Ko Samui has a tiny place in my heart. I was introduced to this island many years back by a good friend and have been going back ever since, on a yearly basis. At first it was a large group outing with like-minded beach bums to soak in the hedonistic nature of the island and to partake in it's world renowned Full Moon Party. Since a couple years back, our numbers have dwindled and only 4 (plus a toddler) made the trip this year. The activities are more sedentary, and road trips to the outskirts of the island was not possible with my lack of driving skills. Still it was a good break from city life.
I feel though, that Samui is almost losing it's charm. I see too many upmarket restaurants/pubs sprouting up across the humble local provision store, the noodle stand charges different prices between tourists and locals, and the shopkeepers with their mountainous merchandise don't give you a hoot when you walk in to their stores. Most prices have gone up by maybe, 30%.
Still there's the beach. With it's white, hot sand and warm water, it's always a good bet if one wanna escape the hustle and bustle of Chaweng street. One can quite literally stay on the beach the whole day, with some small change for the food peddlers that go up and down, and a large bottle of suntan lotion. In fact I had a friend who once went with the shirt on his back! Talk about traveling light!