The list of Koh Samui attractions is surprisingly long as the island and its surroundings are full of places to go and things to see. We made our very own list of the unusual attractions and must see places which make the most of the island’s culture and island charm.
Discover the Island of Koh Samui seen from the Sea
You will board a two-floor boat in the morning and it will take you a whole day to make the trip around the island. You will leave from the beach of Big Buddha to discover the coves and beaches of Thong Sai, Choengmon, Chaweng, Lamai, Hua Thanon and Laem Set. The purpose is to arrive on the island of Koh Tan which is also called the “green peace island.” Here you can enjoy diving with snorkeling equipment in the coral reef or swim or relax on the beach. Afterwards you will enjoy a delicious meal in the house of the governor in the village of Koh Tan. On the return journey the boat will slow down at five small islands, famous for their nests of swallows. You will get back at Nathon – the capital of Koh Samui – at the end of the afternoon.
Angthong National Marine Park
Ang Thong National Marine Park is a fascinating archipelago of 42 or so islands located north-west of Koh Samui. Angthong, translates as ‘golden bowl’, occupies almost 250 sq km and includes 50 sq km of limestone islands and karsts topography which rise from the sea as dramatic rock cliffs and bizarre rock formations. Caves, hidden lagoons and white sand beaches are there to be explored and snorkelling among the shallow coral gardens makes a popular and fascinating day trip.
Access to the Marine Park is controlled, but there are several Samui based operators who are licensed carriers, catering to both independent visitors and private trips.
Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Tao, or Turtle Island, is a small island accessible by 2 hour boat ride from north of Koh Samui. It has been dabbed the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. Abounding with beautiful bays, white sandy beaches, beautiful coastal rocks and crystal clear water, Koh Tao is simply a heaven on earth. Just a short boat ride from Koh Tao, you’ll find Koh Nang Yuan Island. Famous for its famous triple-connecting beach and crystal clear water, koh nang yuan is a perfect place for a day of snorkeling or just to simply chill on the beach.
Located southwards of Lamai Town is the Wat Khunaram. This Thai pagoda houses the mummified body of the town’s most famous monk, Leung Pordaeng. According to history, Leung Pordaeng renounced all worldly possessions with the aim of following Buddha’s teachings.
Before his death which he himself predicted, the Samuian initiated those around him to prepare for his death by building a casket.
Despite his death having occurred more than 20 years ago, to-date this body remains on display showing little sign of deterioration. Many Samuians revere this sacred preservation of Leung Pordaeng’s body as nothing short of a miracle. Proving the teachings of Buddhist doctrines where attainment of supreme nirvana can be achieved through leading an exemplary life and meditation.
His death at the age of 79 years occurred due to natural causes however, throughout his life he followed the teaching of Buddhism which extended in even his diet. Undertaking several hours of meditation routinely provided a calming influence on his life. Placed in the temple is a detailed description on his life including many talismans.
Mountain and Jungle Tours
Mountain & jungle tour is one of the best ways to explore the real beauty of koh samui island and discover the life of the locals who live here. You can see coconut plantations and be amazed of the ways they harvest the fruit with the help of especially trained monkeys. Inside the jungle, you can discover waterfalls and rubber plantations, banana groves as well as splendid variety of tropical plant life. This tour can also be made with an elephant tour.
Please don’t forget to bring your swim-suit, a towel from your hotel, walking shoes, sun-tan cream and anti-mosquito lotion.
The “Magic Garden” is located in the hills of Samui. A Samuian fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, started to build the garden in 1976 when he was 77 years old. The only access to get there is through the jungle, rivers and mountains by a four-wheel-drive jeep. The journey takes about 2 hours starting at the back of the Lamai temple and is only recommended for experienced “outdoor” drivers. Another way to get to the garden is by joining one of the safari tours.
It’s quite worth a visit and on the way you can make a stop-over at Samui’s highest point overlooking the island from north to south, the surrounding islands as well as the mainland.
Wat Samret is a very old and dusty temple situated down south on the island. Only few visitors pass by this temple except for certain festivals during the year. It houses a marble Buddha, but its most distinctive attraction is the Secret Hall of Buddhas, where you can just get in the door for the old relics. There is a large sitting Buddha and a reclining one surrounded by dozens of smaller ones. Seems almost to be a classroom with the large sitting Buddha dispensing his knowledge.
Trekking to Namuang Waterfalls 2
Namuang Waterfall is located 10 km south from Nathon at Ban Thurian. There are 2 waterfalls. Na Muang one is 18 meter high and can be reached by vehicle. Na Muang two is about 80 meters high and can only be reached by a 30 minute walk. The waterfalls are the most scenic on the island.
Nathon is samui’s administrative and business centre. For anyone arriving by boat as a passenger, Nathon is also the island’s main port (car ferries dock at Lipa Noi, a few kilometres south) and jumping off point for the islands of Koh Tao, Koh Pangan and mainland Surat Thani.
The town’s main highlight for day trippers is its old wooden Chinese shop houses that line the middle road, selling an esoteric range of goods, including a lot of gold. Souvenirs bought here will also be considerably cheaper than elsewhere on the island. Food wise, any of the waterfront seafood restaurants are recommended for a taste of truly authentic and very spicy, local cuisine.
Santiburi Golf Course
The Santiburi Samui Country Club is Koh Samui’s first golf course and provides both challenge and charm with a lush tropical setting. It is located on a hillside of northern coast of Koh Samui, amidst old coconut gardens. The golf course has a commanding scenic panoramic view of Maenam Beach and the nearby island of Koh Phangan. Golfers are able to enjoy these magnificent views of the ocean and beaches from almost all holes. Waterfalls and creeks run through the land adding lush, natural beauty with the hills providing a picturesque backdrop.
Please refer the your hotel reception to book any of the above activities and excursions.