The Best Things to do in Koh Samui, Thailand 2022

Koh Samui is the right 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 loads of issues to do in Koh Samui to fulfill each traveler’s wants.

Situated on the Eastern facet of the Thai mainland in the Gulf of Thailand, Samui Island is the second-largest island in the Thai Kingdom. (Phuket being the largest). Koh Samui and Phuket have been in contrast numerous occasions in an try to debate which island is perfect, however to me, it’s actually unimaginable to select a transparent winner. You can read about Phuket right here to make it easier to make your selection.

Regardless, it’s best to go to each island when touring Thailand, in reality, it’s an important concept to go island hopping to see as many as you possibly can. Nothing can actually evaluate the gorgeous seashores of the nation.

Things 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. While stress-free on the seaside is a large part of visiting Koh Samui, there are many different issues to see and do as properly. So be certain that to spend not less than three days of your journey in Thailand on Koh Samui.

Beach Life atChaweng Beach

things to do in koh samui beach life

Koh Samui is blessed with white sandy seashores making it the right seaside trip in Thailand. Chaweng Beach is Koh Samui’s hottest seaside and with good cause. It is one very massive stretch of white sand with shady palm bushes. In reality, it’s so massive it’s damaged into 4 components, North, Central, South, and Little. (Chaweng Noi). If you need to be in the guts of the motion, that is the place to keep it.

There are loads of water actions proper of the seaside at Chaweng. Try your hand at snorkeling and sea kayaking or hire a paddleboard and check out stand-up paddleboarding in the calm waters. It’s our favorite watersport.

When the solar goes down, the nightlife begins on Chaweng Beach at its seaside bars. For a style of Koh Samui’s get-together scene, head out to the Green Mango strip for some bar hopping.

Where to Stay on Chaweng Beach

  • Kings Island Resort is an extremely rated place to keep on Chaweng Beach. 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 worth.

Visit Grandpa and Grandma Rocks at Lamai Beach

things to do in koh samui rocks and beach swimmers

Koh Samui could also be well-known for its white sandy seashores, however, the rocky seashores are undoubtedly a sight to keep in mind. It is at Lamai Beach that you’ll find the well-known Koh Samui points of interest grandfather and Grandmother Rocks.

Lamai Beach is quieter than Chaweng Beach and tends to entice an extra laid-back crowd. This is a superb seaside for swimming and hanging out again whereas having fun with the laid-again Thai seaside life. There are seaside bars and eating places.

Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks

grandma and granpa rocks unique things to do in koh samui
Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks at Lamai Beach

Hin Ta and Hin Yai rock formations (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks) are a number of the extra distinctive issues to see on Koh Samui. The female and male genitalia-shaped rock formations have been a high draw since our first go-to to the Koh Samui method again in 2003. (and lengthy earlier than we ever arrived on Koh Samui).

Legend has it that a previous man and girl set sail to a neighboring island to ask for the hand of a daughter of a person named Ta Mongolia. When their boat capsized, they drowned and became these rocks to show their true intentions to the household. It is a singular factor to see and it is usually a seaside on Koh Samui that provides some higher-end lodging choices.

Where to Stay at Lamai Beach

One of the closest locations to keep close to the rocks is Beluga Boutique Hotel. This adult-only resort is a secluded escape with an infinity pool, lounge bar, trendy facilities, and eating places proper on the seaside.

Bouldering at Chaweng and Lamai Beach

things to do in koh samui bouldering
Boulders between Chaweng and Lamai Beach

We discovered to rock climb in Thailand at Railay Beach and now, bouldering is fashionable on Koh Samui at Chaweng and Lamai Beach. It is smart with its large boulders. Its limestone partitions have begun attracting folks honing their bouldering abilities alongside the rocky seashores. With partitions reaching up to 40 meters (120 ft)  each Chaweng and Lamai seaside are additionally fashionable for rappeling.

See the Big Buddha Temple

things to do in koh samui big buddha
Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai Temple

One of the highest issues to do in Koh Samui is to go to Wat Phra Yai Temple to see the 12-meter excessive (39 foot excessive) Big Buddha. It was constructed in 1972 and has endured as certainly one of Koh Samui’s high points of interest.

Even though it isn’t technically positioned on Koh Samui, it’s Koh Samui’s most well-known landmark. The Big Buddha Temple is positioned on Koh Faan and related to Koh Samui by a protracted causeway. Plus it’s often the very first thing folks place on their checklist to see in Koh Samui as it may be seen by air upon arrival. This temple is a well-liked spot to rejoice in Loy Krathong and Songkran Festivals in Thailand as properly.

Suggested Tour

If you’re looking to get acquainted with Koh Samui’s high points of interest shortly, This half-day cycling tour enables you to uncover Koh Samui’s most well-known sights together with the Big Buddha, the Bang Rak Market, and the Choeng Mon Beach as you be taught concerning the island’s tradition and historical past from area information. We love taking a guided tour once we arrive at a brand new vacation spot, it lets us make an inventory of all of the locations to return to on our journey.

Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem koh samui things to do

Another cool temple to see in Koh Samui is Wat Plai Laem. This Buddhist temple showcases Koh Samui’s Chinese heritage with a large Guanyin statue dominating the temple grounds. Even though it is a Buddhist temple, it’s truly devoted to the Chinese Goddess Guanyin who’s believed to be the Goddess of unconditional love.

A really distinctive factor to preserve a watch out for is if you make a donation, you’ll obtain a bag of fish meals so you possibly can feed the resident fish in the pond.

Khao Hua jook Chedi

While at Lamai Beach, be certain to go up to Wat Khao Hua Jook. It provides panoramic views of the island. It is straightforward to get “Wanted out” When visiting Thailand. After some time, I do know we’ve got seen sufficient of them, however, this one values it for the view of the valley and the shoreline of Koh Samui. Plus, if you’re wanting to do a little bit of climbing after spending an excessive amount of time on the seaside, it is a good stroll.

If you’re on the lookout for one thing really distinctive, preserve a watch out for Overlap Stone, a big stone that rests precariously on high of a big boulder

Laem Sor Pagoda

If you’re on the lookout for a quiet place to keep away from the busy environment of Lamai Beach and Chaweng Beach, Laem Sor Beach is positioned 20 minutes from Lamai Beach on the south facet of the island. Laem Sor Pagoda is the highest draw right here to see the gorgeous golden temple on the seaside, however, there are some resorts and seaside bars in the realm as properly.

Laem Sor Residence will get high reviews on TripAdvisor with a non-public pool positioned on a sandy seaside with shallow waters.

Go Snorkeling

things to do in koh samui snorkeling

One of the perfect issues to do in Koh Samui is to get pleasure from all of its water actions and snorkeling is among the greatest issues to do. Each island in Thailand provides 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 had to provide. There are a number of boat excursions that can take you out to see the coral reefs and sea lifetime of Samui.

This private long tail boat tour has you boarding certainly one 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 reside there. We did this in the Bahamas and it’s so a lot enjoyable to see the pigs working in the sand to say hey. Other stuff you see are, White Rock Cave Island, Red Ant Island, and Matkhong Island

Scuba Diving

The neighboring island of Koh Tao is thought for its scuba diving, however, Samui can be a wonderful scuba diving vacation spot. There are many locations providing scuba diving programs on the island at inexpensive costs. Plus the nice and cozy, clear, and alluring waters make it a really perfect spot to grow to be licensed.

Scuba Diving programs are run properly off Chaweng Beach, Coral Cove, and different seashores on Koh Samui with shore diving that’s straightforward to enter. Ang Thong National Marine Park can be thought of as an important diving vacation spot.

Mummified Monk – Wat Khunaram

things to do in koh samui thailand mummified monk
Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram

One of the strangest issues to see on Koh Samui is the Mummified monk. Located at  Wat Khunaram, the mummified stays of Monk Luong Pordaeng are on show. The Buddhist monk died in 1973 in a seated meditative place. Before his death, he requested that his physique be placed on show ought to it not decompose. And now in the present day, it’s revered as an inspiration to comply with a lifetime of Buddhism.

We noticed this monk on our first go to Koh Samui and it’s not as surprising because it sounds as if he’s sitting behind glass so that you do really feel a bit indifferent. One of the extra distinctive issues you possibly can do is to attend a Monk Chat and meditation session at Dipabhavan Meditation Center, which is open to anybody.

Take a Thai Cooking Class

Traditional Thai Food recipes
My private favorite – Thai Green Curry

One of the perfect methods to immerse in a tradition is thru meals. Thai meals are our favorite and we eat it at dwelling on a regular basis! Visit an area market and be taught to cook dinner with Thai delicacies. as you are taught to put together meals which you can deliver dwelling with you. It’s an enjoyable and interactive method to spend a night. Read extra: Best Thai Food – Traditional Thai Dishes to Eat in Thailand

Book this cooking class details here – Choose 4 Thai dishes to put together after which go to certainly one of Koh Samui’s native road markets for contemporary elements. You can e-book it right here, with straightforward cancellation within 24 hours of exercise for a full refund.

Check out the Night Markets

thai food tour

One of our favorite things to do in Thailand is to buy groceries and pattern their many small meals stalls. Chiang Mai is legendary for its evening markets, however, Koh Samui additionally has fabulous evening markets that rotate areas every night. Pick up your Thai souvenirs, pattern nice road meals, and get misplaced in the vitality and pleasure of bartering with the distributors.

Best evening markets in Koh Samui

  • Fisherman’s Village Walking Street at Bophut on Fridays.
  • Lamai Night Plaza Night Market in Lamai Centre – Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
  • Chaweng Night Market in Bophut- Monday to Thursday and Saturday.

Fisherman’s Village in Bophut

Even if you happen to don’t make it to Fishermen’s Village evening market, it’s a nice strolling road throughout the day. Once a thriving fishing village, Fisherman’s Village has now become It is stuffed with cafés and eateries. You can do some buying and Bophut Beach is positioned properly there as properly.

The foremost part of Fisherman’s Village is Bophut Beach Road 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

jeep tour kkoh samui
picture by Alberta

An enjoyable method 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 Garden. For a singular tour of Koh Samui, it is a nice concept. Check out this top-rated jeep tour on Ko Samui and this day trip to Koh Phangan.

Swim in the Namuang Waterfalls

things to do in koh samui swim in waterfalls
Dave swimming at Na Muang Waterfalls

Namuang Waterfall might be one of many high points of interest positioned in central Koh Samui. Located inland from Nathon Bay, it’s simply accessible by tuk-tuk. Once you attain the car parking zone, Na Muang 1 is only a brief stroll from the car parking zone. Venture 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 being a very touristy place. But I used to be advised once I get there I ought to climb up subsequent to the waterfall so far as I might, “to see secret very beautiful waters”.

Na Muang 2

koh samui
Image by Albert of Here to Stray – Climbing increased to view Na Muang from above

Tourists have been crowding on the base of the Na Muang Waterfalls however if you’re prepared to climb a 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 increased and finally reached the highest. This was what I wished to see, a completely unspoiled waterfall with lush jungle rising on both facets, I found the “secret very beautiful 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 photos, swimming, and consuming the odd coconut that got here floating down the stream.

Have a Traditional Thai Massage

thai massage is a great thing to do

Really, irrespective of the place you’re in Thailand a standard Thai Massage needs to be on your checklist. And Koh Samui isn’t any exception. I really 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 search of vacationers to soothe their aching bodies.

But you may as well stroll alongside the streets to discover therapeutic massage parlors or e-book a fancier therapeutic massage at one of many higher-end inns. But do yourself a favor, get a therapeutic massage as a lot as attainable in Thailand. They are so inexpensive and it’s good to get pampered like royalty regularly.

Indulge in Wellness and Fitness

If you need to take your wellness vacation to one other degree, be certain to keep on the Absolute Sanctuary. This wellness health resort is nestled on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Located inside a lush forest setting, Absolute Sanctuary takes a holistic method of looking to handle a particular person’s wellness objectives reminiscent of a detox vacation, pamper-me vacation, weight administration, or lowering stress.

Indulge in yoga or Pilates as you get pleasure from a significant vacation that can deliver peace to your thoughts and physique. If you’re on the lookout for a wellness retreat, you possibly can view rates and availability here.

Go for a Hike To Secret Buddha Garden

bridge in koh samui
Image by Here to Stray

Koh Samui has some nice climbing and if the seaside life turns into a bit tedious (I imply, how might it ever actually although?) otherwise you need to stretch your legs, head out to a number of the trails for a hike.

Secret Buddha Garden (also referred to as Namtok Tar Nim & Magic Garden) is a really attention-grabbing place to go to. Created in 1976 by an area durian fruit farmer, there are a number of totally different Buddha Sculptures depicting totally different Buddha folklore.

There are loads of different locations to hike on Koh Samui in addition to Secret Buddha Garden to see Buddha together with a hike on the Nathon Mountain Trail Ridge or head up to the Maenam Viewpoint for nice views of Nathon and the gorgeous tropical island scene.

  • This Koh Samui Trek takes you on a hike to a number of the most lovely viewpoints on Koh Samui with a cease on the Secret Buddha Garden, the best temple on the island, and an area museum.
  • You can hike to Secret Buddha Garden or take a 4X4 Jeep Tour. Check out tour options here.

Ang Thong National Marine Park

what to do in koh samui ang thong marine park
Ang Thong National Marine Park

A must-do day journey from Koh Samui is to head out to the Ang Thong National Marine Park. Like so many locations in Southern Thailand, Ang Thong was featured in the film The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio.

We extremely advocate studying the e-book as properly earlier than visiting Thailand. The nation has modified loads over time, but it surely actually captures the sensation we had on our first backpacking journey to Thailand in 200.

Ang Thong National Park is an archipelago of 42 islands with the towering limestone mountains that Thailand is legendary for. You can swim in lagoons, chill out on pristine seashores, or go snorkeling and spy sea turtles in its crystal clear waters.

Both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are a part of the Ang Thong National Marine Park and they may be visited on a day journey. For the last word in luxury, book an overnight cruise on a junk boat to expertise the islands in person.

Day Trip to Koh Phangan

koh phangan sunset

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 fashionable sufficient to spend a while on in its personal proper, however, if you happen to merely need to go 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 trip from Koh Samui the place you’ll land at Thong Sala pier. On this tour, you’ll discover the Chinese 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 resort in Koh Samui.

Koh Tao

koh tao thailand

Koh Tao to discover peaceable hidden seashores, underwater sanctuaries stuffed with sea creatures and all-night events. Koh Tao is among the greatest spots for snorkeling and diving in Thailand. Koh Tao is commonly referred to as Turtle Island for each of its form and the inexperienced hawksbill turtles that inhabit the gorgeous island. It can be top-of-the-line locations in Thailand to take your PADI certification. Read extra at Beautiful Beaches in Thailand to Spark Your Wanderlust

Go to an Elephant Sanctuary

places to visit in thailand elephant sanctuary
The Best Things to do in Koh Samui, Thailand 2022 22

Elephants have long suffered in Thailand, however, thanks to sanctuaries changing from elephant excursions to moral elephant sanctuaries, you possibly can go to retired tourism elephants and assist their properly-being.

Take a 40-minute drive by the opposite facet of the island to a sanctuary the place you’ll be taught about the rescued elephants, feed them and assist in bathtub them in mud. These elephants have been rescued and these sanctuaries are a vital half in letting them reside out their days in relative peace. While they will by no means return to the wild, it’s a lot better life than having vacationers trip on their backs. Find out extra about the elephant sanctuary tour here.

First time renting a bike, not a good suggestion

Koh Samui provides a number of touristy sights to discover. The greatest (and least expensive) method to see all the things is by renting your individual scooter. I perceive that it is a daunting concept to most newcomers to Southeast Asia, but it surely solely takes a few minutes for you to get a hold of it and really feel like a hardcore biker.

Make certain that you just 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 ensure that you understand how to trip a motorbike earlier than renting one.

Invest in an island map and ask an area to point out all of the must-see areas. Naturally, the subsequent factor to do is to utterly ignore the map and simply get misplaced! This is the easiest way to discover hidden gems. A Motorcycle Adventure, the Journey Begins

Chill out after Dark

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. Each evening, 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 Sunset Tour with a Thai Beach Dinner takes you on a night tour to see a few of Koh Samui’s high 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.

Lady Boy Cabaret Show

If you’re on the lookout for different issues to do in Koh Samui in the evening, try a Lady Boy Cabaret. Like the times of La Cage Au Folles in North America. (Way again in the Nineteen Nineties), the Lady Boy Cabaret Shows have grown to be one of many perfect issues to see in Koh Samui in the evening. This energetic efficiency entails lip-synching, dancing, and elaborate costumes.

If you need one thing with extra motion, Muay Thai fighters placed demonstrations across the island as properly. You may also make your method to Chaweng Boxing Stadium to watch a Muay Thai match. You may also take a Muay Thai course on Koh Samui. We did this in Phuket and it was an incredible method to immerse in the Thai tradition.

How to Get to Koh Samui

things to do in koh samui thailand

Koh Samui is positioned in 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 obtainable 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.

If you’re coming from different islands in the south of Thailand, you should have to make your method to Surat Thani. There are additional 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

Where to Stay on Koh Samui

Koh Samui is thought for its luxurious resorts however there are additional locations that might be extra inexpensive. We provide up to three selections from Luxury to mid-range and inexpensive.

  • Four Seasons Resort– Expensive however well worth the splurge. you possibly can by no means go improper with the Four Seasons model if you’re in search of a luxurious keep.
  • Kings Island Resort is an extremely rated place to keep on Chaweng Beach. 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 worth for mid-range vacationers.
  • For different inns on Koh Samui, try TripAdvisor for evaluations.

So, now you recognize the perfect issues to do in Koh Samui, Thailand. When you e-book your subsequent journey to the Land of Smiles, be certain to add it to your itinerary.

Koh Samui has much more to provide apart from waterfalls and coral reefs however these have been the issues that stood out probably the most to me. It is a wonderful island with breathtaking lush jungle and wonderful seashores with shady palm bushes, possibly I ought to depart Phuket and transfer right here. Koh Samui will certainly see me once more in 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 to Southeast Asia on the lookout for a journey.

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