Koh Samui is the proper island retreat for anybody wanting a mixture of lovely seashores, waterfalls, Buddhist temples, and trendy facilities. In a nutshell, Koh Samui has all of it! There are many issues to do in Koh Samui to meet each traveler’s wants.
Located on the Jap aspect of the Thai mainland within the Gulf of Thailand, Samui Island is the second-largest island within the Thai Kingdom. (Phuket being the most important). Koh Samui and Phuket have been in contrast numerous instances in an try to debate which island is the very best, however to me, it’s actually unattainable to decide on a transparent winner. You’ll be able to examine Phuket right here that will help you make your alternative.
Regardless, you need to go to each islands when touring to Thailand, in reality, it’s a fantastic concept to go island hopping to see as many as you may. Nothing can actually examine to the attractive seashores of the nation.
Issues to do in Koh Samui, Thailand
Visiting the Islands of South Thailand is the last word seaside trip and Koh Samui is among the hottest locations to benefit from the seaside. Whereas enjoyable on the seaside is a big a part of visiting Koh Samui, there are many different issues to see and do as nicely. So ensure to spend at the very least three days of your journey in Thailand on Koh Samui.
Seashore Life at Chaweng Seashore
Koh Samui is blessed with white sandy seashores making it the proper seaside trip in Thailand. Chaweng Seashore is Koh Samui’s hottest seaside and with good cause. It’s one very giant stretch of white sand with shady palm timber. The truth is, it’s so giant it’s damaged into 4 components, North, Central, South, and Little. (Chaweng Noi). If you wish to be within the coronary heart of the motion, that is the place to remain.
Do some snorkeling and sea kayaking or lease a paddleboard and take a look at stand-up paddleboarding within the calm waters. It’s our favourite watersport. When the solar goes down, the nightlife begins on Chaweng Seashore at its seaside bars. Head out to the Inexperienced Mango strip for some bar hopping.
The place to Keep on Chaweng Seashore
- Kings Island Resort is a extremely rated place to remain on Chaweng Seashore. There isn’t any swimming pool however it’s positioned straight on the seaside.
- The Hyatt Regency is among the most luxurious properties on the seaside with a non-public swimming pool at a mid-range value.
Go to Grandpa and Grandma Rocks at Lamai Seashore
Koh Samui could also be well-known for its white sandy seashores, however the rocky seashores are positively a sight to recollect. It’s at Lamai Seashore that you will see the well-known Koh Samui points of interest of Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks.
Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks) are a few of the extra distinctive issues to see on Koh Samui. The female and male genitalia-shaped rocks have been a prime draw since our first go to to Koh Samui method again in 2003. (and lengthy earlier than we ever arrived on Koh Samui).
Lamai Seashore is quieter than Chaweng Seashore and tends to draw a extra laid-back crowd. It is a nice seaside for swimming and hanging again whereas having fun with the laid again Thai seaside life. There are seaside bars and eating places.
Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks
Legend has it that an outdated man and girl set sail to a neighboring island to ask for the hand of a daughter of a person named Ta Monglai. When their boat capsized, they drowned and became these rocks to show their true intentions to the household. It’s a distinctive factor to see and it’s also a seaside on Koh Samui that gives some higher-end lodging choices.
The place to Keep at Lamai Seashore
One of many closest locations to remain close to the rocks is Beluga Boutique Resort. This adult-only lodge is a secluded escape with an infinity pool, lounge bar, trendy facilities and eating places proper on the seaside.
Bouldering at Chaweng and Lamai Seashore
We realized to rock climb in Thailand at Railay Seashore and now, bouldering is standard on Koh Samui at Chaweng and Lamai Seashore. It is smart with their huge boulders. Its limestone partitions have began attracting individuals honing their bouldering abilities alongside the rocky seashores. With partitions reaching as much as 40 meters (120 toes) each Chaweng and Lamai seaside are additionally standard for rappeling.
See the Massive Buddha Temple
One of many prime issues to do in Koh Samui is to go to Wat Phra Yai Temple to see the 12 meter excessive (39 foot excessive) Massive Buddha. It was inbuilt 1972 and has endured as one in every of Koh Samui’s prime points of interest.
Regardless that it isn’t technically positioned on Koh Samui, it’s Koh Samui’s most well-known landmark. The Massive Buddha Temple is positioned on Koh Faan and related to Koh Samui by an extended causeway. Plus it’s normally the very first thing individuals placed on their record to see as in Koh Samui as it may be seen by air upon arrival. This temple is a well-liked spot to have fun Loy Krathong and Songkran Festivals in Thailand as nicely.
In case you are seeking to get acquainted with Koh Samui’s prime points of interest shortly, This half-day biking tour permits you to uncover Koh Samui’s most well-known sights together with the Massive Buddha, the Bang Rak Market, and the Choeng Mon Seashore as you be taught concerning the island’s tradition and historical past from an area information. We love taking a guided tour once we arrive at a brand new vacation spot, it lets us make a listing of all of the locations to return to on our journey.
Wat Plai Laem
One other cool temple to see in Koh Samui is Wat Plai Laem. This Buddhist temple showcases Koh Samui’s Chinese language heritage with a big Guanyin statue dominating the temple grounds. Regardless that this can be a Buddhist temple, it’s really devoted to the Chinese language Goddess Guanyin who’s believed to be the Goddess of unconditional love.
A really distinctive factor to maintain a watch out for is whenever you make a donation, you’ll obtain a bag of fish meals so you may feed the resident fish within the pond.
Khao Hua jook Chedi
Whereas at Lamai Seashore, ensure to go as much as Wat Khao Hua Jook. It gives panoramic views of the island. It’s simple to get “Watted out” When visiting Thailand. After some time, I do know we have now seen sufficient of them, however this one is value it for the view of the valley and the shoreline of Koh Samui. Plus, in case you are seeking to do a little bit of climbing after spending an excessive amount of time on the seaside, this can be a good stroll.
In case you are searching for one thing really distinctive, preserve a watch out for Overlap Stone, a big stone that rests precariously on prime of a big boulder
laem sor Pagoda
In case you are searching for a quiet place to steer clear of the busy ambiance of Lamai Seashore and Chaweng Seashore, Laem Sor Seashore is positioned 20 minutes from Lamai Seashore on the south aspect of the island. Laem Sor Pagoda is the highest draw right here to see the attractive golden temple on the seaside, however there are some resorts and seaside bars within the space as nicely.
Laem Sor Residence will get excessive evaluations on TripAdvisor with a non-public pool positioned on a sandy seaside with shallow waters.
Among the finest issues to do in Koh Samui is to get within the water and go snorkeling. Every island in Thailand gives its personal distinctive quirks and customs however I need to say, the factor that stood out probably the most to me about Koh Samui was the unimaginable snorkeling and scuba environments it needed to supply.
This non-public lengthy tail boat tour has you boarding one in every of Thailand’s well-known longtail boats to Koh Taen, identified for its marine life and coral reef. Plus you’ll get to go to Koh Madsum (Pig Island) to see the resident pigs that dwell there. We did this within the Bahamas and it’s so a lot enjoyable to see the pigs working within the sand to say hiya. Different stuff you see are, White Rock Cave Island, Pink Ant Island, and Matkhong Island
The neighboring island of Koh Tao is understood for its scuba diving, however Samui can be a wonderful scuba diving vacation spot. There are various locations providing scuba diving programs on the island at inexpensive costs. Plus the nice and cozy, clear, and alluring waters make it a great spot to grow to be licensed.
Scuba Diving programs are run proper off Chaweng Seashore, Coral Cove, and different seashores on Koh Samui with shore diving that’s simple to entry. Ang Thong Nationwide Marine Park can be thought of a fantastic diving vacation spot.
Mummified Monk – Wat Khunaram
One of many strangest issues to see on Koh Samui is the Mummified monk. Situated at Wat Khunaram, the mummified stays of Monk Luong Pordaeng are on show. The Buddhist monk died in 1973 in a seated meditative place. Earlier than his loss of life, he requested that his physique be placed on show ought to it not decompose. And now at this time, it’s revered as an inspiration to comply with a lifetime of Buddhism.
We noticed this monk on our first go to to Koh Samui and it’s not as stunning because it sounds as he’s sitting behind glass so that you do really feel a bit of indifferent. One of many extra distinctive issues you are able to do is to attend a Monk Chat and meditation session at Dipabhavan Meditation Middle, which is open to anybody.
Take a Thai Cooking Class
Among the finest methods to immerse in a tradition is thru meals. Thai meals is our favourite and we eat it at residence on a regular basis! Go to an area market and be taught to prepare dinner Thai delicacies. as you be taught to arrange meals that you could carry residence with you. It’s a enjoyable and interactive strategy to spend a night. Learn extra: Finest Thai Meals – Conventional Thai Dishes to Eat in Thailand
E-book this cooking class particulars right here – Select 4 Thai dishes to arrange after which go to one in every of Koh Samui’s native road markets for recent elements. You’ll be able to e book it right here, with simple cancellation inside 24 hours of exercise for a full refund.
Take a look at the Evening Markets
Certainly one of our favourite issues to do in Thailand is to buy groceries and pattern their many small meals stalls. Chiang Mai is legendary for its night time markets, however Koh Samui additionally has fabulous night time markets that rotate places every night. Decide up your Thai souvenirs, pattern nice road meals, and get misplaced within the vitality and pleasure of bartering with the distributors.
Finest night time markets in Koh Samui
- Fisherman’s Village Strolling Avenue at Bophut on Fridays.
- Lamai Evening Plaza Evening Market in Lamai Centre – Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
- Chewang Evening Market in Bophut- Monday to Thursday and Saturday.
Fisherman’s Village in Bophut
Even for those who don’t make it to Fishermen’s Village night time market, it’s a nice strolling road in the course of the day. As soon as a thriving fishing village, Fisherman’s Village has now became It’s crammed with cafés and eateries. You are able to do some procuring and Bophut Seashore is positioned proper there as nicely.
The primary part of Fisherman’s Village is Bophut Seashore Highway which traces the seaside. Go into one of many retailers or cafés and head out again for lovely seaside views.
Take a Koh Samui Jeep Tour
A enjoyable strategy to see all of the Koh Samui highlights is to take a jeep tour. See the key lookout providing beautiful views of the Gulf of Thailand, go to the waterfalls and the Buddha Backyard. For a singular tour of Koh Samui, this can be a nice concept. Take a look at this top-rated jeep tour on Ko Samui and at the present time journey to Koh Phangan.
Swim within the Namuang Waterfalls
Namuang Waterfall might be one of many prime points of interest positioned in central Koh Samui. Situated inland from Nathon Bay, it’s simply accessible by tuk tuk. When you attain the parking zone, Na Muang 1 is only a brief stroll from the parking zone. Enterprise up one other 100 meters to see Na Muang 1.
I need to admit, I used to be very skeptical about visiting Na Muang as a result of it’s a very touristy place. However I used to be advised after I get there I ought to climb up subsequent to the waterfall so far as I might, “to see secret very lovely waters”.
Na Muang 2
Vacationers have been crowding on the base of the Na Muang Waterfalls however in case you are prepared to climb at bit, you should have a quieter much less crowded go to. As I climbed the steep little path I reached fairly a number of smaller however undisturbed waterfalls, every with its personal little swimming pools.
I climbed even greater and finally reached the highest. This was what I needed to see, a very unspoiled waterfall with lush jungle rising on both aspect, I found the “secret very lovely waters”.
The view I had of the island was unbelievable and I couldn’t see or hear any vacationers. It was heaven! I spent virtually the entire day taking footage, swimming, and consuming the odd coconut that got here floating down the stream.
Have a Conventional Thai Therapeutic massage
Actually, irrespective of the place you’re in Thailand a standard Thai Therapeutic massage ought to be in your record. And Koh Samui isn’t any exception. I like getting a Thai therapeutic massage on the seaside and this is among the must-do issues in Koh Samui. Don’t fear about discovering one, they are going to be strolling the seaside in the hunt for vacationers to assuage their aching our bodies.
However you can too stroll alongside the streets to seek out therapeutic massage parlors or e book a fancier therapeutic massage at one of many higher-end lodges. However do your self a favor, get a therapeutic massage as a lot as potential in Thailand. They’re so inexpensive and it’s good to get pampered like royalty frequently.
Take pleasure in Wellness and Health
If you wish to take your wellness vacation to a different degree, ensure to remain on the Absolute Sanctuary. This wellness health resort is nestled on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Situated inside a lush forest setting, Absolute Sanctuary takes a holistic strategy looking for to deal with particular person wellness objectives similar to a detox vacation, pamper-me vacation, weight administration or lowering stress.
Take pleasure in yoga or Pilates as you take pleasure in a significant vacation that can carry peace to your thoughts and physique. In case you are searching for a wellness retreat, you may view charges and availability right here.
Go for a Hike To Secret Buddha Backyard
Koh Samui has some nice climbing and if the seaside life turns into a bit of tedious (I imply, how might it ever actually although?) otherwise you wish to stretch your legs, head out to a few of the trails for a hike.
Secret Buddha Backyard (also called Namtok Tar Nim & Magic Backyard) is a really attention-grabbing place to go to. Created in 1976 by an area durian farmer, there are a number of totally different Buddha Sculptures depicting totally different Buddha folklore.
There are many different locations to hike on Koh Samui apart from Secret Buddha Backyard to see Buddha together with a hike on the Nathon Mountain Path Ridge or head as much as the Maenam Viewpoint for excellent views of Nathon and the attractive tropical island scene.
- This Koh Samui Trek takes you on a hike to a few of the most lovely viewpoints on Koh Samui with a cease on the Secret Buddha Backyard, the best temple on the island and an area museum.
- You’ll be able to hike to Secret Buddha Backyard or take a 4X4 Jeep Tour. Take a look at tour choices right here.
Ang Thong Nationwide Marine Park
A must-do day journey from Koh Samui is to move out to the Ang Thong Nationwide Marine Park. Like so many locations in Southern Thailand, Ang Thong was featured within the film The Seashore with Leonardo DiCaprio. We extremely advocate studying the e book as nicely earlier than visiting Thailand. The nation has modified lots over time, however it actually captures the sensation we had on our first backpacking journey to Thailand in 200.
Ang Thong Nationwide Park is an archipelago of 42 islands with the towering limestone mountains that Thailand is legendary for. You’ll be able to swim in lagoons, chill out on pristine seashores, or go snorkelling and spy sea turtles in its crystal clear waters.
Each Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are a part of the Ang Thong Nationwide Marine Park and it may be visited on a day journey. For the last word in luxurious, e book an in a single day cruise on a junk boat to expertise the islands in non-public.
Day Journey to Koh Phangan
We talked about island-hopping whereas visiting Koh Samui above and we imply it. Thailand was made for island hopping. From Koh Samui, you may simply go to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao on a ship journey.
Koh Phangan is standard sufficient to spend a while on in its personal proper, however for those who merely wish to go to for a day, this Full day Tour takes you to see all of the highlights of Koh Phangan.
The island is only a 30-minute boat journey from Koh Samui the place you’ll land at Thong Sala pier. On this tour, you’ll discover the Chinese language Temple, Koh Mah seaside for snorkeling in its crystal-clear waters adopted by conventional Thai lunch. Then it’s time to go to the scenic viewpoint of Koh Raham earlier than heading again by speedboat to your lodge in Koh Samui.
Koh Tao to discover peaceable hidden seashores, underwater sanctuaries crammed with sea creatures, and all-night events. Koh Tao is among the greatest spots for snorkelling and diving in Thailand. Koh Tao is sometimes called Turtle Island for each its form and the inexperienced and hawksbill turtles that inhabit the attractive island. It’s also top-of-the-line locations in Thailand to take your PADI certification. Learn extra at Stunning Seashores in Thailand to Spark Your Wanderlust
Go to an Elephant Sanctuary
Elephants have lengthy suffered in Thailand, however because of sanctuaries changing from elephant excursions to moral elephant sanctuaries, you may go to retired tourism elephants and assist help their nicely being.
Take a 40 minute drive by means of the opposite aspect of the island to a sanctuary the place you’ll be taught concerning the rescued elephants, feed them and assist tub them in mud. These elephants have been rescued and these sanctuaries are an necessary half in letting them dwell out their days in relative peace. Whereas they will by no means return within the wild, it’s a a lot better life than having vacationers journey on their backs. Discover out extra concerning the elephant sanctuary tour right here.
Lease a Scooter – However Be Cautious
Koh Samui gives a whole lot of touristy sights to discover. One of the best (and most cost-effective) strategy to see every little thing is by renting your individual scooter. I perceive that this can be a daunting concept to most newcomers to Southeast Asia, however it solely takes a few minutes so that you can get the dangle of it and really feel like a hardcore biker.
Just be sure you put on a helmet always and drive safely. Sadly, many vacationers die on the roads of Thailand yearly, so be extraordinarily cautious. Dave and I had an accident in Koh Samui and burnt our legs very badly, so make sure that you understand how to journey a bike earlier than renting one.
Put money into an island map and ask an area to point all of the must-see places. Naturally the subsequent factor to do is to utterly ignore the map and simply get misplaced! That is the easiest way to seek out hidden gems. A Bike Journey, the Journey Begins
Relax after Darkish
After you’ve soaked up some rays all day lengthy, head out to the seaside to take pleasure in dinner and drinks on a matt on the seaside. Every night time, the lanterns are lit and the lounge chairs come out as you eat on the seaside harem fashion laying down chillaxing with a Chang or Singha Beer.
This Sundown Tour with a Thai Seashore Dinner takes you on a night tour to see a few of Koh Samui’s prime vacationer points of interest together with, an evening market, the Hin Ta Hin Yai Rocks, and sundown at Laem Sor Pagoda earlier than ending off with a Thai dinner on the seaside.
Woman Boy Cabaret Present
In case you are searching for different issues to do in Koh Samui at night time, try a Woman Boy Cabaret. Like the times of La Cage Au Folles in North America. (Method again within the Nineties), the Woman Boy Cabaret Reveals have grow to be one of many best possible issues to see in Koh Samui at night time. This energetic efficiency entails lip-synching, dancing, and elaborate costumes.
If you would like one thing with extra motion, Muay Thai fighters placed on demonstrations across the island as nicely. You can too make your strategy to Chaweng Boxing Stadium to look at a Muay Thai match. You can too take a Muay Thai course on Koh Samui. We did this in Phuket and it was an incredible strategy to immerse in Thai tradition.
Tips on how to Get to Koh Samui
Koh Samui is positioned within the Surat Thani province 35 km off the coast of Surat Thani on the Gulf of Thailand. The city of Surat Thani is the primary jumping-off level for the islands on the Gulf of Thailand.
Neighboring islands are Ko Pha ngan, Ko Tao, and Ko Nang Yuan which may all be reached by longtail boat or ferry.
There are flights out there from Phuket to Koh Samui in addition to Bangkok to Koh Samui making it a simple vacation spot to go to throughout your Thailand travels. In case you are coming from different islands within the south of Thailand, you’ll have to make your strategy to Surat Thani. There are additionally flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani.
From Surat Thani, you’ll cat the ferry to Koh Samui from the primary Surat Thani ferry port at Don Sak
The place to Keep on Koh Samui
Koh Samui is understood for its luxurious resorts however there are additionally locations which can be extra inexpensive. We provide up three selections from Luxurious to mid-range and inexpensive.
- 4 Seasons Resort – Costly however well worth the splurge. you may by no means go flawed with the 4 Seasons model in case you are in the hunt for a luxurious keep.
- Kings Island Resort is a extremely rated place to remain on Chaweng Seashore. There isn’t any swimming pool however it’s positioned straight on the seaside.
- The Hyatt Regency is among the extra luxurious resorts on the seaside with a non-public swimming pool at an inexpensive value for mid-range vacationers.
- For different lodges on Koh Samui, try TripAdvisor for evaluations.
So, now the very best issues to do in Koh Samui, Thailand. Once you e book your subsequent journey to the Land of Smiles, you should definitely add it to your itinerary.
Koh Samui has much more to supply aside from waterfalls and coral reefs however these have been the issues that stood out probably the most to me. It’s a lovely island with breathtaking lush jungle and wonderful seashores with shady palm timber, possibly I ought to go away Phuket and transfer right here. Koh Samui will certainly see me once more within the close to future.
Albert van Niekerk is a South African copywriter, blogger and journey author. I lived in Thailand for some time and traveled by means of Southeast Asia searching for journey. Observe me on Twitter @AlbertNiekerk or go to my weblog at Right here to Stray.com.
This put up was initially written by Albert however it has since been up to date with new lodges, excursions and data by The Planet D.
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