This list was first published in the book The World's Best Cities. One of Thailand’s largest islands after Phuket, Ko Samui’s prosperity and quality of life has risen steadily with the recent influx of visitors drawn to its intoxicating blend of street food stalls, hidden Buddhist temples, jungle waterfalls, and palm-fringed beaches.

Koh Samui, Thailand

This list was first published in the book The World's Best Cities. One of Thailand’s largest islands after Phuket, Ko Samui’s prosperity and quality of life has risen steadily with the recent influx of visitors drawn to its intoxicating blend of street food stalls, hidden Buddhist temples, jungle waterfalls, and palm-fringed beaches.
Photograph by Thomas Linkel, laif/Redux

Top 10 Happiest Cities

Close-knit communities and spectacular surroundings raise the bliss in these urban oases.

Read This Next

Why kids need their own COVID-19 vaccine trials

A black-footed ferret has been cloned, a first for a U.S. endangered species

3-ton parts of Stonehenge may have been carried from earlier monuments

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet