Phuket is Thailand's largest island, and is approximately the size of Singapore. Phuket nestles in balmy Andaman Sea waters on Thailand's Indian Ocean coastline 867 kilometres south of Bangkok.
Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colourful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign traders' ship logs.
The Portuguese, French, Dutch and English traded with Phuket. Other visitors were less friendly. Phuket's most famous monument is the memorial statue of the heroines Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sisunthon, who rallied islanders in 1,785 to repel Burmese invaders.
Ko Samui island has a distinctive cuisine, influenced by the omnipresent coconut, still the main source of income for Chao Samui, who have disproportionately less ownership in beach property than outsiders. Coconut palms blanket the island, from the hillocks right up to the beach The durian, ranbutan and ngsat fruits are also cultivated.
The population of Ko Samui is for the most part concentrated in the port town of Na Thon, on the western side of the island facing the mainland, and in 10 or 11 small villages scattered around the island. One main road, which is now paved all the way around, encircles the island with several side roads poking into the interior. About 90 % of the island is still uninhabited though you wouldn't know it from looking at the coastline. Retirement homes owned by foreigners as well as Thais are beginning to appear in the interior. Condos start at half a million baht, with 100 % ownership possible in condo developments only) even for non-Thais.
Information from : trailing Phuket.