HISTORY

• Koh Samui’s history is only very little documented due to the fact that the knowledge 
  was passed from generation to generation by word of mouth
• The name might derived from the local tree ‘mui’ or from the Chinese word ‘Saboey’ 
  which has the meaning ‘safe haven’ and ‘Koh’ means literally ‘Island’ in Thai
• Based on findings of Chinese ceramics from the 17th century one can assume that 
  the island was discovered approximately 1500 years ago as a hideaway for sea 
  traders and as a place for fishermen
• People from China immigrated and settled in the Northern part of Koh Samui and 
  made their income with coconut tree plantations 
• The South and East of the island was discovered and settled by Muslims arriving 
  from now Malaysia
• Koh Samui was an isolated island community until the 20th century with almost no
  connection to Surat Thani or other parts of the mainland
• The inhabitants lived in small and autonomic villages with only little contact to other
  villages on the island due to the lack of passable roads
• Most people still made their income with coconut tree plantations or other tropical
  fruits and vegetables
• 1967, Khun Dilok Suthiklom – the island chief, helped to improve the infrastructure
  of the island and authorities of Bangkok agreed to build the now famous 51 km long
  ring road around Koh Samui
• The building works were not finished until 1973 
• As soon as the road was built first tourists arrived on the island – backpackers and
  hippies from Europe discovered the beauty of Koh Samui 
• Slowly, more and more ferry or boat transfer connections between the mainland and
  the island were established
• The last 15 years have brought major changes and developments – Thai and
  international investors started to build huge five star resorts and other businesses
  around the island
• With the building of the airport (financed and owned by Bangkok Air) thousands of
  tourists come each year to spend their holiday on one of the most beautiful islands
 in Thailand 

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