One of the most popular pastime available of the Samui islands is Scuba diving. The Gulf of Thailand is a great place to leam how to dive; there are dozens of dive schools offering all the professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) approved courses. PADI is an American base association that has become the industy's most widely known and accepted governing body.All PADI instructors have completed an Instructor Development Course (IDC) with a certified IDC training center and all PADI Dive Centers have complied with PADI requirements. Many schools have reached 5-star status, which generally means they have successfully trained a large number of divers without any complaints over a number of years. A good gauge is that the school has been around for a while-there are always fly by night operators-and that their instructors are consistently competent. There are also dozens of dive sites to choose from: the best sites are all around Koh Tao, which has become a real diver's paradise as they are all less than a 30-minute boat ride from Mae Haad, meaning that ardent divers can squeeze four dives into a day and still have time for a night dive There are also enough good sites within range of Samui and Phangan to keep most divers happy, but the boat rides are longer, limiting you to a maximum of two dives a day.
The highest peak on Samui is 630 Meters, which is pretty high considering how small the island is. In fact most of its interior is rough and mountainous, covered with coconut plantations and other crops Originally the fertile inland areas especially the temperate highlands were the most valuable farmlands and you will find rubber plantations, durian, rambutan and other orchards and many other interesting fauna. The views from the high trails are spectacular as are the colorful wild flowers. The mountains are linked by rough trails that traverse the island and can only be explored by 4WD vehicles or tough dirt bikes don't try and bring 100cc bikes up here or big road bikes because it is really too difficult to handle then Perhaps the best and certainly most exciting way to see the discomfort of bumping around in the back of a jeep-is by 250cc quad bike, which are faster than jeeps or trucks and safer than motobikes. You can rent a 4WD or 125cc-250cc trail bike at various places around the island and ride through the interior reasonable easily as it is roughly signposted. But people do lose their way and if you have never been there before it is probably safer and more convenient to join a tour, or if you are a group ask them to arrange for a guide and car. The better operators all use Land Rovers or tough open-backed jeeps.
There are a number of companies around the island offering elephant treks, mostly 30 minute rides into the jungle, to a viewpoint or one takes you to Namuang waterfalls. A standard ride lasts 30 minutes and costs BTH400-500. Longer treks can be arranged but half an hour is really long enough for most people. Treks are often included at the end of one-day tours or can be arranged from most travel agencies or directly on site.
Samui has excellent weather conditions for sailing a god all year round breeze which is a solid north easterly between December and April and a more challenging strong westerly with the occasional violent gust between May and November. Crafts available for a day on the ocean waves include yachts, catamarans and more modest, windsurf boards. Tuition and craft hire are available from Kunta at Samui Ocenan Sport
Vorious areas of Samui are covered with dense jungle. The beauty and biodiversity of these areas more than justifies tearing yourself away from the beach for a day. Many places can be reached by jeep and/or a short hike. Most travel agents will have information about, and pictures of, the various tours and can make a reservation for you.
You can glide across the water's surface near Samui'sshores or around the cave studded islands of Angthong National Marine Park. Sea kayaks are very stable and easy to use. A number of hotels in Chaweng rent kayaks, or Blue Stars Kayaking can arrange a full day tour complete with guides and kayaks in the marine park.
It is easy to rent a motorbike, jepp or car and do it yourself, but if you feel that you need a guided tour then every bungalow operator and travel agent on the island can arrange one. Tours usually include a visit to the snake farm, one of the waterfalls, the big Buddha, a monkey show, a visit to Hin-Ta and Hin-yai, Wat Kunaram and a drive up to one of the viewpoints-cost it around THB1,000. Most of the operators listed above arrange tours and have the best guides.
Before the tourism boom in Samui, fishing was the primary industry. Although there are fewer fishermen today, fishing still provides a substantial income for the local community. It has also evolved into what is now known as sport fishing, an excellent alternative to scuba, kayaking an snorkeling. The waters around Samui remain a plentiful source of marine life. To experience the thrill, visit March Fishing Sport in Maret.
A live ammunition target range is located on the 4169 ring-road between Bophut and Chaweng and has a range of handguns and rifles for gun enthusiasts to shoot-but it does not come cheap, starting at THB300 for ten shots. Open 10:00-18:00 daily.
Muay Thai is Thailand's national sport and, as such, is taken very seriously indeed. An wvening's entertainment can feature as many as 10 fights before getting to the main bout and can last up to three hours. So unless you're a devoted fight fan, it's probably best just to drop in for an hour or so. The pre-fight rituals and the traditional music throughout are as much a part of the event as the fights themselves. Widely considered to be the world's most dangerous martial art, Thai boxing is a superb showcase of speed, grace and discipline. There are two permanent stadiums on Samui, one in Chaweng just off the road leading to the Reggae Pub. Boxing matches are held every Monday and Friday at 9pm and one in Lamai on the road between the main road and the 4169
You can't compare the that Bullfight to the Spanish "Corrida". The local version is quite entertaining and does not lead to the bull's death. Two bulls are featured per fight, mostly coming from different villages. There is always an MC (Master of ceremony) who comments the fight for a better under standing and to keep the spectators happy. Before the action, the bulls are given a shower by their coaches. Then, the fight starts and lasts as long as one of the bulls runs away. That's the end of the performance and some lucky people might have won quite considerable amounts of money. If you would like to watch a Thai Bullfight in Samui, Which is quite an entertaining thing, ask you tour guide or travel agency and they will appoint you to the right place.
Participants in the recent full moon party in Koh Pa-Ngan are estimated to have reached approximately 3,000. This has led many observers to ask about its origin and significance. Is the full moon party a ritual? Some assume that it is essentially an opportunity for gallivanting. But then again, there could be a more significant reason as to why so many souls are attracted to this monthly event. Considering the manner it is celebrated and the magnitude of preparations involved, it's safe to assume that it's not a spur of the moment thing. In the ancient days, the moon and the sun were worshipped as harbingers of things to come. This veneration increased during a full moon. Celebrations were held to mark its occurrence. Wine flowed endlessly. Virgins were sometimes sacrificed to appease the gods. There was dancing accompanied by music emanating from primitive instruments. Movies depicting ancient civilizations often provide a glimpse of such practices. There were no sheepskin drums at Koh Pa-Ngan, but rather huge speakers that blared dance music. Beer was consumed in large quantities. Soon the whole stretch of the beach turned into a sea of humanity, all of whom were either dancing or drinking or doing both at the same time. Even the residents of the distant Big Buddha Beach could hear what was happening. What was a small full moon party started by Paradise Bungalows 11 years ago has now turned into a monthly happening.