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KOH SAMUI ISLAND -- area code +66-77
Fifty years ago, Samui was home to coconut farmers and a haven for fishermen. In the 70’s, backpackers discovered this tranquil paradise. Since then the island has gone decidedly up-market to become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Thailand and the spa capital of the region. There are a significant number of entrepreneurial Thai and Western gays and lesbians operating businesses in tourism, hospitality, alternative medicine, real estate, design and other sectors of the island's boom economy.
Samui can be reached by frequent daily Bangkok Airways flights from Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, a daily flight from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and direct Samui/Hong Kong flights. Thai airways has two Bangkok/Samui flights a day while Fire Fly has a daily Samui/Kuala Lumpur flight. Air Asia has low cost/high quality flights Kuala Lumpur/Surat Thani on the south Thai mainland with a quick bus/boat connection to Samui and is also introducing direct flights for Samui via Surat Thani from major Australasia and SE Asia centers. You can take a train, bus or drive from Bangkok or Phuket to Don Sak or Khanom which offer hourly ferry services to Nathon, the administrative capital of Samui. No ferry from Khanom to Samui. Two companies offer an hourly service (leaving on the hour) from Don Sak, Surat Thani Province to Samui. Seatran ships are modern and clean and dock in Naton on Samui's north coast. This is most convenient for transfers to the main tourist beaches. The other company, Raja Ferry, runs old and dirty ships and docks on the west coast, further away from the main tourist beaches on the north and east coasts. Both make the crossing in one and a half hours.
Gay life in Koh SamuiSamui gay life is a relaxing, quieter contrast to the exuberant gay life of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. Bars and clubs are more laid back and friendly. The local gay community is easy to encounter at gay and mixed venues or as you enjoy the island's many leisure offerings. Samui men and women tend to be more down to earth and not as flashy as those in the larger gay destinations -- a good reason why many gay tourists prefer Samui. It is worth noting that on Samui most gay Thai men do not work in gay bars or cabaret. Many work in senior and executive positions in hospitality and tourism.
Chaweng is the center of gay nightlife, with the largest concentration of gay businesses along the 5km Chaweng Beach Rd from North Chaweng at the Nora Beach Resort to South Chaweng. Please note: not many Taxi or motorcycle drivers on Samui know destinations other than major hotels so check your map before you go out and note the name of the biggest hotel nearest to your destination. Gay venues carry magazines with maps of gay venues.
General Thai Gay & Lesbian Information
Thailand Gay & Lesbian Resource Listings by City or Province:
Central: Ayuttaya | Bangkok | Cha-Am | Hua Hin | Khon Kaen | Koh Chang
Pattaya | Pranburi | Ratchaburi | Rayong
North: Chiang Mai | Chiang Rai | Lampang | Mae Hong Son | Sukhothai
Isan: Dansai | Khao Yai National Park | Nang Rong | Nongkai | Pak Chong
Sangkhom | Thabo | Udon Thani
South: Hat Yai | Khao Sok | Koh Payam | Koh Phangan | Koh Tao
Krabi | Phang Nga | Phi Phi | Phuket | Samui | Trang
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