Koh Samui is one of the most rewarding destinations in Thailand. The cosmopolitan is a melting point of a hive of activities and attractions. The most convenient way to reach Koh Samui is to take a direct flight from Bangkok. The tropical island has several luxurious resorts as well as budget stays for all kinds of tourists. Attractions here range from intricately designed temples, natural parks, quaint villages, peaceful beaches, and more. The overwhelming variety of attractions makes it difficult for tourists to decide on what to do when visiting Koh Samui on a short trip. To make your trip planning easy for you, here is a list of top 15 things that you can indulge in when visiting Koh Samui.
1. Snorkeling and Kayaking in Ang Thong Marine Park
You cannot visit an island like Koh Samui and not indulge in some water sports. Ang Thong National Marine Park is an archipelago made up of 42 islands. It is home to a rich variety of exotic wildlife, hidden caves, thick jungles, and of course beaches. You can embark on a day trip to the Marine Park by joining in on a government-approved tour bus from Koh Samui. You can also book a cruise or a speed boat character. You can spend a day on the islands snorkeling, sea kayaking, diving, hiking, exploring, or simply relaxing on its heavenly beaches.
2. Deep Sea Fishing
Visiting a place like Koh Samui means gathering unforgettable memories. Spending a day or night fishing in the sea can be counted one among those experiences. If you love the sea and water sports then this is an activity you must try. Several tour operators organize a tour to Ang Thong Marine Park, the best place for deep-sea fishing. These packages include fishing equipment, baits, transfer, tour guides, and meals. If you are traveling alone then this is a great way of mingling with fellow travelers who share similar interests.
3. Jungle Safari Tour
Several tour operators organize a full-day tour of some of the most popular attractions in Koh Samui. The tour includes some of the famous attractions high up in the mountains like Nam Muang Waterfalls, Wat Khurram, and the Secret Buddha Garden. The full-day safari lets you get acquainted with the exotic wildlife in the lush forests takes you through some spectacular views along the mountainside of farms and small villages, and you are even treated to traditional Thai lunch at the summit.
4. Shop at Fisherman’s Village Walking Street Market
The quaint and quiet town of Bophut comes alive every Friday from 05:00 in the evening. A narrow road of 860m along the side of the beach and its adjoining streets get swamped with market shops and shoppers who keep the street buzzing with life till 11:00 at night. All the items in the stalls that include clothing shops, jewelry stalls, accessories, food, beverages, electrical goods are all available at low-key prices even the branded stuff. Food vendors, cocktail bars, street performers, keep the entertainment going till midnight. The market area is a fine sight to watch. You not only get a closer look at local Thai life but also get to buy some trendy souvenirs in the form of Thai handicrafts and jewelry. If you love Thai flavors then you can stack some authentic Thai herbs and spices from the local vendors in the market.
5. Ladyboys show at Chaweng Beach
If you are a fan of music and theater plays then you must watch the popular ladyboy cabaret shows. The third-sex is not just an integral part of the Thai society but also its entertainment and tourism industry. The cabaret shows comprise great music and grand costumes. The performance is skillfully choreographed. There are several shows near Centara Grand Beach Resort which will be a fine story to tell back home.
6. Scuba Diving
One of the most popular sports among tourists who visit the island. Koh Tao and Sail Rock are two of the prime locations for Scuba Diving. Several operators organize classes and workshops for those who are not certified, divers. You get to learn basic underwater skills and get the chance to practice in a pool before indulging in the real thing. This is a must-try in Koh Samui. The coral reef is rich in marine life and you simply cannot resist discovering its underwater secrets. You can book for a diving tour online and enjoy a day diving with the fishes followed by a delicious buffet on the beach or the boat.
7. Songkran in Koh Samui
The major highlight to Thai Event’s Calendar. Songkran or the Thai New Year falls in the month of April from 13th to 15th, every year. The whole of Thailand remains bathed in colorful festivities for the three days. Koh Samui is nowhere lacking behind in celebrating their New Year on a grand scale. The period is the best time to visit any place in Thailand. If you happen to be in Koh Samui during this time then head to Chaweng. The main street of Chaweng becomes the hot spot of celebrations with Foam parties, DJs, and boozy brunch.
8. The Thai Experience
A fine dining experience but with a twist. Hosted by Claire Johnstone in The Thai Experience you not only relish Thai food but also learn to make it yourself. The evening begins with you learning to make some exquisite Thai-inspired cocktail. You taste three cocktails out of which you get the select the one you want to learn. You get a VIP seat to learn how Thai cooking is all about playing with different flavors to never miss Thai food taste back home. You learn the process of making some of the Thai signature dishes as well as the classic dipping sauces.
Adventure lovers will find Koh Samui a perfect place to satisfy all their cravings for thrill. There is no better way of experiencing the dripping lush greenery of Koh Samui and a bit of thrill than ziplining. Flying between treetops as the gentle forest breeze kisses you is one of the best experiences. The best place for ziplining in Koh Samui is Secret falls.
10. Drink at Coco Tams
If you wish to get a little tipsy and taste some fine cocktails then spend an evening by the beach in Coco Tams. It is a beach side bar in Bophut. Everything from location to serve and not to forget the cocktails of the bar are exquisite. Sit by the beach in bean bags or bamboo chairs in Cabanas. Fridays are usually a busy night. The bar is for unwinding.
11. Party in Koh Phangan
If you are cravings for some crazy party then head to Koh Phangan. There are several Full-Moon, Half-Moon, and Black-Moon parties that take place on Haad Rin Beach. The parties keep going strong all night long with thumping beats and an endless supply of alcohol. The beach turns into an open-air nightclub hosting a party that is attended by approximately 30,000 people. Crazy is an understatement to describe the party vibe. If you love to party then make sure you look up the dates of full-moon and half-moon while planning your trip.
Koh Samui is one of the best destinations you can visit on a backpacking trip to Thailand. You can join a group if you are new to the area and trek along Hin Lad Waterfalls or Maenam Viewpoint. The view from the top is rewarding and also a great place to set up a camp and spend a couple of peaceful moments with yourself and the mother nature.
13. Temple Tour
Temples in the whole of Thailand are a symbol of the strong religious beliefs of the Thai community. The temples are not only intricately carved but also allows us to know more Thai community. Koh Samui has some of the most beautiful Buddhist temples. Big Buddha Temple with the massive 15-meters seated Buddha statue is one of the prime attractions in the area. Wat Plai Laem in the vicinity with the 18-arm statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, is yet another beautiful temple that tourists should visit. Wat Khurram with the mummified monk is a unique temple to visit. Koh Samui also has Chinese temples built by Chinese traders who had settled in the area.
14. Spa Treatment
Coming to Thailand and not treating yourself to some authentic Thai massage. That is simply not possible. Koh Samui has a range of massage spas and healing centers that help you de-stress and relax with some excellent massages. Magnolia Spa in Chaweng, Tamarind Springs in Lamai, The Peace Tropical Spa in Bophut are some of the popular spas in Koh Samui.
15. Mountain Biking Tours
Adventure sports lovers and those who love to see Thailand unvarnished, mountain biking is the best activity for both. If you are an excellent biker then you can tour through the rugged terrain south of Nathon Town. There are several trails along Maenam Valley, Chaweng, and Lamai region. The off-beat tracks offer you a closer look at Koh Samui’s natural beauty in the form of both its lush greenery and quiet villages and farms. You can book trips online or make a booking when you reach Koh Samui. The trip would range between 20 to 70kms and cost you accordingly.
16. Dawn SUP tour
The Stand Up Paddleboat is a great way of witnessing the sunrise and exploring the coastline at the same time. It is amazing to watch the sunrise at the Gulf Of Thailand. You can book an operator, they can help you by teaching some basic paddling techniques. Operators can be booked for private tours or with a small group of 4-5 people. They usually have a 2-hours SUP tour. You can start early at around 6:00 and keep your camera ready. It is a great way of starting your day tour in Koh Samui.
17. Watch an authentic Muay Thai Boxing
Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai Boxing is popular not only in Thailand but all over the world. While visiting Koh Samui you mustn’t miss the chance of witnessing authentic kickboxing in its native land. The fights are a point of fascination for the tourists. It is very different from western-style boxing. Koh Samui has training centers and gyms for those who wish to train in the sport. But it is not an easy sport to learn and requires a lot of dedication. You can watch an authentic Muay Thai Boxing in Chaweng Muay Thai Boxing Stadium.
18. Enjoy the Sunset
Thailand has beautiful sunsets, especially from the western coast. Amidst all the sightseeing and tours do not forget to stop and just admire the sun setting at the horizon. Koh Samui has some really cool sunset bars with beachfront dining options. You can visit the sophisticated Nikki Beach Resort or the cool Think and Retro Cafe. There is something extremely exotic about sipping mixed cocktails while the tropical breeze gently brushes you as you watch the sun go down and the dusk set in.
19. Grab a bite at the Jungle Club
A great place for grabbing sunset drinks or afternoon brunch. The drive up to the hill is a bit steep and can be difficult on a bike. But the view and the food is all worth it. The club has some 17 luxurious bungalows. There are several different types of table and chair arrangements, bamboo sofas, open terrace, pavilions and more. The place is cool and has some of the best drinks and pizzas
The water sport is slowly becoming a hit in Koh Samui. So much so that Koh Phangan has kiteboarding competitions about 12km from Samui. A mix of surfing and paragliding, kitesurfing is a must-try watersports activity. The temperature in Koh Samui hardly drops below 26 degrees Celsius, making it perfect for all kinds of watersports. Several kitesurfing schools offer training and lessons and also takes care of your safety as you dance on the waves to the tune of the wind.