21 Greatest Issues To Do in Koh Samui, Thailand

If you happen to’re searching 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 quite a bit to supply vacationers. Whether or not you’re into nature, tradition, journey, partying, or simply some good old school R&R, you’ll discover issues to do in Koh Samui to fit your vibe.  

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

That is additionally an excellent island for digital nomads and we spent a month chillin’ out right here. Learn on for a more in-depth have a look at my listing 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 seashore trip. Fortunately you’ve bought a number of selections for solar and sand when visiting this standard Thai island.

Positioned close to the airport on the northeast facet of the island, Chaweng is the principle seashore 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 hire a lounger and umbrella, order a fruity cocktail, and revel in your self!

The second largest seashore in Koh Samui is Lamai. It’s not as busy as Chaweng, however you’ve nonetheless bought plenty of choices for locations to relax, eat, and drink. Lamai is a good 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’s best to spend a while on embrace Lipa Noi, Bang Por, and Huge Buddha seashore. Talking of a Huge Buddha, that brings us to the subsequent merchandise on our listing.

best beaches in koh samui

2. Go to the Huge Buddha

Some of the well-known Koh Samui points of interest is the Huge Buddha. It’s positioned 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 explicit 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 compelled upon him.

With the event of tourism and the thriving get together 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’s best to attempt to get there within the morning to see it at its busiest. With monks chanting and locals making choices, it’s a captivating cultural expertise. Yow will discover the Koh Samui Huge Buddha on the map right here.

Observe: When visiting this and every other Buddhist temple in Thailand, it’s essential to comply with the right etiquette. It’s sizzling and humid on the Thai islands, however you must cowl up when visiting non secular websites like this. Don’t be that farang who exhibits up right here carrying a Full Moon Get together 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 may 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 Huge Buddha (see above), and Fisherman’s Village, adopted by a sundown dinner on the seashore. Try that journey right here.

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

The water is heat and clear right here, with visibility between 3 and 30 meters. These situations permit you to study proper off the shore slightly than in a swimming pool, making Koh Samui an excellent place to lastly get scuba-certified.

Even when you’re not into the thought of scuba diving, you may nonetheless get pleasure from recognizing the ample marine life by snorkeling. It’s simple to seek out gear for hire on the seashore, or you may join a ship tour to go to just a few completely different spots. Many excursions take a mixture of divers and snorkelers, which is nice when you’re in a break up group.

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

4. Observe Yoga

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

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

If you happen to’re questioning what to do in Koh Samui on a wet day, or when you simply really feel like training, many resorts on the island provide yoga courses and there are additionally loads of devoted yoga studios right here.

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

Some of the standard 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 Need to Miss

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

5. Day Journey to Ang Thong Marine Park

Some of the enjoyable issues to do in Koh Samui is to affix 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 seashore, and a little bit of snorkeling/kayaking. You’ll possible spot some wildlife on land and within the sea on this journey, together with dusky langurs and hawksbill turtles. 

Ang Thong is only a brief 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 tools 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 primary lodging accessible at Koh Wua Ta Lap the place the park headquarters are positioned.

You possibly can select between easy bungalows or simply hire a tent to camp on the seashore. There’s additionally a primary restaurant right here the place you may have your meals. For all the information on staying at Ang Thong, try 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

If you happen to can pull your self out of your seashore 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 simple and brief trails resulting in speeding waterfalls to steep and strenuous hikes as much as some improbable viewpoints. After a tricky, 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 could be fairly sizzling and humid, the most effective time to hike is both early within the morning or late within the afternoon. Everytime you go, you should definitely deliver loads of water together with some sunscreen and bug spray.

If you happen to’d slightly go along with a gaggle than by yourself, you should definitely try the numerous choices provided by Mountaineering 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 Listing of 17 Highlights

A Little Brief On Time?

If you wish to see most of the “must-sees” in Koh Samui, however don’t have a number of time, or don’t wish to spend greater than a half-day doing so, try this standard, extremely rated tour:

must see attractions in koh samui tour

7. Take a Thai Cooking Class

I don’t find out about you, however I’m completely in love with Thai meals. I’m not joking after I say I may eat Thai meals on daily basis and by no means get bored. It’s simply that good! 

If you happen to’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 courses, you’ll first go to a neighborhood market to buy recent substances. Again within the kitchen, it’s time to prepare dinner up Thai classics like papaya salad, inexperienced curry, or tom yam. After all, the most effective a part of the category is having fun with the fruits of your labor with a scrumptious meal on the finish.

One of the best place to take a cooking class in Koh Samui is with Island Organics. Throughout the highly-rated class, Chef Lat teaches you easy methods to make 4 tasty Thai dishes, plus genuine curry pastes, and a dessert. What makes the category additional particular is that most of the substances are grown of their onsite backyard. Click on right here to study extra.

8. See Some Attention-grabbing Rocks

Maybe one of the crucial attention-grabbing issues to do in Koh Samui is rocks. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Nicely, my buddies, these aren’t 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 improbable legend behind the rocks.

Because the story goes, an previous couple was touring by sea to go to their son for his wedding 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 that they had 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 consider the city legend or not it’s value a go to to the rocks, if solely to snap some foolish photographs and giggle. The view from the rocks is superb as nicely. You will 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 nicely.

☞ See Additionally: Issues To Do in Chiang Rai – 21 Prime Issues You Don’t Need 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 “Hey! Maasssaaagggee?” It appears as if everybody on this island needs to present you a therapeutic massage. I say take them up on it. You’re on trip in any case!

In the case of getting a therapeutic massage right here, you could have loads of choices. There are wandering masseuses on the seashore 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?

If you happen to want one thing a little bit nicer, spas are a dime a dozen in Koh Samui. These vary from quite simple to extremely fancy. All of it is dependent upon your price range and what you’re searching 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 at all times enjoyable, that’s not the one strategy to cool off on a sizzling day in Koh Samui. The island is dwelling to a number of waterfalls the place you may 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 definitely accessible by automobile and thus could be a bit crowded. If you happen to’re up for a little bit problem, it’s a couple of 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 charge to park your bike right here. There are some small meals stalls right here in addition to distributors promoting drinks when you forgot to deliver snacks or water. Yow will discover 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 unquestionably one of many high issues to do in Koh Samui. On a typical ATV tour, you’ll journey by way 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 brief as one hour, whereas others final half a day. One tour operator that’s extremely advisable is X-Quad Samui.

Earlier than you go using an ATV into the jungle of a Thai island, ensure you have some first rate worldwide journey insurance coverage. Not all insurance policies cowl excessive actions equivalent to this, so verify yours rigorously! 

☞ If you happen to’re into bike journeys, try this information to using the Mae Hong Son Loop!

12. Hit The Night time Markets (among the finest issues to do in Koh Samui!)

Night time markets in Thailand are certainly one of my favourite issues on the earth. It simply by no means will get previous sampling low cost and engaging Thai meals whereas perusing the colourful handicrafts on provide. 

If you happen to’re questioning what to do in Koh Samui within the evenings, there are a number of completely different evening markets in Koh Samui which are value testing. Totally 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 normally get going round 5PM and keep open till 11. You’ll want to add at the least certainly one of these superior evening markets to your listing of issues to do in Koh Samui. 

night markets top attractions in koh samui

13. Discover Nathon City

If you happen to arrive in Koh Samui by way of the ferry from Surat Thani, your level of entry might be Nathon City. That is the business and administrative heart of the island and a spot that many locals name dwelling. 

Most vacationers skip over Koh Samui’s essential city completely, but it surely’s positively value it to spend a while visiting Nathon. On a brief journey right here, you may try 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 positioned on the northwest coast of Koh Samui. Yow will discover it on the map and get instructions right here.

14. Verify Out the Secret Buddha Backyard

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

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

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

The Secret Buddha Backyard is open on daily basis from 9-5. It prices 80 baht (about $2.50) to go to. It’s fairly robust to achieve by yourself until you could have 4WD and are an skilled driver. If not, it’s best to contemplate signing up for a day tour that features a cease on the backyard. Yow will discover it on the map right here.

☞ Searching for a surprising 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

If you happen to develop uninterested in 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 just a few hours strolling round, doing a little bit of purchasing, and grabbing a chew to eat. This enjoyable jet-ski journey takes in Fishermen’s Village, together with sundown dinner on the seashore.

Right here you’ll discover authentic picket houses constructed within the nineteenth century by Chinese language immigrants. Whereas most of the fishermen have moved on to different components of the island, they nonetheless deliver their every day catch to the eating places right here. You’ll discover a few 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, you could wish to come on Friday to take a look at the evening market right here. The Fishermen’s Village is positioned close to Bophut Seaside. You will get instructions on the map right here

16. Go {Golfing}

If you happen to get pleasure from a pleasant spherical of golf in your trip, you then’ll be pleased 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 likely one of the greatest issues to do in Koh Samui.

The Santiburi Samui Nation Membership is the one skilled customary 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 your entire spherical. It’s not an inexpensive spherical (about $160 with golf cart and caddy), but it surely may be one of the crucial scenic rounds you ever play! Yow will discover the course on the map right here

If you happen to’re like me and may’t swing a golf membership to save lots of your life, you would possibly wish to simply play a great old school spherical of mini-golf. There are mini-golf programs in each Chaweng and Lamai which are enjoyable for the entire household. 

☞ Desire mountains to seashores? Then you definitely’ll wish to try beautiful Khao Lak.

17. See a Mummified Monk

This may be probably the most uncommon merchandise on our listing of issues to do in Koh Samui. On the Wat Khunaram temple, you could 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 could be preserved on this peaceable state, and it has been on show in a glass case ever since. 

This will likely appear a bit stunning and morbid to most Westerners, however Thai Buddhists are way more accepting of demise. 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 couple of 10-minute drive from Lamai Seaside. It’s open on daily basis and is most energetic within the early morning or late afternoon. Yow will discover it on the map right here

Wat Khunaram temple

18. Attempt The Digital Nomad Life

Koh Samui just isn’t solely a preferred vacationer and honeymoon spot, but it surely’s additionally an up-and-coming digital nomad vacation spot. Whereas the digital nomad neighborhood might not be as large right here as it’s in close by Koh Phangan or Chiang Mai within the north, that is nonetheless an excellent place to work remotely. 

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

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

☞ If you happen to’re inquisitive about what digital nomad life is like on the opposite facet 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 might be higher than having fun with the sundown from a tropical seashore in Thailand? Having fun with it on a yacht, after all! Taking a sundown cruise positively earns its spot on this listing of issues to do in Koh Samui.

Most tour operators on the island might be pleased to set you up with a sundown cruise. Top-of-the-line choices is with the Pink Baron, a standard picket junk-style yacht. 

Their sundown cruise features a welcome cocktail, limitless delicate 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 study extra. 

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

20. Attempt 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 degree with their enjoyable and interactive spin on issues.

To be clear, this isn’t a cooking class. I’ve already included these on this listing of issues to do in Koh Samui up above. Whereas you’ll study all in regards to the varied dishes and even learn to make a little 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 likely one of the most unusual 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 exhibits characteristic singing, dancing, comedy, and a few fairly elaborate costumes. 

There are just a few completely different choices for ladyboy cabaret exhibits on the island. One which comes extremely advisable is Paris Follies, which options all kinds of dance types in addition to many superior superstar impersonators. 

Reveals go on each evening at 8, 9:30, and 11. The sooner present is a little more family-friendly, whereas issues warmth up a little 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 facet. 

Now You Know What To Do in Koh Samui

As you may see, there’s quite a bit occurring right here in Koh Samui. Whereas this island will in all probability suck you in, you would possibly wish to contemplate tacking on a visit to the close by islands of Koh Tao for diving and Koh Phangan for epic events and adventures. 

If you happen to’re planning on exploring extra of the nation (and you ought to be), you should definitely try this information to backpacking Thailand. Whenever you inevitably contemplate quitting your job, promoting all of your worldly possessions, and transferring right here, we’ve additionally bought you coated with particulars on the price of residing in Thailand. 

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