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 within the province of Surat Thani, 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 most effective, however to me, it’s actually inconceivable 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 actual fact, it’s an important thought to go island hopping to see as many as you possibly can. Nothing can actually evaluate to the attractive seashores of the nation.
Issues to do in Koh Samui, Thailand
Visiting the Islands of South Thailand is the final word seaside trip and Koh Samui is without doubt one of the hottest locations to benefit from the seaside. Whereas stress-free on the seaside is a big a part of visiting Koh Samui, there are many different issues to see and do as nicely. So be sure that to spend at the least three days of your journey in Thailand on Koh Samui.
This put up was initially written by Albert of Right here to Keep who lived in Thailand, however it has since been up to date with new inns, excursions and knowledge by The Planet D.
Seaside Life at Chaweng Seaside
Koh Samui is blessed with white sandy seashores making it the proper seaside trip in Thailand. Chaweng Seaside is Koh Samui’s hottest seaside and with good motive. It’s one very giant stretch of white sand with shady palm bushes. In actual fact, it’s so giant it’s damaged into 4 elements, 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.
There are many water actions proper of the seaside at Chaweng. Strive your hand at snorkeling and sea kayaking or hire a paddleboard and check out stand-up paddleboarding within the calm waters. It’s our favourite watersport. When the solar goes down, the nightlife begins on Chaweng Seaside at its seaside bars. For a style of Koh Samui’s social gathering scene, head out to the Inexperienced Mango strip for some bar hopping.
The place to Keep on Chaweng Seaside
Kings Island Resort is a extremely rated place to remain on Chaweng Seaside. There is no such thing as a swimming pool however it’s positioned instantly on the seaside.The Hyatt Regency is without doubt one of the most luxurious properties on the seaside with a non-public swimming pool at a mid-range worth.
Go to Grandpa and Grandma Rocks at Lamai Seaside
Lamai Seaside is quieter than Chaweng Seaside and tends to draw a extra laid-back crowd. This can be 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 and it’s one other in style place to make a base whereas exploring the island.
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 Seaside that you can find the well-known Koh Samui sights of Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks.
The place to Keep at Lamai Seaside
Lamai Samui is an expensive retreat with villas and suites on the water. Some villas have their very own non-public plunge swimming pools, infinity swimming pools, and personal eating pavilions. One of many closest locations to remain close to the rocks is Beluga Boutique Lodge. This adult-only lodge is a secluded escape with an infinity pool, lounge bar, trendy facilities and eating places proper on the seaside.
Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks
Hin Ta and Hin Yai rock formations (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks) are among the extra distinctive issues to see on Koh Samui. The female and male genitalia-shaped rock formations have been a prime draw since our first go to to Koh Samui manner again in 2003. (and lengthy earlier than we ever arrived on Ko Samui).
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 was these rocks to show their true intentions to the household. It’s a distinctive factor to see and it is usually a seaside on Koh Samui that gives some higher-end lodging choices.
Bouldering at Chaweng and Lamai Seaside
We realized to rock climb in Thailand at Railay Seaside and now, bouldering is in style on Koh Samui at Chaweng and Lamai Seaside. It is sensible with their huge boulders. Its limestone partitions have began attracting individuals honing their bouldering expertise alongside the rocky seashores. With partitions reaching as much as 40 meters (120 toes) each Chaweng and Lamai seaside are additionally in style 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 sights.
Though 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 linked to Koh Samui by an extended causeway. Plus it’s often the very first thing individuals placed on their listing 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.
If you’re trying to get acquainted with Koh Samui’s prime sights rapidly, This half-day biking tour helps you to uncover Koh Samui’s most well-known sights together with the Massive Buddha, the Bang Rak Market, and the Choeng Mon Seaside as you study in regards to the island’s tradition and historical past from an area information. We love taking a guided tour after 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 large Guanyin statue dominating the temple grounds. Though it is a Buddhist temple, it’s truly devoted to the Chinese language Goddess Guanyin who’s believed to be the Goddess of unconditional love.
A really distinctive factor to maintain an eye fixed out for is whenever you make a donation, you’ll obtain a bag of fish meals so you possibly can feed the resident fish within the pond.
Khao Hua jook Chedi
Whereas at Lamai Seaside, be sure that 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 price it for the view of the valley and the shoreline of Koh Samui. Plus, in case you are trying to do a little bit of mountain climbing after spending an excessive amount of time on the seaside, it is a good stroll.
If you’re in search of one thing actually distinctive, maintain an eye fixed out for Overlap Stone, a big stone that rests precariously on prime of a big boulder
laem sor Pagoda
If you’re in search of a quiet place to keep away from the busy ambiance of Lamai Seaside and Chaweng Seaside, Laem Sor Seaside is positioned 20 minutes from Lamai Seaside 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.
The most effective issues to do in Koh Samui is to get pleasure from all of its water actions and snorkeling is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do. Every island in Thailand gives its personal distinctive quirks and customs however I have to say, the factor that stood out probably the most to me about Koh Samui was the unbelievable snorkeling and scuba environments it needed to provide. There are a number of boat excursions that can take you out to see the coral reefs and sea lifetime of Samui. You may as well go snorkeling at Ang Thong Nationwide Marine Park.
This non-public lengthy tail boat tour has you boarding one in every of Thailand’s well-known longtail boats to Koh Taen, recognized 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 hi there. Different stuff you see are, White Rock Cave Island, Pink Ant Island, and Matkhong Island
The neighboring island of Koh Tao is thought for its scuba diving, however Samui can be a superb scuba diving vacation spot. There are a lot of locations providing scuba diving programs on the island at reasonably priced costs. Plus the nice and cozy, clear, and welcoming waters make it an excellent spot to turn out to be licensed.
Scuba Diving programs are run proper off Chaweng Seaside, 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 an important diving vacation spot.
Mummified Monk – Wat Khunaram
One of many strangest issues to see on Koh Samui is the Mummified monk. Positioned 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 dying, he requested that his physique be placed on show ought to it not decompose. And now immediately, 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 just a little indifferent. One of many extra distinctive issues you are able to do is to attend a Monk Chat and meditation session at Dipabhavan Meditation Heart, which is open to anybody.
Take a Thai Cooking Class
The most effective methods to immerse in a tradition is thru meals. Thai meals is our favourite and we eat it at dwelling on a regular basis! Go to an area market and study to cook dinner Thai delicacies. as you study to arrange meals that you would be able to deliver dwelling 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 avenue markets for contemporary components. You’ll be able to guide it right here, with simple cancellation inside 24 hours of exercise for a full refund.
Try the Evening Markets
One in all 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 avenue 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 Road at Bophut on Fridays. Lamai Evening Plaza Evening Market in Lamai Centre – Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Chaweng 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 avenue in the course of the day. As soon as a thriving fishing village, Fisherman’s Village has now was It’s stuffed with cafés and eateries. You are able to do some procuring and Bophut Seaside is positioned proper there as nicely.
The principle part of Fisherman’s Village is Bophut Seaside Highway which strains 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 attractive views of the Gulf of Thailand, go to the waterfalls and the Buddha Backyard. For a novel tour of Koh Samui, it is a nice thought. Try 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 sights positioned in central Koh Samui. Positioned 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 have 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 informed 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 had 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 couple of smaller however undisturbed waterfalls, every with its personal little swimming pools.
I climbed even increased and ultimately reached the highest. This was what I needed to see, a completely 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 nearly the entire day taking photos, swimming, and consuming the odd coconut that got here floating down the stream.
Have a Conventional Thai Therapeutic massage
Actually, regardless of the place you might be in Thailand a standard Thai Therapeutic massage ought to be in your listing. And Koh Samui isn’t any exception. I like getting a Thai therapeutic massage on the seaside and this is without doubt one of the must-do issues in Koh Samui. Don’t fear about discovering one, they are going to be strolling the seaside searching for vacationers to appease their aching our bodies.
However you may also stroll alongside the streets to seek out therapeutic massage parlors or guide a fancier therapeutic massage at one of many higher-end inns. However do your self a favor, get a therapeutic massage as a lot as potential in Thailand. They’re so reasonably priced and it’s good to get pampered like royalty regularly.
Bask in Wellness and Health
If you wish to take your wellness vacation to a different stage, be sure that to remain on the Absolute Sanctuary. This wellness health resort is nestled on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Positioned inside a lush forest setting, Absolute Sanctuary takes a holistic strategy in search of to deal with particular person wellness objectives resembling a detox vacation, pamper-me vacation, weight administration or lowering stress.
Bask in yoga or Pilates as you get pleasure from a significant vacation that can deliver peace to your thoughts and physique. If you’re in search of a wellness retreat, you possibly can view charges and availability right here.
Go for a Hike To Secret Buddha Backyard
Koh Samui has some nice mountain climbing and if the seaside life turns into just a little tedious (I imply, how might it ever actually although?) otherwise you need to stretch your legs, head out to among the trails for a hike.
Secret Buddha Backyard (often known as Namtok Tar Nim & Magic Backyard) is a really fascinating place to go to. Created in 1976 by an area durian fruit farmer, there are a number of completely different Buddha Sculptures depicting completely different Buddha folklore.
There are many different locations to hike on Koh Samui in addition to 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 among the most lovely viewpoints on Koh Samui with a cease on the Secret Buddha Backyard, the very 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. Try 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 Seaside with Leonardo DiCaprio. We extremely suggest studying the guide as nicely earlier than visiting Thailand. The nation has modified quite a bit through the years, 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, loosen up 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 final word in luxurious, guide 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 possibly can simply go to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao on boat excursions from Koh Samui.
Koh Phangan is in style sufficient to spend a while on in its personal proper, however for those who merely need 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 stuffed with sea creatures, and all-night events. Koh Tao is without doubt one of 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 among the best locations in Thailand to take your PADI certification. Learn extra at Lovely 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 possibly can go to retired tourism elephants and assist help their nicely being.
Take a 40 minute drive by the opposite aspect of the island to a sanctuary the place you’ll study in regards to the rescued elephants, feed them and assist tub them in mud. These elephants have been rescued and these sanctuaries are an vital half in letting them dwell out their days in relative peace. Whereas they’ll by no means return within the wild, it’s a significantly better life than having vacationers journey on their backs. Discover out extra in regards to the elephant sanctuary tour right here.
Lease a Scooter – However Be Cautious
Koh Samui gives plenty of touristy sights to discover. The most effective (and least expensive) strategy to see every part is by renting your personal scooter. I perceive that it is a daunting thought 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 remember to 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 know the way to journey a motorbike earlier than renting one.
Put money into an island map and ask an area to point all of the must-see places. Naturally the following factor to do is to utterly ignore the map and simply get misplaced! That is one of the simplest ways to seek out hidden gems. A Motorbike Journey, the Journey Begins
Sit back after Darkish
After you’ve soaked up some rays all day lengthy, head out to the seaside to get pleasure from 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 model laying down chillaxing with a Chang or Singha Beer.
This Sundown Tour with a Thai Seaside Dinner takes you on a night tour to see a few of Koh Samui’s prime vacationer sights 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.
Girl Boy Cabaret Present
If you’re in search of different issues to do in Koh Samui at night time, try a Girl Boy Cabaret. Like the times of La Cage Au Folles in North America. (Means again within the Nineteen Nineties), the Girl Boy Cabaret Exhibits have turn out to be one of many easiest issues to see in Koh Samui at night time. This energetic efficiency entails lip-synching, dancing, and elaborate costumes.
If you need one thing with extra motion, Muay Thai fighters placed on demonstrations across the island as nicely. You may as well make your strategy to Chaweng Boxing Stadium to observe a Muay Thai match. You may as well take a Muay Thai course on Koh Samui. We did this in Phuket and it was a tremendous strategy to immerse in Thai tradition.
How you can 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 and you’ll simply catch common ferries from right here.
Neighboring islands are Ko Pha ngan, Ko Tao, and Ko Nang Yuan which might all be reached by longtail boat or ferry.
There are inner flights accessible from Phuket to Koh Samui in addition to Bangkok to Koh Samui making it a straightforward vacation spot to go to throughout your Thailand travels. If you’re 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 thought for its luxurious resorts however there are additionally locations which might be extra reasonably priced. However listed below are some suggestions to get you began.
4 Seasons Resort – Costly however well worth the splurge. you possibly can by no means go unsuitable with the 4 Seasons model in case you are searching for a luxurious keep.Kings Island Resort is a extremely rated place to remain on Chaweng Seaside. There is no such thing as a swimming pool however it’s positioned instantly on the seaside. The Hyatt Regency is without doubt one of the extra luxurious resorts on the seaside with a non-public swimming pool at an reasonably priced worth for mid-range vacationers. For different inns on Koh Samui, try TripAdvisor for evaluations.
So, now you realize the most effective issues to do in Koh Samui, Thailand. While you guide your subsequent journey to the Land of Smiles, make sure to add it to your itinerary.
Koh Samui has much more to supply apart from waterfalls and coral reefs however these had been the issues that stood out probably the most to me. It’s a lovely island with breathtaking lush jungle and superb seashores with shady palm bushes, perhaps I ought to depart 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 Southeast Asia in search of journey. Comply with him at Right here to Stray.com.
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