20 Best Things To Do in Koh Samui, Thailand

If you’re planning a trip to Koh Samui, Thailand, you’re in for a treat. This beautiful island offers a variety of activities and attractions that cater to all types of travelers.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, adventure in the lush jungles, or cultural immersion in temples and markets, Koh Samui has something for everyone.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the best things to do in Koh Samui, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this tropical paradise.

Things To Do in Koh Samui
Things To Do in Koh Samui

Beach Bumming: Relax and Unwind

Koh Samui is renowned for its stunning beaches, and spending time lounging on the golden sands is a must-do activity. The island offers a range of beach options, each with its unique atmosphere.

Chaweng Beach, located on the northeast side of the island, is the most developed and bustling beach. Here, you can rent a lounger and umbrella, sip on tropical cocktails, and indulge in fresh seafood.

If you prefer a quieter beach experience, head to Lamai Beach, the second-largest beach on the island. With its clear and calm waters, it’s perfect for swimming and relaxation. Other beautiful beaches to explore include Lipa Noi, Bang Por, and Big Buddha Beach.

Experience Watersports Galore: Dive into Adventure

As a tropical island, Koh Samui offers a plethora of watersports activities for adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re a scuba diving aficionado or a snorkeling enthusiast, the island has plenty to offer.
Koh Samui’s warm and clear waters provide excellent visibility for underwater exploration.

You can learn to scuba dive right off the shore, making it an ideal location for beginners. Snorkeling is another popular activity, and you can easily rent gear on the beach or join a boat tour to explore different snorkeling spots.
Other watersports options include jet-skiing, kayaking, sailing, and kiteboarding. So dive in and make a splash in Koh Samui’s aquatic playground.

Visit the Big Buddha: A Cultural Landmark

Big Buddha
Big Buddha

A visit to the Big Buddha is a must when in Koh Samui. Located at the Wat Phra Yai temple, this iconic attraction is one of the most famous landmarks on the island.
The highlight of the temple is the 12-meter seated golden Buddha, which depicts Buddha in a peaceful pose. It’s best to visit in the morning to experience the bustling atmosphere with monks chanting and locals making offerings.

Remember to dress respectfully when visiting Buddhist temples in Thailand. Cover your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect.
The Big Buddha is easily accessible and is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Thai culture and spirituality.

Embark on a Day Trip to Ang Thong Marine Park: Nature’s Paradise

A day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park is a must for nature lovers. This stunning archipelago consists of 42 pristine islands, each with its natural beauty.

Towering limestone mountains, lush jungles, and postcard-worthy beaches await you. Most day trips to Ang Thong include a visit to the Emerald Lagoon, where you can swim in crystal-clear waters surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

You can also explore the beaches and enjoy snorkeling or kayaking in the marine park. Wildlife sightings are common, with dusky langurs and hawksbill turtles often spotted in the area.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the untouched beauty of Ang Thong Marine Park.

Find Inner Peace with Yoga: Relax and Rejuvenate

Koh Samui is a haven for yoga enthusiasts, with numerous options for practicing yoga on the island. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, there are classes tailored to suit your needs.
It is possible to take yoga classes at many resorts, as well as in dedicated yoga studios.

You can choose from casual drop-in classes to intensive yoga retreats. One of the most popular spots for yoga in Koh Samui is Shahda, a boutique resort known for its serene ambiance.
Join a class and experience the tranquility that comes from practicing yoga in this tropical paradise.

Immerse Yourself in Thai Cuisine: Take a Cooking Class

Thai cuisine is renowned worldwide for its bold flavors and aromatic spices. One of the best ways to experience
Thai culture is through its food. Koh Samui offers various cooking classes where you can learn to prepare traditional Thai dishes.

Many resorts and dedicated cooking schools offer classes that range from casual sessions to intensive culinary experiences. Start with a visit to a local market to shop for fresh ingredients, then head to the kitchen to learn the art of Thai cooking.

From papaya salad to green curry, you’ll have the opportunity to create authentic Thai dishes under the guidance of experienced chefs. And of course, the best part is savoring your creations at the end of the class.

Take a Hike: Explore Koh Samui’s Natural Wonders

While Koh Samui is known for its beaches, the island also offers fantastic hiking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.
The island’s lush jungles and untouched landscapes provide a picturesque backdrop for hiking trails.

From easy walks to challenging treks, there’s something for every level of hiker. Nathon Mountain Ridge Trail and the Maenam Viewpoint are two popular trails that offer stunning panoramic views of the island.

It’s best to hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat and humidity. Be prepared with plenty of water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Alternatively, you can join a guided hiking tour for a hassle-free experience.

Indulge in Relaxation: Get a Massage

No trip to Thailand is complete without experiencing a traditional Thai massage. Koh Samui offers a wide range of options for indulging in a massage, from beachside massages to luxurious spa experiences.

Wandering masseuses on the beach offer affordable massages, perfect for a quick relaxation break. For a more upscale experience, head to one of the many spas on the island, where you can enjoy a range of treatments, from Thai massages to aromatherapy sessions.
Treat yourself to a massage and let the stress melt away as you unwind and rejuvenate in paradise.

Witness Unique Geological Formations: Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks

A visit to Hin Ta and Hin Yai, also known as Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, is a quirky and memorable experience in Koh Samui.
These naturally formed rocks resemble male and female genitalia, and they have become a popular tourist attraction.

According to local legend, an elderly couple drowned at sea on their way to their son’s wedding, and the rocks are said to be their transformed bodies.
While the legend may be a bit far-fetched, the rocks provide a picturesque backdrop for some fun and silly photos.

The viewpoint from the rocks also offers beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding area, making it a unique and entertaining stop on your Koh Samui itinerary.

Get Adventurous with an ATV Tour: Explore Off the Beaten Path

For those seeking adventure and adrenaline, an ATV tour is a thrilling way to explore the rugged terrain of Koh Samui. Hop on an ATV and ride through the jungle, discovering hidden viewpoints and cascading waterfalls.

Koh Samui offers a range of ATV tour options, from short one-hour rides to half-day adventures. One highly recommended tour operator is X-Quad Samui, known for their professional guides and well-maintained vehicles.
Before embarking on an ATV tour, make sure to check your travel insurance coverage and enjoy the exhilarating experience of off-road exploration.

Cool Off in Waterfalls: Nature’s Oasis

In addition to its stunning beaches, Koh Samui is home to several beautiful waterfalls where you can escape the heat and cool off in refreshing pools.
The most popular waterfalls to visit are the Na Muang Falls, located in the lush jungle of central Koh Samui. Na Muang 1 is easily accessible by car and offers a picturesque setting for a swim.

If you’re up for a bit more adventure, hike uphill for about 20-30 minutes to reach Na Muang 2. The hike is rewarded with a stunning view and a tranquil waterfall. Remember to bring some cash for parking fees and enjoy the natural beauty of Koh Samui’s waterfalls.

Explore Nathon Town: A Cultural Hub

Nathon Town, the main town of Koh Samui, offers a unique glimpse into local life on the island. Often overlooked by tourists, Nathon Town is the commercial and administrative center of Koh Samui.

Explore the colorful Chinese shophouses, sample delicious local food at affordable prices, and witness picture-perfect sunsets along the coast.
Nathon Town provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the daily life of the locals and experience the authentic culture of Koh Samui.

Discover the Magic of Night Markets: Shop and Indulge

No visit to Koh Samui is complete without experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of the island’s night markets. These bustling markets offer a sensory feast of sights, sounds, and flavors.

Each town on the island hosts its night market on different days of the week, ensuring that there’s always a market to explore.
Mae Nam Night Market on Thursdays, Bophut Night Market on Fridays, and Lamai Night Market on Sundays are just a few examples.

Stroll through the markets, sample delicious street food, and browse through colorful handicrafts and clothing. The night markets provide an authentic and lively experience that should not be missed.

Experience the Charm of Fishermen’s Village: A Taste of Tradition

Escape the tourist crowds and venture into the charming fishing village of Bophut. Here, you’ll find original wooden homes built by Chinese immigrants in the 19th century, giving the village a unique character.

While many of the fishermen have moved on, their daily catch is still brought to the village’s restaurants, ensuring that you’ll find some of the freshest seafood on the island.

Take a stroll through the village, browse through boutique shops, and savor delicious meals at waterfront restaurants.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Bophut’s Friday night market, where you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and sample local delicacies.

Uncover the Secret Buddha Garden: A Hidden Oasis

Tucked away in the heart of Koh Samui’s lush jungle is the Secret Buddha Garden. This serene garden is a hidden gem, filled with statues and sculptures depicting Buddhist deities and folklore characters.

A fruit farmer named Nim Tongsuk turned his family’s land into a tranquil sanctuary by creating the Secret Buddha Garden.

Explore the garden’s winding paths, admire the intricate artwork, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. Visiting the Secret Buddha Garden is a unique and serene experience that offers a glimpse into the spiritual side of Koh Samui.

Embrace the Digital Nomad Lifestyle: Work and Play in Paradise

Koh Samui is increasingly becoming a popular destination for digital nomads seeking a perfect work-life balance. With high-speed internet and co-working spaces available, the island offers a conducive environment for remote work.

Mantra, a co-working space in Koh Samui, provides all the amenities needed for a productive workday, including fast WiFi, comfortable seating, and even a pool table.

Enjoy the flexibility of working from a tropical paradise, surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush landscapes. Koh Samui offers a unique opportunity to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle while enjoying the island’s natural beauty.

Tee Off in Paradise: Golfing in Koh Samui

For golf enthusiasts, Koh Samui offers a range of golf courses that combine scenic beauty with challenging gameplay. With stunning views, the Santiburi Samui Country Club is the island’s only professional golf course.

Surrounded by a preserved coconut palm plantation, the course offers exceptional vistas throughout the game.
If you prefer a more laid-back golfing experience, mini-golf courses in Chaweng and Lamai provide a fun and family-friendly option. Tee off and enjoy a round of golf in the tropical paradise of Koh Samui.

The Ladyboy Cabaret: A Spectacular Show will entertain you

No visit to Koh Samui is complete without experiencing a ladyboy cabaret show. These extravagant performances feature singing, dancing, comedy, and elaborate costumes.

Paris Follies is one of the popular cabaret shows on the island, showcasing a diverse range of dance styles and celebrity impersonators.
Enjoy an evening of entertainment and be captivated by the talent and glamour of the performers. Ladyboy cabaret shows provide a unique and entertaining glimpse into Thailand’s vibrant and inclusive culture.

Delight in a Thai Experience Dinner: A Culinary Extravaganza

For a truly unique dining experience, indulge in a Thai Experience dinner party. This interactive and immersive culinary event takes dinner parties to a whole new level.
You’ll learn about Thai dishes, participate in a cocktail class, and enjoy a lavish buffet of 15 different dishes.

Unlimited drinks and lively entertainment complete the experience. The Thai Experience offers a memorable evening of gastronomic delights, allowing you to savor the flavors of Thailand in a vibrant and engaging atmosphere.

Sail into the Sunset: A Magical Cruise Experience

There’s no better way to end a day in Koh Samui than by embarking on a sunset cruise. Sail into the horizon on a yacht and witness the sky ablaze with vibrant colors as the sun sets over the ocean.
The Red Baron, a traditional wooden junk-style yacht, offers an unforgettable sunset cruise experience.

Enjoy a welcome cocktail, unlimited soft drinks, and a buffet dinner as you soak in the beauty of the surroundings. Sit back, relax, and let the tranquil ambiance of the sea envelop you during this magical cruise.

Final Thoughts

One of the most popular islands in Thailand is probably Koh Samui. Despite the huge number of tourists who flock to the island every year, there are still many corners and pockets of the island that have not been fully explored. 
It has been the image of Thai tourism for decades. Ready for your Thailand trip?

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