Koh Samui is the second biggest and one of the best island in Thailand . The island is outlined with pristine beaches with crystal clear waters, definitely some of the best beaches in Thailand. Apart from the natural attractions like beaches and waterfalls, it has some really cool and unique attractions like the Hinta-HinYai rocks and the Mummified Monk.
Here is the list of all the amazing things to do while in Koh Samui:
1. Take a Day-tour to Ang Thong National Marine Park
Ang Thong National Marine Park day tour is undoubtedly the best and the must to do thing in Koh Samui.
Ang Thong National Marine Park is an archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand featuring towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, white-sand beaches, waterfalls and hidden lakes. It is a protected area of more than 100 square kilometers of land and sea.
You will get to do Snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, diving, and swimming on the Ang Thong tour as you hop from one island to another. Koh Wua Ta Lap Island is the headquarter island of the park where you will have lunch already included in the tour. Hike on this island to get some mesmerizing views of the park from various marked view-points.
Full Day trips from Koh Samui or Koh Phagan are easily available. You can also stay overnight there in simple bungalows and camp in tents at the Koh Wua Ta Lap Island.
2. Chill out on Chaweng Beach
Chaweng Beach is the busiest, longest and one of the best beaches in Koh Samui. It is a white sand beach with crystal blue waters. Over a 3 Km long stretch you can find different centers of activity on the beach. The central part is the most crowded and the major center of nightlife in Chaweng. There are two small islands accessible from chaweng beach and you can even walk upto one of them through shallow water.
Chaweng area is the hub of all activity in Koh Samui; it is the most vibrant, biggest and the largest town.
3. Party at Chaweng
Chaweng is the hub of nightlife in Samui having plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants. To have a good time head to Soi Green Mango (named after the biggest nightclub on this street The Green Mango Club), the best street for nightlife having several beer bars and clubs with pool tables and other games. The party scene starts to set up after 11 PM and goes on until 3 AM in the morning. Best clubs and bars in Soi Green Mango:
- The Green Mango Club: The best and biggest club in Soi green mango with a lit atmosphere. It has multiple sections to party, drinks are moderately priced and is also a big pick-up point.
- Henry Africa’s Bar: It is the largest, most popular beer bar on the whole street. Also known as a backpacker bar because of various sections, few pool tables and widescreen TVs showing international sports with a good party atmosphere. Drinks and Shots are moderately priced. Beware of the ladies here who roam around with board games in the bar and start playing with you only to ask you for a lady drink and drill a hole in your pocket. As they approach, politely say no.
- Hush: It is another great bar on Soi Green Mango and also quite popular. Here you’ll find live DJs playing the best hip-hop, creating a amazing party atmosphere. Drinks are reasonably priced, with various offers during the happy hour (early hours). Staff from Hush will try to lure you in with their hip-hop moves on the streets.
- Dream Girls It is the only Thai-style go-go bar in the whole of Soi Green Mango. Since, it is the only go-go bar on this street, it is one of the priciest places there.
Alternatively, you can head to beach for having great fun. The ARKbar beach resort is on of the best night clubs/bar/beach-shack/resort in Samui. It is located right on the Chaweng Beach and hosts amazing parties every night. At ARKbar you can also play pool and other games, watch the amazing fire show or chill by the beach on couches if you don’t feel like dancing.
If you want a drink in quieter surroundings then there are also some nice beach front bars offering a relaxing evening.
My personal favorites are the Green Mango Club and Ark-Bar beach resort because of their lit clubbing atmosphere.
4. Get fascinated at Hin Ta and Hin Yai
This is one of the most fascinating attractions in Koh Samui where the natural geological rock formations known as Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks (the Grandpa and Grandma rocks), have taken the shape of male and female genitalia. These rocks have a story behind them according to which the couple Ta and Yai were caught by the sea storm and transformed into these rocks.
Other than enjoying this sight, it is a great location to relax by the sea shore on the rocks and enjoy the sea breeze.
5. Get struck by wonder in Secret Buddha Garden
Get awestruck by the beautiful sculptures of the Secret Buddha Garden located in the hills of Koh Samui surrounded by lush green jungle along with a waterfall passing through it. The gardens features the work of a retired farmer, Nim Thongsuk who erected several statues of Buddha, animals and himself with his parents around his land.
The garden has an entry fee of THB 80 per person. The way to the garden goes through a bumpy road and involves a steep climb on steps and may not be suitable for family travelers.
6. Take a dip in Namuang Waterfall
Na Muang waterfalls are the most beautiful of all waterfalls in Koh Samui. There are two waterfalls here Na Muang 1 & Na Muang 2. Na Muang 2 is located at a 10 minute walk up the mountain. They are surrounded by huge trees and will give you a full jungle feel. Na Muang 1 also has a pool beneath it and a dip in it this cold water will give you a very refreshing feeling.
At Namuang Elephants are also available for Jungle Safari but I would strongly recommend you against doing it since, elephants are kept in chained condition and to enjoy out of the pain of an animal is very much against human ethics.
7. Go Elephant Riding
Take an elephant ride through the lush green tropical forests of Koh Samui and enjoy the view of waterfalls and flora & fauna that falls en-route. Make sure to take such rides from operators ensuring ethical treatment of elephants.
8. Go for Jungle Safari in a Jeep
An off road tour (atleast at few places) to the popular attractions in Koh Samui by a jeep will enhance your experience multiple times. Attractions covered by most tours include – Mummified Monk, Namuang Waterfall and Buddha’s Magic Garden.
9. Zipline at Lamai Viewpoint
Zipline at the Lamai viewpoint through the lush jungle at fifty miles an hour and make a memory to cherish. First, hike to the top and then take a zipline to get a good adrenaline rush in your body.
Apart from from ziplining at Lamai viewpoint you will get an excellent view of the jungle, sea and the beach. The fish spa here is great, unlike the fish spas in shops, the fishes are real hungry and you’ll struggle to keep your feet in the water.
10. Watch Ladyboy Cabaret Shows in Chaweng
Dance performances (often erotic) by the ladyboys in shining clothes adds to the nightlife in Koh Samui. The ladyboy cabaret shows are not appropriate for people of all ages and people from conservative backgrounds. Paris Follies Cabaret is quite popular among others in Chaweng Area in Koh Samui.
11. Visit the unique Mummified Monk
Take a visit to this unique temple Wat Khunaram and find a mummified monk in a glass casket. The temple also has images and sculptures of Buddha.
12. Visit Wat Plai Laem
This temple gives a sneak-peak into the Chinese-Thai culture and beliefs. The temple’s main feature is 18 arm statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. The temple also has several murals depicting Buddha on its walls. The temple is surrounded by a lake and if you make a donation to the temple, you are given a bag of fish food to feed fishes in the lake.
13. Visit Big Buddha Temple
Big Buddha Temple or Wat Phra Yai is a famous landmark in Koh Samui as in most tourist cities in Thailand. But this one is unique in a way that it is located on a little tiny island Ko Phan, connected to the main island by a causeway. The golden statue of Buddha here is 12 meters tall with Budddha sitiing in Mara posture symbolizing Buddha rejecting all temptations that were forced upon him.
Do mind the clothes you are wearing while visiting these temples and respect the Thai traditions and culture. Cover your shoulders and knees, avoid shorts and sleeveless clothes.
14. Learn About Chinese-Thai Culture At Wat Jee Kong
Chinese immigrants built this beautiful temple at Chaweng Beach and it has to be on your to-do list. There are many ornate sculptures and golden decorations around the temple which truly stand out for their beauty. You can also shop at the market nearby that sells traditional items as well as various crafts and fabrics.
15. Learn Kitesurfing
Kitesurfing, or kiteboarding is a sport available only at few places and Koh Samui offers flat and shallow water spots perfect for surfing. There are a number of Kite Surfing schools in Koh Samui with high-standard equipment.
The best time for kitesurfing depends upon the wind speed. In Samui the best time is from November to February as the wind ranges from 8 to 20 knots and the worst months are April and May. All schools offers starting courses from THB 4000 for a few hours of teaching Kite surfing. For a 3-day course you’ll have to shell off THB 10,000 to THB 20,000. Also, you not only you have to be fit but know surfing as well to learn kite surfing.
16. Scuba Diving tour to Koh Tao
Koh Tao has some of the best spots for scuba diving in entire Thailand Thailand. The colorful coral reefs here are home to a wide range of sea creatures, including turtles.
A day of Scuba diving is only ideal for beginners and first time divers who want to get a surface feel of diving. To have a deeper experience you may enroll at a Scuba diving school in Koh Tao; there are over 70 schools offering certificate courses in scuba diving at the most affordable rates yet highest teaching standards.
17. Get lost in calmness of Lamai Beach
If you are looking for an escapade from the hustle & bustle and spend some peaceful private time, Lamai Beach is the place to go. It is a perfect place to unwind and know thyself. There are some good bars and restaurants here to make your evenings pleasurable.
18. Enjoy a laid back at Maenam Beach
This is another beach where you can find peace and privacy. The beach is long and quiet lined up with palm trees, take a walk, do whatever you feel like. It is good for backpackers as well since it is a bit cheaper than other places in Koh Samui. The nights are peaceful as well.
19. Explore Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village
Buy souvenirs from the market, eat authentic Thai street food and dine at bars and restaurants that are lined up across the narrow beach. Fisherman’s Village Samui is a good place to shop and dine. Every Friday, the market gets crowded from shoppers coming from across Koh Samui.
20. Shop Cheap at Nathon Town
Nathon is the administrative area in Koh Samui and is situated near the car ferry port. The attraction for tourists are the Chinese shop houses that sell a wide range of goods including lots of gold. This town has an array of shops and restaurants and its less touristy and more local, so prices are low. You can buy souvenirs here at the cheapest prices you won’t find anywhere else on the island.
Happy Travelling !!