The paradise jade island of Koh Samui has long been no stranger to tourists who love sea and island with its stunning beaches, pristine forests, dense coconut groves as well as many beautiful small islands surrounding. According to statistics, in Koh Samui, there are now hundreds of restaurants, cafes and hotels located among the island. There are also many places to visit and explore in this destination. Although all of them are beautiful and highly recommended to visit, there are always a few places that are overrated and it would be a pity not to visit. So, what to do in Koh Samui (Koh Samui things to do) and what to see in Koh Samui (Koh Samui what to see)? Let’s check out our suggested 15+ top things to do in Koh Samui including best things to do in Koh Samui and must do in Koh Samui as follows!
- Koh Samui travel blog — The ultimate guide for a Koh Samui budget trip, Thailand
- Where to go in Koh Samui? — 10 Top, must-go & best places to visit in Koh Samui
- Top beaches in Krabi — 6 best beaches near Krabi & most beautiful beaches in Krabi
- Best islands in Krabi — 5 most beautiful, best islands around Krabi to visit
- Top restaurants in Koh Samui — 8 Koh Samui best restaurants & best places to eat in Koh Samui
Here are 15 things worth seeing and doing in Koh Samui that Living Nomads has compiled to aim to help you have a smooth trip to the main island of Koh Samui and its surrounding small islands.
Best things to do in Koh Samui: Explore the majestic of Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park
Address: 45/1-2 Moo 1 Thongsala Ko Phangan, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand
Ang Thong is a pretty perfect place in your Koh Samui travel itinerary. This national park includes pristine stretching beaches, many small islands, waterfalls, lakes and jungle. This is also home to some special landscapes in Thailand such as vertical limestone cliffs, up to 400m high above sea level with magical, completely natural shapes. The forests in Ang Thong are full of wildlife, they are diverse and make your trip even more interesting when hiking and exploring. With the islands in the national park, located in the reserve, they are always kept clean, the sea water is clear, suitable for some activities of swimming, boating, snorkeling… It’s a tropical paradise!
What to do in Koh Samui: Visit the peaceful Koh Tao turtle island
Turtle Island brings a dreamy, peaceful image for all those who want to breathe the sea air, fresh and cool. This is consider as the best diving spot in Thailand. The color of the sea water is clear, jade green, just like in the photo. At the bottom of the sea are colorful coral reefs, home to many marine species. In particular, in addition to some small fish and shrimp species, visitors can also see some turtle species here. In addition, the hotels and resorts on stilts by the beach are also beautiful to admire the scenery and take some spectacular pictures.
Strolling around the fishing village of Bophut
Address: H25J+MJ6, Thanon, Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Bophut Fishing Village or Fisherman’s Village Samui is a historical part of Bophut, Koh Samui. The village is widely known for its image of rustic, simple and peaceful houses. Every Friday, along the coastline, restaurants, eateries as well as clothing and jewelry shops are sold a lot, attracting a large number of tourists coming here to visit and shop. The fishing village is also home to fishermen who specialize in catching fish and fresh seafood on the sea. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the best quality sea food, this is definitely a wise choice. Moreover, along with the quality, the price of food in this place is also cheaper than other places in Koh Samui.
What to do in Koh Samui: Visit the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)
Address: H3C5+7XV, Tambon Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Located on the northern coast of Koh Samui, Wat Phra Yai with big Buddha statue is the most famous spiritual temple of the place. The temple features a 12-meter-tall golden Buddha image, which can be seen from a few kilometers away, surrounded by smaller Buddha statues. Locals and tourists alike come here to pray for peace and good luck. The temple has a certain dress code when entering the temple that you need to know that is not to wear clothes that show arms and legs, and not to wear skirts.
Best things to do in Koh Samui: Visit Wat Plai Laem
Address: Wat Plai Laem, Road 4171, Thailand, Thailand
Wat Plai Laem is a Buddhist temple on the northeast coast of Koh Samui, with a striking 18-armed white image of Guanyin, the Goddess of mercy and compassion. Guanyin worship originated in ancient China, yet her influence has spread throughout East and Southeast Asia in the generations since. The goddess statue is surrounded by colorful murals and paintings depicting Buddhist myths. In addition, the image of the temple located on a lotus pond by the lake is also very unique and beautiful. If doing public service here, visitors will be given a bag of food to feed the fish in the lake. Local people often come here to pray for the peace for the seafarers.
Must do in Koh Samui: Admire and feel the majesty at Namuang waterfall
Address: FX8M+PGC 4169 Tambon Na Mueang, อำเภอเกาะสมุย สุราษฎร์ธานี 84140, Thailand
Although in Koh Samui, Namuang is not the only waterfall, it is the most interested and visited waterfall in this place. The unique beauty of nature at Namuang is a masterpiece that is hard to find anywhere else. The water pouring down from the waterfall erodes the rocks, forming many strange shapes, the roots of perennial trees reach out to hug those rocks, making them seem to be wrapped, solid and majestic. In particular, the rocks at Namuang waterfall has an eye-catching purple color, unlike the color at other waterfalls, creating its own advantages for this place. The waterfall is open to visitors for free and has a pool that can be used for swimming and bathing.
Top things to do in Koh Samui: Find out the legend of the fisherman and wife at Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks)
Address: 92 84310 126/92 Moo 3 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand
Maybe many people will be embarrassed when they first see this image, but it must be recognized that this is a work of art by nature and they have created a unique image, typical for this island. The Thai people call this the art of fertility and there is a legend about the fisherman and his wife associated with these two rocks. In addition to taking souvenir photos, visitors can fully participate in a number of other activities on the island such as basking in the sun, swimming in the clear water and enjoying some fresh seafood dishes.
Visit the mysterious The Secret Buddha Garden (Tarnim Magic Garden)
Address: FXMV+5Q9, Tambon Na Mueang, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
The Secret Buddha Garden is hidden in the high hills of Koh Samui. Not prominent with large Buddha statues, the garden has a mossy, ancient image with small Buddha statues, some animal statues, temples and waterfalls covered with green moss. The Secret Buddha Garden was created by a farmer Khun Nim Thongsuk and it is truly lovely with elaborate sculptures for each statue, worthy of a day visit.
Koh Samui what to see: Relax at Lamai Beach
Unlike other bustling beaches in Koh Samui, Lamai is peaceful and dreamy. A row of loungers with soft mattresses is stretched on the sandy beach, facing the jade sea. The coconut groves are also densely planted, enough to create shade and contribute to a beautiful scene. The water here is clean and somewhat deeper than other beaches, suitable for swimming and bathing. Some bars and restaurants will serve delicious food and enchanting cocktails.
Koh Samui things to do: Adventure with Sky Fox Cable Ride Zip Line
Challenging the cable car ride and enjoying the feeling of free flight has long been an integral part of visiting Koh Samui. Besides resting and relaxing, participating in thrilling games is an effective way for us to release emotions. Sky Fox Cable Ride Zip Line is the place to help visitors enjoy those feelings. Moreover, coming here, you will also be at peace into the atmosphere of the natural forest and encounter some wild animals.
Relax at friendly Maenam beach
If you want to make a trip on a budget but still want to have fun with the sea, choose Maenam. This beach is about 7km long and peaceful and doesn’t have many rows of rows and hotels like other beaches. In return, the beach retains its inherent wild beauty and is truly peaceful. You can really immerse yourself in the natural space here without having to be afraid of being in a crowded place. The restaurants and bars are less but still serve with good quality. The locals are very friendly and hospitable.
Practice shooting at The Shooting Range
Address: G2QQ+HQM, Tambon Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
What a novel experience for all visitors visiting Koh Samui. We all know guns are something that not everyone can be allowed to use and that makes them even more special. The Koh Samui shooting range is licensed and operated under the guidance of highly trained professionals who are there at all times to keep you safe. After a short training course, you will get to experience different types of firearms such as rifles, pistols and some semi-automatic weapons.
Enjoy adventurous shows at Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo
Address: 2 33/2 Laem-Set Rd, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand
For families with young children, a trip to visit Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo is a must. Animal circus performances really impress children. This is also an opportunity for children to see many wild animals. In addition to the dolphin shows in the water, a number of other activities are performed with eagles, birds and gibbons. In particular, there are some adventurous performances with tigers and leopards.
Watch impressive Ladyboys performances at Chaweng Beach
At Chaweng beach, there are many ladyboys shows on offer. Most of them perform on vibrant music or dance, lip-sync with gorgeous and beautiful costumes. Most especially, it is difficult to recognize them as men because of their flexible heels and hot body. If you want to rest and relax after a day of fun in Koh Samui, this is definitely a good suggestion.
Meet friendly elephants at Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Address: Samui Elephant Sanctuary, 108/52 Taweerat Pakdee Rd, Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
If you love animals, especially friendly elephants, there is no reason not to visit Samui Elephant Sanctuary, a famous animal sanctuary in Koh Samui. Some tourists do not agree with using animals to make money through circus performances and they are completely satisfied when they visit here. At this place, the staff is more interested in caring for the rescued animals than turning them into a tool to make money. The elephants at Samui Elephant Sanctuary are all in good health and have been trained to interact with people in the most friendly way. You can feed them or watch them play, roll around in the mud, bathe in the pond and take a few pictures as a souvenir.
Other best things to do in Koh Samui
Among the many famous spots of Koh Samui, the above are the most worth going places for tourists who want to visit, play. For the best trip, you can make an appropriate itinerary and arrange schedule to visit nearby destinations at the same time to save time and travel costs. If you have time, consider some other sites such as Wat Khunaram, Laem Sor temple, Lipa Noi beach or Chaweng beach, take part in some outdoor activities such as ATV riding, surfing, diving, Thai boxing… In addition, if possible, try to choose the start time of the journey in October, the time of the festival in Koh Samui to enjoy more interesting things.
Where to stay in Koh Samui?
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Casa De Mar (Agoda, Booking)
- Vana Belle (Agoda, Booking)
- Silavadee Pool Spa Resort (Agoda, Booking)
- Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking)
- Sandalwood Luxury Villas (Agoda, Booking)
- Prana Resort Nandana (Agoda, Booking)
- SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort (Agoda, Booking)
- OZO Chaweng Samui (Agoda, Booking)
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Koh Samui you can refer to
- High Park Samui Admission Ticket
- Ferry Ticket between Koh Samui (Nathon Pier/Pralarn Pier) and Koh Phangan by Lomprayah
- Ferry Ticket between Koh Samui (Pralarn Pier) and Chumphon (Thing Makham Noi Pier) by Lomprayah
- Ferry Ticket between Koh Samui and Surat Thani by Lomprayah
- Discover Koh Samui
- Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan Day Tour in Koh Samui by Travstore
- Samui Bicycle Tour from Koh Samui
- Koh Samui Big Boop Boop Leisure Tour with Waterfall, Waterslides and Meal
- Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan Full Day Tour with Snorkeling Experience by Speed Boat
- Samui Island Tour By Yacht
- Off Road ATV Tours by X-Quad Samui
- Ang Thong National Marine Park Tour by Big Boat from Koh Samui
- Half Day Caring Elephant in Samui
- Koh Samui Island Discovery Tour by Travstore
- Sunrise & Sunset Stand Up Paddleboarding in Koh Samui
- Discover Scuba Diving Course in Koh Samui
- Chaweng Beach Water Activities in Koh Samui
- Sightseeing and ATV Day Tour in Koh Samui
- Koh Samui Wellness Tour
Are you finding more top things to do in Koh Samui: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Koh Samui itinerary — How to spend 2 days in Koh Samui?