There are plenty of things you can do in Koh Samui to keep you occupied, from exploring Koh Samui’s towns, jungles and beaches, experiencing Thai culture and traditions and setting off on exciting adventure activities.
Na Muang Waterfall 1
Located about 10 km south of Nathon. It is about 80 meters high. You have to walk for a while to get here.
Na Muang Waterfall 2
Close to Na Muang waterfall 1, this one is a short walk from the car park.
Hid Lad Waterfall
Located about 2 km south of Nathon. Requires an enjoyable 2km hike to the waterfall along a trail through the jungle.
Wat Phra Yai is a more than 12 meter tall Buddha statue, first built in 1972. It is Koh Samui’s most famous temple and located on a small island connected to Koh Samui by a bridge. Please show respect and wear proper clothes and shoes while visiting. This is not just a tourist attraction, but also an important Buddhist symbol for the local Thai people here. In 2005, Big Buddha was been extended with a Dharma wheel and a traditional Suphannahong boat.
Luong Por Daeng was a highly respected monk when he died over 35 years ago. A native of Koh Samui he enjoyed a long prosperous family life until he was 50 years old when he decides to devote the last part of his life to the monk hood. After being ordained in 1944, he became renowned for his meditation practice for about 20 years. He was also able to foresee his own death in1973 when he was 79 years old. Today, he can still be seen in the exact same meditative position he was in when he died.
These rude rocks are located in the south of Lamai beach have been shaped over millions of years by wind and water to resemble human reproductive organs. They are set on Koh Samui’s beautiful coast, lined with gigantic rocks that form inviting shallow pools in between. Because of their shape, the rocks are seen as strong fertility symbols and said to be the origin of the ‘Mui’ people. Apparently, couples that are trying to have a baby should come here for positive vibrations & good energy that will help the woman conceive. In local legend, the rocks appeared after two lovers drowned themselves in the sea because their families disapproved of their relationship.
Over fifty elephants call Koh Samui home and all work in the tourist industry. A typical elephant ride lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour and is an excellent way to see Koh Samui’s jungle clad interior. Some elephant treks take visitors up into the hills for magnificent views over Koh Samui, others go through beautiful waterfalls where riders run the risk of receiving a cooling shower.
Dive operators in Koh Samui offer exceptional speed boat and tour boat scuba diving services year round to local area dive sites. Most scuba diving is done in Koh Tao from Koh Samui where there is a range of dive sites that suit every interest and purpose. There are plenty of sites where there is a high probability of seeing interesting tropical marine species such as stingray, moray eel, puffer fish, barracuda, turtle, sea snake and clown fish. At some sites it is possible to find Bull sharks, reef sharks, black-tip sharks, leopard sharks or the mammoth whaleshark. There are also couple wreck sites of a Thai navy frigate and Japanese submarine. Several sites in Koh Tao feature boulder swim-through and caves to explore. Whether you’re a beginner, advanced diver or tec diver, there is something for everyone from Koh Samui.
Koh Tao is really the only place to snorkel in the Samui Archipelago. It is because of Koh Tao’s distance away from the mainland and it being surrounded by deeper water that gives Koh Tao the best water visibility in the Gulf of Thailand, making it the most popular place in Thailand for snorkeling tours. Koh Tao is surrounded by amazing coral reef and beautiful tropical sea life which makes snorkeling in Koh Tao a trip to be missed.
Ang Thong National Marine Park is a beautiful archipelago of 42 islands famous for its natural beauty. The islands of Ang Thong, or Golden Bowl, are each named by the unique size and shape of their geography, made so by erosion of the limestone karst topography they consist of resulting in spectacular cliffs and rock formations. Most of Ang Thong’s islands are covered either with evergreen, beach or limestone tropical rainforest and the waters surrounding Ang Thong are protected making the marine park a refuge for a variety of wildlife, such as otters, monkeys, boar, bats, lizards, iguanas, pythons, cobras, frogs, Green turtles, Hawksbill turtles, reef sharks, dolphins, whales and 54 species of birds. You will most likely see some of this wildlife on your tour of Ang Thong Marine Park, so make sure you take your camera along with you. Among the things to explore on your snorkeling, sightseeing and kayaking tour are caves, hidden lagoons, white sandy beaches and beautiful underwater landscape.
Good all-year-round breezes and challenging westerly winds between May and November make great sailing conditions around Koh Samui and surrounding islands.
Kitesurfing is a very new, exciting, up and coming watersport that anyone can learn in only 3 days. With more than 10 years experience in teaching kitesurfing and using only instructors holding a certification, kite boarding in Koh Samui is the right place to come for professional instruction. Using only the latest equipment, such as Cabrinha and Airush 4-line kites and Nobile kitesurf boards you will be kite surfing in no time. Kite boarding in Koh Samui is fully insured and certified by the International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO).
All your favorite fish are fair game on a Koh Samui fishing trip. You will tour on a local Thai fishing boat with an experienced Thai captain visiting excellent fishing grounds for larger fish. Night fishing trip are available for those after the ultimate fishing experience in Koh Samui.
Koh Samui is synonymous with coconut trees, with plantations all over the island and until tourism arrived coconut farming was the main industry in Koh Samui. How do you get at the coconuts? There are many tried and tested methods but none compare to the monkey, considered as man’s best friend. These industrious little animals are greatly prized and will give you a demonstration of their incredible dexterity in the outdoor theatre.
The crocodile show in Koh Samui is a lot of fun. The crocodile trainers show you these prehistoric beasts in and out of the pool. The highlight of the show is when a volunteer puts his head into the open mouth of a crocodile.
Buffalo fighting is a hugely popular sport among locals on Koh Samui and champion buffalos can be worth several million baht. The fighting season varies according to ancient customs and ceremonies so it’s difficult to predict when a bout will take place, but if you visit Koh Samui at the right time, there are stadiums in the south at Ban Saket and Ban Makham just outside Nathon. Unlike the Sanish version, the buffalos fight each other locking horns until the weaker one submits. The atmosphere around the ring is usually very lively.
The Butterfly Garden in Koh Samui is a beautiful tropical garden with hundreds of colorful butterflies along a charming garden trail, a bee house overlooking the garden, an insect museum of rare and wonderful insects and stunning views of the ocean at several observation decks.
The Magic Garden is located in the hills of Koh Samui about 550 meters above sea level and the only way to get there is through the jungle, rivers and mountains by 4×4 off road vehicles. The Magic Garden was built in 1976 by a local fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk who was 77 years old when he started his project. It is said that he built the garden all by himself. The garden is full of statues of animals, gods and demons. The hill top setting and the tranquil river flowing through it gives the Magic Garden a very soothing and mystical feeling.
There is an unmarked and unpaved road going through Koh Samui from Lamai to Bang Po, Maenam and Nathon, which passes several viewpoints the most beautiful and breathtaking Yaod Khao. This viewpoint can only be reached by a professional, all terrain 4×4 vehicle. This viewpoint is located on the highest point of Koh Samui at 650 meters above sea level. From here you can see Koh Samui from north to south, Koh Phangan, spectacular views of Ang Thong National Marine Park to the west and the mainland to the south.
Thai cooking courses are an increasingly popular activity on Koh Samui. Thai cuisine’s increasingly high profile worldwide and the professional relaxed environment of Koh Samui’s cooking schools no doubt encourage many visitors to take a course.
Koh Samui has always attracted those in search of a place to relax and recharge, with centers for relaxation established years before spas first appeared on Koh Samui. Those alternative venues with liver fasting and meditation still exist and are complimented by an increasing number of sophisticated spa resorts with highly trained and experienced staff.
Garra rufa fish, also known as doctor fish, are the original species of fish used to improve skin conditions by removing dead skin to allow newer skin to regenerate.
Yoga is an essential part of contemporary approaches to healthiness and wellness worldwide. Yoga is offered by a collection of professional foreign freelance yoga instructors on Koh Samui, who deliver courses, classes sessions at various resorts and spas, plus a few centers on the island providing yoga retreats and fasting programs.
Located at Ban Harn beach just south of Lamai, Samui Tiger Zoo & Aquarium in Koh Samui is a wonderful place to enjoy and interact with animals. The main feature is of course the family of Royal Bengal tigers who perform a show twice daily and allow you to have their photo taken with them. Tigers are not the only animals you can see at the Samui Tiger Zoo. You can also see small mammals, sea lions, otter, reptiles and various tropical birds. Samui Aquarium features a vast collection of vibrant tropical marine species that you can learn about and you can also feeding friendly sea turtles.
Koh Samui features several high quality and well maintained golf courses with stunning views across the island. All the golf courses are easy to get to from any of Koh Samui’s main beach areas. You can hire or purchase clubs, equipment, carts and all golf accessories. Koh Samui also boasts several driving ranges, mini golf and even football golf.
Lamai’s Muay Thai boxing ring is located along the one way road in Lamai’s center, close to McDonalds and surrounded by bars. Muay Thai is held here every Saturday evening from 9pm and is free to watch but you must buy a drink from one of the bars to sit. The Chaweng Stadium and Petchbuncha Samui Stadium are the mains muay thai stadiums on Koh Samui located near the Reggae Pub. Fights are several times a week and boast fighters from around the globe.
Operated by European professionals using the latest and highest quality equipment, there are several zip line operators in Koh Samui running cables through Koh Samui’s dense jungle to create a thrilling ride for people of all ages.
Children of all ages can play war at 3D Paintball’s huge, sculpted terrain in the hills above Maenam. The same location is also used for bouncing around on quad bikes, though they are strictly for adults only. Alternatively, for a full day out, the management will organize a variety of adventure games deep in the jungle.
Fire real guns with real live ammunition. Pistols, revolvers, AK-47’s, shotguns and cross bows are all available.
Jump from a platform 50 meters above the ground whilst attached to an elastic band and pray it slows you down and stops you from hitting the ground! Samui Bungee Jump is western managed and operated and available all year round in Chaweng, Koh Samui.
Koh Samui now proudly boasts its own three screen cinema as the Tesco Lotus shopping complex. Showing both Western and Thai movies, the cinema is modern, comfortable & spacious and very reasonably priced. The latest movies are often shown 1-2 weeks after their release date.
Before the movie starts the national anthem will be played with a montage dedicated to the King of Thailand. You are expected to stand during this time and will show immense disrespect if you do not.
There are many tattooists on Koh Samui as there are artists. Most offer work of reasonable quality and price and have decent standards of health and hygiene.
Koh Samui has many temples that are worth visiting. Plai Laem in the north of Koh Samui is considered to be the most decorative with large colorful statues representing various gods and a lake where you can feed the fish. Wat Phra Yai is Koh Samui’s most famous temple for the Big Buddha statue that can be found there, as well as a little market selling a range of souvenirs. Wat Khunaram south of Lamai has a famous resident, the mummified monk, an undecomposed body of a monk in a meditative position who correctly predicted his own death.
The walking street is hosted in the centers of the various areas of Koh Samui on certain days. It is essentially a large market of stalls selling everything from food, arts & crafts, alcohol, clothing, souvenirs and gadgets. Maenam is Thursday, Bophut is Friday, Chaweng is Tuesday & Saturday, Lamai is Sunday.