Once a small fishing island, Koh Samui has quickly turned into a romantic paradise for adventurous solo travellers, families with kids and romantic couple retreats. And truly, Thailand’s second largest island boasts white sandy beaches, beautiful coral reefs, safe swimming spots and swaying palm trees. But the island has so much more than that!
Best time to visit Koh Samui
With tropical temperatures all year round, Koh Samui offers an average of 28 degrees daily with high humidity. The best time to visit Koh Samui is during the dry season, going from December to February. The months of September to November see the most rainfall with heavy downpours in the afternoon.
Photo Credit: CC BY 2.0 – Johannes Jander
1) Sip a cocktail at the beach and soak up the sun
Beaches are definitely the first thing that comes up to your mind when hearing the word ‘Koh Samui’. Strolling on the beaches and watching the day passes sound like an ideal holiday plan. Get yourself some cocktails to sip while enjoying the panoramic view of the horizon. Chaweng is the busiest beach with many beach-front restaurants and bars. Want to explore some nightlife on the island? Chaweng is where it’s at! Numerous bars, restaurants and nightclubs will keep you hopping around until the early morning hours, guaranteed! Other parts of the island such as Lamai and Bohput are quieter and mostly offer bars instead of nightclubs. If you prefer somewhere quieter, Lamai, Bohput and Maenam are also worth a visit.
Photo Credit: CC BY 2.0 – invictaathome
2) Water activities
How about jet skiing, saying hello to the fish while snorkelling or diving or exploring around the bay by kayak? With so many water activities you can do on Koh Samui, you surely won’t get bored! Just head to Chaweng beach, there are plenty of stalls offering all those awesome water activities.
3) Refresh in waterfalls
Need a break from the beach? Head inland to explore the waterfalls and have a refreshing swim. There are a few falls that are only 15 minutes drive away from Lamai. And even if you decide not to swim, the views you get driving up to the waterfalls are stunning and definitely worthwhile. Try Na Muang Waterfall near the Safari Park that is within a close distance to Lamai or Hin Lat Waterfall, which is close to Nathon Pier.
Photo Credit: CC BY 2.0 – Keith Burgie
4) Weekend Brunch with family & friends
Who doesn’t like to feast on a holiday? Famous for its massive Sunday brunch, Nikki Beach Club is a place for families and friends to devour the extensive buffet along with champagne and some good music by the local DJ. Lounge around for the day, swim in the pool, ocean or lie in the sun. Do stick around until sunset as this side of the island is famous for its breathtaking dark purple and mellow orange skies — you won’t regret this!
5) Visit the markets and pick up some knick-knacks
The shops at Koh Samui are colourful and filled with unique souvenirs as well as some incredible street food. Make sure you browse all the stalls and try a few different things. Chaweng’s main street has a permanent market during the day. In the evening, there is a walking street market in Chaweng. Also, you should catch the weekly night market in front of Central Festival, Koh Samui’s only shopping mall.
6) Explore the old Fisherman’s Village
A really popular spot on the island is Fisherman’s Village, a small rustic area on the northern end of Koh Samui, which is packed with cafés and restaurants with sea views, as well as little shops that come alive in the late afternoon and night time. Friday Nights are especially great to visit this area as the main street of Fisherman’s Village turns into a night market with some yummy street food everywhere. At the end of it, you will hit The Wharf, a small local shopping area that houses a lot of souvenir shops.
Photo Credit: CC BY 2.0 – Stephanie Kraus
7) Cook an authentic Thai meal
Learn the magic of preparing an authentic Thai meal with all its different flavours by taking a cooking course with a local family. You will typically get to cook several courses and eat them together with the host at the end. This is indeed a beautiful experience for couples to share intimate memories together. Solo travellers can also get a chance to make new friends who share a passion for Thai cuisine! Most cooking classes are offered in Lamai or Chaweng area.
8) Say hello to the Big Buddha
Right at Bang Rak beach, you will find the Big Buddha statue, which is 12 meters tall — you definitely won’t miss it. Climb up the stairs to pay respects to the golden Buddha while enjoying the views over the bay and pure white sandy beaches. From here you can also see the planes flying low over Koh Samui as the airport is only a stone’s throw away.
There are still tons of things you can do in Koh Samui beyond the beaches. Koh Samui may be the next getaway you have been dreaming of — what are you waiting for?
Find hotels on Koh Samui
Here are some great Koh Samui hotels to get you started:
Conveniently located in a quiet corner of Chaweng with private beach access. Opt for one of the rooms with endless ocean views, relax around the pool or get pampered at the spa.
Right around from beautiful Fisherman’s Village, W Hotel Samui is nestled on a private sand beach. All rooms come with a private pool and a open balcony or patio overlooking the turquoise waters of the bay.