The Thai island of Samui sets out its stall early – in fact, the moment you step off the plane. Unlike almost every major tourist airport in the world, where you either walk straight into an arctic-cooled airbridge, or get herded unceremoniously onto buses, in Koh Samui (‘koh’ means island), passengers are embraced by the warm tropical air, and invited to board the nearest trolley bus – quaint electric vehicles adorned with colourful flowers.
The laid-back island feel continues at the open-air terminal building, which is more a series of connected wooden roofs. You casually saunter through baggage claim and immigration, and before you know it, you’re in a taxi and on your way to your hotel. Welcome to ‘fantasy island’.