungle Safari Tour

4WD Jungle Safari Tour

Enjoy the highlights of Koh Samui on a Jeep Safari tour.

You’ll see explore sights such as Mummified Monk, Namuang Waterfall and Buddha’s Magic Garden.

A live guide will entertain you and tell all about the magnificent sites you visit.

Recommended tour : Samui: 7-Hour 4WD Wild Jungle Safari Tour Including Lunch

5. Meet The Ladyboys at Chaweng Beach

Ladyboys

When you are in the area near Chaweng Beach there are many different ladyboys shows on offer, they are all close to each other and vying for your hard earned money so competition is fierce and you will often find they are trying to drag you into their show. The shows usually consist of popular songs being lip synced whilst the performers wear beautiful costumers and make up, the ladyboys are all at various stages of their journey but in most cases it is very hard to tell that they are men. The shows are light hearted so sit back and enjoy.

6. Hide Away At The Secret Buddha Garden

Secret Buddha Garden, Koh Samui

Back in 1976 Nim Thongsuk started putting up many beautiful statues in the land that he and his family owned, the land is hidden away in the center of the island and surrounded by lush forests. The area is very peaceful and has a stream as well as a waterfall, a journey to the garden is a challenge as the road leading to it is very steep, if you have a four wheel drive you will be fine. From the top most point of the garden you can enjoy panoramic views over the island and take in all its splendor and beauty.

7. Take a trip to Angthong Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park, Thailand

Board the big tour boat and travel to Angthong Marine Park on a full-day excursion from Samui Island.

Kayak along the stunning coastline, hike to the top of Mae Koh for views of the Emerald Lagoon, and snorkel at Wua Talap Island. Enjoy lunch on the boat.

Suggested tour : Ang Thong Marine Park: Full-Day Kayaking & Snorkeling Tour

8. Time For A New Temple At Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem

If you have been in Thailand for a while you would have seen many an ancient temple, this one is fairly new but it still uses the techniques that have been in place for hundreds of years. The feature of the temple is an 18 arm statue of Guanyin, Guanyin is the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. This living and working temple has a lot of visitors daily who pay homage to both Buddha and Guanyin. The temple is surrounded on all sides by a lake and if you make a donation to the temples coffers you will receive a bag of fish food to feed those that live in the lake.

9. Get In A Boat And Go Diving

Koh Samui Diving

The Gulf of Thailand is an absolute paradise for diving fanatics and you can get tours from reputable PADI certified instructors who will take you on a boat trip to see the marine life for yourself. The best diving area is 60 kilometers out from Koh Samui so you will go out on a big boat with the other divers and participate in a two dive course. Each dive usually lasts about 40 to 50 minutes and is suitable for complete beginners. If you are going to go diving make sure you always check the schools certificates are current and that you are completely happy with all their safety procedures.

Available tour : From Koh Samui: Full-Day Snorkeling Tour on Koh Tao

10. Oktoberfest Thai Style

Oktoberfest

Maybe not what you would expect to find on an island but Koh Samui’s latest cultural import began in 2004 and stuck pretty strictly to Teutonic traditional features, i.e. lots of bratwursts, lederhosen, oompa loompa music and liter after liter of beer. Organized by the local Rotary Club, it is a fantastic event to attend all the profits from Oktoberfest are donated and used for buying much needed equipment for local schools and other good causes.

11. Everything Happens At Chaweng Beach

Chaweng beach, Koh Samui

Chaweng Beach is the hub of Koh Samui, it is the biggest and largest town and has the busiest and possibly most beautiful beach. This is also where the main nightlife is located with plenty of bars and restaurants to keep everyone happy. The strip in Chaweng is nearly three kilometers long and the young and young at heart make their way from one bar to another taking advantage of the cheap drinks and the loud music. If you want a drink in quieter surroundings then there are also some nice beach front bars offering a relaxing view and see breeze to help you wind down of an evening.

12. The Laidback Life At Lamai Beach

Lamai Beach, Koh Samui

Unlike Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach is a lot quieter and not as busy. The beach is just as beautiful though so if you like the quieter life this is the place to head. The water is deeper at this part of the island making it better if you want to go swimming. Like most beaches in Koh Samui there are a selection of beach bars and restaurants selling cocktails and good food, meaning you never have to wander too far when you are hungry and thirsty. If you do leave the beach there is a main road which also has a lot of places to eat and drink.

13. The Backpackers Life At Maenam Beach

Maenam beach, Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui is an expensive island compared to many other places in Thailand, if you are looking for a cheaper location on the island to stay and also hang out on the beach, this would be the ideal choice. The beach itself is about 7km long and there are not as many beach vendors as you will find on the most popular beaches. The beach has palm trees at the top and in many places is still undeveloped giving it that natural untouched feel. The night life is a lot quieter and cheaper in these parts with many bars shutting fairly early but the prices are low and the locals friendly.

14. Take The Kids To Lipa Noi Beach

Lipa Noi Beach, Koh Samui

Lipa Noi Beach is the most child friendly of the beaches on Koh Samui, the water is completely clear of rocks and coral and the beach has beautiful white sand stretching along it. The water remains shallow for a very long way and it is not till you get over 100m out that it starts to get deep. The area is quite remote and you will notice upon arrival that it is a place for relaxing rather than partying, there are several restaurants around selling delicious seafood which are worth stopping for lunch at.

15. Koh Samui’s Capital Nathon Town

Hainan Chinese Temple in Nathon town Koh Samui, Thailand

The capital of Koh Samui but a place you may never see if you arrive by plane, situated near the car ferry port the town has an array of shops and restaurants and if you need a bank they are mostly located here. The attraction for tourists are the Chinese shop houses that sell a wide range of goods including lots of gold. The town is a very local town so prices are low and if you are looking for souvenirs this will be the cheapest place on the island to purchase them.

16. See Something Different At Fisherman’s Village

Bophut, Koh Samui

Away from the busyness of Lamai and Chaweng is a gorgeous little fishing village called Bophut. The village is growing in popularity but it is still quiet enough that you can enjoy the tranquil beach or a coffee in one of the nearby restaurants. When you are in the village you will see there are various original wooden homes, these were built in the 19th century by a group of Chinese immigrants that set up home here. The village is worth exploring and even has its own walking street full of eating places, food stalls and cafés.

17. Fly Through The Sky

Koh Samui Zipline

Fly through the lush jungle on a zipline at fifty miles an hour and you are sure to take in a lot of the Koh Samui Scenery with the Sky Fox cable ride.

Another highlight of the tour is a swim at Samui’s largest waterfall.

Recommended tour : Samui Island: Sky Fox Cable Ride in the Jungle

18. Take A Trip To The Quiet Side And Visit Laem Sor Pagoda

Laem Sor Pagoda

The south west corner of the island is a quiet part of the island, situated away from the other tourists and night life, this where you will find the Laem Sor Pagoda. It is guarded by two colorful yaks that each carry a sword to protect the pagoda. The building looks gold from a distance but it is actually made from yellow tiles which glitter as the sun reflects off the sea and onto them. Just down from the pagoda is a small hall that has a wax casting of the monk that built the pagoda, he is sitting inside a boat and locals come and prey here as he is highly revered.

19. Go For A Hike At Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock, Koh Samui

Elephant rock actually looks nothing like an elephant but the size of the rock formation was where the name originated from, the rock is located in-between Chawang and Lamai Beach. The rock itself is in a very peaceful area so if you feel like some time away from all the activity this is the place to go. There are plenty of spots to go for a hike around this area and if you climb to the summit you will be greeted with beautiful views of the Gulf of Thailand.

20. Take A Climb To See Khao Hua Jook Chedi

Khao Hua Jook Chedi

Located near to the Chewang Lake and sitting at the top of a hilly terrain is Khao Hua Jook Chedi, A beautiful temple that overlooks the coast as well as the valleys below. The temple has some intricate carvings to marvel at as well as many golden sculptures of Lord Buddha. The building itself does not sit next to any road so you will have to park your car at the bottom of the hill and hike up to where it is located.

21. Learn About Chinese-Thai Culture At Wat Jee Kong

Wat Jee Kong

Chaweng Beach was the location that the Chinese immigrants chose to live when they settled on the island many years ago, the immigrants built this beautiful temple and it has to be on your to-do list. There are many ornate sculptures and golden decorations around the temple which truly stand out for their beauty. Once you have taken a good look around the grounds there is a market nearby that sells traditional items as well as various crafts and fabrics.

22. See a Mummified Monk At Wat Khunaram

Wat Khunaram, Koh Samui

Luong Pordaeng was a Buddhist monk and in 1973 he died whilst in the seated meditative position, it was decided that his body would be preserved and he has been on display in a glass case ever since, forty years later the body is still in excellent condition with no signs of degradation at all. Unlike westerners most Buddhist Thais are not frightened of dying as they believe it to be one step closer to enlightenment, seeing the dead body gives them something to reflect on. The body is stored in the Wat Khunaram temple and local people visit the temple daily to pray and make merit, visitors are very welcome to come and look around the temple.

23. Take A Boat To Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park

The Ang Thong National Marine Park is visited by catching a boat that leaves from Koh Samui, it is an archipelago made of 42 islands sitting in the Gulf of Thailand. The area covers more than 100 square kilometers and consists of mountains, jungles and white sandy beaches, there are also coves, waterfalls and lakes to explore whilst on your trip. The area itself is protected and home to a wide variety of exotic creatures. You can choose to camp the night on one of the islands by hiring a tent during your tour. In the novel ‘The Beach’ Ang Thong was the location where the backpackers set up their secret camp, the movie however was filmed on Koh Phi Phi.

25 Best Things to Do in Koh Samui:

  • Visit Koh Samui’s Famous Big Buddha
  • Take In The Interesting Sights At Hin Ta And Hin Yai
  • See Awesome Scenery At Namuang Waterfall
  • Go on a 4WD Jungle Safari Tour
  • Meet The Ladyboys at Chaweng Beach
  • Hide Away At The Secret Buddha Garden
  • Take a trip to Angthong Marine Park
  • Time For A New Temple At Wat Plai Laem
  • Get In A Boat And Go Diving
  • Oktoberfest Thai Style
  • Everything Happens At Chaweng Beach
  • The Laidback Life At Lamai Beach
  • The Backpackers Life At Maenam Beach
  • Take The Kids To Lipa Noi Beach
  • Koh Samui’s Capital Nathon Town
  • See Something Different At Fisherman’s Village
  • Fly Through The Sky
  • Take A Trip To The Quiet Side And Visit Laem Sor Pagoda
  • Go For A Hike At Elephant Rock
  • Take A Climb To See Khao Hua Jook Chedi
  • Learn About Chinese-Thai Culture At Wat Jee Kong
  • See a Mummified Monk At Wat Khunaram
  • Take A Boat To Ang Thong National Marine Park

Trial opens in Thailand for the son of Spanish actors over the killing of a Colombian surgeon

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo

Thailand’s court began a trial Tuesday of the son of Spanish actors accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian surgeon  on a popular tourist island.

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was indicted in October over the death of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, whose remains were found stuffed in plastic bags at a landfill on Koh Pha Ngan, an island famous for its rave-style “full moon parties.”

Lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, who represents Arrieta’s family, told reporters at the Koh Samui Provincial Court before the trial that the family trusts Thai prosecutors to deliver justice.

“They are grateful and hope that Thai law is forceful and that the truth can be told,” he said.

The charges against Sancho include premeditated murder, concealment of a body and destruction of other people’s documents. Sancho pleaded not guilty for premeditated murder and destruction of documents but pleaded guilty for hiding the victim’s body.

The charge of premeditated murder carries a possible death penalty. The concealment or damaging of a dead body is punishable by a year in prison.

The trial is opening with statements from witnesses brought in by the plaintiff, said Apichart Srinual, a Thai lawyer who represents Sancho.

When asked whether he is confident about his defense case, Aprichart said “it depends on the evidence,” adding that “there are a lot of witnesses. It depends on what they will say.”

Sancho was driven to the court in a closed car and was not visible to reporters waiting outside. Sancho’s father, Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, also came to the court but declined comment.

Sancho, a chef, was arrested in August after the remains of Arrieta, 44, were discovered at the landfill.

Police said Sancho came in to report a missing person and was subsequently detained. He later reportedly confessed to killing and dismembering Arrieta and dumping the body parts in the landfill and the sea, though he denied that his action was premeditated, according to police.

The Associated Press

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Murder Trial Begins for Spanish Actor’s Son in Koh Samui Thailand

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The murder trial of a well-known Spanish actor’s son began yesterday on the popular Thai tourist island of Koh Samui, Thailand. The Spanish actor’s son is facing murder charges over the killing of Colombian plastic surgeon Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44.

Spanish Chef Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, pleaded not guilty in November to the murder of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, who’s dismembered body was discovered at a garbage dump at the adjoining island of Koh Pha Ngan .

The trial commenced on the resort island of Koh Samui, with scores of Spanish journalists flying in despite being forbidden from the small courtroom. Sancho’s father, renowned Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho , appeared to court soon after 8:30 a.m.

“He is fine,” he replied, reluctant to answer more questions to a swarm of reporters.

Outside court Mr. Arrieta’s family’s lawyer, Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, expressed hope that “Thai legal system will be forceful, and that the truth can be heard”. “We hope that the family can close this painful stage of their life and that they can begin their mourning,” he said.

Mr. Sancho has been in pre-trial prison in Thailand since August, when authorities claimed he confessed to the crime.

Edwin Arrieta Arteaga

Victim’s Family not Perusing Death Penalty

Thai law punishes premeditated murder with the death penalty. However, Arrieta’s family earlier stated that they would not pursue the death sentence. Sancho has agreed to hiding Mr Arrieta’s dismembered body, but he rejects the second accusation of shredding the Colombian’s passport.

Apichart Srinual, Sancho’s lawyer, acknowledged that his client would appear in court but declined to respond to questions. The Thai public prosecutor who filed the charge against Sancho likewise also declined to talk with the media.

The trial is likely to stretch until mid-May, numerous witnesses are scheduled to appear in court.

According to Spanish media, Sancho and Arrieta linked on Instagram in 2022, with Sancho visiting Thailand as a tourist on July 31 and meeting the surgeon. In early August, police discovered body pieces suspected to be Arrieta’s at a garbage dump in Koh Pha Ngan.

CCTV footage showed Sancho and the victim riding a motorcycle together just before the remains were found. In August, police stated that Sancho’s motivation for the murder was unclear.

Koh Pha Ngan is well-known for its beautiful sandy beaches, which attract hundreds of backpackers to its notoriously rowdy “full moon” parties. Another Spaniard, Artur Segarra , was convicted in 2017 of murdering a businessman in Bangkok and throwing his fragmented body parts into the Chao Phraya River.

lethal injection Thailand

Death Penalty “Lethal Injection” in Thailand

Thailand has the death sentence for certain felonies, including murder, drug trafficking, and crimes against the monarchy. It is carried out via lethal injection at the Bang Kwang Central Prison.

Although a few inmates are killed each year, there is an ongoing discussion about removing the death penalty. Human rights organizations have condemned it as barbaric and a violation of the right to life.

Supporters claim that it deters serious crimes and brings justice to victims’ families. Despite requests for abolition, Thailand’s government has maintained the death penalty as part of its criminal justice system.

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Trial opens in Thailand for the son of Spanish actors over the killing of a Colombian surgeon

FILE - A Thai police officer escorts Spanish Daniel Sancho Bronchalo on suspicion of murdering and dismembering a Colombian surgeon from Koh Phagnan island to Koh Samui Island court, southern Thailand, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. Thailand's Koh Samui Provincial court Tuesday, April 9, 2024, began a trial on the son of a Spanish actor accused of murdering and dismembering the surgeon on the popular tourist island. (AP Photo/Somkeat Ruksaman, File)

FILE - A Thai police officer escorts Spanish Daniel Sancho Bronchalo on suspicion of murdering and dismembering a Colombian surgeon from Koh Phagnan island to Koh Samui Island court, southern Thailand, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. Thailand’s Koh Samui Provincial court Tuesday, April 9, 2024, began a trial on the son of a Spanish actor accused of murdering and dismembering the surgeon on the popular tourist island. (AP Photo/Somkeat Ruksaman, File)

Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, right, father of Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, talks to reporters arrives at Koh Samui provincial court in southern Thailand, Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Thailand’s Koh Samui Provincial began a trial on Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, the son of the Spanish actor accused of murdering and dismembering a Colombian surgeon on a popular tourist island. (AP Photo/Suthipong Charoenjai)

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BANGKOK (AP) — A court in Thailand began a trial Tuesday of the son of Spanish actors accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian surgeon on a popular tourist island.

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was indicted by prosecutors in October over the death of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, whose remains were found stuffed in plastic bags at a landfill on Koh Pha Ngan, an island famous for its rave-style “full moon parties.”

Lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, who represents Arrieta’s family, told reporters at the Koh Samui Provincial Court before the trial that the family trusts Thai prosecutors to deliver justice.

“They are grateful and hope that Thai law is forceful and that the truth can be told,” he said.

The charges against Sancho include premeditated murder, concealment of a body and destruction of other people’s documents, which is related to the alleged damaging of the Arrieta’s passport. Sancho pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and destruction of documents but pleaded guilty to hiding the victim’s body.

The charge of premeditated murder carries a possible death penalty. The maximum sentence for damaging other’s documents carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a 100,000 baht ($2,750) fine. The concealment or damaging of a body carries a year in prison and a 20,000 baht ($550) fine.

File - A camp for internally displaced people in Myanmar is seen across the Moei river from Mae Sot, Tak province Thailand, Monday, March 25, 2024. Guerrilla fighters belonging to Myanmar's Karen ethnic minority claimed Monday to be close to seizing control of a major trading town bordering Thailand, as soldiers and civil servants loyal to the military government appeared to be preparing to abandon their positions. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

The trial is opening with statements from witnesses brought in by the plaintiff, said Apichart Srinual, a Thai lawyer who represents Sancho.

When asked whether he is confident about his defense case, Aprichart said “it depends on the evidence,” adding that “there are a lot of witnesses. It depends on what they will say.”

Sancho was driven to the court in a closed car and was not visible to reporters waiting outside. Sancho’s father, Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, also came to the court but declined to comment.

Sancho, a chef, was arrested in August after the remains of Arrieta, 44, were discovered at the landfill.

Police said Sancho came in to report a missing person and was subsequently detained. He later reportedly confessed to killing and dismembering Arrieta and dumping the body parts in the landfill and the sea, though he denied that his action was premeditated, according to police.

tourist deaths koh samui

Russian man arrested for illegally running crypto exchange on Koh Phangan

PUBLISHED : 5 Apr 2024 at 13:05

WRITER: Supapong Chaolan

Police interrogate Ibragim Gaitukiev, 36, a Russian national, at a house on Sri Thanu beach in tambon Koh Phangan of Surat Thani province on Thursday. The house also served as a cannabis shop and cryptocurrency exchange. (Photo: Surat Thani police)

SURAT THANI: A Russian national has been arrested for illegally providing cryptocurrency exchange services on Koh Phangan of this tourist province.

Police arrested Ibragim Gaitukiev, 36, at a house on Sri Thanu beach in tambon Koh Phangan of this southern province, Pol Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikhong, chief of Surat Thani province, said on Friday.

The arrest followed a police investigation that en-samui.bitmonyekb.com website had run advertisements online to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan districts of Surat Thani. The phone and WhatsApp number shown on the website for customers to contact were linked to the bank accounts of Mr Gaitukiev and another foreign national, Maksim Variukhin, according to the Surat Thani police chief.

Police investigators found the two foreign nationals were executives of OM 118 Co on Koh Phangan in Surat Thani. The company used a house on Sri Thanu beach on this tourist island as its office.  

The house also ran a cannabis shop, “Plantasia cannabis collective’’, with a sign reading “Bitcoin’’ placed in front of the shop, according to the police investigation.

The investigators believed the shop was the venue for cryptocurrency exchange as advertised on the website. The officers later obtained a court warrant from the Samui Provincial Court on Wednesday to search the shop. The arresting team searched the shop on Thursday. 

Mr Gatukiev was present during the search and told police he was the owner of the shop.  

The arresting team searched the cannabis shop and found no illegal items. There were advertisements about cryptocurrency exchange inside the shop.

Mr Gatukiev was arrested for illegally running a cryptocurrency exchange. 

During questioning, he allegedly admitted that he and Mr Variukhin had provided digital currency services to tourists. 

Mr Gatukiev was charged and taken to Koh Phangan police station for legal action. Police did not provide details regarding the other foreign national.

tourist deaths koh samui

Police search a cannabis shop, on Koh Phangan in Surat Thani. The shop also provides crytocurrency exchange services.  (Photo: Surat Thani police)

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Son of famous Spanish actor goes on trial over Thai island murder

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2024

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Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho (right), father of Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, talks to reporters at the Koh Samui provincial court in southern Thailand, on April 9, 2024. - AP

KOH SAMUI: The murder trial of a famous Spanish actor's son opened Tuesday (April 9) on a popular Thai tourist island, where he is accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian plastic surgeon.

Chef Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, pleaded not guilty at a hearing in November to the premeditated murder of 44-year-old Edwin Arrieta Arteaga on the nearby Koh Pha Ngan island.

The pair were reported by Spanish media to have connected on Instagram in 2022, with Sancho travelling to Thailand on July 31 as a tourist, where they met.

The trial opened Tuesday on the honeymoon isle of Koh Samui, with Sancho's father, well-known Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, arriving at the court shortly after 8:30am (0130 GMT).

Lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, representing Arrieta's family, told reporters during a break that Sancho had not shown any remorse inside the courtroom.

"Daniel does not recognise he has committed any kind of murder, not voluntary or otherwise," he said, before adding: "It is a chilling image to see him cuffed by hands and feet."

Ospina said earlier that the family hoped "Thai law will be forceful, that the truth can be told".

Sancho has been in pre-trial detention in Thailand since August, after police said he had admitted to the murder.

Under Thai law, premeditated murder convictions carry the death penalty.

However, Arrieta's family previously said they would not seek the death penalty.

Sancho has admitted to hiding Arrieta's body -- which carries up to a year in jail -- but he denies the second charge of destroying the Colombian's passport.

Sancho's lawyer Apichart Srinual declined to answer reporters' questions.

The Thai public prosecutor who filed the case against Sancho also declined to speak to the media at the court.

The trial is expected to last until mid-May, with scores of witnesses due to appear in court.

In August, police found body parts that are believed to belong to Arrieta at a rubbish dump in Koh Pha Ngan.

CCTV footage obtained by local media showed Sancho and the victim on a motorcycle together shortly before the remains were discovered.

Police said at the time Sancho's motive for the killing was unclear.

Koh Pha Ngan is famed for its white sandy beaches and draws thousands of backpackers to its notoriously wild "full moon" parties.

In 2017, another Spaniard, Artur Segarra, was convicted of murdering a businessman in Bangkok and discarding dismembered body parts into the Chao Phraya River. - AFP

Tags / Keywords: Thailand , Daniel Sancho Bronchalo , actor , Spanish

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Son of Spanish film star accused of murdering Colombian surgeon on Koh Phangan in Thailand

A man with long hair in handcuffs is escorted by a police officer

The son of a famous Spanish actor has gone on trial in Thailand, accused of killing a Colombian surgeon on a popular tourist island known for its full Moon rave parties.

Warning: This story contains details that may be distressing to some readers.

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was indicted by prosecutors in October last year over the death of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, whose remains were found stuffed in plastic bags at a landfill on Koh Phangan.

Lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, who represents Edwin Arrieta's family, told reporters at the Koh Samui Provincial Court before the trial that the family trusts Thai prosecutors to deliver justice.

"They are grateful and hope that Thai law is forceful and that the truth can be told," he said.

The charges include premeditated murder, concealment of a body and destruction of other people's documents, which is related to the alleged damaging of Mr Arrieta's passport

He pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and destruction of documents but pleaded guilty to hiding the victim's body.

The charge of premeditated murder carries a possible death penalty. The maximum sentence for damaging documents carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a 100,000 baht ($4,150) fine. The concealment or damaging of a body carries a year in prison and a 20,000 baht ($830) fine.

Fishing vessels and boats used to ferry tourists sit idle along a deserted beach with turquoise waters below green mountains.

The trial is opening with statements from witnesses brought in by the plaintiff, said Mr Sancho's lawyer, Apichart Srinual.

When asked whether he was confident about his defence case, he said "it depends on the evidence", adding that "there are a lot of witnesses. It depends on what they will say."

Mr Sancho was driven to the court in a closed car and was not visible to reporters waiting outside.

His father, Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, also came to the court but declined to comment. 

A man with short grey hair and grey and white beard is surrounded by reporters with microphones

Mr Sancho, a chef, was arrested in August after the remains of Mr Arrieta were discovered in landfill.

Police said Mr Sancho came in to report a missing person and was subsequently detained.

Police said he later reportedly confessed to killing and dismembering Mr Arrieta and dumping the body parts in the landfill and the sea, though he denied that his action was premeditated.

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  24. Trial opens in Thailand for the son of Spanish actors over the killing

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    The murder trial of a well-known Spanish actor's son began yesterday on the popular Thai tourist island of Koh Samui, Thailand. The Spanish actor's son is facing murder charges over the killing of Colombian plastic surgeon Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44. Spanish Chef Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, pleaded not guilty in November to the murder of […]

  26. Trial opens in Thailand for the son of Spanish actors over the killing

    BANGKOK (AP) — A court in Thailand began a trial Tuesday of the son of Spanish actors accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian surgeon on a popular tourist island.. Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was indicted by prosecutors in October over the death of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, whose remains were found stuffed in plastic bags at a landfill on Koh Pha Ngan, an island famous for its rave ...

  27. Russian man arrested for illegally running crypto exchange on Koh Phangan

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  28. Son of Spanish actor goes on trial over Thai island murder

    KOH SAMUI: The murder trial of a famous Spanish actor's son opened Tuesday (April 9) on a popular Thai tourist island, where he is accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian plastic surgeon.

  29. Son of Spanish film star accused of murdering Colombian surgeon on Koh

    The charge of premeditated murder carries a possible death penalty. The maximum sentence for damaging documents carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a 100,000 baht ($4,150) fine.