21 Greatest Issues To Do in Koh Samui, Thailand

If you happen to’re searching for a spot that has huge 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 quaint R&R, you’ll discover issues to do in Koh Samui to fit your vibe.  

Days may be spent lounging on the seashore, doing a wide range of water sports activities, mountain climbing 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.

Learn on for a better have a look at 21 high issues to do in Koh Samui — one of many best places to visit 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 acquired a number of selections for solar and sand when visiting this fashionable Thai island.

Positioned close to the airport on the northeast aspect of the island, Chaweng is the principle seashore in Koh Samui.

Whereas it’s positively essentially 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 up a fruity cocktail, and luxuriate in your self!

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

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

Different beautiful seashores it’s best to spend a while on embrace Lipa Noi, Bang Por, and Big Buddha beach. Talking of a Huge Buddha, that brings us to the following merchandise on our checklist.

best beaches in koh samui

2. Go to the Huge Buddha

One of the vital well-known Koh Samui sights is the Huge 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.

Because of 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 the place 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 fascinating 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. You’ll find the Koh Samui Huge Buddha on the map here.

Word: When visiting this and some other Buddhist temple in Thailand, it’s essential to observe the right etiquette. It’s scorching and humid on the Thai islands, however it is advisable cowl up when visiting spiritual websites like this. Don’t be that farang who reveals up right here carrying a Full Moon Party 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’ll be able to participate in scuba diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing, kayaking, crusing, kiteboarding, and extra. 

Whereas close by Koh Tao stands out as the diving Mecca of Thailand, Koh Samui can be a superb place to discover below the ocean.

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

Even in the event you’re not into the concept of scuba diving, you’ll be able to nonetheless take pleasure in recognizing the ample marine life by snorkeling. It’s simple to search out gear for hire on the seashore, or you’ll be able to join a ship tour to go to a number of completely different spots. Many excursions take a mixture of divers and snorkelers, which is nice in the event you’re in a break up group.

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

4. Follow Yoga

If you happen to really feel the necessity to do some solar salutations or bust out your greatest downward going through canine in your trip, you’ll be pleased to listen to that yoga is sort of fashionable right here. I’m normally extra of a “Namaste in mattress” form of man, however even I’ll stand 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 in the event 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 as much as intense yoga retreats. Whether or not you’re a complete beginner or an skilled, there’s a yoga class for you in Koh Samui.

One of the vital fashionable spots to do yoga in Koh Samui is Vikasa — a boutique yoga resort and natural restaurant. A drop-in class prices 500 baht ($15), or you may get Three for 1,000 ($30). Click here for costs and particulars.

☞ See Additionally: Things 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 vital enjoyable issues to do in Koh Samui is becoming a member of 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 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 brief boat journey away from Koh Samui, and nearly each tour operator on the island can get you arrange on a visit there. The going fee for these excursions is round $60 per particular person, together with lunch, resort switch, meals, snorkelling tools and extra. Try this highly-rated day tour for particulars, or this amazing sunset cruise!

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

You may select between easy bungalows or simply hire a tent to camp on the seashore. There’s additionally a fundamental restaurant right here the place you’ll be able to have your meals. For all the information on staying at Ang Thong, take a look at the park’s website

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 mountain climbing 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 implausible 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 may be fairly scorching 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 convey loads of water together with some sunscreen and bug spray.

If you happen to’d moderately go along with a gaggle than by yourself, you should definitely take a look at the numerous choices provided by Hiking on Samui. These excursions are run by a long-time Samui expat from the Netherlands who has tons of expertise mountain climbing.

☞ See Additionally: Things To Do in Chiang Mai – A Listing of 17 Highlights

A Little Quick On Time?

If you wish to see lots of the “must-sees” in Koh Samui, however don’t have quite a lot of time, or don’t need to spend greater than a half-day doing so, take a look at this popular, highly 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 food. I’m not joking once I say I may eat Thai meals each day 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 discover ways 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 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.

A few the most effective locations to take a cooking class in Koh Samui are Smiley Cook and InFusion. Their Better of Workshop and Natural Backyard Tour prices simply 990 baht ($32) and runs from 5-7PM. If you wish to dive deeper, you’ll be able to join their half-day course for 1,890 baht ($60). Click here to study this tour, or click on the picture under:

cooking class tour in koh samui

8. See Some Fascinating Rocks

Maybe some of the fascinating issues to do in Koh Samui is rocks. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Nicely, my buddies, these aren’t any odd rocks…

Hin Ta (Grandpa Rock) and Hin Yai (Grandma Rock) have been naturally carved through the years 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 previous 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 reworked 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 imagine the city legend or not it’s value a go to to the rocks, if solely to snap some foolish photographs and giggle like a schoolgirl. The view from the rocks is wonderful as properly. You may get instructions to the naughty-bits-shaped rocks on the map here

☞ See Additionally: Things 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 certain to listen to calls of “Good day! Maasssaaagggee?” It appears as if everybody on this island desires to provide you a therapeutic massage. I say take them up on it. You’re on trip in spite of everything!

In terms of getting a therapeutic massage right here, you might have loads of choices. There are the 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 just some bucks why not?

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

10. Swim in Waterfalls

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

The most well-liked 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 automotive and thus generally is a bit crowded. If you happen to’re up for slightly 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 in the event you forgot to convey snacks or water. You’ll find Na Muang 1 on the map and get instructions 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 means of the jungle to take a look at some wonderful 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. Costs appear to vary from 1,500 baht ($48) for the shorter excursions as much as 4,900 baht ($155) for the longer journeys. 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, be sure you have some first rate international travel insurance. Not all insurance policies cowl excessive actions comparable to this, so test yours fastidiously! 

☞ If you happen to’re into bike journeys, take a look at 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 one in all my favourite issues on the planet. 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 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 normally get going round 5PM and keep open till 11. Make sure to add a minimum of one in all these superior evening markets to your checklist 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 will likely be Nathon City. That is the business and administrative heart of the island and a spot the place many locals name residence. 

Most vacationers skip over Koh Samui’s essential city completely, however it’s positively value it to spend a while visiting Nathon. On a brief journey right here, you’ll be able to take a look at the colourful Chinese language store homes, eat some scrumptious native meals at a discount 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 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 a lovely and peaceable place to discover, and will positively make it in your checklist 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 each 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’s best to think about signing up for a day tour that features a cease on the backyard. You’ll find it on the map here.

☞ In search of a surprising island with pristine seashores, however fewer vacationers? Don’t miss the entire unbelievable things 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 a number of hours strolling round, doing a little bit of buying, and grabbing a chew to eat. 

Right here you’ll discover authentic wood houses constructed within the 19th century by Chinese language immigrants. Whereas lots of the fishermen have moved on to different components of the island, they nonetheless convey their each day catch to the eating places right here. You’ll discover among 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 need 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 here

16. Go {Golfing}

If you happen to take pleasure in a pleasant spherical of golf in your trip, then you definitely’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 Country Club 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.

Because of its location, you’ll take pleasure in distinctive views all through the whole spherical. It’s not an affordable spherical (about $160 with golf cart and caddy), however it is perhaps some of the scenic rounds you ever play! You’ll find the course on the map here

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

☞ Favor mountains to seashores? Then you definately’ll need to take a look at beautiful Khao Lak.

17. See a Mummified Monk

This is perhaps essentially the most uncommon merchandise on our checklist of issues to do in Koh Samui. On the Wat Khunaram temple, you might have the prospect to see a mummified monk. 

Luong Pordaeng was a Buddhist monk who died whereas within the 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 appear a bit stunning and morbid to most Westerners, however Thai Buddhists are far 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 each day and is most lively within the early morning or late afternoon. You’ll find it on the map here

Wat Khunaram temple

18. Attempt The Digital Nomad Life

Koh Samui just isn’t solely a well-liked vacationer and honeymoon spot, however it’s additionally an up-and-coming digital nomad vacation spot. Whereas the digital nomad neighborhood is probably not as huge right here as it’s on close by Koh Phangan or Chiang Mai within the north, that is nonetheless an amazing place to work remotely. 

Excessive-speed web is now available on the island, particularly within the fashionable areas of Chaweng and Lamai. Additionally, there’s lastly a co-working house at Mantra (test it on the map 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 Street) spent an incredible month residing and dealing from Koh Samui. Learn all about it of their huge 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 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 may very well be higher than having fun with the sundown from a tropical seashore in Thailand? Having fun with it on a yacht, in fact! Taking a sundown cruise positively earns its spot on this checklist of issues to do in Koh Samui.

Most tour operators on the island will likely be pleased to set you up with a sundown cruise. Top-of-the-line choices is with the Red Baron, a conventional wood 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. Costs for his or her 3-hour cruise are available at 2,500 baht (about $100) per particular person. Click here to study extra. 

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

20. Attempt the Thai Expertise Dinner

This simply is perhaps the good feast on the market. The Thai Experience 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 checklist of issues to do in Koh Samui up above. Whereas you’ll study all in regards to the numerous dishes and even discover ways to make slightly 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 particular person. 

This feast is likely one of the most unique things to do in Thailand. Don’t miss it!

21. See a Cabaret Present

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

There are a number of completely different choices for ladyboy cabaret reveals on the island. One which comes extremely advisable is Paris Follies, which options all kinds of dance types in addition to many superior movie star 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 slightly 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 expensive aspect. 

Now You Know What To Do in Koh Samui! 

As you’ll be able to see, there’s lots taking place right here on Koh Samui. Whereas this island will in all probability suck you in, you would possibly need to think about tacking on a visit to the close by islands of Koh Tao for diving and Koh Phangan for the epic events and adventures. 

If you happen to’re planning on exploring extra of the nation (and try to be), you should definitely take a look at this information to backpacking Thailand. Whenever you inevitably think about quitting your job, promoting all of your worldly possessions, and transferring right here, we’ve additionally acquired you coated with particulars on the cost of living in Thailand

What did I miss?! If there are different issues to do in Koh Samui that I missed, please go away a remark down under and tell us. 

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

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