HomeTravel21 Greatest Issues To Do in Koh Samui, Thailand

21 Greatest Issues To Do in Koh Samui, Thailand

Should you’re on the lookout for a spot that has large metropolis facilities, beautiful Buddhist temples, and a chilled-out island vibe, then look no additional than Koh Samui.

Thailand’s 2nd largest island (#1 is Phuket) has lots to supply vacationers. Whether or not you’re into nature, tradition, journey, partying, or simply some good old style R&R, you’ll discover issues to do in Koh Samui to fit your vibe.  

things to do in koh samui thailand scooter

Days will be spent lounging on the seaside, doing a wide range of water sports activities, mountaineering to viewpoints, or visiting a really Massive Buddha. Evenings in Koh Samui are all about sunsets, tropical cocktails, recent seafood, and sure, a bit of untamed nightlife.

That is additionally a fantastic island for digital nomads and we spent a month chillin’ out right here. Learn on for a better have a look at my record of the highest issues to do in Koh Samui — one of many greatest locations to go to in Thailand

1. Seaside Bumming

Whereas there are many enjoyable and thrilling issues to do in Koh Samui, let’s face it — you in all probability got here right here for a calming seaside trip. Fortunately you’ve acquired a number of decisions for solar and sand when visiting this common Thai island.

Situated close to the airport on the northeast aspect of the island, Chaweng is the primary seaside in Koh Samui.

Whereas it’s positively probably the most developed and most crowded of the seashores right here, it’s nonetheless stunningly lovely. Go forward and lease a lounger and umbrella, order a fruity cocktail, and luxuriate in your self!

The second largest seaside in Koh Samui is Lamai. It’s not as busy as Chaweng, however you’ve nonetheless acquired a lot of choices for locations to sit back, eat, and drink. Lamai is a superb place to go for a swim, as the ocean is evident and calm right here. 

Whereas these are probably the most well-known and largest seashores, there are lots of others to select from in Koh Samui.

Different attractive seashores it is best to spend a while on embrace Lipa Noi, Bang Por, and Massive Buddha seaside. Talking of a Massive Buddha, that brings us to the subsequent merchandise on our record.

best beaches in koh samui

2. Go to the Massive Buddha

One of the well-known Koh Samui points of interest is the Massive Buddha. It’s situated on the Wat Phra Yai temple, which is definitely on a a lot smaller island simply off the northeast coast of Samui.

Due to its location close to the airport, it’s one of many first issues many individuals see when touring to Koh Samui by aircraft. 

The spotlight of Wat Phra Yai is the 12-meter seated golden Buddha. This specific posture depicts a time in Buddha’s quest for enlightenment when he needed to keep away from all of the temptations that have been being pressured upon him.

With the event of tourism and the thriving occasion scene that adopted it right here, it’s attention-grabbing to see Buddha remaining steadfast and pure on this peaceable pose whereas backpackers guzzle down buckets of booze round him.

Whereas the temple is open all day, it is best to attempt to get there within the morning to see it at its busiest. With monks chanting and locals making choices, it’s an enchanting cultural expertise. You’ll find the Koh Samui Massive Buddha on the map right here.

Notice: When visiting this and another Buddhist temple in Thailand, it’s necessary to observe the right etiquette. It’s scorching and humid on the Thai islands, however it’s worthwhile to cowl up when visiting spiritual websites like this. Don’t be that farang who reveals up right here carrying a Full Moon Celebration tank-top and booty shorts. 

big buddha koh samui thailand

3. Watersports Galore

Since it’s a tropical island, it ought to come as no shock that watersports are among the many hottest issues to do in Koh Samui. Right here you possibly can participate in scuba diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing, kayaking, crusing, kiteboarding, and extra. 

On this half-day journey, you’ll discover the shoreline by jet-ski, together with stops on the Massive Buddha (see above), and Fisherman’s Village, adopted by a sundown dinner on the seaside. Try that journey right here.

Whereas close by Koh Tao would be the diving Mecca of Thailand, Koh Samui can be a superb place to discover underneath the ocean.

The water is heat and clear right here, with visibility between 3 and 30 meters. These circumstances will let you be taught proper off the shore quite than in a swimming pool, making Koh Samui a fantastic place to lastly get scuba-certified.

Even should you’re not into the thought of scuba diving, you possibly can nonetheless get pleasure from recognizing the considerable marine life by snorkeling. It’s straightforward to search out gear for lease on the seaside, or you possibly can join a ship tour to go to a couple of completely different spots. Many excursions take a mixture of divers and snorkelers, which is nice should you’re in a cut up group.

That’s not all there may be to do within the water right here, although. It’s also possible to lease kayaks or SUPs for a pleasant leisurely paddle, or jet-skis should you want a bit extra pace. Crusing excursions are additionally fairly common right here, particularly to see the sundown. 

4. Observe Yoga

Should you really feel the necessity to do some solar salutations or bust out your greatest downward-facing canine in your trip, you’ll be joyful to listen to that yoga is sort of common right here on Koh Samui.

I’m often extra of a “Namaste in mattress” type of man, however even I’ll stand up for some dawn yoga on a Thai island!

Should you’re questioning what to do in Koh Samui on a wet day, or should you simply really feel like working towards, many resorts on the island provide yoga lessons and there are additionally loads of devoted yoga studios right here.

Your choices right here vary from informal drop-in lessons to intense yoga retreats. Whether or not you’re a complete beginner or an professional, there’s a yoga class for you in Koh Samui.

One of the common spots to do yoga in Koh Samui is Shahda — a boutique resort. Click on right here for costs and particulars and to e book your spot.

☞ See Additionally: Issues To Do in Pai: 21 Issues You Don’t Wish to Miss

practicing yoga is one of the best things to do in koh samui

5. Day Journey to Ang Thong Marine Park

One of the enjoyable issues to do in Koh Samui is to hitch a day journey out to the beautiful Ang Thong Marine Park. This archipelago consists of 42 pristine islands with towering limestone mountains and postcard-worthy seashores.

Most excursions to Ang Thong embrace a go to to the Emerald Lagoon, chilling out on the seaside, and a little bit of snorkeling/kayaking. You’ll seemingly spot some wildlife on land and within the sea on this journey, together with dusky langurs and hawksbill turtles. 

Ang Thong is only a quick boat journey away from Koh Samui, and nearly each tour operator on the island can get you arrange on a visit there. These enjoyable journeys embrace lunch, lodge switch, meals, snorkelling gear and extra. Try this highly-rated day tour for particulars, or this superb sundown cruise!

If a day journey simply isn’t sufficient for you, there’s fundamental lodging accessible at Koh Wua Ta Lap the place the park headquarters are situated.

You may select between easy bungalows or simply lease a tent to camp on the seaside. There’s additionally a fundamental restaurant right here the place you possibly can have your meals. For all the data on staying at Ang Thong, take a look at the park’s web site

day trip to Ao Thong Marine Park is one of the best things to do in koh samui

6. Take a Hike

Should you can pull your self out of your seaside lounger, there are some nice alternatives for mountaineering in Koh Samui. Whereas the shoreline has been developed for tourism, a lot of the island stays untouched jungle. 

There are numerous choices for hikes on Koh Samui, from comparatively straightforward and quick trails resulting in speeding waterfalls to steep and strenuous hikes as much as some implausible viewpoints. After a troublesome, sweaty hike, you’ll have earned that ice-cold Chang beer and that tasty bowl of Pad Thai!

Try the hike to Nathon Mountain Ridge Path or the Maenam Viewpoint.

Since Koh Samui will be fairly scorching and humid, the very best time to hike is both early within the morning or late within the afternoon. Everytime you go, make sure you convey loads of water together with some sunscreen and bug spray.

Should you’d quite go along with a bunch than by yourself, make sure you take a look at the various choices supplied by Climbing on Samui. These excursions are run by a long-time Samui expat from the Netherlands who has tons of expertise mountaineering.

☞ See Additionally: Issues To Do in Chiang Mai – A Checklist of 17 Highlights

A Little Brief On Time?

If you wish to see lots of the “must-sees” in Koh Samui, however don’t have numerous time, or don’t wish to spend greater than a half-day doing so, take a look at this common, extremely rated tour:

must see attractions in koh samui tour

7. Take a Thai Cooking Class

I don’t learn about you, however I’m completely in love with Thai meals. I’m not joking once I say I may eat Thai meals day by day and by no means get bored. It’s simply that good! 

Should you’re as loopy about Thai delicacies as I’m, why not learn to make it your self? Taking a Thai cooking class is actually one of many tastiest issues you are able to do in Koh Samui. 

koh samui cooking class best activities in koh samui

In most cooking lessons, you’ll first go to an area market to buy recent elements. Again within the kitchen, it’s time to prepare dinner up Thai classics like papaya salad, inexperienced curry, or tom yam. In fact, the very best a part of the category is having fun with the fruits of your labor with a scrumptious meal on the finish.

The very best place to take a cooking class in Koh Samui is with Island Organics. Through the highly-rated class, Chef Lat teaches you the right way to make 4 tasty Thai dishes, plus genuine curry pastes, and a dessert. What makes the category further particular is that lots of the elements are grown of their onsite backyard. Click on right here to be taught extra.

8. See Some Fascinating Rocks

Maybe one of the attention-grabbing issues to do in Koh Samui is rocks. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Effectively, my pals, these are not any unusual rocks…

Hin Ta (Grandpa Rock) and Hin Yai (Grandma Rock) have been naturally carved over time to resemble female and male genitalia. As with many issues in Southeast Asia, there’s a implausible legend behind the rocks.

Because the story goes, an outdated couple was touring by sea to go to their son for his marriage ceremony. Sadly, their boat flipped over in a nasty storm and the couple was unable to swim. They tragically drowned that day, however they remodeled into these rocks to show to their son and his new household that they’d tried to make it for what would have been a joyous event, and maybe as a little bit of a sensible joke.

grandfather and grandmother rocks in koh samui

Whether or not you imagine the city legend or not it’s price a go to to the rocks, if solely to snap some foolish pictures and giggle. The view from the rocks is superb as properly. You may get instructions to the naughty-bits-shaped rocks on the map right here. Or, take this present day journey of Koh Samui, which takes within the rocks as properly.

☞ See Additionally: Issues To Do in Chiang Rai – 21 High Issues You Don’t Wish to Miss

9. Get a Therapeutic massage

Strolling down the streets of Koh Samui – or any Thai island, for that matter – you’re positive to listen to calls of “Hiya! Maasssaaagggee?” It appears as if everybody on this island desires to offer you a therapeutic massage. I say take them up on it. You’re on trip in any case!

On the subject of getting a therapeutic massage right here, you might have loads of choices. There are wandering masseuses on the seaside who will fortunately offer you a therapeutic massage from the consolation of your solar lounger. Don’t anticipate a life-changing therapeutic massage from them, however for only a few bucks why not?

Should you want one thing a bit nicer, spas are a dime a dozen in Koh Samui. These vary from quite simple to extremely fancy. All of it will depend on your funds and what you’re on the lookout for. For an in depth have a look at a few of Koh Samui’s greatest spas, head right here.

10. Swim in Waterfalls

Whereas swimming within the sea is all the time enjoyable, that’s not the one approach to cool off on a scorching day in Koh Samui. The island is house to a number of waterfalls the place you possibly can take a refreshing dip in lovely environment.

The preferred waterfalls to go to are the Na Muang falls — two cascading waterfalls set within the lush jungle of central Koh Samui. Na Muang 1 is well accessible by automobile and thus could be a bit crowded. Should you’re up for a bit problem, it’s a few 20-30 minute hike uphill to achieve Na Muang 2. 

It’s free to go to the waterfalls, however you’ll have to pay a small payment to park your motorcycle right here. There are some small meals stalls right here in addition to distributors promoting drinks should you forgot to convey snacks or water. You’ll find Na Muang 1 on the map and get instructions right here

na muang 1 waterfall in koh samui

11. Go On An ATV Tour

For the adrenaline junkies on the market, an ATV tour is certainly one of many high issues to do in Koh Samui. On a typical ATV tour, you’ll journey by means of the jungle to take a look at some superb viewpoints and waterfalls. 

There are a number of completely different choices for ATV excursions in Koh Samui. Some are as quick as one hour, whereas others final half a day. One tour operator that’s extremely really useful is X-Quad Samui.

Earlier than you go driving an ATV into the jungle of a Thai island, be sure you have some first rate worldwide journey insurance coverage. Not all insurance policies cowl excessive actions corresponding to this, so examine yours rigorously! 

☞ Should you’re into motorcycle journeys, take a look at this information to driving the Mae Hong Son Loop!

12. Hit The Evening Markets (probably the greatest issues to do in Koh Samui!)

Evening markets in Thailand are one among my favourite issues on this planet. It simply by no means will get outdated sampling low cost and engaging Thai meals whereas perusing the colourful handicrafts on provide. 

Should you’re questioning what to do in Koh Samui within the evenings, there are a number of completely different evening markets in Koh Samui which might be price trying out. Completely different cities host an evening market on completely different days of the week. There’s Mae Nam on Thursdays, Bophut on Fridays, and Lamai on Sundays. 

The evening markets often get going round 5PM and keep open till 11. You’ll want to add no less than one among these superior evening markets to your record of issues to do in Koh Samui. 

night markets top attractions in koh samui

13. Discover Nathon City

Should you arrive in Koh Samui through the ferry from Surat Thani, your level of entry can be Nathon City. That is the business and administrative heart of the island and a spot that many locals name house. 

Most vacationers skip over Koh Samui’s principal city completely, however it’s positively price it to spend a while visiting Nathon. On a brief journey right here, you possibly can take a look at the colourful Chinese language shophouses, eat some scrumptious native meals at a cut price worth, and stick round for a picture-perfect sundown. 

Nathon City is situated on the northwest coast of Koh Samui. You’ll find it on the map and get instructions right here.

14. Examine Out the Secret Buddha Backyard

Tucked away within the heart of the island is a Secret Buddha Backyard surrounded by lush jungle. It’s an exquisite and peaceable place to discover, and will positively make it in your record of issues to do in Koh Samui.

It was began by a fruit farmer named Nim Tongsuk again in 1976 when he started putting Buddhist statues round his household’s property. He continued so as to add to his Secret Buddha Backyard up till his dying on the age of 91. 

visit the secret buddha garden best things to do in koh samui

The Secret Buddha Backyard is open day by day from 9-5. It prices 80 baht (about $2.50) to go to. It’s fairly powerful to achieve by yourself until you might have 4WD and are an skilled driver. If not, it is best to take into account signing up for a day tour that features a cease on the backyard. You’ll find it on the map right here.

☞ On the lookout for a shocking island with pristine seashores, however fewer vacationers? Don’t miss all the unbelievable issues to do in Koh Lipe.

15. Go to the Fishermen’s Village

Should you develop bored with the touristy scene in locations like Chaweng and Lamai, take half a day to go to the fishing village of Bophut. It’s a pleasant place to spend a couple of hours strolling round, doing a little bit of buying, and grabbing a chew to eat. This enjoyable jet-ski journey takes in Fishermen’s Village, together with sundown dinner on the seaside.

Right here you’ll discover authentic picket houses constructed within the nineteenth century by Chinese language immigrants. Whereas lots of the fishermen have moved on to different elements of the island, they nonetheless convey their day by day catch to the eating places right here. You’ll discover a number of the greatest seafood in Koh Samui within the eating places of Fishermen’s Village. 

Whereas it’s enjoyable to go to any day of the week, chances are you’ll wish to come on Friday to take a look at the evening market right here. The Fishermen’s Village is situated close to Bophut Seaside. You may get instructions on the map right here

16. Go {Golfing}

Should you get pleasure from a pleasant spherical of golf in your trip, then you definitely’ll be joyful to listen to that Koh Samui has a number of programs to select from. From mini-golf to a full 18-hole course with spectacular views, hitting the hyperlinks is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Koh Samui.

The Santiburi Samui Nation Membership is the one skilled commonplace golf course on the island. This beautiful course is about amongst a preserved coconut palm plantation excessive up within the hills.

Due to its location, you’ll get pleasure from distinctive views all through all the spherical. It’s not an affordable spherical (about $160 with golf cart and caddy), however it may be one of the scenic rounds you ever play! You’ll find the course on the map right here

Should you’re like me and might’t swing a golf membership to avoid wasting your life, you would possibly wish to simply play old style spherical of mini-golf. There are mini-golf programs in each Chaweng and Lamai which might be enjoyable for the entire household. 

☞ Choose mountains to seashores? Then you definitely’ll wish to take a look at beautiful Khao Lak.

17. See a Mummified Monk

This may be probably the most uncommon merchandise on our record of issues to do in Koh Samui. On the Wat Khunaram temple, you might have the prospect to see a mummified monk. 

Luang Pho Daeng was a Buddhist monk who died whereas in a meditative seated place again in 1973. It was determined that his physique can be preserved on this peaceable state, and it has been on show in a glass case ever since. 

This will likely appear a bit surprising and morbid to most Westerners, however Thai Buddhists are rather more accepting of dying. The physique of Luong Pordaeng serves as a visible reminder of Buddha’s teachings to all who go to and is extremely revered. 

Wat Khunaram is a few 10-minute drive from Lamai Seaside. It’s open day by day and is most energetic within the early morning or late afternoon. You’ll find it on the map right here

Wat Khunaram temple

18. Strive The Digital Nomad Life

Koh Samui shouldn’t be solely a preferred vacationer and honeymoon spot, however it’s additionally an up-and-coming digital nomad vacation spot. Whereas the digital nomad group will not be as large right here as it’s in close by Koh Phangan or Chiang Mai within the north, that is nonetheless a fantastic place to work remotely. 

Excessive-speed web is now available on the island, particularly within the common areas of Chaweng and Lamai. Additionally, there’s lastly a co-working house at Mantra (examine it on the map right here). It has quick WiFi, cozy sofas, video video games, and even a pool desk. Now that’s a cool workplace!

Dariece and Nick (founders of Goats on the Highway) spent a tremendous month dwelling and dealing from Koh Samui. Learn all about it of their large information to being a digital nomad in Koh Samui.

☞ Should you’re inquisitive about what digital nomad life is like on the opposite aspect of the world, examine our expertise touring as digital nomads in South America

living in koh samui as a digital nomad cost of living in thailand

19. Take a Sundown Cruise

What could possibly be higher than having fun with the sundown from a tropical seaside in Thailand? Having fun with it on a yacht, in fact! Taking a sundown cruise positively earns its spot on this record of issues to do in Koh Samui.

Most tour operators on the island can be joyful to set you up with a sundown cruise. Top-of-the-line choices is with the Purple Baron, a conventional picket junk-style yacht. 

Their sundown cruise features a welcome cocktail, limitless mushy drinks/tea/espresso, and a buffet dinner. There’s additionally a bar working on deck if that one drink simply isn’t sufficient . Click on right here to be taught extra. 

visit the secret buddha garden best things to do in koh samui

20. Strive the Thai Expertise Dinner

This simply may be the best ceremonial dinner on the market. The Thai Expertise is taking dinner events to a complete new stage with their enjoyable and interactive spin on issues.

To be clear, this isn’t a cooking class. I’ve already included these on this record of issues to do in Koh Samui up above. Whereas you’ll be taught all concerning the numerous dishes and even learn to make a bit one thing your self, you’ll be consuming meals ready by their extremely expert cooks.

For his or her full expertise, you get a cocktail class (and the completed product!), 15 completely different dishes, and limitless booze. Now that’s what I name a cocktail party! They supply round-trip transportation, so go forward and drink up. These excursions final three hours and price 2,490 baht ($78) per individual. 

This ceremonial dinner is without doubt one of the most distinctive issues to do in Thailand. Don’t miss it!

21. See a Cabaret Present

One of many quintessential issues to do in Koh Samui is to see a ladyboy cabaret present. These reveals characteristic singing, dancing, comedy, and a few fairly elaborate costumes. 

There are a couple of completely different choices for ladyboy cabaret reveals on the island. One which comes extremely really useful is Paris Follies, which options all kinds of dance kinds in addition to many superior superstar impersonators. 

Exhibits go on each evening at 8, 9:30, and 11. The sooner present is a little more family-friendly, whereas issues warmth up a bit bit for the later efficiency. It’s free to attend, however they make their cash off of the bar as drinks are positively on the dear aspect. 

Now You Know What To Do in Koh Samui

As you possibly can see, there’s lots taking place right here in Koh Samui. Whereas this island will in all probability suck you in, you would possibly wish to take into account tacking on a visit to the close by islands of Koh Tao for diving and Koh Phangan for epic events and adventures. 

Should you’re planning on exploring extra of the nation (and you have to be), make sure you take a look at this information to backpacking Thailand. Once you inevitably take into account quitting your job, promoting all of your worldly possessions, and transferring right here, we’ve additionally acquired you lined with particulars on the price of dwelling in Thailand

Some photographs on this article are courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

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