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Top 20 Things To Do In Koh Samui, Thailand - Updated 2019

Rachel
Updated Aug 15, 2019

Lying in the Gulf of Thailand off Kra Isthmus’ east coast is Thailand’s second largest island, Koh Samui. Known for its idyllic beaches lined with coconut groves, the island is one of the favourite destinations for beach goers in Thailand. However, even if you are not one for the beach, there are numerous ways to enjoy the beautiful island too. Read this article for the top 20 things you can do in Koh Samui suitable for all occasions!


Fascinating sights to behold

We all know that Koh Samui is a lovely island surrounded by crystal clear waters. But do you know that other than pristine beaches, fine sand and sea, there are other splendid sights you should not miss on Samui? Read on to discover the 6 distinct sights you must visit on this lovely island.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

1. Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)


As you arrive by air at the Koh Samui Airport, there is a majestic icon you will not miss - the Big Buddha Temple, known locally as the Wat Phra Yai. Located near the airport, the 12-metre (40-foot) gold-painted Buddha statue sits atop a hill off the northeastern coast of Koh Samui. Seek inner peace as you visit the temple and marvel at the impressive Buddha in a state of calm and purity.

Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

Address: Highway 4171, Hat Bang Rak 84140, Thailand

Price: free.

Opening Hours: always open.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

2. Guan Yu Shrine


In Chinese Buddhism, Guan Yu, a Chinese general from ancient times, is revered as a bodhisattva. While it is easy to find numerous shrines paying homage to him in places where the Chinese live, Koh Samui’s Guan Yu Shrine is a sight to behold. Standing several metres taller than Big Buddha, the bronze statue with a big red head, in dark green and gold armour, backed by a long-handled sword piercing the sky, certainly portrays a mighty image. Get to know more about the colourful history of Samui’s Chinese through the intriguing displays and ceremonies here.

To visit Guan Yu Shrine, get to Hua Thanon village and it is located off the inland side of the village’s ring road. Look for a red gate on the right if you miss the looming red head while approaching from the north.

Guan Yu Shrine

Address: 190/1 Moo 1, Tambon Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310

Price: free.

Opening Hours: 8 am - 5 pm daily.

Contact: +66 77 418 854

Website: Guan Yu Shrine (in Thai only)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

3. Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park is the dream destination of any island hopper, popularised by the Alex Garland’s famous novel ‘The Beach’. As an archipelago of 42 islands 28 kilometres (17.4 miles) from Koh Samui, its towering limestone mountains, dense jungle, lakes and waterfalls make it a picture-perfect spot to explore. The vast national marine park is home to exotic wildlife, both on land and sea. Whether you are game for some hiking, snorkelling or diving, there is surely something to excite you in the tropical paradise!

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Address: 346/1 Amphoe Mueang Surat Thani, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84000, Thailand

Price: 300 THB (8.70 USD) per adult foreigner, 150 THB (4.35 USD) per foreign child under 12 years old or 120 cm in height, 40 THB (1.20 USD) per local.

Access: book a government-approved tour boat on Koh Samui to reach Ang Thong

Contact: +66 77 420 225

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

4. Hin Ta & Hin Yai

#hinyai #hinta #rocks #kohsamui #beach #beautifulview #travel #thailand 🌴

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Hin Ta and Hin Yai, also known as Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks respectively, are thought-provoking rock formations located on Koh Samui’s south coast. With an unusual appearance like the male and female genitalia, it is not surprising Hin Ta and Hin Yai often brings about embarrassed giggles from visitors. Don’t just feel tickled by the unique works of Mother Nature when you visit. Read about the tragic legend through the signboard near the rocks for a local interpretation of how the rocks were formed. Of course, you can also look out for the spectacular views from the rocks and vicinity.

Hin Ta & Hin Yai

Address: 92 84310 126/92 Moo 3 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

Price: free.

Access: off Route 4169 on Samui’s south-east coast, about two kilometres south of central Lamai Beach

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

5. Visit the Wat Plai Laem

Where: Wat Plai Laem (Ko Samui, Thailand) When: February 2017.

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Located on Samui’s north east coast is Wat Plai Laem Buddhist temple. Look up and you’ll catch the inspiring sight of the 18-arm Guan Yin statue. Devotees come daily to pay their respects to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

Красота рядом!

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Take a break and let the tranquillity seep in.

Wat Plai Laem Temple

Address: Wat Plai Laem, Road 4171, Thailand

Price: Free

Opening Hours: Daylight Hours (6 am - 6 pm daily)

Access: Take the 4169 Highway Ring Road up to the north-east Turn off on to Route 4171 (Close to the Big Buddha Temple) Bophut, Koh Samui

Contact: +66 98 069 4019

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

6. Secret Buddha Garden

😵

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Perched high up on the hills of central Koh Samui is the private Secret Buddha Garden, offering a unique collection of Buddha statues nestled in a lush jungle next to the waterfall and stream. All the sculptures are individually hand carved with exquisite stone decorations, depicting tales from popular Buddhist folklore and mythology. Gain insights to their intrinsic meanings through the tour guide.

Secret Buddha Garden

Address: 22/1 Moo 4 Ban Bangrak, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand

Price: 80 THB (2.30 USD) per person.

Access: In Baan Saket, get on the air force road leading up to Ta Nim Waterfall. The road turns into a dirt track for the last 400 metres of the ascent. There are many signs along the way. Only experienced drivers should attempt the road, best done in a 4WD vehicle. Or visit the gardens as part of an adventure day trip such as a jungle/safari tour or ATV ride.

Contact: +66 77 245 255

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

For some fun in the sun

It would be a pity if you are on the tropical island of Koh Samui but don’t go out to enjoy some great sunshine. Here are 5 wonderful outdoor activities to engage in Samui.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

7. Ride a quad bike

Source: X-Quad Samui

The pristine island dies not only boast mind-blowing coastal landscapes. Head inland, and you will discover the beauty of its dense jungle with stunning hidden waterfall and panoramic viewpoints. Riding a quad bike, which is a motorcycle with four large tyres for off-road use, is an exciting way to venture through the natural landscapes and see a different Koh Samui. It will certainly make an unforgettable adventure for everyone!

X-Quad Samui

Address: Maenam Soi 5 Atv , Koh Samui 84320, Thailand

Price: from 4,900 THB (142.40 USD) for a 4-hour tour.

Contact: +66 90 980 5401 (Nic); +66 86 341 5301 (ปลา)

Website: X-Quad Samui

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

8. Kayaking (from 3,085 THB (89.65 USD) for a full-day 9-hour tour.)


One of the best ways to enjoy Ang Thong National Marine Park fully is via kayaking. With over 40 islands on the popular archipelago, paddle your way through the concealed lagoons and hidden caves to discover its breathtaking beauty. Marvel in awe as you get up close to a vast array of rich marine life and scenic landscapes. Who knows, you may even be the lucky one spotting families of dolphins or turtles swimming alongside your sea kayak!

Viator Tour - Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong National Marine Park from Koh Samui

Address: Koh Samui, Thailand

Price: from 3,085 THB (89.65 USD) for a full-day 9-hour tour.

Contact: +1(702) 648-5873

Website:

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

9. Chill by the beach

There are times when we just feel like relishing some quiet moments and relax. Lamai Beach will make the perfect spot with its laid-back atmosphere. Unlike Chaweng, the largest resort area in Koh Samui, Lamai Beach is quieter and less touristy. Nonetheless, it is home to many accommodation, dining, shopping and spa options. So enjoy the idyllic chill out without being too far out from modern conveniences on Lamai Beach.

Lamai Beach

Address: southeastern coast of Koh Samui, Thailand

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

10. Go diving (from 4,368 THB (127 USD) for a full-day 9-hour tour.)

Two days diving trip on Samui - stay one night in paradise on Koh Tao! Only 5,000 THB for 4 dives and one night free accommodation on Koh Tao. Maximum dives for minimum time at different dive sites around Koh Tao. For certified divers brilliant dive sites such as Chumphon Pinnacle, Shipwreck HTMS "Sattakut", South-West Pinnacle, Shark island. Book now on our website: http://scubabirds.com/diving-samui/for-certified-divers-2-days.html and get the lowest price on Koh Samui. Enjoy owernight on small and beautiful Koh Tao Island. Clear water, white sand beaches, night life with barbeque and fireshow on the beach. *Extra dive is 700 THB. *Night dive is 1050 THB #divetrip #divingsamui #divingkohtao #scubadiving #underwater

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Always been yearning to dive so as to check out the colourful underwater world but do not have a licence? Make your dream come true when you visit the beautiful Koh Tao off Samui. Dive the beautiful reefs of Koh Tao with full supervision of the professional dive instructor with no dive certification! It’s a safe adventure to witness the amazing marine life underwater for a memorable holiday.

Viator Tour - Diving Trip at Koh Tao from Koh Samui Including Lunch

Address: Koh Samui, Thailand

Price: from 4,368 THB (127 USD) for a full-day 9-hour tour.

Contact: +1(702) 648-5873

Website:

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

11. Gun shooting

9mm! Body, Head, Arms....Still got it💥💥💥💥🔫 #gun #kohsamui

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Take a break from the usual beach and nature tours on Koh Samui. Make your way to the island’s main shooting range near the Chaweng beach area for an entertaining day ahead. Fully qualified instructors will be on-site to train you with the fundamentals before you enjoy the firing at paper cut-outs with real bullets. Throughout the shooting session, you will be under strict supervision from your instructor too. So have fun with gun shooting!

Samui Paragon Gun Shooting Range

Address: Amphoe Koh Sa-Mui, Surat Thani, Thailand

Price: from 890 THB (25.90 USD) for a 10-bullet session with .22 rifle.

Contact: +66 77 424 000

Website: Samui Paragon Gun Shooting Range

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

Things to do on rainy days

Yes, we all know very well that Koh Samui is a tropical island with lots of great fun out there, but what if it rains? Instead of looking out of the window from your room disappointedly, discover these 4 cool activities that will put the smile back on your face.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

12. Thai cooking class

Thai cuisine is loved by many, for its exotic blend of flavours and fragrances. If you love Thai food, why not learn how to cook a typical 3-course Thai lunch from professional chefs on Koh Samui? Visit the local market to find fresh ingredients and learn to prepare the dishes thereafter. Besides learning how to cook these delicious dishes on your own, you will also be able to experience the local way of life through the market tour.

Viator Tour - Half-Day Thai Cooking Classes in Koh Samui

Address: Koh Samui, Thailand

Price: from 1,840 THB (53.49 USD) for a 4-hour tour.

Contact: +1(702) 648-5873

Website:

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

13. Central Festival Samui


Central Festival Samui is the largest lifestyle shopping complex right smack in the heart of town spanning three storeys and about 90,000 square metres (968752 square feet) of retail space. Besides the multifarious shops and restaurants segmented by four interesting themes in the trendy complex, there is a beautifully landscaped garden and kids’ playground. Keep yourself entertained in this mega complex offering over 200 retailers!

Central Festival Samui

Address: 209/3 MOO 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84320 Thailand

Opening Hours: 11 am - 11 pm daily.

Access: between Chaweng Beach Road and Chaweng Lake in the central part of the resort town.

Contact: +66 77 962 777

Website: Central Festival Samui

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

14. Fruit carving class

Source: SITCA

Originally used only to decorate tables of the Thai royal family, Thai fruit carving is a highly-regarded traditional Thai art requiring superb precision and skill. Make your Koh Samui trip meaningful by learning the basics of this respected art through an interesting fruit carving class. Learn how to carve ornate flower patterns using Thai fruits, vegetables and garnishes with hands-on session conducted by professional instructors. Enhance your dishes with a delicate fruit carving to impress your loved ones back home after the class.

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Address: 46/6 Moo 3, Chaweng Beach, Borphut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

Price: from 2,500 THB (53.49 USD) for a 1-day class.

Contact: +66 77 413 172

Website: Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

15. Indulge in a spa

Source: Magnolia Spa

Thai massages are world famous, known as a wonderful form of relaxation for the body. In the tropical island paradise, what better way to relax and recharge than to indulge in a spa treatment? There is a myriad of sophisticated spas to take your pick from in Koh Samui. If you are looking for the best in Chaweng, indulge in a full suite of wide-ranging spa treatments at Magnolia Spa. The professional masseurs will make even the reluctant spa goer a truly satisfied customer!

Magnolia Spa

Address: 21/22 Moo 2, North Chaweng, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

Opening Hours: 11 am till late. Last session at 7.30 pm.

Price: from 950 THB (27.60 USD) for a 90-minute traditional Thai massage.

Contact: +66 77 601 133/4

Website: Magnolia Spa

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

The night is still young

Your exhilarating day doesn’t end as the sun sets in Koh Samui. The 5 fabulous things to do after dark listed below will certainly make you keep you up all night!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

16. Elephant Walk Koh Samui


Elephant Walk Koh Samui is a small night market located just a short walk from the Happy Elephant Restaurant in Fisherman’s Village. Despite the short stretch of only 30 metres (98.4 feet), the night market offers a quirky shopping experience where you can find a diverse mix of small local boutiques. Check out the cute comic elephant statues lined along the gravelled central courtyard as well.

Elephant Walk Koh Samui

Address: Bophut Beach Road, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

Access: Opposite Happy Elephant Restaurant in Fisherman’s Village

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

17. Chaweng Night Market

#tonight #chaweng #nightmarket #yummy #food #lights #kohsamui #thailand #worldtraveler

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Unlike Elephant Walk Koh Samui, Chaweng Night Market is more of a food market where you can tuck into a wide array of food. With just a couple of stalls selling clothes and souvenirs, Chaweng Night Market is effectively a large food court offering quality dishes at affordable prices as low as 50 THB (1.45 USD) for snacks and 70 THB (2 USD) for local dishes. Come here to enjoy a sumptuous dinner under the stars and experience the vibrant night scene.

Chaweng Night Market

Address: 14/102 Moo 2, behind Star Gym, Chaweng Beach Road, Chaweng, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

Opening Hours: 5 pm - 11 pm daily.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

18. Fisherman’s Village


The Fisherman’s Village is a popular spot for locals and tourists, particularly on Friday evenings when the Walking Street Market is closed to traffic. Chomp down on delectable street food from grilled squids to kebabs. Of course, expect to see the usual souvenir stalls selling quintessential Thai knick-knacks, including plenty of souvenirs made from coconuts.

Fisherman’s Village

Address: Bophut Beach Road, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

Opening Hours: 5 pm - 11 pm daily.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

19. Sunset bars by the beach


Who thinks surreal beaches can only be enjoyed during the day? You probably have not been to a sunset bar by the beach in Samui then. Discover hidden gems at lesser known beaches on the island’s west coast with an awesome beachfront dining experience. Watch the gorgeous sunset while you sip a glass of cocktail under coconut trees. For a stylish sundowner dining experience, Air Bar at Intercontinental Samui Resort and Woobar at W Retreat Koh Samui will assure you a memorable end to an unforgettable evening in the Gulf of Thailand.

Air Bar

Address: At Intercontinental Samui Resort, in the central part of Baan Taling Ngam

Opening Hours: 5 pm - 12 am daily.

Contact: +66 77 429 100

Website: Air Bar

Woobar

Address: About 800m north of Intercontinental Samui Resort

Opening Hours: 11.30 am - 10.30 pm daily.

Contact: +66 77 270 689

Website: Woobar

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

20. Romantic dinner by the beach (from 3,188 THB (92.63 USD).)


Travelling with your significant other half and want to enjoy a romantic dinner by the idyllic beach? Indulge in a 4-course dinner of traditional Thai cuisine like the king and queen at the Amari Koh Samui resort, while you marvel in awe at the stunning sun sink into the horizon at Chaweng Beach.

Viator Tour - Romantic 4-Course Dinner for Two on the Beach by the Amari Samui

Address: Amari Koh Samui resort

Price: from 3,188 THB (92.63 USD).

Contact: +1(702) 648-5873

Website:

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Koh Samui and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Koh Samui

Say hello to Coconut Island!

If you do not already know, Koh Samui has earned itself the nickname of Coconut Island as it used to rely heavily on coconut plantations. Now that you have discovered the top 20 must-dos on the pristine island, are you itching to go yet? Whether you are into outdoor, cultural activities or nightlife, Samui has something for everyone. Enjoy!

This article was originally published on Apr 26, 2017

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Rachel has forgotten when and exactly how she caught the travel bug. What she does remember is the triumphant feeling she enjoys when she sees the fascinating world out there with her own eyes. She...Read more

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