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Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand

This island off the Thai coast in the Gulf of Thailand attracts visitors from around the world to its gorgeous beaches and profuse coral reefs. The island capital, Nathon, is on the west coast, and welcomes most visitors arriving either by air or sea. For centuries a backwater depending on subsistence agriculture, Thailand’s second-largest island now has a booming tourism industry with resorts, hotels, luxury villas and a plethora of water sports and other tourism businesses. The island is renowned for superb snorkeling over coral reefs or swimming from sugar-fine beaches.