People come here for their own reasons but all get seduced by the spectacular landscape. Its tropical coastline not only offers abundant marine life but also fantastic views of the island. Samui is mostly visited by holidaymakers wanting to “get away from it all”, so its main appeal is its white beaches and warm sea, and it has plenty to choose from.
Historically the island’s economy has been based around subsistence agriculture and fishing, with coconuts as the main cash crop. From the 1980s onwards however, tourism has become an economic factor and is now the dominant industry. The construction of a stable, high-speed internet connection in recent years has also made the island a practicable location for IT-based enterprises, which are beginning to provide a certain degree of economic diversity. The island’s climate and accesibility make it particularly attractive for international investors.
The island is roughly circular in shape, and is about 15km across. The central part of the island is an (almost) uninhabitable mountain jungle (peak Khao Pom, 635m) and the various lowland areas are connected together by a single road, that covers the circumference of the island.