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Travel Guide of Ko Samui in Thailand by Influencers and Travelers

Ko Samui is an island off the east coast of Thailand. Geographically in the Chumphon Archipelago, it is part of Surat Thani Province, though as of 2012, Ko Samui was granted municipal status and thus is now locally self-governing.

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How to visit Ko Samui ?

To get to Ko Samui, you can fly directly into Samui International Airport from several international cities or travel by ferry from mainland Thailand. Several ferry companies operate daily services from Surat Thani, Donsak, and Chumphon. Alternatively, you can fly into Surat Thani or Nakhon Si Thammarat on the mainland and take a bus and ferry combination.

To make the most of your visit, it's a good idea to book some activities and accommodations in advance. Reserve your spot on a popular day trip like the Ang Thong Marine Park, a snorkeling or diving excursion, or a Thai cooking class. Additionally, many hotels and resorts offer special rates for early bookings.

The costs of visiting Ko Samui can vary depending on your desired level of comfort and activities. Budget travelers can find affordable accommodations and food options, while those seeking luxury can enjoy world-class resorts and gourmet dining experiences. Expect to pay between 500-2000 THB per night for budget accommodations and 3000-15000 THB for mid-range to luxury options.

Among the best things to do in Ko Samui are exploring the island's beautiful beaches, visiting the iconic Big Buddha and Wat Plai Laem temples, and experiencing the vibrant nightlife in Chaweng and Lamai. For outdoor enthusiasts, activities like hiking to waterfalls, snorkeling at Coral Cove, and exploring the nearby islands are not to be missed.

Ko Samui offers a wide range of dining options, from authentic Thai street food to fine dining. For a taste of local cuisine, try Krua Chao Baan, a beachfront restaurant known for its fresh seafood and traditional Thai dishes. Another great option is Poom's Place, a family-run eatery offering delicious home-cooked meals. For a more upscale experience, visit The Tree Tops at Anantara Lawana, serving a fusion of Thai and international cuisine amidst a romantic treehouse setting.

When it comes to accommodation, Ko Samui has something for every budget. For a budget-friendly option, consider staying at the Chill Inn Beach Cafe & Hostel, located on the beautiful Maenam Beach. If you're looking for a mid-range option, check out the Banana Fan Sea Resort, a beachfront property in Chaweng. For a luxurious stay, consider the Banyan Tree Samui, an all-pool villa resort nestled on a private hillside.

Off the beaten path:

For a unique and unusual travel experience, consider visiting the Samui Elephant Sanctuary, where you can observe and interact with rescued elephants in a peaceful, ethical environment. Another off-the-beaten-path experience is hiking to the Secret Buddha Garden, a hidden gem in the island's hills featuring statues and sculptures amidst lush greenery. Finally, for a taste of local life, visit the Laem Din Market in Chaweng, where you can shop for fresh produce, try local snacks, and mingle with the locals.

The Best Things to Do and Visit around Ko Samui

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1 - Big Buddha

   6 km away

The Great Buddha of Thailand, also known as The Big Buddha, The Big Buddha of Thailand, Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin, and Mahaminh Sakayamunee Visejchaicharn, was in November 2018 the tallest statue in Thailand, the second-tallest statue in Southeast Asia, and the ninth-tallest in the world.

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Big Buddha things to do in Ko Samui Big Buddha things to do in Ko Samui

2 - Wat Phra Yai

   10 km away

Wat Phra Yai, known in English as the Big Buddha Temple, is a Buddhist temple on Ko Phan, a small island offshore from the northeastern area of Ko Samui, Thailand, connected to that island by a short causeway 3 kilometres north of Samui International Airport.

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Wat Phra Yai things to do in Ko Samui Wat Phra Yai things to do in Ko Samui

3 - Kayaking Tours in Koh Samui

This tour works directly with the locals on Koh Madsum to ensure the pigs are safe, happy and healthy, you will also have use of kayaks and sunbeds free of charge. Experience a premium speedboat ride through beautiful Samui Bay Snorkel along the coast of Koh Tan Island Visit the popular island of Koh Madsum (also know as Pig Island) Delicious lunch

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Kayaking Tours in Koh Samui things to do in Ko Samui

4 - Wat Plai Laem

   11 km away

Wat Plai Laem is a wat on the resort island of Ko Samui, Thailand. Like the nearby Wat Phra Yai or "Big Buddha Temple", it is a modern Buddhist temple.

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Wat Plai Laem things to do in Ko Samui Wat Plai Laem things to do in Ko Samui

5 - Laem Sor Pagoda

   15 km away
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Laem Sor Pagoda things to do in Ko Samui

6 - Shore Excursions in Koh Samui

Our friendly & licensed guide will pick you up from your hotel or villa in an Air-Conditioned minivan (or other vehicles SUV on request or 4x4 truck* Select 4x4*.) When you step into the vehicle you can share your ideas and interests so we customize the plan for the day. Gain local insight into Thai culture as you visit the island's top sights like the Big Buddha, Wat Plai Laem, Hin Tai & Hin Yai, see amazing scenery and more & beaches. Get recommendations on the best spots to eat for local cuisine or street food, learn about the island's history, and swim on white sandy beaches or in hidden jungle waterfalls. Please note that the tour can be personalized to your own interests and desires. If desired we can have a lunch stop at a local restaurant on the beach or at any restaurant type that you prefer. The cost of lunch is not included in the tour. We provide Coldwater, Onboard Wifi and refreshment towels along the way to ensure that you have a comfortable day of sightseeing.

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Shore Excursions in Koh Samui things to do in Ko Samui

7 - Hat Rin

   21 km away

Hat Rin is a peninsular beach area and town on the southern tip of Ko Pha-ngan, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Its two main beaches are Sunset Beach to the south and the larger Sunrise Beach to the north.

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Hat Rin things to do in Ko Samui

8 - Ko Tao

   23 km away

Ko Tao is an island in Thailand and is part of the Chumphon Archipelago on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. It covers an area of about 21 km². Administratively it is a subdistrict of Ko Pha-ngan District of Surat Thani Province. As of 2006 its official population was 1,382. The main settlement is Ban Mae Hat. The economy of the island is almost exclusively centered on tourism, especially scuba diving.

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Ko Tao things to do in Ko Samui Ko Tao things to do in Ko Samui

9 - Safaris in Koh Samui

You will be picked up from your hotel around 10:00-10:30am & taken on a spectacular adventure up into the mountain and through the Jungle of Koh Samui and then down the other side. All safaris are conducted using authentic rugged ex-army jeeps for a exhilarating and rugged experience, with safety being priority. First stop is Grandfather/Grandmother Rocks. Next to the rocks is a market selling handmade Thai products and souvenirs Have a cool swim at the largest waterfall on the island Visit a real Mummified Monk at Khunaram temple Then 4WD up into the mountain to various viewpoints Traditional Thai lunch at beachfront restaurant Buddha’s Magic Garden statues 12 meter Big Buddha statue at Phra Yai temple Back to your hotel around 4:30-5:00pm Hotel pick-up time provided upon booking.

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Safaris in Koh Samui things to do in Ko Samui

10 - Ko Pha Ngan

   24 km away

Ko Pha-ngan is an island in the Gulf of Thailand in Surat Thani Province of southern Thailand. Ko Pha-ngan is best known for its Full Moon Party at Hat Rin Beach.

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Ko Pha Ngan things to do in Ko Samui Ko Pha Ngan things to do in Ko Samui

11 - Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park

   43 km away
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Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park things to do in Ko Samui

12 - Scuba Diving in Koh Samui

Experience the Gulf of Thailand and all of its beauty from underwater and join a day-trip to either Sail Rock or Koh Tao. The variety of dive sites around the island allow divers of all levels as well as non-diving customers that want to come along with their diving partners. Our dive groups are limited to a maximum of 4 divers with similar experience and our equipment is well maintained and regularly serviced. If you have your own with you we will take care of it all the while you are diving with us, taking it back to the dive centre after each dive, cleaning, drying and packing it ready for your next dive. We carry 100% oxygen, first aid equipment and life jackets on board and all of our instructors are certified emergency first responders. 

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Scuba Diving in Koh Samui things to do in Ko Samui

13 - Wildlife Watching in Koh Samui

If you love Elephants, come and see them Help us to support and take care of Elephants This activity, you can see how Elephants live their life in the real Nature. Spending quality time with our elephants will make you realize the importance of conserving these gentle giants for future generations to appreciate.

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Wildlife Watching in Koh Samui things to do in Ko Samui

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Learn More about Ko Samui

Samui is the number one island in the Gulf of Thailand and the second most popular destination in Thailand due to its easy accessibility, beautiful beaches and variety of activities. It is located in the Gulf, approximately 700km south of Bangkok and 80km off the south coast of Thailand.

Koh Samui is the third largest island in Thailand and the largest of an archipelago of over 80 islands. Among them is the Ang Thong National Marine Park, a kayaking paradise that can be reached on a day trip from Koh Samui.
The island is small enough to be reached by motorbike or car in a couple of hours, but boasts a huge variety of beaches and activities that cannot be experienced in a single visit.

Until the late 20th century, Koh Samui was home to a small community that mainly fished and harvested coconuts; until the early 1970s, the island didn't even have roads. But when foreign visitors discovered this gem of a place, with its lush rainforest and coconut trees lining the golden sands and surrounded by aquamarine waters, development proceeded rapidly.

Today, the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai are home to seaside towns with fabulous resorts, world-famous restaurants and world-class nightclubs. Cooking classes, yoga classes, Muay Thai training, scuba diving and golf are just some of the activities available around Koh Samui.
Some of the beaches have a certain charm of yesteryear, especially the quieter ones that are perfect for relaxing, such as the ones that are home to some of the world's best 5-star resorts, and Bo Phut, which boasts old Chinese teak houses. However, Samui remains as vibrant and exciting as it was decades ago, a paradise island in its own right that retains its natural beauty and offers all the activities and amenities for the ultimate beach holiday.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Ko Samui

When is the best time to go to Koh Samui ?

December to March is the "cool" season and attracts the most visitors. It is the period when it rains the least, the temperature is constant and very pleasant (30°C on average). On the other hand, the price of hotels rises and the best ones are taken by storm.

   Where to Stay near Ko Samui

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  🗼 Landmark spots     🏖️ Beach spots     🌴 Tropics spots     🌊‍ Ocean spots     🐾 Wildlife spots     🏖️ Shore spots     🏰 Place of worship spots     🏰 Temple spots     🏘️ Town spots     🏨 Resort spots     🏖️ Sailing spots     ⛰️ Cliff spots     🏘️ Cottage spots     🏞️‍ Waterfall spots     🌴 Jungle spots     🏖️ Lagoon spots     🌲 Nature reserve spots     🏨 Eco hotel spots  

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