Thailand's Third Largest Island

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
1
43
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Trip End Jun 22, 2008


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ko Samui is Thailand's third largest island and was probably first inhabited about 15 centuries ago, settled by fishermen from Malay Peninsula and Southern China. It appears on Chinese maps dating back to 1687, under the name Pulo Cornam.

The name Samui is mysterious in itself. Perhaps it is an extension of the name of one of the native trees, mui, or it is a corruption of the Chinese word Saboey, meaning "safe haven".

Until the late 20th century, Samui was an isolated self-sufficient community, having little connection with the mainland of Thailand. The island was even without roads until the early 1970s, and the 35miles or so journey from one side of the island to the other involved a whole-day trek through the mountainous central jungles.

As you can see, things have changed from those days. Now it has restaurants on the beach, hotels and shops.
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