Close your eyes and imagine paradise, lush greenery, coconut trees and miles of the whitest sands – all set against the bluest of seas. The picture you have isn’t a fantasy, it is Koh Samui the island paradise that delivers.

Set in the Gulf of Thailand this the third largest of the Thai Islands is warm, welcoming and above all beautiful. Golden Buddha’s sit amongst beaches and trees, temples rise out of the ground and the miles of untouched jungles give a sense of wild untamed lands. A fairly new destination Koh Samui has a holiday to suit every budget, with the high standards of modern hotels perfectly complementing the rich Buddhist history of this tranquil destination.

For island luxury the Four Seasons Resort is the place to stay. Private villas nestle amongst gentle hills leading down to the private beach. Each villa has its own wraparound pool and all are air conditioned. Tastefully decorated with rustic woods and Thai silks, the colour schemes are nature inspired to fit with the setting of the sea. Luxury and beauty collide in this five star resort.

The best place to head with a more limited budget is the The Lounge in the Bophut region of the island. Clean, modern and close to amazing beaches this 2 star hotel has both private rooms and dormitories with great communal areas.

If you require something a little more intimate then be sure to book the Samui Mountain Village. With just six villas in this romantic retreat your privacy is guaranteed. Set amongst the tropical hillsides the views, the smells and the sounds are amazing. The lush dense greenery around your villa giving a sense of isolation in the jungle. Self catering with a daily breakfast provided, the Samui Mountain resort is the perfect break away from it all.

Fresh seafood, the cleverest of spicing and a natural larder of fruit and vegetables make Koh Samui a haven of great food. Eat at one of the seafood huts on the beach for authentic food freshly cooked. Sabeinglae seafood shack is highly recommended for its amazing food and warm welcome.

Visit Laem Din market by day to stock up on the freshest of local foods and then as evening falls eat from the many street vendors serving fresh food at the night market. The unmistakeable aroma of Thai spicing mingling with the bright colours and vibrant ambience makes this experience unmissable.

Fine dining is available as the excellent Mangrove restaurant demonstrates. The beautiful location near Big Buddha Beach is complemented by the great food produced by a top class chef. French in influence the menu changes regularly to reflect the available local ingredients.

One of the more unusual sights on the Island is the Buffalo Fighting Festival, nowhere near as brutal as it sounds this festival is amazing. Local Monks compete with highly adorned buffalo in a brief but beautiful battle where the only goal is to spray the beast with Holy water.

Koh Samui offers some excellent water activities, try Barracuda fishing or kayak around the Ang Thong Marine park. Take to the water for diving or snorkelling or simply take a cruise around the shoreline of this beautiful island. Discover the marine life, the miles of hidden shores and the clear blue seas.

No holiday to Koh Samui would be complete without visiting the Buddhist Temples and the most spectacular of them all is the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai). The fifteen metre high golden statue of Buddha rising against the sea is simply stunning. Close by and also worth seeing is the small and modern Wat Plai Laem Temple. Three Buddha statues make up part of the man made lake filled with golden fish, the Thai Buddhists make the journey here to feed the fish for the merit that it brings.

With a tropical climate Koh Samui enjoys year round temperatures of 85-90F with frequent heavy but brief downpours. February is the only month that is considered dry season and during October and November the rainfall is at its heaviest.

This tropical Monsoon climate gives Koh Samui its luscious greenery and is no more than a minor inconvenience for most of the year.