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Samui has been settled for about 1500 years. The first inhabitants here were fishermen. The island is found on 500 years old maps from Chinese Ming dynasty. Fishing and coconut plantations has been the major source of income on the island. Today, tourism is the main income for the inhabitants of the island. The people here are called "Chao Samui".
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand (bordering the South China Sea in the Pacific Ocean). The island is a "Amphoe" or district in the Surat Thani Changwat or province. Samui is divided into seven "Tambon" or sub districts (administrative regions): Maenam, Bophut, Maret, Taling Ngam, Namuang, Lipa Noi and Angthong. Koh Samui has been a backpackers destination since late 70's. Today, tourist from the whole world go to this easygoing "paradise". It is surrounded by more than sixty other islands, some small and inhabited, some are larger such as Koh Phangan and Koh Tao (divers island). Other popular destinations in the area are: Koh Nang Yuan (next to Koh Tao) and the Angthong National Marine Park (located between Koh Samui and the Suratthani mainland).
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