One of the best times to visit the beautiful island of Koh Samui is from the months of February to late June, which is the dry and hot season. The endless coast lined with powdery white sands and lapped by glistening emerald green waters is the sight that transfixed the first tourists that discovered the island in 1971. Thirty years down the line, the island offers a range of hotels, exotic shopping, delightful nightlife and a multitude of cultural experiences.
Along the northern coast of the island is the famous Big Buddha Beach. The official name of Big Buddha Beach is Bang Rak. The name Big Buddha comes from the 12 meter tall Buddha statue that lies on the western side of the beach. Climb the stairs to the base of the statue and be privy to spectacular views of the beach, Bophat Bay and the horizon stretching before you. There are local artisans in the surrounding area of the statue selling intricately crafted silver jewellery. For a nominal fee, one may also purchase a tile and write your name on it, which will become part of the floor in the area.
A close neighbour to the noisy yet ever-popular Chaweng Beach, Big Buddha is ideal for soaking up the sun, reading a book, sipping a beer chilled to perfection, swimming in the shallow waters or snorkelling in the coves.
A few kilometres away from the airport, Big Buddha Beach is also the gateway to the beautiful island Ko Pha Ngan. Ko Pha Ngan is the location of the famous full moon parties, that are legendary among beach parties across the world.
The weekly Secret Garden Festival which occurs every Sunday is a major attraction to expats, locals and tourists alike. A festive atmosphere transforms the usual leisurely pace of Buddha Beach, to one where live musical performances entertain crowds that range from 200 to 300 people.
Although Buddha Beach is considered among the quieter options for beaches in Koh Samui, it still holds a reputed selection of dining and nightlife options. A range of cheerful pubs, cafes and restaurants are available offering a range of cuisine that starts from local favourites and work their way up to fusions of French and Asian culinary wonders.