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Koh Samui is an island with its very own natural splendor and charm that attracts all kinds of people to its sandy shores, with the ability to offer a dynamic fun-filled atmosphere or chilled and tranquil setting. Stunning white sand beaches, spotless clear balmy beaches, luxuriant tropical gardens and mild sea breezes, this is one destination you can't afford to miss. Originally fishing and coconut plantations were the major source of income on the island, however this has been overtaken by tourism. The island abounds with restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, diving companies and other businesses. Koh Samui and the surrounding islands offer some of the most spectacular diving sites in Thailand and can cater to all levels, whether you are just learning or an advanced diver interested in exploring fascinating dive sites and wrecks. The ocean around the island is perfect for diving as it's warm and clear with colourful coral and a fascinating marine life that will amaze and have you coming back for more. If you are new to the world of diving then there are plenty of places that can teach you the basics, right from taking your very first breath underwater, in a group setting or on a one-to-one basis. Anytime of the year is fine for diving though visibility isn't as good during the months of October and November due to the wind and rain churning up the ocean surface. Chaweng Beach and Bophut are the main areas where diving operators can be found and popular options include a dive trip to Angthong National Marine Park whose dive sites are legendary for their diversity of soft corals, captivating underwater caves and swim throughs. At Sail Rock you might be lucky enough to see Whale sharks in the high season swimming amongst the dramatic landscape of rocks towering high above the water, and the wall dive is excellent. The rock is covered in soft sponges along with many oysters and clams that hang on for dear life to the craggy surface whilst all around them swim schools of batfish and jacks. When choosing which dive school to book with ensure they have experienced instructors and are registered with PADI. There are plenty of professional operators on the island, many from Europe and Australia who are experts in the surrounding oceans and know all the best sites to visit. Even starting at a very basic level you have to be prepared to do some studying, start off with the discover scuba diving course for beginners and proceed to more advanced levels, there are lots of great courses varying in difficulty levels including Scuba Diver, Adventure Diver, Advanced Diver, Divemaster, or Rescue Diver. Most places will rent you all the equipment necessary and you'll leave with a feeling of accomplishment and a certificate that you should bring back with you on your next diving trip as you become more skilled. If you're visiting Ko Samui with your family then don't let this stop you from diving, some operators cater to family groups and offer courses specially designed for kids, generally aged from 8 upwards. Learning to dive together as a family opens up a future of underwater adventures at stunning dive destinations all over the world. Kids diving programmes involve learning through fun and exciting games in a swimming pool or the open sea to a maximum depth of 2m and include easy diving knowledge and basic dive skills. Check out Koh Samui resort availabilties to see what they offer families, many have childrens clubs and activities arranged too. Getting to Samui is very easy, either book your flight through your international carrier or get a flight once you arrive in Bangkok. It's only a short 80 minute flight, but the difference between the busy capital and the tropical isle is vast. If you need to book a hotel room or plan to go upmarket and stay in a resort take a look online where there's a wealth of Koh Samui accommodation available to suit every budget and style. Simon Coleman writes articles about Elements Boutique Resort and Spa, a leading Koh Samui resort offering a selection of luxury holiday villas and apartments for the discerned traveller. Elements offers four types of Koh Samui accommodation with fantastic views of Phang Ka bay, with an environment focused on relaxation, diet, fitness and appreciation of natural beauty, and is undeniably the one of a kind boutique resorts Koh Samui has to offer.
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