Top attractions in Koh Samui
Once home to small fishing communities, in recent years the stunning island of Koh Samui has become a favorite for tourists visiting Thailand, accommodating wealthy and budget-conscious travellers alike. Here are 10 of its best attractions.
Historically considered Koh Samui's best beach, it's no surprise Chaweng has become its most popular too. As well as gorgeous scenery, there are plenty of beachside cocktail bars!
Chaweng isn't all about the beach - it hosts the best of Koh Samui's restaurants and nightlife too. If you came here to let loose among other revellers, then this is the place to be.
If Chaweng's a little busy for your tastes, head to laid-back Lamai instead. Though quieter, there's no shortage of amenities and, for the time being at least, they're cheaper too!
Koh Samui's most famous landmark is the centerpiece to Wat Phra Yai. The temple is rich with shrines and ornate sculptures, with a neighboring market peddling snacks and souvenirs.
Big Buddha is rivalled by this colorful temple's 18-armed sculpture of the goddess Guanyin. And if you're charmed by life's simple pleasures, its lake teems with fish to feed.
The "Grandpa and Grandma Rocks" are geological formations that happen to look like male and female genitalia. Makes you wonder what exactly Grandpa and Grandma have been rocking.
Whether you feel like exploring or relaxing, take the boat over to this picturesque archipelago for pristine beaches, jungles, waterfalls, limestone mountains, and hidden coves.
This nearby island is known for its offshore sand bars and famous Full Moon Party: an all-nighter beloved by young backpackers that takes place – you guessed it – every full moon!
With its clear seas, pristine reefs, and great selection of diving tour operators, Koh Samui is the perfect place to begin your underwater adventure!
Mae Nam offers views of Koh Phangan and meandering pathways providing an escape from other tourists. Other scenic beaches worth checking out include Bophut and Taling Ngam.
Koh Sumai's weather is generally hot and humid (especially from March to May), with rainy season between September and mid-December. This isn't necessarily a bad time to go, as the rains come and go in short bursts, bringing welcome relief from the heat, as well as quieter beaches and heavy discounts on hotels and all inclusive holiday packages! For good weather November is definitely a month to avoid, however, as the island is hit by monsoons that go through five-year cycles of intensity.
The easiest way to reach Koh Samui is by flying into Samui International Airport, particularly if traveling there following a trip to Bangkok. It's also one of the most charming airports you could ever hope to visit! There are also several boats leaving from Surat Thani. They take about two or three hours (depending on the boat) and leave from Tha Thong, Ban Don, and Donsak piers.
- Time Zone
- GMT +7
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- If you visit between December and February, you'll bypass the rainy season. March to September is the warmest time of the year in Koh Samui.
Things to Do in Koh Samui
Top Attractions in Koh Samui
Cities in Thailand
Other Sightseeing Options in Koh Samui
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What people are saying about Koh Samui
For my daughter and I this was the highlight of our stay in Koh Samui and we have enjoyed our visit to the island immensely. This was my daughter's first encounter with elephants. She is 7 years old but could easily participate like any other adult. The team were very forthcoming and pedagogical. Explained every upcoming step in detail but made sure to add enough comedy to keep us on our toes. The elephants were calm and inviting, I believe like they knew they were interacting with a minor. These elephants are lucky to have come to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Koh Samui. We will definitely return. Thank you for this wonderful experience, EJSKS team!
Great fun. Lots of jeeps so you have a big crowd when you arrive at the various attractions. Loved the waterfall and slides. Only the brave do the fast ones. Lunch was a bit different for us at the top of the mountain jungle and heavens opened and it rained hard for an hour and a half so ruined the views. You must ride on top of the jeep cabins and later in the afternoon when they going down the mountains as a thrilling ride. Met some nice people and was great fun for my wife and I. Only thing I would say is jeeps are very smelly so if you don’t like smell of diesel of are asthmatic be aware.
We had an amazing day on this safari! It was recommended by a friend and did not disappoint. We got to see all of the island’s historical landmarks, but didn’t spend too much time there either which was great. The waterfall and zip lines were so much fun. We also got to sit on the roof of the 4x4 going up the side of the mountain which was amazing, and something I would recommend to anyone going on this trip! An experience of a lifetime and a wicked day! Thank you so much Mr Ung’s Safari!
I highly recommend this tour. The tour guide was fantastic, really cared about our safety and showing us some really cool sea life! I recommend the kayaking through the caves! Was an incredible experience. Always food and drinks available as well. Rough seas coming home but the guide cared and made us feel safe always. My only complaint was the driver that picked us up from our hotel. He was late getting us to the dock so he drove a bit crazy! But otherwise was a great tour!
A brilliant day out. The water fight in the afternoon was great fun but really disappointing to see that the route was littered with plastic bottles, clearly left from previous water fights. I would hope that the company would either stop the littering from happening, or regularly return to pick up the rubbish. Such a shame to treat any area like this but particularly one so beautiful!