15 Things To Do In Koh Samui

15 Things To Do In Koh Samui

Koh Samui, Thailand’s island gem, beckons travelers with its splendid beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture. This tropical paradise, nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, offers a harmonious blend of serene retreats and adventurous escapades, making it a perfect destination for all types of travelers. From the majestic beauty of its natural waterfalls and the serene spirituality of its temples to the exhilarating nightlife and rich culinary experiences, Koh Samui promises a myriad of activities to explore.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful getaway amidst nature, a cultural journey through local traditions, or an action-packed holiday, Koh Samui has something special in store for you. In this guide, we will uncover the top things to do in Koh Samui, providing you with a comprehensive list of experiences that will ensure your visit is unforgettable.

Things To Do In Koh Samui

  1. Explore Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park is an archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand. It offers visitors a chance to escape into a world of towering limestone mountains, dense jungles, white-sand beaches, waterfalls, and hidden coves and lakes to explore. A day trip to Ang Thong is an opportunity to snorkel in clear waters teeming with coral and fish, kayak along the coastlines, and hike to viewpoints that offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding islands. The park is also home to a rich variety of wildlife, including monkeys, otters, and a diverse array of bird species, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers.

  1. Visit the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

The Big Buddha Temple, known locally as Wat Phra Yai, houses a majestic 12-meter tall golden Buddha statue that can be seen from miles away. Located on a small rocky island connected to Koh Samui by a causeway, this temple is not just a religious site but also offers stunning views of the surrounding sea and beaches. The site is serene and peaceful, with the sound of temple bells and the gentle chanting of monks adding to the ambiance. Visitors can explore the surrounding temple complex, shop for souvenirs, and learn about Buddhist traditions and practices.

  1. Experience the Chaweng Beach Nightlife

Chaweng Beach is the beating heart of Koh Samui’s nightlife, offering an electrifying mix of nightclubs, bars, and beach parties. As the sun sets, the beach transforms into a vibrant party scene where you can dance the night away, enjoy live music, and indulge in delicious Thai and international cuisine. The nightlife here caters to all tastes, whether you’re looking for a laid-back beach bar to relax at or a bustling nightclub to experience Thailand’s famed party atmosphere. It’s an ideal place to mingle with other travelers and locals, making new friends under the starlit sky.

  1. Discover the Magic of Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks

Hin Ta and Hin Yai, known as the Grandpa and Grandma rocks, are natural rock formations on Koh Samui’s coast that resemble male and female genitalia, leading to a blend of amusement and wonder among visitors. Located near Lamai Beach, these rocks are surrounded by myths and legends about an old couple whose ship was wrecked in the area, and they turned into these rocks as a symbol of their eternal love. The site offers not only a good laugh and photo opportunities but also stunning views of the sea and the nearby beaches.

  1. Relax at Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village

Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village is a charming blend of traditional Thai and modern influences, with old wooden Chinese shop-houses converted into trendy boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. The village is renowned for its Friday night market, where you can sample street food, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy live music and performances. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, making it a perfect place to spend an evening strolling along the beach, dining al fresco, and experiencing the local culture and hospitality.

  1. Soak in the Natural Beauty of Namuang Waterfall

Namuang Waterfall, comprised of two beautiful waterfalls, Namuang 1 and Namuang 2, is a must-visit for nature lovers. Nestled in the heart of the island’s lush jungles, these waterfalls offer a refreshing escape from the beach. Namuang 1 is easily accessible and falls from a height of 18 meters into a large, picturesque pool, perfect for swimming. Namuang 2 is a bit higher at 80 meters and requires a short hike to reach, but the view and the serene atmosphere make it well worth the effort. The area around the waterfalls is ideal for picnics, elephant trekking, and exploring the dense tropical forest.

  1. Take a Cooking Class and Learn Thai Cuisine

Thai food is renowned worldwide for its flavors, and what better way to experience it than by learning to cook traditional Thai dishes yourself? Koh Samui offers numerous cooking classes where expert chefs teach you how to prepare classic Thai meals using fresh, local ingredients. These classes often include a visit to a local market to select produce, providing a deeper understanding of Thai culinary culture. Not only do you get to enjoy your own cooking at the end of the class, but you also take home new skills and recipes to impress friends and family.

  1. Unwind at Lamai Beach

While Chaweng Beach is known for its nightlife, Lamai Beach offers a more laid-back atmosphere, perfect for those looking to unwind. It’s the second-largest resort area on the island, combining beautiful scenery with a quieter, more relaxed vibe. The beach itself is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water sports like jet skiing and snorkeling. The area around Lamai Beach also boasts a range of spas and wellness centers where you can indulge in traditional Thai massages and treatments for the ultimate relaxation experience.

  1. Experience the Local Culture at Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem is a stunning Buddhist temple complex that features a striking white 18-arm statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. The temple showcases a blend of Thai and Chinese architectural styles, with elaborate decorations and a tranquil lake teeming with fish. Visitors can learn about Buddhist traditions, offer prayers, and feed the fish, which is believed to bring good luck. The serene and spiritual atmosphere of Wat Plai Laem makes it a peaceful retreat and a fascinating insight into Thailand’s cultural heritage.

  1. Go Island Hopping Around Koh Samui

Koh Samui is surrounded by smaller islands, each offering its own unique charm and beauty. A day spent island hopping is a day filled with adventure, exploration, and stunning natural scenery. Visit Koh Tao for some of the best snorkeling and diving spots, where you can encounter vibrant coral reefs and a variety of marine life. Koh Phangan, famous for its Full Moon Parties, also boasts quiet, secluded beaches and lush jungles. Many tours offer snorkeling, hiking, and even kayaking, allowing you to discover the diverse landscapes and wildlife of these islands.

  1. Take a Yacht Cruise Around the Island

Experience Koh Samui from a different perspective by taking a luxury yacht cruise around the island. These cruises offer an unparalleled view of Samui’s stunning coastline, hidden coves, and pristine beaches. You can opt for a sunset cruise to enjoy breathtaking views as the sun dips below the horizon, or choose a day cruise that includes stops for snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, swimming, and even a visit to some secluded beaches. It’s an exquisite way to experience the island’s beauty in style and comfort.

  1. Visit the Secret Buddha Garden

Hidden in the hills of Koh Samui, the Secret Buddha Garden is an enchanting collection of statues amidst lush jungle scenery. Created by a local fruit farmer in 1976, the garden features a variety of statues that depict various deities, animals, and humans in different poses, including one of the creator himself. The garden is not only a testament to the man’s devotion and creativity but also offers a tranquil spot for meditation and contemplation, surrounded by the natural beauty of the island.

  1. Explore the Samui Elephant Sanctuary

The Samui Elephant Sanctuary offers a compassionate and ethical experience with elephants rescued from logging and tourism industries. Unlike traditional elephant camps, visitors here can observe and interact with the elephants in a respectful manner that promotes their well-being. Activities include feeding, walking with the elephants through the jungle, and watching them play and bathe in large mud pits. It’s a heartwarming experience that educates visitors about the importance of conservation and ethical treatment of these magnificent creatures.

  1. Savor the Flavors at a Local Night Market

For an authentic taste of Thai culture, spend an evening exploring one of Koh Samui’s vibrant night markets. The most famous ones are held in Fisherman’s Village and Lamai. These markets are a feast for the senses, with stalls selling everything from street food and cocktails to crafts and clothing. Sampling local delicacies such as Pad Thai, mango sticky rice, and fresh seafood is a must. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up unique souvenirs and gifts while enjoying the lively atmosphere.

  1. Experience Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun and relatively easy way to explore Koh Samui’s stunning coastline. Many beaches on the island offer SUP rentals and lessons for beginners. Gliding over the clear, calm waters of the Gulf of Thailand offers a peaceful experience and a unique vantage point to appreciate the island’s natural beauty. Whether you’re paddling along serene beaches at sunrise or exploring secluded bays, SUP is an enjoyable activity for all ages and skill levels.


Koh Samui is more than just a destination; it’s a vibrant tapestry of experiences, each offering a unique insight into the island’s spirit. From the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Ang Thong National Marine Park and Namuang Waterfall to the cultural richness of Wat Plai Laem and the Secret Buddha Garden, the island serves as a sanctuary for those in search of tranquility and adventure alike. The ethical encounters at Samui Elephant Sanctuary, the culinary delights of local night markets, and the luxurious relaxation offered by yacht cruises and SUP adventures illustrate the diversity of experiences available.

As you explore Koh Samui, each moment – whether spent in the company of nature, among the welcoming smiles of locals, or in the midst of its lively marketplaces – contributes to a journey that touches the soul. Koh Samui doesn’t just offer a holiday; it offers a chance to weave your own stories into its rich tapestry, leaving you with memories that linger long after you’ve left its shores.

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