50 Best Things to Do in Koh Samui

best things to do in koh samui

Koh Samui, Thailand’s iconic island, welcomes with its picturesque palm-fringed beaches and azure waters, attracting a diverse range of travelers, from budget backpackers to affluent celebrities. With an abundance of activities, fitting everything into a short visit can be a challenge. To make the most of your time, we’ve curated a list of the 50 best things to do in Koh Samui.

Explore vibrant local markets, indulge in mouthwatering Thai cuisine, dive into thrilling water sports, or unwind with rejuvenating spa treatments. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Koh Samui offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler.

Our Favorite Things to Do in Koh Samui

Na Muang Waterfall

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Na Muang Waterfall stands as a tranquil oasis amidst Koh Samui’s verdant landscapes, just a short drive away from the bustling areas. A mere five-minute walk from the parking lot reveals this natural marvel, where greenery envelops the cascading waters, offering a refreshing escape from the tropical heat.

After a rejuvenating swim in the crystalline pools, visitors can explore the nearby shops and eateries. However, it’s essential to resist the allure of elephant rides, as these gentle giants suffer in captivity. Let’s unite in ending this cruel practice and safeguarding their welfare.

For the adventurous souls, a hike to Na Muang 2 Waterfall promises thrills amidst the jungle’s embrace. Though the trail is relatively short, caution is advised, particularly in slippery conditions. The journey culminates in a stunning vista, where a picturesque pool awaits, perfect for capturing memorable moments.

But heed the warnings; past incidents remind us of the hike’s risks. If you choose to venture forth, do so with utmost care.

Visit a Local Night Market

When the sun sets in Koh Samui, don’t miss the bustling Nathon Night Market, a local favorite for authentic street food experiences. From 5 PM to 10 PM daily, this vibrant market offers a feast for the senses, with Tuesday evenings being particularly lively, as the market expands to five times its usual size.

Unlike the tourist-centric Fisherman’s Village, Nathon Night Market exudes local charm, with affordable street food stalls serving up a variety of delectable treats. Skip the overpriced eateries and bars of Fisherman’s Village, which cater primarily to tourists. Instead, immerse yourself in the authentic flavors and bustling atmosphere of Nathon Night Market, where you’ll find delicious street food at a fraction of the cost.

Rock Climb or Boulder at Chaweng and Lamai Beach

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Set out on an exhilarating adventure by rock climbing or bouldering at Chaweng and Lamai Beach in Koh Samui. These coastal areas have become popular climbing destinations, boasting limestone walls reaching up to 40 meters high, offering breathtaking views of the island’s scenery from atop.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, there are suitable routes available to challenge and thrill you. Nearby Koh Tao island also offers granite blocks ideal for bouldering, expanding your options for exploration.

For those seeking a more inland adventure, organized climbing groups or day tours can lead you to the rugged mountains further inland. However, these treks are best suited for experienced outdoor enthusiasts due to the challenging terrain and jungle surroundings.

Explore the Island By Scooter

To truly immerse yourself in Koh Samui’s charm, hop on a scooter and explore the island at your own pace. While it may seem daunting at first, mastering the scooter is quick, and soon you’ll feel like a seasoned explorer. Remember safety first—always wear a helmet and drive cautiously, as Thailand’s roads can be perilous.

Equipping yourself with an island map and local recommendations sets the stage for adventure. Discover hidden treasures by venturing off the beaten path, letting serendipity guide your journey. However, ensure you’re comfortable riding a motorcycle before setting out, as accidents can happen.

Renting a scooter opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to uncover Koh Samui’s hidden gems and iconic landmarks with ease.

Relax at the Beach

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Indulge in the ultimate relaxation experience by unwinding at one of Koh Samui’s stunning beaches. With a plethora of options to choose from, each beach offers a unique ambiance to suit every traveler’s preference.

Chaweng Beach, the island’s most famous stretch of shoreline, boasts soft white sands and a vibrant atmosphere. While it’s bustling with activity, it may not be ideal for those seeking tranquility. However, party enthusiasts will revel in its lively vibe and abundance of bars and restaurants.

For a serene escape, head to Maenam Beach in the north. This secluded haven offers solitude amidst picturesque surroundings. Although quieter than Chaweng, it lacks the fine sand but compensates with its peaceful ambiance, perfect for sunset strolls and uninterrupted relaxation.

Lamai Beach strikes a balance between the two extremes, featuring a scenic coastline with ample amenities. It’s less crowded than Chaweng yet livelier than Maenam, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a blend of tranquility and activity.

Sightseeing Things to Do in Koh Samui

Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai

where to stay in koh samui

The Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai stands tall as one of Koh Samui’s most iconic landmarks, drawing visitors with its majestic beauty and spiritual significance. Standing at 12 meters high, this revered statue, erected in 1972, is a testament to the island’s rich cultural heritage.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere, with street food vendors and souvenir stalls dotting the base of the Big Buddha. Ascend the ornately decorated steps to reach the Buddha’s base, where you’ll encounter charming wishing bells and breathtaking views of the coastline.

Respect for the sacred nature of the site is essential. Remember to dress modestly, covering both shoulders and knees, as a sign of reverence. Guards stationed at the entrance ensure visitors adhere to these guidelines, preserving the sanctity of this revered monument.

Wat Plai Laem

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Located near the Big Buddha Temple lies Wat Plai Laem, a vibrant and enchanting temple complex awaiting exploration. Adorned with colorful Buddhist statues and ornate shrines, this temple offers a unique aesthetic seldom seen elsewhere.

Central to Wat Plai Laem’s allure is the magnificent statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, standing gracefully amidst the temple’s main pond. Towering at 18 meters with 18 arms bearing various Buddhist symbols, the statue exudes a captivating presence. Visitors can approach the statue via a picturesque bridge, offering opportunities for reverence or simply marveling at its beauty.

Beyond Guanyin, the temple boasts an array of impressive sculptures, including the Chinese Laughing Buddha and a golden Buddha. The ordination hall, adorned with lotus flowers, imparts a sense of serenity, as if floating on water. Entrance to Wat Plai Laem is free, welcoming visitors from 7 AM to 6 PM daily.

Laem Sor Pagoda 

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Escape the hustle and bustle of Lamai and Chaweng Beaches with a serene retreat to Laem Sor Beach, just 20 minutes south of Lamai. Here, the tranquil ambiance sets the stage for relaxation, with the stunning Laem Sor Pagoda as the main attraction.

Perched gracefully on the beach, the golden temple exudes an aura of tranquility and spiritual significance. Visitors can marvel at its beauty against the backdrop of the azure sea, offering an escape from the crowds.

While Laem Sor Pagoda steals the spotlight, the area also boasts a selection of resorts and beach bars, including the acclaimed Laem Sor Residence. With private pools overlooking the sandy shores and shallow waters, it’s a haven for those seeking luxury and seclusion.

Wat Samret

Tucked away in a secluded corner of Koh Samui, Wat Samret emerges as a hidden gem awaiting discovery. The temple’s main hall beckons with an array of captivating Buddha images, evoking a sense of wonder and intrigue.

At the heart of the hall stands a magnificent Buddha statue, surrounded by over 80 other statues, each exuding its own unique aura. Among them, a Reclining Buddha commands attention, adding to the temple’s mystique.

What sets Wat Samret apart is its serene ambiance and lack of tourist crowds. Located inland along a remote road connecting the island’s east and west, it offers a peaceful retreat away from the beaten path.

Best Free Things to Do in Koh Samui

Lamai Viewpoint

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For an unforgettable experience of Koh Samui’s natural beauty, head to the Lamai Viewpoint. Perched on the side of a jungle-clad cliff, this scenic spot offers panoramic vistas stretching from the mountains to the sea.

Savor the moment with a drink in hand as you soak in the breathtaking scenery. While it’s become an official viewpoint, Lamai retains its allure, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and relaxation seekers alike.

Indulge in a few hours of serenity at this chilled-out bar, where the awe-inspiring views provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable outing.

Guan Yu Shrine

Discover the vibrant culture of Koh Samui at the Guan Yu Shrine, a charming Chinese temple showcasing intricate architecture and rich symbolism. At its heart stands a magnificent statue of Guan Yu, revered as the god of war, surrounded by ornate decorations in auspicious red hues symbolizing luck.

Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance as you pay respects at various shrines and explore the small museum highlighting the history of the local Chinese community. Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, the shrine welcomes visitors free of charge, offering a glimpse into Koh Samui’s diverse heritage.

Before continuing your exploration, indulge in a delicious meal at the nearby Hainanese chicken rice restaurant.

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Explore Nathon Town

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Koh Samui’s capital, Nathon Town, situated near the ferry port. Bursting with a diverse array of shops and eateries, it’s a popular destination for tourists seeking unique finds and delectable cuisine.

Explore the charming Chinese shop houses, offering an eclectic mix of goods, from gold to souvenirs, at reasonable prices. Don’t miss the opportunity to browse for treasures and mementos to commemorate your visit to the island.

As you wander the streets of Nathon, immerse yourself in the local culture and bustling energy that define this dynamic town.

Hike to Wat Khao Hua Jook

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Don’t miss the opportunity to hike up to Wat Khao Hua Jook while visiting Lamai Beach. This hidden gem offers panoramic views of Koh Samui’s stunning coastline, making it well worth the trek.

While Thailand’s temples can start to feel repetitive, Wat Khao Hua Jook stands out for its exceptional vistas. Take in the breathtaking scenery of the valley and coastline, providing a unique perspective of the island’s natural beauty.

The hike to Wat Khao Hua Jook offers a refreshing change of pace from beach activities, making it an ideal option for those seeking adventure. Keep an eye out for the Overlap Stone, a fascinating natural wonder perched atop a boulder, adding to the hike’s intrigue.

Best Hotel at Lamai Beach

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Sarocha Villa at Three Trees Samui Resort, situated on Lamai Beach, provides mid-range accommodation amidst lush tropical gardens with air-conditioned rooms boasting ocean views, private balconies, and complimentary amenities like Wi-Fi and kayaks, along with tour desk services for organizing excursions.

Explore Mae Nam’s Chinatown

Explore the unique charm of Mae Nam’s Chinatown while enjoying the tranquility of its picturesque beach. Situated on the northern shore of Koh Samui, Mae Nam Beach offers a laid-back atmosphere with affordable accommodations and quiet beachfront eateries.

As you stroll through Mae Nam’s Chinatown, you’ll be greeted by the iconic golden arch marking the entrance to the Walking Street. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the street market, held every Thursday evening, where you can browse a diverse array of goods, from fresh produce to leather goods and souvenirs.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the local temple, offering insights into the community’s rich cultural heritage. Despite its smaller size, Mae Nam’s Walking Street exudes liveliness and charm, providing a delightful glimpse into Koh Samui’s eclectic offerings—all without spending a dime.

Best Water Sports to Do in Koh Samui

SUP Yoga at Sunrise

Experience the ultimate relaxation and romance with SUP Yoga at sunrise in the Gulf of Thailand. Imagine starting your day with your partner, floating serenely on stand-up paddleboards as the sun emerges from the sea, casting a golden glow across the tranquil waters.

SUP Yoga combines the benefits of yoga and paddleboarding, allowing you to connect with nature and each other in a truly unique way. As you flow through yoga poses atop your paddleboard, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Koh Samui, you’ll find yourself completely immersed in the moment.

While mastering SUP Yoga may prove challenging, hiring an instructor ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for you and your partner.

Best Resort in Koh Samui

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Meliá Koh Samui is a luxurious resort on Choeng Mon Beach, featuring traditional Thai hospitality and modern amenities, including 159 guest rooms, 41 suites, and 30 boat suites set amidst vibrant gardens and overlooking a 700-meter lagoon, earning it recognition among Thailand’s top resorts by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

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Experience the unparalleled beauty of Koh Samui’s underwater world with snorkeling or scuba diving adventures. Glide through the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, marveling at the vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs that inhabit the depths below.

Snorkeling tours to nearby destinations such as Koh Tan, Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Phangan, and Angthong National Marine Park provide opportunities to explore diverse ecosystems teeming with aquatic wonders. Dive into crystal-clear waters and immerse yourself in the wonders of the sea.

For avid scuba divers, the clear waters off Chaweng Beach and Coral Cove offer prime diving spots, boasting rich biodiversity and captivating underwater landscapes.

Kitesurfing

Go on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with kitesurfing, a thrilling water sport that promises exhilarating experiences in Koh Samui. With its flat and shallow waters, Koh Samui provides ideal conditions for kitesurfing, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride for enthusiasts of all levels.

Unlike other destinations, Koh Samui’s kitesurfing spots boast clear waters free from jellyfish, rocks, waves, and motorized watercraft, offering optimal conditions for riders to glide across the surface with ease.

Numerous beaches across the island, including Hua Thanon and Nathon, beckon kitesurfing enthusiasts to harness the power of the wind and ride the waves. Whether you’re a seasoned kitesurfer or a beginner looking to try something new, Koh Samui’s kitesurfing spots promise unforgettable thrills.

Swim at Lamai Beach

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Indulge in the serene beauty of Lamai Beach, the second most popular area to stay on Koh Samui. Unlike the bustling atmosphere of Chaweng Beach, Lamai offers a more tranquil setting with a plethora of hotels, restaurants, and bars.

Even if you’re not staying at Lamai Beach, you can still enjoy its pristine shores by snagging a free lounge chair with a purchase of a drink or meal. The calm and inviting waters beckon for a refreshing swim or the opportunity to partake in various water activities available for a small fee.

With plenty of amenities within easy reach, including restaurants and shops, Lamai Beach offers the perfect escape for a day of relaxation and enjoyment.

Best Adventure Activities to Do in Koh Samui

Hike to Secret Buddha Garden

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Escape the beach for a while and embark on a rewarding hike to the Secret Buddha Garden, also known as Namtok Tar Nim & Magic Garden. Crafted in 1976 by a local durian fruit farmer, this hidden gem showcases an array of Buddha sculptures, each depicting different aspects of Buddha folklore.

Beyond the Secret Buddha Garden, Koh Samui boasts other captivating hiking trails. Explore the Nathon Mountain Trail Ridge or ascend to the Maenam Viewpoint for breathtaking vistas of Nathon and the island’s tropical landscapes.

For a comprehensive adventure, consider the Koh Samui Trek, which combines scenic viewpoints with a visit to the Secret Buddha Garden. Whether you opt for a leisurely hike or a 4X4 Jeep Tour, the journey promises unparalleled exploration of Koh Samui’s natural and cultural riches.

Quad Bike Jungle Tour

Looking for adventure beyond temples? Explore the rugged terrain of Koh Samui’s dense jungle on a thrilling quad bike tour. Choose a reputable company for your adventure, ensuring safety and reliability.

With your quad bike ready, embark on dirt roads cutting through the lush jungle landscape. Speed through the wilderness, encountering hidden waterfalls and experiencing the untamed beauty of the island in an exhilarating way.

Quad biking offers a unique perspective of Koh Samui, allowing you to access remote areas that are inaccessible by foot. What might take hours of hiking can be effortlessly explored within minutes on a quad bike, providing an unforgettable adventure through the heart of the island’s wilderness.

Paragliding

For an unforgettable aerial adventure over Koh Samui’s scenic landscapes, consider paragliding. Offering breathtaking bird’s-eye views of the island, paragliding is rapidly becoming a top activity for thrill-seekers.

Release your fears as you soar through the sky, taking in panoramic vistas of Koh Samui’s stunning beauty below. This exhilarating experience allows you to appreciate the island’s natural wonders from a unique perspective.

Paragliding can be enjoyed year-round, weather permitting, making it a versatile option for visitors seeking adventure. Head to the southeast of Koh Samui island to experience this thrilling activity firsthand.

Ziplining

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Among the plethora of experiences on Koh Samui, ziplining stands out as one of the most thrilling adventures to undertake. Feel the rush as you zip through the air, suspended from a rope and pulley, moving from one point to another at exhilarating heights.

What sets ziplining on Koh Samui apart is the breathtaking views you’ll encounter along the way. Soar above dense jungles and scenic landscapes, experiencing the island’s beauty from a unique perspective.

Various locations on the island offer ziplining experiences, including Mae Nam, Bo Phut, and Chaweng.

Unusual Things to Do in Koh Samui

Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram

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A unique stop on Koh Samui is Wat Khunaram, where you can witness a remarkable sight: the mummified monk displayed in a glass case within the temple hall. This monk, Loung Pordaeng, was once the abbot of the temple and requested his body be preserved after death to teach the impermanence of life and the importance of virtuous living.

Visitors are drawn to Wat Khunaram to view the mummified monk, but the temple itself offers more to explore. Adorned with ornate Buddha statues and traditional Thai architecture, the temple grounds are worth a leisurely stroll.

Open during daylight hours with no entrance fee, Wat Khunaram provides a fascinating glimpse into Buddhist beliefs and practices.

Snap Pictures of the Erotic Rocks

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A quirky attraction on Koh Samui is the Hin Ta and Hin Yai, also known as the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks. These unique rock formations have earned their names due to their, let’s say, suggestive shapes. The Grandfather Rock is particularly notable, while the Grandmother Rock completes the pair.

Visitors can’t resist snapping a few pictures with these iconic rocks or simply marveling at their unusual forms. It’s certainly one of the more unconventional sights on the island and a memorable stop for those seeking something offbeat.

As one of the top free attractions in Koh Samui, the Erotic Rocks offer a lighthearted and amusing diversion from the typical tourist spots.

Disc Golfing

Escape the usual tourist spots and try something different by playing disc golf at Laem Sor Beach Disc Golf and Acoustic Cafe, located just a short drive south of Lamai. This 18-hole disc golf course offers a serene setting amidst landscaped fairways and greens, with the beach just steps away.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Koh Samui as you play amid tropical fruit trees, exotic birds, and fluttering butterflies. The rustic ambiance adds to the allure of this unique attraction, providing a refreshing break from the bustling crowds.

After a round of disc golf, enjoy homemade Western and Thai cuisine along with refreshing cold drinks at the onsite cafe. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some live music in the evening, adding to the laid-back vibe of the place.

Hike to Elephant Rock

Go on an offbeat adventure by hiking to Elephant Rock, located between Chaweng and Lamai Beach on Koh Samui. Despite its name, this rock formation doesn’t resemble an elephant, but its impressive size gave rise to its moniker.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings of Elephant Rock. The peaceful ambiance makes it the perfect destination for a serene getaway from the island’s bustling activity.

Explore the area surrounding Elephant Rock with its numerous hiking trails, offering opportunities for scenic walks. For panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand, climb to the summit of the rock formation, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas.

Best Things to Do in Koh Samui at Night

Party on Chaweng Beach

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Experience the vibrant nightlife of Koh Samui by partying on Chaweng Beach. Positioned on the island’s eastern side, Chaweng Beach is renowned for its lively atmosphere, making it the ultimate destination for revelers seeking an unforgettable night out.

With an array of hotels and beach bars lining its shores, Chaweng Beach offers the perfect setting for daytime relaxation and socializing under the sun. As dusk falls, the beach transforms into a pulsating hub of activity, with beach clubs evolving into dynamic nightclubs, and fire dancers captivating audiences with mesmerizing performances.

Considered one of the most beautiful spots on the island, Chaweng Beach boasts stunning vistas and a captivating ambiance that sets the stage for an exhilarating night of festivities.

Muay Thai Boxing Match

Experience the adrenaline-pumping action of Muay Thai boxing matches at Chaweng Boxing Stadium every Thursday and Saturday night starting from 9 pm. Get ready for an authentic and intense spectacle showcasing the traditional Thai combat sport.

For a truly immersive experience, opt for ringside seats to witness the bouts up close, although be prepared for the raw intensity of the matches. Alternatively, VIP tickets offer a more comfortable viewing experience with sofa seating and bar service, perfect for those who prefer a bit more distance from the action.

Attending a Muay Thai boxing match is not only a thrilling nighttime activity but also a cultural immersion into one of Thailand’s most revered sports. It’s an opportunity to witness the dedication, skill, and ferocity of the athletes as they compete in this centuries-old martial art.

Fishermans Village Night Market

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Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Fisherman’s Village Night Market, a must-visit destination for an enchanting evening in Koh Samui. Formerly a bustling fishing village, Fisherman’s Village transforms into a lively market filled with an array of stalls offering local crafts, souvenirs, and delectable street food.

Stroll along the charming Bo Phut Beach Road, lined with rustic-style buildings, boutiques, and trendy restaurants, creating a picturesque setting for an evening of exploration. Indulge in shopping for unique handicrafts, jewelry, and clothing while enjoying the captivating sights and sounds of the bustling market.

Sample an assortment of authentic Thai dishes and international cuisine from the numerous food stalls scattered throughout the market. From savory skewers to mouthwatering desserts, there’s something to satisfy every palate at the Fisherman’s Village Night Market.

As the sun sets, immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance, enhanced by live music performances and cultural entertainment. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness local artisans at work, showcasing their traditional crafts and skills.

Lady Boy Cabaret Show

Experience the glitz and glamour of a Lady Boy Cabaret Show for a dazzling night out in Koh Samui. Similar to the famous cabaret shows of the past, these performances have become a highlight of the island’s nightlife scene. Featuring energetic performances, lip-syncing, and extravagant costumes, the Lady Boy Cabaret Show offers a captivating blend of entertainment and spectacle.

Step into a world of music, dance, and flamboyant performances as talented performers take the stage to showcase their skills. With elaborate choreography and dazzling outfits, each act promises to be a visual feast for the senses.

Sit back and enjoy the lively atmosphere as the performers enchant the audience with their charisma and talent. From classic tunes to contemporary hits, the show offers something for everyone to enjoy.

The Lady Boy Cabaret Show is a celebration of diversity and creativity, highlighting the vibrant culture of Koh Samui’s nightlife.

Romantic Things to Do in Koh Samui

Watch the Sunset from a Private Boat

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Indulge in romance as you watch the sunset from the deck of a private boat, creating an unforgettable experience in Koh Samui. Picture yourself and your partner aboard a sailboat, gently cruising along the tranquil waters as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant hues of orange and pink.

Enhance the magic by adding a touch of culinary delight to your sunset cruise. Treat yourselves to a delectable dinner featuring fresh seafood, served onboard your intimate vessel. Savor each bite as you toast to your love amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the sea and sky.

Watching the sunset from a private boat is undeniably one of the most romantic activities for couples in Koh Samui. Create cherished memories as you bask in the beauty of nature’s spectacle, surrounded by the serenity of the ocean and the warmth of your partner’s company.

Best Resort in Koh Samui for Honeymoons

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Peace Resort Samui, located on Bo Phut Beach in Koh Samui, is an idyllic choice for honeymooners, boasting spacious bungalows with private terraces overlooking the sea or garden, along with outdoor dining options, a pool bar, spa pool, and tour desk services for arranging day trips and car rentals.

Traditional Thai Massage

Immerse yourself in the ultimate relaxation experience with a traditional Thai massage, a quintessential activity in Koh Samui for couples seeking romantic indulgence. Whether on the beach or at a luxurious spa, the ancient art of Thai massage promises to rejuvenate your body and soul.

Feel the gentle ocean breeze caress your skin as you receive a soothing massage on the pristine shores of Koh Samui. Beachside masseuses offer expert treatments to ease your tensions, leaving you feeling completely relaxed and pampered amidst the serene coastal setting.

For a more lavish experience, retreat to one of the island’s upscale resorts and indulge in a five-star spa treatment. Let skilled therapists work their magic as they knead away stress and fatigue, enveloping you and your partner in a world of tranquility and luxury.

Tarnim Magic Garden

Perched atop a mountain in a secluded corner of Koh Samui lies the enchanting Tarnim Magic Garden, a romantic haven adorned with intricate sculptures and verdant foliage. Crafted by local farmer Nim Thongsuk, the garden is a testament to his deep reverence for nature and artistic expression.

Wander hand in hand through this ethereal forest park, marveling at the myriad sculptures that dot the landscape. Carved from concrete, wood, and stone, these sculptures depict scenes from Buddhist mythology, Thai folklore, and the wonders of the natural world.

As you meander through the garden, discover hidden waterfalls and tranquil ponds that enhance the serenity of the surroundings. Embrace the romance of the moment as you immerse yourselves in the peaceful ambiance and beauty of Tarnim Magic Garden.

To avoid the crowds and enjoy a more intimate experience, consider visiting the garden early in the day. The temple is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM, with an entrance fee of 80 THB per person. Don’t forget to apply insect repellent to ward off any unwelcome guests.

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Cocktails at Woo Bar

For a hip and romantic experience in Koh Samui, head to Woo Bar, located within the luxurious 5-star W Hotel. This trendy spot is a haven for Instagram enthusiasts, boasting circle sofas placed right within the infinity pool, offering breathtaking views of the sea.

As the sun begins its descent, Woo Bar becomes the perfect setting for couples seeking a memorable sunset experience. Capture stunning photos against the backdrop of the setting sun, creating lasting memories together.

Indulge in the bar’s special offer of UNLIMITED mojitos for three hours, priced at around $60. Sip on refreshing cocktails while soaking in the ambiance of this tropical paradise, making every moment with your loved one truly special.

Best Things to Do in Koh Samui with Kids

Visit an Elephant Sanctuary

A visit to an elephant sanctuary is a must-do for families with kids in Koh Samui. Just a 40-minute drive from the main tourist areas, these sanctuaries provide a chance to interact with retired tourism elephants in an ethical manner.

At the sanctuary, families can learn about the rescued elephants’ stories and contribute to their well-being by feeding and bathing them. This hands-on experience allows children to develop empathy and understanding towards these majestic creatures while supporting their peaceful retirement.

These sanctuaries play a vital role in providing a better life for the elephants, who have been rescued from exploitative tourism practices. While they can’t return to the wild, they can live out their days in a more natural environment, free from the burden of carrying tourists on their backs.

Best Hotel in Koh Samui for Families

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Mercure Samui Chaweng Tana, located in the heart of Chaweng, offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and private parking, featuring amenities like a fitness center, outdoor pool, and restaurant, making it an ideal choice for families visiting Koh Samui.

Go-Karting

For families visiting Koh Samui, go-karting at Easykart is an exciting and kid-friendly activity. Children aged 7 and up can experience the thrill of racing on the track, giving them a chance to unleash their inner Mario Kart racer.

Safety is a top priority at Easykart, with daily maintenance of both the track and the karts. Parents can rest assured knowing that their children are in good hands while they enjoy the adrenaline-pumping experience.

At Easykart, families can compete against each other to see who is the fastest racer. It’s a fun way to bond and create lasting memories together while enjoying some friendly competition.

The go-karting track offers a safe environment for kids to learn and improve their driving skills under supervision. Plus, there’s a viewing platform where parents can watch their children in action and cheer them on from the sidelines.

Jungle Waterslides

For families with kids aged 5 to 11, jungle waterslides offer an exhilarating experience in Koh Samui. These slides, spanning 70 meters, wind through the jungle, providing a thrilling ride for children and parents alike.

Slipping and sliding down these jungle waterslides is an unforgettable adventure, allowing families to enjoy the tropical surroundings while having fun together. The excitement of zooming through the jungle adds an extra element of thrill to the experience.

After enjoying the waterslides, families can relax next to waterfalls and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Exploring nearby temples adds a cultural touch to the outing, providing an educational aspect to the adventure.

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Wat Ratchathammaram

Wat Ratchathammaram, located near Lamai, is a hidden gem among Koh Samui’s temples. Its striking red terracotta walls and roof make it visually distinctive, offering a unique cultural experience for families. Inside, intricate decorations adorn the temple, with a golden Buddha statue adding to its allure.

One of the highlights is following the serpent-bordered steps to a small Buddhist cemetery, offering a serene spot with panoramic sea views. Despite its relatively small size, Wat Ratchathammaram provides a rich cultural experience that can be appreciated by visitors of all ages.

Visiting this temple is not overly time-consuming, making it suitable for families with children. It’s an excellent opportunity to introduce kids to the cultural heritage of Koh Samui.

Watch a Fire Show on the Beach

Watching a fire show on the beach is an exhilarating experience for families visiting Koh Samui. These captivating performances, often held after sunset, showcase the remarkable skills of Thai performers who manipulate fire with finesse. While witnessing these displays, families can relax on beanbags, savoring the atmosphere while enjoying cocktails.

Popular spots for fire shows include Coco Tams on Bophut Beach and Swing Bar on Lamai Beach. The rhythmic movements of the performers, coupled with the crackling of flames, create a mesmerizing spectacle that adds an exciting touch to evenings on the island.

Parents may feel a mix of awe and concern as performers skillfully maneuver lit ropes near the audience, including children. While some performers may invite kids to participate, parents can choose to decline if they prefer to watch from a distance.

Lipa Noi Beach

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Lipa Noi Beach stands out as the ideal destination for families visiting Koh Samui, offering a child-friendly environment and pristine natural beauty. With crystal-clear waters devoid of rocks and coral, and soft white sand stretching along the shore, it provides a safe and inviting space for kids to play and swim.

One of the most appealing features of Lipa Noi Beach is its shallow waters, extending for a considerable distance from the shore before gradually deepening. This allows children to splash around safely close to the beach without encountering sudden drops in depth.

Situated in a relatively secluded area, Lipa Noi Beach exudes a peaceful atmosphere conducive to relaxation and family bonding. Several restaurants dot the coastline, offering delicious seafood and refreshments, providing families with convenient dining options during their beach day.

Best Day Trips from Koh Samui

Ang Thong Marine Park

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Go on an unforgettable day trip from Koh Samui to Ang Thong Marine Park, a stunning archipelago boasting 42 limestone islands surrounded by crystal-clear waters. Numerous tour companies offer day excursions, catering to various budgets and preferences. Opting for a mid-range tour, such as Mr. Tu Tours, ensures a well-organized and enjoyable experience.

The full-day itinerary typically includes four stops, each offering unique attractions. After a hearty breakfast during check-in, travelers board speedboats to commence their adventure. The first stop allows for snorkeling in a serene cove, where vibrant marine life awaits exploration.

Next, visitors head to Mae Koh Island, renowned for its mesmerizing Emerald Lake. Here, a brief walk leads to a scenic viewpoint overlooking the emerald-green waters, offering a perfect photo opportunity or a chance to relax on the beach.

Following a delectable buffet lunch served on the beach at another island, guests can partake in self-guided kayaking, exploring the picturesque surroundings at their own pace.

The tour culminates with a visit to Koh Wua Talap, where a challenging yet rewarding hike to the park’s most exquisite viewpoint awaits. Despite the 500-meter steep climb, the panoramic vistas of the marine park make it a worthwhile endeavor. After the hike, ample free time is provided to unwind on the beach or enjoy refreshments at the café, concluding the day trip on a high note.

Koh Phangan & Full Moon Party

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A day trip from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan offers a blend of vibrant nightlife and serene beaches. While Koh Phangan is famed for its legendary Full Moon Party, it also boasts stunning coastal landscapes. Catch a breathtaking sunset at Zen Beach, unwind at Chakolum Beach, or go on a scenic hike to the secluded Bottle Beach. Food enthusiasts will delight in the island’s diverse culinary scene, featuring food courts and night markets offering an array of dishes, including many vegan options.

Getting to Koh Phangan from Koh Samui is convenient, with a quick 30-minute ferry ride connecting the two islands. Travelers can opt to arrange their transportation or join organized tours. During peak seasons, advance ferry bookings are advisable, especially for direct routes to Haad Rin during the Full Moon Party.

Despite its smaller size compared to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan offers plenty of activities. Spending at least three days allows ample time to explore the island’s highlights, although many attractions can be visited in a single day, particularly with the flexibility of renting a scooter or hiring a taxi driver for transportation.

Scuba Dive at Sail Rock

50 Best Things to Do in Koh Samui -

For adventurous divers, Sail Rock is a must-visit site located between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. This iconic dive spot features a towering limestone rock emerging 10 meters above sea level. With depths reaching around 40 meters, it’s renowned for its stunning wall dive and diverse marine life, including the occasional sighting of whale sharks.

Swimming among the vibrant coral formations, divers encounter a plethora of exotic fish species, including giant black coral, moray eels, and bustling schools of batfish, snapper, and trevally. A highlight of Sail Rock is its vertical chimney swim-through, adding an extra element of excitement to the dive.

While Sail Rock is a favorite among experienced divers, it caters to all skill levels, depending on current conditions.

Kayak in Koh Taen

Just five kilometers off the coast of Koh Samui lies Koh Taen, also known as Coral Island, a hidden gem rarely visited by tourists. Accessible only by boat, Koh Taen boasts stunning coral reefs, scenic mountain biking trails, and a unique mangrove forest teeming with local wildlife, including monitor lizards reaching up to 2.5 meters in length.

Despite its small population of less than 50 residents year-round, Koh Taen is a popular destination for day tours offering kayaking and snorkeling adventures. The island’s tranquil waters, nestled among other small archipelagos, provide the perfect conditions for leisurely kayaking along the picturesque coastline.

Visitors to Koh Taen can also explore its diverse ecosystem, including vibrant coral reefs thriving beneath the surface and lush mangrove forests bustling with marine and bird life. Additionally, the island offers simple bungalows available for overnight stays.

Best Foodie Things to Do in Koh Samui

Thai Cooking Class

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of Thai cuisine by joining a Thai cooking class in Koh Samui. Explore the local markets to handpick fresh ingredients for your dishes, immersing yourself in the authentic culinary experience.

With the guidance of skilled chefs, learn to prepare four traditional Thai dishes, from fragrant curries to savory stir-fries. Enjoy a fun and interactive session as you master the art of Thai cooking, creating dishes that you can replicate back home.

Lamai Sunday Night Market

Experience the vibrant culinary scene of Koh Samui at the Lamai Sunday Night Market. Located in the heart of Lamai, this weekly event features two bustling streets offering a delectable array of Asian and European-style dishes.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you wander through the market, sampling local delicacies and street food delights. At the intersection of the streets, enjoy live music and entertainment, adding to the festive ambiance.

Thai Experience Dinner

Indulge in the ultimate dining experience with the Thai Experience Dinner. Unlike traditional cooking classes, this immersive event offers a unique blend of entertainment and gastronomy. Led by skilled chefs, guests go on a culinary journey featuring 15 exquisite dishes, complemented by interactive cocktail classes and unlimited beverages.

The Thai Experience Dinner goes beyond typical dining outings, providing an engaging atmosphere where guests can learn about Thai cuisine while enjoying delectable dishes prepared by professionals. With round-trip transportation included, guests can fully immerse themselves in the culinary delights of Koh Samui without worrying about logistics. At 2,490 baht ($78) per person for a three-hour experience, it’s a worthwhile investment for a memorable evening of food and fun.

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We’ve tested the top eSIMs on the market in Peru, and AIRHUB took the top spot. It’s the most reliable, giving us the strongest signal possible even at the highest altitudes and the deepest canyons of our hikes.

You’ll have the option to access multiple carriers when you sign up for an Airhub eSIM. Haven’t found any other eSIM that got that in the bag.

Magic Alambic Rum Distillery Tour

Discover the hidden gem of Koh Samui’s rum scene with a tour of the Magic Alambic Rum Distillery. Explore the distillery for free and enjoy samples of their exquisite rum for just 60 Baht per glass. Don’t miss the chance to purchase bottles of this unique local spirit. For safety, refrain from drinking if arriving by motorbike and opt for take-home bottles instead.

Fruit Carving Class

Unleash your creativity with a Fruit Carving Class, a traditional Thai art form showcased in luxurious hotels and restaurants. Originating from royal events, fruit carving is now accessible to all. Join a hands-on class at the Intercontinental, where professionals will guide you in crafting intricate designs from fruits and vegetables.

Now You Know What to Do in Koh Samui!

Now you know what to do in Koh Samui! While it’s no hidden secret, the island offers a plethora of unique, unusual, and off-the-beaten-track experiences. Forget just lazing on the beach; Koh Samui beckons with diverse activities ranging from culinary adventures to cultural explorations.

Whether you’re seeking budget-friendly options, breathtaking sunset spots, or insights into local religious culture, our guide has you covered. Plan your itinerary, rent some wheels, and embark on an adventure across this idyllic island.


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