You feel like going to the beach – preferably an island – to chill and relax where the salty sea breeze flows around you. AND you prefer a clean beach where you can play and swim in the water freely. Where should you go?
We highly recommend Koh Samui. In fact, it’s an island that many Bangkokians go to when they want a quick island getaway that’s not as far as but as beautiful and fun as Phuket. Plus, it’s its own island, making the place quite the catch for locals.
And if you like festivities, you might be pleased to know that the island is super well known for their Full Moon Party. It’s so successful (and attracts up to 10,000 people to this small island) that there are now other “Moon” parties on this island such as Half Moon and Black Moon parties!
So whether you’re in for the beach vibes, laidback activities or exciting parties, you’ll be sure to have a great time here.
Here are 24 things you can do at this island paradise.
To reach Koh Samui, we recommend taking a direct flight from Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
From BangkokFrom Singapore (tap here to view)From Kuala Lumpur (tap here to view)
The cheapest flight from Bangkok is AirAsia at USD $88.93 (round trip), which will take you to either Surat Thani Airport or Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport before a coach and ferry transfer (all-inclusive). The earliest direct flight from Bangkok is at 6am via Bangkok Airways (no coach/ferry transfer), while the earliest flight from Koh Samui is at 6am via Bangkok Airways (no coach/ferry transfer).
The cheapest flight from Singapore is SilkAir at USD $321 (round trip; direct flight). The earliest flight from Singapore is at 7:10am via SilkAir and Bangkok Airways (1 stop transfer), while the earliest flight from Koh Samui is at 8am via SilkAir and Bangkok Airways (1 stop transfer).
The cheapest flight from Kuala Lumpur is Bangkok Airways at USD $281 (round trip; direct flight). The earliest flight from Kuala Lumpur is at 7:35am via SilkAir (1 stop transfer), while the earliest flight from Koh Samui is at 8:15am via Malaysia Airlines and Bangkok Airways (1 stop transfer).
1. Grandpa and Grandma Rocks??? – Hin Ta Hin Yai
Sometimes nature really loves to joke around. At the south coast of Koh Samui, there are two very distinctive rocks that have captured the wonder and amusement of anyone who sees them.
These rocks are known as Grandpa Rock (Hin Ta) and Grandma Rock (Hin Yai), and they both look uncannily like male and female genitalia respectively.
An old folklore of Koh Samui tells the story of an old couple who set sail to a neighbouring province to ask a family for their daughter’s hand in marriage for their son.
Unfortunately, their ship encountered a storm, and only the old couple survived on the coast of Koh Samui. Filled with sadness after losing their son, they decided to end their lives as well.
Their last wish was to show the family that they were travelling to see, that they had kept their word and travelled down. After making their wish, they jumped off the cliff and turned into Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks that have stood the test of time till this day.
Hin Ta Hin Yai
Entrance fee:Free Address: 92 84310 126/92 Moo 3 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310 (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily 24/7
2. Explore nearby islands in style – Yachting by Boutique Yachting
If ever you end up feeling bored during your stay in Koh Samui, we recommend visiting nearby islands like Ang Thong National Marine Park. Take your adventure a step further by exploring luxuriously, in style via a yacht.
Not only will you be taken to different neighbouring islands, you’ll also be provided buffet meals and refreshments on board. If you end up selecting the whole-day or dinner package, you’ll even catch the sunset while yachting. Doesn’t that sound so romantic?
Best of all, all you need to do is enjoy the day – no need to plan for transport because they’ll pick you up and drop you off!
Price:4,500 Baht / USD $149.15 (Adult), 2,250 Baht / USD $74.58 (Child 5-11 years), Free (Infants below 5 years) for Ang Thong Tour Contact: +66 77 447 788, +66 80 695 0801 Opening hours: Daily from 8:30am to 6:45pm
Can’t decide what to do next? Why not come to We Green where you can explore a cultural park, non-toxic vegetable farm and farm-to-table restaurant?
At the cultural park, you’ll get to see how the locals grow their produce and make their products before experiencing it yourself. For instance, you’ll see and process rice noodles (used for Khanom Jeen).
Once you’re done, remember to drop by their restaurant. It uses only hormone-free, hygienic meat and healthy, clean veggies to cook their signature Thai and Western dishes.
Entrance fee:300 Baht / USD $9.94 (Adult), 150 Baht / USD $4.97 (Child 5-12 years) Address: 127/300 Soi We Green, Moo1 T Koh Samui Surat Thani 84310, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 81 655 6936 Opening hours: Daily from 10:30am to 5pm
What’s an island without its waterfalls? At Koh Samui, you don’t just get 1, you get 2! What we loved most here was jumping in the pools, with giant rocks and the waterfall making such gorgeous backdrops.
Although you’re free to do that in both waterfalls, each place offers slightly different experiences. Na Muang Waterfall 1 is more crowded as it’s easier to get to, whereas Na Muang Waterfall 2 requires you to hike around 30 minutes to reach there. However, the latter is much quieter, highly recommended for those wanting more privacy.
Na Muang Waterfall
Entrance fee:Free (for Na Muang Waterfall 1); 30 baht / USD $0.99 per person (for Na Muang Waterfall 2) Address: Na Mueang, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm
Walking Streets (aka Shopping!)
5. Shopping time!! – Chaweng Walking Street
Shopping is a must, especially when you’re vacationing. Whether it’s to buy a cute bag as a souvenir or trying some local specialities, you can only do this when you visit a local market. At Koh Samui, this is found at their walking streets.
Although there are several walking streets on this island, one walking street I recommend is Chaweng Walking Street. It opens every day, unlike other markets that open on different days.
There are also tons of stalls selling local souvenirs and clothes, as well as a food court with various kinds of food stalls selling grilled chicken, smoothies, etc.
PS: If you’re looking for other night markets to visit, here you go!
Price:from 30 Baht / approx. USD $0.99 Address: 39/36 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily from 4:30pm to 11pm
6. Can I go fishing here?! – Fisherman’s Village
Sadly, you can’t. In fact, none of the local fishermen are here – they’ve relocated to Bophut. So you won’t see any locals making a show of their catches early in the morning. But it’s still a nice place to visit with this part of town being quite chill and quiet – a great spot to walk around at and enjoy the peaceful vibe.
Nowadays, Fisherman’s Village is most lively on Fridays when the walking street comes to life from 5pm to 11pm.
PS: The walking street is located along the road of Bophut Beach.
Entrance fee:Free Address: 3 Borphud Sub-district Koh Samui District Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily 24 hours
Places to Stay
Staying for a few days at this island paradise? Here are 4 stays you can consider spending a few nights at.
7. Balinese paradise at its core – Silavadee Pool Spa Resort
If you’re coming with your SO to Koh Samui, you definitely want to stay here. Full stop. We might still be in Koh Samui, but with the private oceanfront pools and individual huts they have here, it feels like one of those rooms you’ll find at the Goddess Island.
And don’t get me started with the super modern amenities they have in each room. Even the cheapest rooms here have their own outdoor jacuzzi pools. How cool is that?! They also have other facilities like an oceanfront fitness area and spa, as well as a private beach. Now that’s a holiday.
Silavadee Pool Spa Resort
Rate:from 4,978 Baht / approx. USD $165 per night Address: 211/1 ตำบล มะเร็ต Tambon Maret, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 960 555 Website
8. Such a gorgeous beachside Santorini-esque stay – The Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club
Look at that curvy swimming pool beside the beach. And those poolside white rooms with pool access. Doesn’t it feel like you’re on an island vacation in Greece instead? It’s super relaxing too, especially when you’re lying at one off the loungers by the pool while sipping a refreshing drink.
This hotel even has a jungle paradise, with individual huts that look like tribal stays. With these rooms surrounded by trees, you might even mistakenly think you’re on a remote island – it’s that mystical. The rooms are equipped with all the modern amenities though, ensuring you’ll always feel comfortable throughout your stay.
The Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club
Rate:from 664 Baht / approx. USD $22 per night Address: 5/1 Moo 4 Bangrak Beach T Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 954 094 Website
9. Have a cheerful stay at this colourful resort! – COSI Samui Chaweng Beach
The lively vibes from the colourful embellishments here will provide a cheerful backdrop to your vacay. Have a blast hanging out at the cosy lobby or enjoy a refreshing swim at their see-through walled pool. Or when you’re out of energy, take a quick break in your rooms with the fluffy white blankets and cool AC.
Next, enjoy the pool or head to a nearby beach club (sun loungers are free of charge as long as you purchase a drink) or the beach.
You won’t get bored of all the relaxation here!
COSI Samui Chaweng Beach
Rate: from 936 Baht / approx. USD $31 per night Address: 209, 209 / 1-2 Moo 2, Koh Samui Bophut, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 430 123 Website
10. Such a cute (and colourful) island stay – Lub D Koh Samui Chaweng Beach
Yellow pineapple walls? What about red flower walls? There are even yellow bunk beds here. One thing’s for sure, this festive vibe never stops here – even in the bedroom.
This part hostel, part hotel has a see-through walled pool available for guests, which occasionally hosts pool parties. It also has direct access to Chaweng Beach, great if you’re planning on chilling by the beach from morning to late night.
This place can get a little rowdy, so it may not be the best stay for families with young kids. Instead, it may be more suited for backpackers and youths that enjoy an unending lively atmosphere.
Lub D Koh Samui Chaweng Beach
Rate:from 1,810 Baht / approx. USD $60 per night Address: 159/99 Koh Samui Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 230 326 Website
Feeling hungry after travelling? Here are 5 eateries where you can relax and eat delicious food while enjoying a great view.
11. Dining with a view – The Jungle Club
Have you seen this kind of restaurant before? It’s on a hillside overlooking Chaweng Noi Beach AND they have bright red bean bags in lieu of chairs. Pretty cool if you ask me.
And don’t get me started with that view. So gorgeous, especially when it’s still bright out. You’ll see lush trees covering the island, so much that you’ll start to feel that you’re in a jungle and not an island. And when it’s night time, this spot gets pretty romantic due to the lights and all.
They have tons of food available here, though my favourite has got to be the Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaf and the Coconut drink. There’s Western food too, in case you’re tired of the usual rice and meat.
The Jungle Club
Price:from 70 Baht / approx. USD $2.32 Address: 44/11 Koh Samui Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 81 891 8263 Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 9:30pm
12. Asian food’s da best! – Pa Maitree Khanom Chin (ร้าน ขนมจีนป้าไมตรี)
But if you’re not bored with Thai food yet, stop by Pa Maitree Khanom Chin, a popular local restaurant in Koh Samui. Just like its name, this eatery specialises in Khanom Chin, a rice noodle topped with Thai curry dish originated from Central Thailand.
The food’s affordably priced, with curries starting from 40 baht. However, the highlight of this store is their Crab Curry (70 baht) – super savoury and rich.
Tip: Eat this dish with vegetables and egg for a more complete taste.
Pa Maitree Khanom Chin (ร้าน ขนมจีนป้าไมตรี)
Price:from 40 Baht / approx. USD $1.33 Address: 217/2 แม่น้ำ Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84330, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 900 619 Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 3pm (Closed on Mondays)
You know the scene you always see in American movies where people enjoy a drink one night at an open bar by the beach? Koh Samui has one of those too, and they really have that Hawaiian theme going with all the palm trees, bamboo furniture and colourful cocktail drinks (240 baht). There’s finger food and Western dishes like pizza too.
Opt for one of the seats along the seaside, if possible. The chairs are bean bags and each table has a small candle to brighten the night – making your night feel quite romantic and swoony.
Price:from 120 Baht / approx. USD $3.98 Address: 62/1 moo 1 Bohput, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 91 915 5664 Opening hours: Daily from 1pm to 1am
I mean… When the restaurant is located on the Fisherman’s Wharf, next to an unattended wooden bridge and the vast blue sea, you know this eatery will be pretty dope. And that’s exactly what this place is! To top it off, they serve food quickly here so you won’t be hungry for long.
Café De Pier offers everything from full meals to desserts and drinks. For something light, I recommend their fruity french toast. It’s super juicy and fresh – super refreshing for a hot day. Otherwise, their pancakes and spring rolls taste good too.
Café De Pier
Price:from 140 Baht / approx. USD $4.64 Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 430 680 Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 10pm
15. Crabs, prawns or fish? – Sabienglae Restaurant
What about getting everything instead? Here, you’ll be able to try some of the most popular Thai-style seafood dishes like Stir-Fried Tamarind Shrimp and Hor Mok. They also have Crab Curry and Fried Fish (with seafood sauce), as well as non-seafood dishes like Fried Pork Belly and Chicken or Pork Satay.
The best part about this restaurant is that it’s located right by the beach. You can walk straight to the beach from your table. With great views, a chill atmosphere and delicious food, what else could you possibly need?
Price:from 140 Baht / approx. USD $4.64 Address: 4169, Tambon Maret, Amphoe Ko Samui, Surat Thani, 84310, 84310, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 332 651 Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm
16. The biggest beach in Koh Samui! – Chaweng Beach
If you have a soft spot for large beaches and scuba diving, you’d best visit this beach. At 6km long, it’s the biggest beach in Koh Samui, which is most likely why a lot of people flock to this beach when they visit the island.
There are also scuba diving spots nearby, great for people who enjoy water sports. But if you don’t know how to scuba dive, and are interested in it, you can consider learning with one of the Scuba Diving learning centres.
Entrance fee:Free Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand (Coordinates here)
17. Now this is paradise… – Lamai Beach
With the clear blue sea and sandy beaches as the main attraction of Koh Samui, it won’t be right to leave the island without visiting one. If you prefer a quieter and chill vibe, we recommend you to visit this beach instead.
At this 4km long beach, feel free to lie down by the sand and bask in the warm sun without being interrupted by anyone. And when the weather gets unbearably hot, jump in the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, try to find the Hin Ta Hin Yai rocks that’s located around this beach (tip: it’s at the place which has the most crowds).
Entrance fee:Free Address: Maret, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand (Coordinates here)
18. Discover antiques of Koh Samui – Wat Lamai Folk Museum
Ever wondered how the original Koh Samui people lived back in the days before it became famous amongst vacationers? If you’re interested, visit this museum located behind Lamai Temple.
With the help of the Office of the National Culture Commission (ONCC) in 1986, this temple was able to collect all sorts of traditional items from this island and other Southern cities – including glazed jars with dragon patterns, swords and mills – in this 2-storey museum.
But if there’s one thing you mustn’t miss, it’s the drum. What’s special about this drum is it was used in ceremonies like rainmaking rituals and exorcism. Sounds mystical eh?
Wat Lamai Folk Museum
Entrance fee:Free Address: 64/12-15 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 77 230 561 Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 6pm
19. What’s so special about coconuts? – Coconut Museum
It might just be a refreshing drink for you, but for the Koh Samui people, coconuts were their means for survival. Sadly, this island is no longer the country’s largest producer of coconuts. But to continue its legacy, this museum was built so more people could learn more about coconuts.
Several things that are introduced in the museum are how coconut growers on this island lived, how important coconuts are and what benefits can be obtained from coconuts.
Here, you’ll also see how they process raw coconuts to coconut-based products like soap and skincare products. There are also 2 workshops you can partake: a local dessert workshop (for 350 baht) and a coconut oil workshop (for 790 baht).
Entrance fee:Free Address: Ang Thong, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand (Coordinates here) Contact: +66 89 744 8335 Opening hours: Mon-Sat from 7:30am to 4:30pm (Closed on Sundays)
20. Climb up on top of a hill for a 360 Samui view – Jungle Route 360
Seeing panoramic views are always nice, especially when you’re in a breathtaking place like Koh Samui. But what if you can make this experience extraordinary?
With Jungle Route 360, you’ll be asked to ride a buggy (or jeep) for 30 minutes to reach the highest point of Samui. This is when the fun starts.
Be enthralled in the majestic panoramic view of Koh Samui, where you’ll see nearby islands like Koh Tao and Ang Thong National Marine Park, as well as neighbouring cities like Bophut. And if you come during the evening, you’ll also get to see the beautiful sunset.
Afterwards, you’ll be provided with a buffet dinner before you’re returned to the bottom of the hill.
Jungle Route 360
Price:1,500 Baht / approx. USD $49.72 (for Samui Dinner Tour Package) Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320 (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm Contact: +66 77 413 440
No words can describe this place. It’s super stunning, especially when the sun is up and the vast sea is gleaming. You’ll also get to see the best 180-degrees panoramic view of the bay, as well as catch the best sight of sunrise and sunset.
Not much for photos? It’s a great place to stroll around too. There are steps you can take to go down to the beach if you want to be closer to the sea. If not, you can always sit around the viewpoint and just take in the million dollar views.
Lad Koh Viewpoint
Entrance fee:Free Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily 24 hours
22. It’s hugeeeee – Big Buddha Temple
How big? 12 metres tall – which easily makes it the biggest Buddha in the South of Thailand. What makes this temple different from others is this behind this golden Buddha statue lies a seahorse-shaped boat (similar to the royal barges) with a wheel placed on top of it. The Buddha itself is shown being in a state of calm and peace, as depicted by its [Mara] posture.
Not a Buddhist? It’s still worth the trip here, especially since the view is quite scenic due to its location at Koh Phan, a small island off of Koh Samui. At a slightly higher elevation, you’ll see boats passing by the temple and the tranquil clear, blue sea.
Big Buddha Temple
Entrance fee:Free Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 5pm
23. Your unordinary golden pagoda – Wat Khao Hua Jook
Think this pagoda is the same as any other pagodas around Thailand? Think again because it definitely isn’t. This hilltop pagoda was actually made to protect a replica of Buddha’s footprint – pretty cool, right?
And since this pagoda is on a hill, this means you also get awesome views of the sea and nearby sights. You’ll even spot Koh Samui Airport from up here! It’s a pretty nice place to sit around too, with the trees sheltering you from the sun.
Wat Khao Hua Jook
Entrance fee:Free Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm
24. It’s a red temple! – Wat Ratchathammaram (Wat Sila Ngu)
If you could only go to 1 temple on this list, I’d recommend coming to this one. Different from other temples throughout the island, this one is entirely red – just like the colour of bricks. It’s also surrounded by various statues of mythical creatures like the garuda bird and naga, as well as sculptures of religious individuals like Ganesha and Hanuman.
Once you’re done, take the chance to walk around the complex and play “I Spy”. You might be able to find the monk’s residence, Buddhist cemetery (that holds urns) and an observation deck if you’re careful enough. 😉
Wat Ratchathammaram (Wat Sila Ngu)
Entrance fee:Free Address: 60/22 หมู 2 Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand (Coordinates here) Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 6pm
How’s that for an island getaway? I bet it sounds like a dream come true vacation. So why not visit Koh Samui the next time you’re thinking of going on a beach vacay? It’ll be super fun!!
Happy holiday! 😀
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PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! Tell us