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Home Travel Guide Thailand Travel Guide Koh Samui Travel Guide

Koh Samui Travel Guide

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Koh Samui is the most romantic island in Thailand. Compared to Phuket, Koh Samui was developed relatively late, even though it is the third-largest island in Thailand. More nature has been preserved here, especially the fine white sandy beaches and swaying coconut trees. Luxurious and comfortable seaside resort hotels are attracting couples from all over the world to spend their honeymoon here.

“Coconut Island” is the nickname of Koh Samui because of the tens of thousands of coconut trees on the island. The “Full Moon Party” is the highlight of Koh Samui. In fact, the party is held on Koh Phangan, next to Samui, where backpackers and electronic music fans from around the world cover themselves in fluorescent paint and danced under a full moon.

In addition, Koh Samui’s surrounding outlying islands, including private islets with herringbone beaches and clear layered waters, as well as a world-famous diving mecca, are major reasons for travelers to visit Koh Samui. This is a Koh Samui travel guide that summarizes the top attractions, the best time to visit, and how to get there and get around.

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Best Places to Visit in Koh Samui

1. Chaweng Beach

Chaweng Beach is a 7-kilometer-long half-moon-shaped beach, lying on the east coast of Koh Samui, featuring warm waters, fine white sand, and wide views. During the day, visitors can experience a variety of exciting water sports here. Windsurfers, jet skis, banana boats, and other water rides are everywhere.

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At night, gazing at the sea waves and starlight from a beach shop is quite a leisurely thing to do. A variety of bars and nightclubs make Chaweng Beach more lively and busy at night. Step into a small bar that interests you and enjoy the music and drinks. There is a viewing point on a hill just south of Chaweng Beach, which is an excellent spot to watch the sunrise.

2. Lamai Beach

Lamai Beach, located on the southeastern side of Koh Samui, is well-protected to retain its unspoiled natural charm. The high water clarity here is ideal for swimming and experiencing sea sports. There are many resorts with honeymoon suites and budget hotels near Lamai Beach. It is undoubtedly one of Koh Samui’s best honeymoon beaches, where you can scuba dive, kayak, or sail with your beloved to enjoy the wonderful view of the sea melting into the sky.

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The most famous features of Lamai Beach are the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, also known as the Hin Ta and the Hin Yai, which are formed by natural rocks. This is a must-see spot for sunbathers and shutterbugs. The path leading to the site is a shopping street where coconut products such as coconut fudge and ice cream served in coconut shells are worth trying.

3. Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park, established in 1980, is 20 kilometers west of Koh Samui, consisting of 42 small islands filled with huge limestone formations. The rocks are submerged in crystal clear, flawless waters, creating a natural landscape. Beautiful coral reefs and tranquil bays are great places for diving, swimming, and canoeing. It usually takes a full day to explore the sights of Ang Thong National Marine Park. Of course, you can also rent a boat to roam as you like.

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The park’s Tourist Center offers accommodations, catering, ecological presentations, and guided tours of the park. Whether you travel on your own or with a guide, the stunning scenery is sure to be a memorable experience.

4. Big Buddha Temple

The Big Buddha Temple is the most famous temple on Koh Samui and a landmark of the island. The temple is dedicated to a 12-meter-tall gold-cast statue that is visible from miles away in the air and on land, looking spectacular.

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Visitors are not allowed to wear shoes inside the temple, and women are not allowed to get too close to the monks. There are a few stores selling souvenirs and handicrafts around the temple. The nearby Big Buddha Beach is a peaceful and quiet place to relax.

5. Na Muang Waterfall

Koh Samui’s most famous and spectacular waterfall, Na Muang Waterfall, situated in the center of Koh Samui, is easily accessible from the road. The waterfall is divided into two waterfalls. Waterfall No. 1 is a lower-level waterfall with a large pool for swimming. Waterfall No. 2 is a high-rise waterfall with a drop of 80 meters and a 1.5 km hike to reach it, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the splashing pearl-like waterfall.

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Next to the Na Muang Waterfall is an elephant walkway and a ropeway, offering visitors the fun experience of feeding elephants and jungle sliding.

6. Fisherman’s Village

Fishermen’s Village is a serene and beautiful place on Bo Phut Beach, the north side of Koh Samui, west of Big Buddha Beach. The seafood here is fresh, varied, and inexpensive. It is relatively quiet during the day, but at night, it is second only to Chaweng Beach in terms of liveliness. The streets are lined with vendors selling snacks and goods, and there are many restaurants and bars with great character.

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You are advised to find a restaurant by the beach in the early evening to watch the sunset and enjoy the food. In the evening, feel the lively bar atmosphere. In addition, Fisherman’s Village has a very vibrant night market every Friday, where you can try a wide variety of snacks as well as enjoy street concerts.

Recommended Itinerary

Best Time to Visit Koh Samui

Koh Samui has a typical tropical Marine climate, warm and pleasant all year round. The best time to visit Samui is from December to February when the sun shines, rainfall is low, and the average temperature ranges from 24°C to 29°C. July to September is the rainy season in Koh Samui, when there may be some geological disasters due to heavy rains and possible typhoons. The weather improves in October, but there is still some rain. If you travel to Koh Samui during this period, you need to pay special attention to the tropical ocean storm forecast. In case of strong winds, please cancel diving, sailing, and other water recreational activities and make timely adjustments.

☛ See also: Best Time to Visit Thailand

Koh Samui Transportation

How to Get to Koh Samui?

Koh Samui is an isolated island and the main ways to get to and from it are by air and by boat.

By Air

Koh Samui International Airport (USM) is located at the northeastern tip of the island. Unlike other airports, most of Koh Samui Airport is open. Tourists can usually fly directly to Koh Samui from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Krabi, and other cities. On average, a flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui takes an hour and 15 minutes and costs about $125.

By Train

There is no train service on Koh Samui, but visitors can take a train to Suratthani and then transfer to Koh Samui by boat. The train from Bangkok to Surat Thani runs more than a dozen times between 8:00 and 23:00 every day for 14-16 hours at 700-1,100 baht. Along Bangkok’s Khao San Road, some agencies are selling combined bus and ferry tickets.

By Boat

Koh Samui has six piers, including the Na Thon Pier, Thong Yang Pier, Mae Nam Pier, Big Buddha Pier, Lipa No Pier, and Bo Phut Pier are located on the west and north coasts of Koh Samui. One-way ferry fares from Surat Thani to Samui range from 55-250 baht depending on the speed and distance of the boat, with regular operating hours from 5:00-19:00.

How to Get around Koh Samui?

Koh Samui, a popular international tourist destination, offers numerous modes of transportation to get around the island, such as taxis, buses, songthaews, Tuk-tuks, and motorcycles.

Songthaew

Koh Samui’s songthaew is generally red and can take more than 10 people, with the cost generally starting at 50 baht. There are two routes during the day, from Nathon Town Town to Bailan Village, operating from 5:40 to 18:00, and from Nathon Town Town to Chaweng Beach, operating from 6:40 to 18:45. The night songthaew can be chartered to pick up and drop off tourists anywhere, operating from 17:40 to 5:00 the next day, priced from 80 to 100 baht per person.

Taxi

Taking a taxi to get around Koh Samui is not the best option. Taxi fares are higher than songthaew fares and in many cases may not be billed by kilometer. If you have children or the elderly traveling with you, taxis are comfortable and convenient. Remember to negotiate the price with the driver before you get in the taxi.

Bus

Buses run regularly on Koh Samui’s Huandao Road, but they don’t leave until there are enough passengers. The bus operates from 7:00 to 18:00, approximately every hour.

Tuk-tuk

Tuk-tuk seats 4-6 people and the price depends on the number of riders, usually 50-100 baht per person. If you are a solo traveler, you can share a tuk-tuk with strangers to save more money.

Motorcycle

There are many travel agencies and hotels on Koh Samui that offer motorcycle rental services. The rental fee is calculated by the day, about 250-300 baht per day. Motorcycles are a great way to get around on Koh Samui and enjoy the sunrise and sunset. Visitors are not usually required to show their driver’s license, but a deposit or passport is required as collateral. Of course, tourists can also hire a motorcycle driver.

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