Koh Samui, or “Samui” for vernacular speakers, is located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the second largest island in Thailand after Phuket and measures 25 kilometres at the widest point. The main road runs along the beautiful coastline and is approximately 51 kilometres long. In contrast to the stunning beaches, the central part of the island consists of a tropical, jungle mountain. The island was inhabited centuries ago by fishermen from China. Today the island is a melting pot of people coming here from all four corners of the world. The island appeals just as much to the mega-rich as the backpackers travelling on a budget. The largest and most popular area is located on the east side of the island and is called Chaweng. Chaweng, the current hub of Koh Samui, is located near the airport and offers beautiful golden sand stretches, bars, restaurants and shops. Nathos is located on the west side of the island and is the old capital of Koh Samui. This is still the main port, business district and the centre of the fishing industry. Two of the other major tourist resorts are Lamai Beach and Bophut Beach.