Condé Nast Traveler has published its 35 best islands in the world for 2020 chosen by its readers. The winners of its Readers’ Choice awards for best islands in the world include both Phuket and Samui in the top 10 for Asia. Phuket was awarded 8th spot while Koh Samui just sneaked into the rankings at 10th place.
The readers of a renowned travel magazine chose the Philippines’ Cebu & Visayan Islands as number 1 in the rankings, and another island in Thailand, Koh Pha Ngan, claimed third spot.
Not only is Phuket one of the best in the world, but it also has many smaller islands nearby both in the Andaman Sea and Phang Nga Bay that are simply spectacular for diving, sailing or just relaxing on the beach and swimming in the clear warm waters.
With Koh Pha Ngan a bit too small and remote for longterm living except for the most laid back expats, the question of is Phuket or Koh Samui best for making your home, working, raising your family, or retirement?
Both islands possess world-class facilities and a wide choice of properties to suit all budgets. Properties in Samui have normally been slightly lower in price compared to similar properties in Phuket, mainly due to the larger island having a more developed real estate market.
Phuket has the advantage of being connected to the mainland by a causeway, whereas for Samui there are regular car ferries that take about 90 minutes, not including waiting times, which can be substantial during busy holiday periods. Both have good airports, though Phuket’s has by far the most international and domestic connections with flights from as far away as Europe.
Ultimately, the question of which of Thailand’s largest islands is best for you will come down to a matter of your requirements and personal preferences. An experienced real estate agent can make the task of finding your home in Phuket or Samui a pain-free process.