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25 Things to Do in Koh Samui - Enjoy Unforgettable Island Activities!

Koh-Samui Things to do
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Located in the Chumpon Archipelago, Koh Samui is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand and the second-largest island in Thailand, behind Phuket. Although there is historical proof that this island has been inhabited for a very long time, development only began in the second half of the 20th century. At the moment, the economy of Koh Samui is primarily driven by tourism. Koh Samui is blessed with immaculate beaches, fantastic vantage points, dense forests, and sacred locations. Its seclusion from the mainland and accessibility to private spaces are two major draws, making it perfect for romantic getaways or honeymoon trips. To help you make the best of your Thailand trip, this article will provide a list of some of the top things to do in Koh Samui.


Visit Koh Samui’s Famous Big Buddha


One of the best things to do in Koh Samui is to visit the Big Buddha Temple, which is situated in the island's northeast. The famous Big Buddha, standing over 12 meters high, is housed in the striking Wat Phra Yai temple, which is located on the small island of Koh Faan. The Koh Samui Big Buddha is positioned in the Mara Mudra, with his right hand pointing down and his left hand resting on his lap. This position symbolizes the Buddha's victory over the Mara temptation demon. In light of this, the posture denotes stability and enlightenment. This location has the feel of a typical spiritual attraction thanks to its colorful temple grounds, which include the Big Buddha and the bell circle as well as monks praying and steps to climb. It is believed to bring good fortune to ring one of the bells that are placed throughout the property. It is suggested that you visit this temple early in the morning with an appropriate dress code.


View the Interesting Attractions in Hin Ta and Hin Yai

Hin Ta and Hin Yai

Hin Ta Hin Yai, also known as the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, are situated on Koh Samui's southeast corner, Lamai Beach. Ta is Thai for "grandfather," and Yai is Thai for "grandmother." These rocks are famous for their amusing resemblance to the male and female genitalia. The nearby information board contains folklore about the history of the rock formation. The succinct summary tells the story of the elderly couple who tragically died while crossing Lamai Beach during a storm and later turned into a rock to represent love and unity. One of the best things to do in Koh Samui for couples is to visit this location and take in the view of the rock formations, white sand, and azure waters. This location is among the world's most Instagrammable locations. This location ought to be on your itinerary if you like to take photos from high angles.


Witness Magnificent Scenery At Namuang Waterfall


The Namuang Waterfall, one of the island's best waterfalls, is situated along Route 4169 on Koh Samui. This pair of cascading waterfalls is the ideal escape from the bustle of the city, set amid a lush green jungle.  It should be possible for visitors who are in reasonable shape to walk to the falls. From the parking lot, it is a 100-meter walk to Na Muang 1. The first waterfall empties into a serene, natural pool where you can cool off while swimming. Na Muang 2 is located deeper inside Waterfall 1 and necessitates a strenuous hike. After climbing the falls, where you have a naturally created private pool with the best views, the challenge is undoubtedly worthwhile. As it brings you closer to nature, seeing these falls is one of the more relaxing things to do in Koh Samui. The waterfalls, also known as the "Purple Waterfalls" due to the purple-hued rocks below, are best visited at the start of Thailand's high season.


Secret Buddha Garden: A Place To Hide


The Secret Buddha Garden is a little-known treasure that offers magnificent views and an unusual collection of statues in a lush jungle setting on top of Pom Mountain in Koh Samui's interior. The Secret Buddha Garden, also known as the "Magic" Garden or Heaven Garden, stays true to its name, mesmerizing visitors with its fascinating sculptures of gods and animals and its tranquil surroundings. This private statue garden was constructed in 1976 by a Thai fruit farmer named Nim Thongsuk. A small stream runs through the garden in addition to the architecture, adding charm to the attraction. Exploring the garden with a local is recommended, as they would be able to provide their interpretation of the statue about their culture. Therefore, exploring the secret Buddha garden is one of the unique things to do in Koh Samui. The journey to reach this garden might be tricky, but the serene ambiance with the statues and the streams will be rewarding.


Party at Koh Phangan


Taking a ferry to the nearby Koh Phangan Island is one of the best things to do in Koh Samui for a bachelor. Koh Phangan is steadily elevating its status as a must-see tourist destination in Thailand. Tourists looking to get away from their regular lives are drawn to it because of its isolation from the mainland and laid-back atmosphere. For young people, the island offers a variety of exploring opportunities, including beaches, vantage points, jungle hikes, waterfalls, and watersports. The full moon parties, half moon parties, blood moon parties, and New Year's parties on this island are its distinctive selling points. Their stunning beaches, like Bottle Beach and Haad Rin Beach, serve as an additional draw in addition to their party atmosphere. We can visit the street foods in Thongsala to satiate our late-night cravings. This location is also growing in popularity as a spiritual retreat center thanks to its stunning temples and numerous yoga studios.


Take a trip to Angthong Marine Park

Angthong Marine Park.webp

More than 40 islands and limestone monoliths can be found in the Gulf of Thailand's Ang Thong National Marine Park. The name Ang Thong, which translates to "golden basin," alludes to the geography of the area as well as the presence of golden rice. Ko Phaluai, Ko Wua Ta Lap, Ko Mae Ko, Ko Hin Dap, and many other small islets offer opportunities for sightseeing, cave exploring, and watersports. One of the best things to do in Koh Samui with family and kids is to visit this archipelago because there are so many things to do there. Beach hopping, discovering viewpoints like the Wua Ta Lap, exploring the underwater world by diving and snorkeling at Mu Ko, camping, and water sports like kayaking at Ko Mae Ko are a few of them. Since this is a national park, there won't be any opulent urban beaches, so you can expect things to be more grounded. You could take a boat or a tour to get here from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. 


Seek blessings at Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem Buddha

One of Koh Samui's well-known temples, Wat Plai Laem, houses an 18-armed statue of Guanyin. Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion, is reputed to shield sailors from peril. Standing tall and white to the left of the temple grounds is the enormous Guanyin statue. It establishes a strong, serene presence and highlights Koh Samui's extensive Chinese heritage. The Budai Buddha statue, which is on the right, is believed to bring happiness and prosperity. The temple of a lotus flower is located in the centre of the two statues. Chinese and Thai cultural elements as well as the Buddha's life cycle are depicted in the murals and sculptures of the temple. Little footbridges cross the lake to the statues of Guan Yin and Hotei, beneath which you can find the fish. To feed the fish in the pond surrounding the Wat Plai Laem temple, you can donate money or purchase fish food from the temple complex. Visiting Wat Plai Laem is one of the top things to do in Koh Samui if you’re into spiritual tourism.


Explore the beaches of Koh Samui


Koh Samui Island's beaches are among its main draws. Koh Samui is the perfect beach, with relatively fewer visitors, cleaner beaches, and fine white sands bordered by towering coconut trees. Spending the night in luxurious resorts and exploring the island's beaches top the list of the most romantic things to do in Koh Samui. You can choose to unwind while doing nothing or try out some water sports in the island's clear waters. Despite being somewhat out of the way, the island's Lipa Noi beach is one of the safest for families to visit because of its gentle slopes. The largest beach on the island, Chaweng Beach, is also one of the busiest and most active. Taling Ngam Beach is a good option if you want to see the sunset without any crowd interference. Lamai Beach, Bophut Beach, Bang Po Beach, Maenam Beach, and numerous other smaller beaches are some of the island's other well-liked beaches.


Get to know the daily life of Koh Samui at its capital


Nathon Town is the gateway to Koh Samui Island via waterways. You would therefore be required to spend some time in Nathon, whether it is on your itinerary or not. This area is a great place to get a glimpse of island life in general. Some of the non-touristy things to do in Koh Samui include visiting the weekend markets, waterfront lodges and eateries, souvenir shops, and shrines. On Koh Samui, shopping in Nathon Town is highly encouraged because it's not only affordable but also has a wide selection of goods. Sarongs, silk clothing, home decor, and many other items are among the popular items that one can buy here. One of the must-see attractions in this town with a long history and a blend of Chinese and Thai culture is the Nathon Hainan Shrine. 


Spend a night At Fisherman’s Village

Fisherman's village

There has long been a relationship between the Chinese and the fishing community of Bophut. Bophut Fisherman's Village is a small neighbourhood with buildings designed in a rustic style that houses restaurants, speciality stores, and a small number of waterfront hotels. There is a diverse selection of goods and a lively atmosphere at the Fisherman's Village Walking Street Market, which is active during weekends.  There are many things you can buy in stores, from coconut-based souvenirs to mojitos made in the local style. One of the best things to do on Koh Samui for a honeymoon is to go to this location because the weekend markets there give couples the chance to spend time together wandering the streets. It is worthwhile to visit some of the beachfront eateries in Fisherman's Village that serve delectable Thai food and have breathtaking views of the ocean.


Visit other Buddhist shrines and temples


There are numerous other temples on the island in addition to the Big Buddha Temple and Wat Laem Temple. Therefore, if you're interested in Buddhism and religion, spiritual tourism on this island is among the best things to do in Koh Samui. The red temple, also known as Wat Ratchathammaram, is one of the well-known temples. It is made of a terracotta-colored temple with intricate carvings. The Big Buddha temple and airport can both be seen beautifully from the Golden Temple, which is perched on top. Another important landmark that deserves to be seen at this location is the Buddha Footprint, which symbolizes the mortal presence of Buddha. For younger generations, the mummified monk at Wat Khuaram serves as motivation to adhere to Buddha's teachings. The majority of temples offer free admission, but when visiting, visitors must adhere to the appropriate dress code.


Visit the Wat Jee Kong temple

Wat Plai Laem Buddha.jpg

The history of Chinese culture's influence on the island of Koh Samui is extensive. Chinese influence can therefore also be found in the food, culture, and architectural styles. Chinese temple Wat Jee Kong is situated on Chaweng Beach. It was constructed by Chinese immigrants who came here in the 19th and 20th centuries, and it is now regarded as one of the island's most important historical sites. Numerous old structures and a bustling market are known for their traditional handicraft, trinkets, and fabrics surrounding this temple. If you’re into spiritual tourism or cultural tourism then one of the top things to do in Koh Samui is to explore this multicultural temple at Wat Jee Kong.


Go extreme by exploring the adventure sports of Koh Samui


Although Koh Samui is an island district in southern Thailand, it is well known for its diverse geographic features, including its verdant forests, tall mountains, and immaculate beaches, which allow one to explore adventure sports. From its vantage point atop Lamai Mountain, one can zipline through the dense forests. Before the tour starts, they do provide some fundamental training, and each group is led by a qualified guide. On Koh Samui Island, there are also other adventurous activities like jungle safaris and mountain biking. Additionally, water sports like kayaking, parasailing, and snorkelling are available on Koh Samui's beaches like Bang Kao. Undoubtedly, one of the more adventurous things to do in Koh Samui is to try these extreme sports, which were made possible by nature. 


Hop on to nearby islands in the Thai Gulf


Island-hopping tours in the Koh Samui area near the Gulf of Thailand are among the best things to do in Thailand for a honeymoon if you like beaches and islands. The Chumphon archipelago's largest island, Koh Samui, and its nearby islands are renowned for their stunning snorkeling spots, fine sand beaches, and crystal-clear water. Additionally, the natural marine diversity is preserved here because the majority of the areas fall under Ang Thong Marine National Park. Therefore, there is a good chance that you will see colorful fish and coral here. The islands are also the perfect location for water sports like kayaking, parasailing, and rafting. Two of the most well-known islands close to Samui are Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, which are frequently included in island-hopping packages. While Koh Phangan is well known for its nightlife and parties, Koh Tao is well-known for the daring activities that can be experienced.


Meet and Greet with the friendly giants


When you arrive in Thailand, you can immediately see how elephants have impacted the country's culture. Thus, visitors can see elephants at a variety of tourist attractions, such as elephant parks, rides, and shows. However, in recent times, due to increasing awareness of animal cruelty and animal rights, ethical and eco-tourist sanctuaries are becoming more popular. Their mission is to rescue and care for elephants who have endured mistreatment as a result of logging, circuses, and beggaring. To gain a better understanding of how elephants behave and interact with other animals and people in their natural habitat, one must visit these sanctuaries. Spending time with these amiable giants is one of the best things to do in Koh Samui with family. Elephant interactions can take the form of feeding, mud bathing, swimming, or food preparation. You will also receive complimentary snacks and drinks in some sanctuaries. Some of these parks on Koh Samui Island provide free pick-up and drop-off services. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Koh Samui, Samui Elephant Sanctuary, and Samui Elephant Haven are a few of the well-known elephant parks in Koh Samui.


Explore the Rocks of Koh Samui

Hin Ta and Hin Yai

Southern Thailand's Samui Island, which is well-known for its beaches and island, has long been a favorite vacation spot. The presence of granite rocks and the granite landforms that are formed from them distinguish this island from others. The majority of the rocks have an ethical or cultural story attached to them, even though numerous geographical theories attempt to explain these formations. These rocky attractions can be found by the sea or in the mountains, but getting there will require a hike. However, these rocks stand out as one of the island's most picturesque locations. The Hin Tai and Hin Yai rocks, Overlap Stone, Elephant Rocks, and many more are just a few of Koh Samui's well-known rocky attractions. Exploring these rocky attractions and taking memorable photos is one of the best things to do in Koh Samui for couples.


Visit the Coconut museum


One of the main drivers of Koh Samui's economy before tourism took off was the island's coconut plantations. As a result of the coconut plantations, the island is also known as "coconut island" One of the unique things to do on Koh Samui Island is to visit this location, where you can learn about the coconut industry, how virgin coconut oil is made, how other products are made, and how to recycle coconut shells. This museum's goal is to increase public awareness of the planting, cultivation, harvesting, and processing of coconut from a coconut plant. They also show us some fundamental techniques for making coconut desserts. Here you can also find a variety of tools made from coconut tree byproducts, including utensils, a coconut grater, and food items that you can purchase. When it is open, the museum is free to enter, but it is closed on Sundays.


Learn about Southeast Asian art at Dusit Dhewa Cultural Center

Dusit Dhewa Cultural Center

The Dusit Dhewa Art and Cultural Center is a small open space of 3 acres that features Southeast Asian architectural styles, idols of gods and goddesses, and stone sculptures from Bali, Khmer, Myanmar, Thai, and Laos. There is a natural stream in the area, making it ideal for visitors to unwind amidst nature. The Samui culture of Thailand can be better understood through a visit to this centre. The centre has a structure resembling an old Thai house and is filled with numerous statues of animals and gods made in Chinese style. Since it is relatively remote from many popular tourist attractions, you can anticipate fewer visitors while you are there. Organizing a wedding photography session in this area with these sculptures as a backdrop is one of the most romantic things to do in Koh Samui.


Spend some leisure time at Paradise Park Farm


One of the most relaxing things to do on Koh Samui island with family and kids is to visit Paradise Park Farm, which is situated on top of the Pom Mountains. Despite the steep and dangerous path leading to the attraction, the farm's amenities make the trip worthwhile. You'll see birds from other countries, such as canaries, parrots, and cockatoos, in addition to the native birds of Thailand, on the farm. Animals like deer, goats, gibbons, rabbits, and many more are also present. These amiable animals were available for playing with, photographing, and feeding. In order to keep families entertained, they also provide other amenities like a swimming pool, waterfall setup, restaurant, and gift shops. As a result, it's undoubtedly one of the best family-friendly places to visit while on Koh Samui Island.


Enjoy Koh Samui from its best viewpoints


One of the best things to do on your Koh Samui tour & explore the island's peaks and take in the panoramic views from the top. The northeastern region of the island is where you'll find the majority of these vantage points. These viewpoints come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including those that call for a jungle hike, waterfall attractions, or even temple attractions. Nevertheless, these vantage points rank among the island's best spots for Instagram. Some of the best viewing areas on the island include Lad Koh Viewpoints, Ko Tao Viewpoints, Elephant Rock Viewpoints, and Lamai Viewpoints. These viewpoints have grown to be popular tourist destinations in and of themselves, so one can find shops and eateries to refuel before beginning the hike.


Learn Thai cooking at Koh Samui

Learning Thai cooking is among the most non-touristy things to do in Koh Samui. Due to its use of fresh ingredients and harmony of flavours, Thai cuisine is delicious and nutrient-dense. In Thai cooking, fresh herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, pepper, and chili are frequently used. By learning about their culinary customs, we can gain a deeper understanding of other people's cultures. Additionally, you might learn a little bit about Chinese culture since Koh Samui has been influenced by it. In these cooking schools, you'll learn the tricks and methods for creating dishes of the highest calibre. One of the most common types of food served here is seafood. Despite not being as well known as other Thailand tourist destinations, Koh Samui is still home to a few reputable cooking schools, including Smiley Cook, Infusion Cooking School, and Jungle Kitchen. These classes are the best way to spend your noon in Koh Samui because the majority of them last less than six hours. 


Explore the markets of Koh Samui


Koh Samui's island has less development than other popular tourist destinations. Therefore, the prospects of shopping and exploring the mall are very low. However, one of the best things to do on Koh Samui is to explore the night markets and weekend markets. Even though these markets aren't made specifically for tourists, they provide a chance to meet locals. One of the best places to purchase locally made crafts, woven clothing, and delectable foods is the Lamai Night Market. You can see live performances right in the middle of the market, which enhances the lively atmosphere there. Other markets, such as the well-known Bophut Fishing Village and Nathon Night Food Markets, provide a window into people's daily lives.


Visit Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo


We have something that your kids would love to participate in after all the beachside attractions and bustling markets. Most of the aquatic life in the aquarium at the zoo is marine life that is indigenous to the Gulf of Thailand, including manta rays, sharks, whirlpools, and catfish. When you visit the Tiger Zoo, you can get close to the Royal Bengal Tigers and Leopards and observe how they interact with one another and their environment. Finally, you might even be able to take a photo with some wild cats. The location also hosts a variety of shows, including ones featuring exotic birds, tigers, and sea lions. With your kids and family, it is one of the best things to do in Koh Samui. The Samui Aquarium & Zoo are open every day, and admission is inexpensive.


Treat yourself to a relaxing Thai massage


Despite being the second-largest island in Thailand, Koh Samui has relatively straightforward roadway connectivity with few turns. To summarize, the majority of the island's roadway network usually circles the island's perimeter. Renting a scooter in Nathon town and navigating around the tourist sites is one of the best things to do on Koh Samui Island. This method not only saves money and is efficient, but it also enables the discovery of some of the island's hidden treasures, such as the secret garden and the bird park. In some areas, roads aren't built properly in steep areas, so one needs to be careful about that.


Cover Koh Samui with a rented scooter

Koh Samui Scooter ride.jpg

Despite being the second-largest island in Thailand, Koh Samui has relatively straightforward roadway connectivity with few turns. To summarize, the majority of the island's roadway network usually circles the island's perimeter. Renting a scooter in Nathon town and navigating around the tourist sites is one of the best things to do on Koh Samui Island. This method not only saves money and is efficient, but it also enables the discovery of some of the island's hidden treasures, such as the secret garden and the bird park. In some areas, roads aren't built properly in steep areas, so one needs to be careful about that.

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