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The White Lotus Effect

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Coral Bay Beach, Ko Samui, Thailand

The Time to Explore Ko Samui, Thailand, is Now

This month, HBO’s The White Lotus began filming in Ko Samui, Phuket and Bangkok. Plot rumors for the third season in Thailand began last year when show creator Mike White promised “a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality.” But one thing is for sure – tourism is about to explode in Thailand. According to Expedia’s 2023 travel trend report, the first two seasons of the TV series drove a 300% increase in “travel demand” for Hawaii and Sicily.

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Ang Thong National Marine Park | Koh Rap, Samui

What’s so special about lesser-known Ko Samui? The large island is in the Gulf of Thailand, off the eastern side of the country, and boasts an international airport so it's quickly reached from Bangkok. (Phuket, Thailand’s biggest island, is on the other side of the Andaman Sea.) Ko Samui is considered the laid-back, more unspoiled beach destination in southern Thailand – come here to relax and enjoy miles of white sandy beaches and warm waters.

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Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

There’s also a longer dry season here; visit January through September for good weather. Head out kite boarding when you’re looking for adventure, or indulge in a heady Thai massage beachside if you’re kicking back. The sunsets on Ko Samui are legendary; crack open a Singha and wander along the beach to soak it all in. And don’t miss the intriguing Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks at the southern end of Lamai Beach, one of Thailand’s most Instagrammable spots.

Before the secret's out and the crowds flock in, discover the enchanting beauty of Thailand and Ko Samui for yourself.

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